tumblrSay you’re up to speed on what a business blog is and you’re interested in the ways your blog can bring you more business and decided to start your very own small business blog, then your next likely move is to pick a blog platform.

Options abound, and among those getting more and more buzz lately is Tumblr.

Tumblr is a free, easy-to-use ‘micro-blogging’ platform, with Tumblr posts often consisting of just a single image, song, video, or a small amounts of text. At sign-up, you are required to follow a small number of other blogs, and your dashboard then consists of a stream of real-time content as other Tumblr users then “love” or “reblog” posts into the site’s integrated Twitter-like newsfeed.

Tumblr’s popularity has been growing steadily since it was launched in 2007, and recently Yahoo closed a deal to acquire it for over $1 billion. That announcement came just two years after reports that Tumblr surpassed WordPress in the number of blogs it hosts.

There’s a Catch When Using a Free Blogging Platform

But the context here is vital, especially for small business bloggers. As noted on Mashable, “WordPress.com’s count doesn’t include sites that people host themselves with the open source software via WordPress.org.” And for the vast majority of small business blogs, self-hosting is absolutely essential.

Using Tumblr or Blogger or any other free platform which doesn’t allow you to use your own hosting service means that all of your site’s authority and ranking accrues not to you and your content, but to the platform itself. As a result, you’re not the customer, you’re the product. However, this is not to say that no business should consider Tumblr, merely that it’s a good solution for a very specific kind of business.

The Small Business Blogs Best Suited to Tumblr

Images and photos are the most popular content posted on Tumblr, making it a good fit for individual content creators in highly visual industries like design, photography. In those specialized niches, a Tumblr URL is a perfectly acceptable option, with none of the amateur stigma that has been associated with free Blogger and WordPress URLs in the past.

There may come a time when Tumblr makes some changes to embrace the business market, but that is not currently the case. Relative to the overall population of people surfing the web, Tumblr users are far more likely to be browsing from school than home or work. There’s nothing intrinsically wrong with that and it may well change in the future, but unless the target audience for your business is students, chances are that you will be better served by exploring another platform for your small business blog.