If readers are the lifeblood of the TWC, then reblog blogs are the veins. I have a vested interest in motivating other writers to create and manage reblog projects. Why? Because I think we, as rebloggers, have the potential to expose a wide variety of writers and styles to the community. That means that we’re offering an excellent selection of content that has a greater chance of expanding our presence here on Tumblr.
I love reading and writing, and I believe that in our small way, we are helping to ensure that the written word has a vivid future. We may be helping to inspire the next wave of great editors, writers, and poets.
The problem is that I’ve seen a number of reblog blogs start-up only to be shut down — or forgotten — within a month or two. I’m going to be honest with you, effective reblogging is a labor of love. It takes a lot of time and effort to get it right.
Burning Muse started as my personal reblog blog. I had about 50 followers in the beginning (and many of them, I’m thrilled to say, are still following this project now. Thank you so much guys! Your continued support means everything to me!).
I’ve poured a lot of love into this project and the results have been phenomenal. We’ve managed to spotlight over 8K amazing pieces, welcome many wonderful new writers into the TWC, and continue to have the pleasure of serving the most loyal and active readers. I couldn’t ask for more!
But, it would be a diservice to the community not to share our success (or at least some tips on how to achieve it) with new, fresh pages that have the potential to attain an even greater impact.
So here are some tips from the admin of (what is now) one of the oldest reblog projects in the TWC — but more importantly, a friend and peer who sincerely wants you to succeed.
Although, please keep in mind that I’m not claiming to be an expert and there are many ways to “get there”, but here’s what’s worked for me.
Earn the respect of the community, as a writer. Respect them back by being dedicate and passionate about sharing the benefits of your personal success with the community.
I started Burning Muse shortly after I made the top contributor list in #Prose (and for a time #Poetry as well). Back then, I was amoralfictionalism. I wrote anywhere from 4-9 pieces per day, every day.
I loved Tumblr so much (I still do!), because it helped me to rekindle my passion for writing. It was that love that motivated me to create a reblog blog.
When I started Burning Muse, my focus was to give back to the community by sharing anything good that came from my Tumblr experience. So, when a piece of mine was featured on my personal blog, I turned it into a prompt for Burning Muse and shared my blue tag with anyone who participated in the prompt.
I used my personal success to help promote writing that I felt was just as deserving (if not more so) of attention. When I saw potential in someone, I never hesitated to help nudge them into the spotlight.
Every move I make, in terms of my own “success” here on Tumblr, I consider how I can spin it so that the largest number of people can benefit from it with me.
A reblogger can’t be selfish, but before you help to promote others, you need to establish yourself as a writer first. If you can build credibility in the community and earn the respect of your peers, they are MUCH more likely to pay attention to writing you spotlight.
That being said, after you’ve established yourself, you have to care just as much about the community as you do about your own writing. You have to find a reason to remain dedicated and passionate about other people’s writing.
Also, Burning Muse does not just serve itself. It serves that entire community and that includes projects and other reblog blogs.
Give a serious fuck about the community and they will give a serious fuck about your reblog blog.
Give credit where credit is due.
I was inspired to create Burning Muse partly by (what I consider to be) the original reblog blog Spilled Ink (retired, but still remembered and loved. Love for Lily, always), rebloggers like Mike (poeticallyprofound), and Editors like Jen (jayarrarr). I was never afraid to cite them for that inspiration, because I couldn’t take the people who have done so much for this community for granted. We’re lucky to have them!
Choose staff members or partners who have earned TWC credibility in their own right, who are passionate about sharing the written word, and who have different tastes from you own. Don’t be afraid to part with them (amiably) if they are no longer able to produce content.
Burning Muse would be nothing without our incredible staff of the past, present, and future.
For those of you who have been staff members, thank you. You have my eternal gratitude. You’ve helped make this project what it is now. You are always part of our family.
For the current staff, I love each and every one of you. It’s an honor to work with you. Thanks for keeping BM going strong.
For the future staff, I can’t wait to meet you!
I consider the BM staff as part of my family, so the hardest part of being the Editor of this project is when staff members retire. But, sometimes due to offline life, time constraints, or burnout staff members must be rotated. I limit the BM staff to myself and 9 other members. This helps to ensure that you, as the community, are getting a fresh and motivated staff giving their best effort to serve you to the fullest.
Have even higher standards for yourself, as a leader, than you do for your staff/partners. This also means, hand over the reigns when you’ve lost sight of your motivation and purpose.
I have deactivated once and passed Burning Muse over to my original staff member Kat. She did a wonderful job keeping the project in tact until eventually we become co-editors, and then she retired.
Maintaining an effective reblog blog… is a LOT of work. It takes a lot of time, energy, and passion. Sometimes, for the sake of a project, you have to love it enough to step down.
Don’t ever stop.
If you take nothing else from this post, remember this. Don’t stop. Don’t ever stop. Keep spotlighting content to the best of your ability (there will be challenges and hic-ups, but don’t let them discourage you). Communicate with your readers (they understand that you’re human). Love the community (even when there are days when you want to throw your computer across the room). Love the written word. ALWAYS.