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Tumblr for Libraries & Archives: Tagging

A guide containing practical advice, tips, and applications for libraries and archives looking to use Tumblr.


Tags are an invaluable resource on Tumblr. They help users find your posts. They also assist you in organizing your content.

Depending on the Tumblr theme you select, the tags you choose for a post may or may not display on your blog. For those themes that show tags, the tags may appear along the bottom, top, or side of your post. See "Filed under" in picture below for one example:

Mauve Tumblr

Choosing Tags

It's important to choose tags wisely so that your content reaches as many users as possible. A few tips for making tag selections:

  • Use broad tags to connect to wider audiences
    • Choosing simple, straightforward tags related to larger concepts exposes your content to more Tumblr users
      • Is your post historical in nature? Tag it with history. Is it science-related? Use the science tag.
  • Consider how your users are searching for posts
    • It's tempting to add highly technical terms as tags to a post. But remember: although you may know what these terms mean, your users probably do not. You want to make their searching experience uncomplicated.
  • Avoid adding too many tags to a post
    • Although Tumblr makes a post searchable by the first 20 tags you add to it, avoid adding a tag for every bit of information in a post. You may think by adding tags for everything you are making your content easier to find. In reality, you are giving your Tumblr pages a cluttered look. 
  • Use your tags to communicate with other Tumblr users
    • To connect with fellow institutions, use tags such as: libraries, archives, tumblarians, librarians
    • To show appreciation for your followers, use tags such as: follower appreciation, our followers are the best, our followers are awesome

Using the Pretty Tag Cloud Generator for Tumblr

Add some pizazz to your blog by presenting your tags in a tag cloud created with the (free) Pretty Tag Cloud Maker for Tumblr. The Cloud Maker is a fantastic tool. It is free to use "as long as you agree to and abide by the conditions of the License and Terms of Service" which may be found in the Cloud Maker's "About" section.

The easiest way to add the tag cloud to your blog is to add the cloud code to one of your pages or paste it into the HTML code of your Tumblr Theme (for instructions, see the Tag Cloud Maker's "Help" Tab). To access Tumblr pages and your blog's HTML code, click Customize on the left side of your dashboard => Scroll down and you will find the option to edit/add pages as well as the area containing the blog's HTML code.

Tag Cloud Tumblr