How to use StumbleUpon to Effectively Generate TrafficBrendan van SonAugust 16, 2010Travel Photography Blog69 Comments 0 How to use StumbleUpon to Effectively Generate TrafficI have been using StumbleUpon for the past 3 months or so and only recently have I begun to crack the codes for using this cranky creature effectively. I thought I’d play nice and share what I’ve learned so far by using the site, chatting with other users, and reading articles like one written by Michael Hodson from Go See Write. Here’s my advice:How StumbleUpon works:StumbleUpon is really simple in nature. It provides a drop down tool bar which you can retract if it bothers and pull itStumbleUpondown when want to use it. On this tool bar there’s buttons for “liking” a website, “disliking” a website, reviewing and for sharing the website via twitter, facebook or email. The key to this tool bar, however, is the stumble button itself. You choose a variety of topics, for example photography, travel and humour, and then clicking the stumble button draws you to popular sites inline with your interests. You can then chose to like, dislike, review or do nothing at all to the site that you are taken to. A site is not put given a lot of traffic unless it is given a review and a like, that is very key!How to use StumbleUpon effectively: 1. Stumble and review sites on a daily basis StumbleUpon is a cranky selfish beast. It requires constant attention if you want to have a good number of stumblers flow onto your site. For example, one week I stumbled for about an hour before posting an article, I liked about 50 new pages and reviewed around 20. When I posted my article, and it got its first like and review it immediately launched 200 new visitors to my article. Before the very next article posted I hadn’t review or liked anything on StumbleUpon for a couple days. As retaliation, StumbleUpon didn’t send a single visitor my way.the toolbarAlso, it is key that you not only “like” a page that you visit, but also give it a review. If you’re the first person to “like” a page, it will automatically send you to the review page. However, if someone else has already done so, it will just add the like and life moves on. If you want to review the site at this point, you’ll need to click favourites on your StumbleUpon toolbar and then click edit on the page you want to review. For your site to be given stumbles it needs a like and a review as well.2. Us WP Greet Box and other pluginsthe promiseThere are a wide variety of very good plugins for the social media users, and some of them are more effective than the others. WP Greet Box, to me, is one of the most effective. Based on what link was used to draw a visitor into your site they will receive a reminder to either follow your RSS feed, follow you on twitter, stumble like the article, or whatever. This is effective especially if you use su.pr to shorten your links for twitter. In this manner, each person visiting viayour shortened twitter links will receive the reminder at the top to “like” your article.3. Don’t “like” or review your own articlesThis is very important, and the mistake that most people make. This was a mistake I was making too before a long discussion with a couple twitter members that straighten us all out. Before this conversation I was liking and reviewing all of my articles, and at best I would receive 2 or 3 stumbles. After the conversation I went back and took down all my likes, and stopped reviewing or liking any of my articles. In the end, it took about 5 or 6 articles before the traffic started flying towards my site.4. Use http://www.su.prUsing the su.pr automatically gives sites a shortened url and posts them to twitter or facebook or both. It also offers an automatic post generator set for a time of your choosing. And although many people really dislike auto-posters they can be very effective as long as you don’t overuse them. For example, when I post a new article I auto-post it once every 4 hours on the first day of publication, every 5 on day 2, every 7 on day 3, and twice a day on day 4. If you auto-post every 15minutes, 30minutes, or even every hour, you will annoy people, and not only will they not read your article, but they’ll probably stop following you.5. Have an “eye-catcher” at the top of your articleStumbleUpon stumblers are picky ADHD readers who prefer quick hit entertainment. To get them to like your page, orThe Perfect StumbleUpon Pageeven stop by and read something you need to catch their eye. To do this, you need to have a nice featured image or a very good title to your article. If you don’t have this, stumblers are just going to click that stumble button on their toolbar again immediately after being drawn to your site.6. Provide good contentFor many this is a no-brainer. It is obvious that if you have good content people will click the little like button on the top of their screens. But providing good content is even more necessary when using StumbleUpon because of the “dislike” button that stumblers are offered. If your site gets disliked too often, StumbleUpon will stop flowing traffic to your site. Good content is not only a key, but a necessity.ConclusionsStumbleUpon is a brilliant tool and should be used by anyone that likes generating traffic to their websites. Personally, I get lost in the world of StumbleUpon at times and don’t leave it for hours. I’ve found many great sites via StumbleUpon, and hopefully using it some people will find my site as well. Also, I haven’t figured this site out for myself completely either. I would love to hear any other advice or comments on this topic if you have them!