February 16, 2016
So you’ve got your Tumblr all set up, and you’ve started to add posts, but it doesn’t feel like it’s coming together properly? You’ve kept within your niche and are posting regularly, but for some reason people aren’t coming to like or follow your blog?
If that sounds familiar, you’re probably at a loss as to what you can do to turn things around. But thankfully, there is a crucial element to blogging on all of social media that many people miss, and it is something that, if done right, can help to take a blog from being just like any other to standing out within the community and even on Tumblr as a whole.
Creating a social media aesthetic is something that is incredibly important and is a surefire way to make your blog look ultra-professional and well done. It’s not the easiest thing to do, as it requires dedication and planning, but the results can be something spectacular as potential followers and admirers start to appreciate the hard work you put in.
To understand the importance of having a social media aesthetic, look no further than the collection of stats below (collected by Curate), that show just how much of a difference having similarly composed images can make:
These statistics make it clear that there is a lot of success to be found in sharing collections of images that are stylistically and visually similar.
Think for a second about some of your favourite Tumblrs – what are their images like? Do they tend to share the same style of images, with similar composition and a similar aesthetic?
Take a look at the images below, all shared by the same blogger Chiara Ferragni (the Blonde Salad). What’s striking about these images is that they all share the same aesthetic – they’re light, they have a lot of background space, they feature texture, and they aren’t overly saturated.
Or how about Lost in Urbanism, who don’t always share light and bright photos, but instead share their photos in gallery groups, or collections. This can be a great way to give yourself flexibility when it comes to your social media aesthetic. Sharing images in different curated collections, or mini galleries, is a perfect way to allow yourself the freedom to mix up your style, while at the same time keeping your aesthetic constant.
Establishing a social media aesthetic isn’t something that can happen overnight. Like all good things, it takes time and effort to come together – and in this case, time and effort means planning.
Taking the time to plan out a week or a month’s worth of content is the only way that you will be able to craft a whole host of posts that fall into the same aesthetic. Most bloggers you see sharing images on Tumblr and Instagram will likely have taken multiple shots on the same day, wearing different outfits, in different locations, and then staggered these shots out over weeks or even months.
The best way to plan ahead is to spend 30 minutes to an hour sitting down and working out what content you are going to share each day of the week. Start by coming up with weekly themes, and then work your way down to planning individual content.
For example, if you’re running a street photography blog, and you live in a big city, plan out a day or a weekend where you go around your city at different times, and in different locations, making sure that you capture photos that fall into the themes for the week.
Say the themes you come up with are the following:
These themes may stretch across a whole month, but the content that is required for them can be condensed into a day, it just requires you to hop across your city taking photos.
What’s more, doing this planning ahead of time allows you to come up with ideas for shots that will all follow the same aesthetic (at least within their theme group) so that you can be sure to only shoot images that look stylistically similar.
Think for a moment about how you can plan your content ahead of time, whether you run a fashion blog, a street photography Tumblr, or even a design site.
Editing is the part of the process where people can fall down and create posts that don’t suit their overall aesthetic. Too often it’s tempting to be able to add different filters, mess with the saturation levels, the brightness and the contrast – but what tends to happen when people do this, is that they end up with a series of photos that might have started out looking the same, but have ended up looking completely different. This isn’t what you want when you’re looking to establish a social media aesthetic.
Instead, when it comes to editing, try to apply as many of the same principles to each photo (or photo series) as possible. If you’re sharing multiple shots from the same shooting session, apply the same filter to all of them, and adjust the settings for each photo in a similar way. That way all of the photos will look at home together, rather than appearing a disjointed combination of photos that all share a subject matter rather than a look.
This one can be a tough one, as it’s often hard to restrain yourself from sharing posts that are great by themselves, but don’t really fit in with the aesthetic you’ve set out for your Tumblr. It’s hard to turn away content that you’ve spent time creating only because it doesn’t look quite right, but if you are serious about establishing a social media aesthetic, then it is the only thing you can do.
The best way to do this is to be ruthless when it comes to picking out the content that you share on your blog. If you have hesitations about whether something fits in with the overall tone, don’t share it. It may be difficult at first, but after a while you’ll become used to being cutthroat when making your selections, and you’ll find that seeing your blog’s traffic and follower count grow will only help to make things easier.
If you’re looking for the perfect theme to fit in with your social media aesthetic, take a look at all of the high quality Tumblr themes we have on offer.