Tumblr focuses on creativity and community; in the spring of 2012, the CEO considered including advertisements on the website to be a "last resort." Even now, sponsored blogs in the Tumblr Spotlight section are less intrusive than ads on other social networks. While ad-supported blogs aren't quite in line with Tumblr's ethos, you are permitted to use ads on your own blog.
Terms of Service
There's no statement in Tumblr's terms of service that prohibits ads, unless you're using ads to spread malware, inserting ads on other user's blogs or creating your blog exclusively to generate ad-based income. As long as you aren't aren't using your Tumblr blog to deceive, placing an ad or two on your personal blog is acceptable.
Advertising on Your Blog
Any sort of advertisement is allowed on your blog, so long as it doesn't violate Tumblr's content terms. The type of content not allowed includes hate speech, harm to minors, promotion of self-harm and gory content. If you're just getting started, you might consider using the Google AdSense service to include ads on your blog. How-to Geek offers a tutorial on how to include advertising with AdSense on your Tumblr blog (link in Resources).
Advertisements in Posts
Advertising on Tumblr
If you're interested in advertising your own content on Tumblr, highlighted posts are a good place to start. Highlighted posts cost a dollar and make your post more prominent on the dashboard by adding a sticker. Blogs that pay to be seen on the Tumblr Spotlight are generally corporate-run blogs. For instance, as part of the promotion for The Hunger Games film, Lionsgate paid to have one of its blogs promoted on Tumblr Spotlight.
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