What is StumbleUpon? Most bloggers say they have a love/hate relationship with StumbleUpon; that is if they have even heard of it! Some bloggers can’t even deal with Pinterest so StumbleUpon just sounds like a completely foreign language.
I am here to demystify StumbleUpon and explain why it can be your best ally for driving traffic to your site. If used correctly, it can overtake your statistics very quickly and leave Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest behind in the dust. But don’t rely on StumbleUpon for meaningful comments and important personal connections; you have your blog’s readers and Instagram for that. StumbleUpon is for getting your site or blog out into the world where no other Social Media has taken it before, the speed in which things move with Stumbleupon is pretty extraordinary.
Let me explain…
What is StumbleUpon?
It really is just another Social Media channel but with a twist. It’s kind of like the random setting on your radio, but with preference settings. It’s called StumbleUpon because when you press the very important “stumble” button you are presented with a little piece of the internet you have probably never seen before, it might be a photo, a website, a video, a blog, an article, a piece of art, a cartoon, a recipe, a joke, a movie trailer; what shows up depends on the interests you pick when setting up your profile. Essentially you are stumbling upon content that you weren’t expecting to see. Clever huh?
If you like what you see, you click the thumbs up icon, if you don’t then you click the thumbs down button, if you can’t be bothered either way then just press the stumble button again to see something else that might peak your interest.
When you are using the internet and have the stumble button or bar installed on your browser you can “discover” sites, things, photos, videos, etc and add them to the StumbleUpon network, adding relevant tags in the pop-up window so that it gets shown to other stumblers. Talk about sharing the love!
Why is StumbleUpon easier to use than other Social Media Channels?
It’s so easy to press the “stumble” and “thumbs up” buttons!
You don’t have to create any specially sized images or create special alt tag descriptions for your content.
You can discover great things if you open your mind to new creative possibilities.
It is searchable through tags and interests
You can find other stumblers with similar interests, so if you delve deeper into the network you CAN make connections.
It stores all the things you have liked and when you press that thumbs up button, it has a funny algorithm that shows you more of that kind of stuff.
You can drive massive amounts of traffic to your site.
There had to be a downside right? Don’t worry it’s not a big one. It’s really just the Number One Rule of StumbleUpon!
What is the No. 1 Rule of StumbleUpon?
Do NOT “discover” your own content and run.
Meaning, do not just enter your blog posts into the network and hope for the best.
[bctt tweet=”StumbleUpon – It can be your best ally for driving traffic to your site. Learn how! #IBABloggers”]
Let me tell you my StumbleUpon story;
I discovered StumbleUpon in its Beta Stages before I even had a blog. I used to use it for trendspotting and fashion research for work. It was great and I used to find all sorts of great stuff. Things went on like that for a couple years. Then I started the blog and when I tried to add a post to the network, it spread like wildfire. I was getting pretty much all my views from StumbleUpon, so I added every single post to the network as soon as I wrote it. But I had stopped using the site for trendspotting and wasn’t discovering much of anything else. My blog, until a month ago, was a blogspot.com domain.
A year ago the people at StumbleUpon started to notice how bloggers were just adding their posts to the network and running. I don’t know how they came to the decision but they blocked ALL blogspot.com and other international blogspot domains from using StumbleUpon. Well, not completely. We could stumble other sites and like or dislike whatever StumbleUpon showed us but we couldn’t add our own blog posts to the network anymore. We had been grounded until we got our own domains.
Millions of blogspot users flooded the forums asking why and getting the same answer. It seems like it was the death of StumbleUpon. But personally, I think it was a way for them to put on their armor and make the service more functional and fair for everyone. Since the blocking of blogspot domains, StumbleUpon has gotten even better at what they do and now that I have my own domain I am an active user and you should be too! Especially if you love seeing those numbers go up in Google Analytics!
How can I start using StumbleUpon?
Getting started is really simple. Log on to StumbleUpon.com and sign in with your Facebook profile. Once you are logged in you choose your interests, these can be changed at any time during your Stumbling so really the possibilities of discovery are endless. It is in your best interest to install the Stumble button or bar onto your browser. The bar is easily removable when you aren’t using it so it will not stay stuck to the top forever if you don’t want it to.
Suggested Ratio of Discovery
You want to get started adding your blog posts to the network straight away but relax, take it one step at a time. If you add too many posts at once you will flood your view stats and StumbleUpon will raise a red flag. Don’t do it.
Start stumbling and liking things that show up, go to your friends’ blogs and add their pages to the network, surprise them with a rise in views!
I suggest that for every time you add your own content, you should add from 5 to 8 other things as well. I don’t mean just thumbing up, I mean adding to the network.
How do I add pages to the network?
When you have the Stumbleupon bar, all you have to do is press the thumbs up button, if that page has never been discovered before, a popup will appear asking you if the page is “safe for work” and for some tags to be clicked on. Be nice and choose a lot of tags, pertinent of course! Then click done and find another blogger friend to give some love to.
StumbleUpon loves it when sites are discovered (added) by readers, instead of the actual owner. Some people have stumble parties on Facebook; where you discover each other’s sites instead of relying on doing it yourself. This means, more views!
Going Deeper into the Network
If you want to get even better results from StumbleUpon, you have to delve a little deeper.
What does this mean?
- Follow other Stumblers, especially the ones that like your content
- Like the content from the Stumblers you follow
- Share from StumbleUpon into your Facebook and Twitter profiles
- Leave comments in blog posts you like and tell them you found them through StumbleUpon
I hope this guide was helpful and that you will give Stumbleupon a chance to take your blog to another level!