Thoughts on Personal Branding: WordPress or Tumblr?

So I’ve decided I need to rework how I do things.

My adventures on the internet have taken me many different places.

I have gone from an html/css hobbyist to a blogger, to a product creator, to a client services business owner.

While I’ve been busy fleshing out a couple companies, and building sites for clients, I have found that my personal website has certainly suffered. I even resolved to write every day in some capacity. …That clearly didn’t happen.

Instead of floundering around with an inactive personal site, I decided I would move my personal blog to a new domain:, but I would do that on Tumblr.

One of the things I always loved about tumblr was it’s easy to use post types built right into the service. I could post a quote and it would look alright. I could type out a full text post if that’s what I wanted. I could post a simple picture if that’s what properly reflected my mood. Tumblr allows you to accurately express you’re current state of mind. That’s *really* what microblogging, or tumbloggling is all about. I tend to be a big picture guy and sometimes very scatterbrained, this causes me to be really attracted to a tumblr-style page: The feed could be a mix of quotes, text posts, one-line thoughts, videos and pictures.

When you post something on Tumblr, not only can visitors to your site see your content, but Tumblr users can share that content with their followers. Every post has the potential to go viral.

You can build up a slew of followers, though, I’ll be honest, I’ve never found great success with it.
Tumblr struggles with a few things, things you may want to consider before you decide Tumblr will be the home of your blog. Tumblr’s permalink structure makes it very unlikely that any content written on tumblr will be found by native search queries. Not only is the search traffic small, but once traffic is at your site, there are limited options for interaction.

How is your Aunt Lucy supposed to comment on your brilliant post? You can ask questions to the author- whether it be with a tumblr username, or anonymous, you can “like” the post, or you can reblog the post and add your own comment. (actually, CEO David Karp’s reason for this is understandable  ). This allows tumblr to be great with building a community around spreading great content, but it lacks the foundation to really create a great community. Can readers of a Tumblog easily interact with other readers of a Tumblog? No. This allows for the potential of a very personal connection between a reader and it’s audience (via question and answers) but you will only hear a few voices in this conversation. Blog comments allow for readers to engage with the author as well as add more to the value of the post to other readers. Tumblr has no real way to facilitate comments- you can install a comment service such as Disqus, but I know there are circles of people who will never log into such comment systems.

Today’s announcement of Yahoo’s acquisition of the service makes me seriously weigh my options.
I’ve been doing a lot of reading about personal branding and the potential of new era publishing. More people are getting their information from blogs than ever before. Blogs are not only a place where you can keep your family updated on your kids, or your world travels, they are turning into vital sources of news and commentary. Blogs can be serious business. Visit Pat Flynn’s website and check out his monthly earnings statements. The business ramifications of blogs are huge. Blogging can help you position yourself as an expert in a field. Whether you’re providing news or commentary, by inserting yourself as a relevant member of a conversation, you are creating a position of trust for any interested parties. This can lead to increased referrals, work requests, speaking engagements, opportunities for product creation, and much more.

I’ll take a step back and allow you to soak in the last paragraph.

And now i’ll ask you this.

Can you do that on Tumblr?
I’m sure you can, but will it really be the best option?

Part of me is inspired to give it a try! Go against the odds and make the tumblr platform into everything I’ve dreamed a personal brand’s platform could be. But I watch as every one who is currently crushing it in the blog world is using a CMS such as WordPress.

I’m taking a step towards intentionality and taking what I do online very seriously.
I think Five Espressos could grow into both a publishing company as well as a leading agency for web development. This will invariably done using the same medicine we’re prescribing for our clients- WordPress.
It’s not just a question of WordPress or Tumblr, it’s really about what I want to accomplish, and what will be the best tool for the job.

Do you have any thoughts to this?

2 thoughts on “Thoughts on Personal Branding: WordPress or Tumblr?”

    1. I did!
      I think while I was writing this, I meant to link it a couple times. I don’t think the acquisition is a death sentence, but the jury is out on yahoo’s impact!

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