How to use StumbleUpon to Effectively Generate Traffic

How to use StumbleUpon to Effectively Generate Traffic

I 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 it

StumbleUpon

down 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 toolbar

Also, 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 plugins

the promise

There 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 articles

This 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.pr

Using 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 article

StumbleUpon stumblers are picky ADHD readers who prefer quick hit entertainment. To get them to like your page, or

The Perfect StumbleUpon Page

even 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 content

For 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.

Conclusions

StumbleUpon 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!


Author: Brendan van Son

Author: I am a travel writer and photographer from Alberta, Canada. Over my years as a travel photographer, I have visited 6 of the 7 continents and more countries than I have any desire to count. If you want to improve your skills, be sure to check out my travel photography channel on Youtube . Also, check out my profile on . to learn a little bit more about me and my work.

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69 Comments

  1. Thanks Brendan,

    That was helpful – it’s clear that I didn’t quite get StumbleUpon before I read this. I’ll have a proper look at stumbling in the future once I’m a bit more proficient at Blogging and Twitter.

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  2. Loved this, Brendan…thanks for posting. I’m new to SU as well and have been trying to figure it out. If you don’t mind my asking you, if you can’t ‘like’ or review your own sites, how do you actually submit them to the system? Am I ‘liking’ my own articles if I use su.pr to shorten them? I think this is what I’m now most confused about. Cheers! =)

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    • Andrea, the trickiest thing is they have to be submitted to the system by someone else. It’s true that you are doing this too when you post them on su.pr. but you’re not liking them. The best way to get people to “like” or “review” something, other than asking them to do it directly, is to put the WP Greet Box function up. Also, participating in #stumblesunday should get you a could stumble reviews as well. I can tell you, anytime I’ve “liked” my own article I haven’t gotten a single stumble. When someone else has done it for me, I’ve received between 100-300 stumble hits.

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  3. These are such great tips Brendan. I’m getting better at stumble upon but these tips have really cleared some things up for me. Looking forward to putting it into practice.

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  4. Thanks for the tips. All the social websites can overwhelm I tend to ignore them although do have accounts. I should probably use them more really.

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  5. Thanks for the tips. I’ve had absolutely zero luck with StumbleUpon. I’ll look into WP Greetbox.

    How does #stumblesunday work?

    Thanks!
    Ryan

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    • Just tag a post #stumblesunday on sunday’s and people can go through and chose which ones they want to stumble review or like 🙂

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  6. StumbleUpon changed their algorythm in January 2010 and since then I don’t really like it that much anymore. I thumbed up many articles through Twitter from other travel tweeters. SU tries to get users from other sites with their su.pr service. But they treat you bad if you do so. I had many clicks that way for other posts, but also for my posts before. But in January it totally dropped. I got the info by a SU admin, that I should use more often the SU button. That’s what I did & still the clicks aren’t the same anymore. I use it very socialized, but it seems that they don’t treat their users that socialized! It’s a giving & taking… Right now they don’t give back much.
    But I still like their concept & as I discovered many interesting sites as well, so I’ll stick to it for a bit longer. 🙂

    But thanks for your nice post! It will for sure get a thumbs up! 🙂

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  7. Something to add… I also got the info by a SU admin, that you don’t add a site to SU, when using su.pr.
    It just gives other users the choice to add it. 🙁

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  8. Thanks for the posts – helping me unravel a bit of the mystery that is SU.

    Wondering your thoughts about the quality of visitors you receive to your site. Are they spending much time? visiting many pages?

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    • Hey Bessie, It’s a bit of a mix. Sometimes they click in and out… but sometimes they spend a lot of time on the site. I guess it really comes down to content. The nice thing about StumbleUpon is that you usually only stumble sites of your interest. This way most people have some sort of interest in your topic.

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  9. I really enjoyed this post as I have recently been having a look at stumbleupon. I am still a little confused at how i add my posts or blog to Stumbleupon?

    Good article 🙂

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  10. ahhh, that all makes sense now. thank you. I’ve played around with it but not really got into it before, so thanks for the tips. i shall have another look at it.

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  11. Thank you for posting this. I, too, had no clue what “Stumble Upon” was all about. And….. “liking” your own articles? BOLD. But I’m glad Stumble Upon kind of circumvents you from doing that.

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  12. Thanks for the article. I really couldn’t get my head around how to use StumbleUpon to it’s full capacity, but thanks. Your article was clear and I look forward to putting everything into practice that you mentioned.
    Cheers!

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  13. Yeah, I guess the trick is being neutral to your own content and to participate often with the stumble and like button (with other sites).

    I’ve also read, though I’m not 100% sure how accurate it is, that your stumble “authority” varies depending if you just stumble it, like it, or if you add also a review. Likewise with your stumble upon profile reviews. Also, supposedly your SU friends stumbles are worth less than random stumbles.

    Don’t know how accurate it is, but just spreading the word…
    Cheers!

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    • thanks for the tips Norbert!

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  14. Well done Brendan. Thank you for the post!

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  15. Most helpful. I let my StumbledUpon account grow cobwebs because I didn’t “get it”. Reactivating it and adding Greetbox to my new WP travel blog. Am loving Su.pr too. Thanks again!

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    • Glad it helped Kimberly!

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  16. Great advice Brendan, thanks for sharing. I recently heard about the trick of stumbling 20 or so articles and then putting your post in the mix before stumbling more posts. I definitely need to give it a try.

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  17. Thanks for this post..Ive been trying to unravel this myself..but just a thought- submitting yr own post and then sharing it on twitter or FB – is that a done thing and how do views translate to visits ? I got loads of views but no visits to the blog through SU

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  18. Thanks – really handy information to break down what SU is!

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  19. With FireFiox many people, myself included, are having a difficult time using Su.pr. We simply cannot log in. You can see the thread if you go to Su.pr help. SU has been trying to figure out the problem, but as far as I know still no solution. I can access Su.pr through Chrome, but it’s a pain since I don’t use it as my main browser.

    There’s still confusion over thumbing and reviewing your own stuff. I’ve recently been told by someone who supposedly knows a lot of veteran stumblers that it’s okay as long as you’re stumbling other stuff.

    I’ve also been told that you shouldn’t favor one person’s submissions too often. For example: never two on the same page. Again, I don’t know how true that is either.

    Good article. I’ve been using SU for a while and for the most part I do like it.

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    • Thanks Nancy, and you’re right… I’ve been finding more and more that if I stumble my own article from time to time there’s no problem, just don’t do it too often! And yes, never favour someone’s stuff. The more you thumb someone’s article the less value it has.

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  20. Thanks for your post – only started SU because of joining TBEX. Just been bumbling around not quite sure what is happening! Also found all the comments helpful.

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  21. Nice advice, it really opens my mind about features of StumbleUpon,

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  22. thanks for the advice i want to start using it to get more traffic. how many hours a day do you spend on stumbling?

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    • I stumble while I’m on the internet… I have another page open and I stumble randomly. Don’t forget to like and review pages! I probably stumble about 50 pages a day…

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  23. Thanks for this great article. I’ve been stumbling around not really sure how it worked.

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  24. Thanks I recently signed up to SU and have abandoned it out of confusion but I’ll hop back on board now I know what I’m doing … now can you explain Com.luv?
    (hehe)

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  25. This article and some of the comments have been very useful. I will take a closer look at StumbleUpon. Thanks very much for sharing….much appreciated!

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  26. Brenda thanks for informative post. Just heard about Stumble Upon and was browsing around when I stumbled on your site. It has been just held me by the hand and led me to the sign up page. Keep up the good work

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  27. Now internet applications are becoming intuitive beasts, much like the human counterparts. Hang around and the site will reward you. Leave it and it will do no favors.

    Thanks Brendan.

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  28. Excellent sharing. This is what I’ve been looking for.

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  29. For what ever reason, I am not able to add my feed to su.pr to autopost anymore. =(

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    • send an inquiry… that’s strange

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  30. I like your article. Very educative. Am sort of new to stumbling but your article provided me a lot of enlightenment. Want to be using stumbleupon to drive traffic to my blogs.Will keep on trying though.

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  31. The problem that I have with StumbleUpon is the kind of traffic you get, the average visitor only seems to hang around for like 6 seconds, which is not a lot. I heard from more people that they have the same problem. You get a lot of traffic, but its leaves almost instantly. Do you also have that problem, or does it get better over time?

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    • Ya, I used to get the 10 second stay and goers, and I still do. But it seems that about 1 in 15 stays for more than a minute. So if you’re getting 60 stumbles a day that means that you’re getting 4 visitors a day that would have never gone to your site. And who knows, they might come back, sign up for the RSS, or tell someone else about it. It’s all about the ability to broaden your base. For me it’s not about how much traffic you get on your site each day, it’s the total time spent that’s important. Any publicity is good publicity.

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  32. Hey Brendan, I’ve heard this advice not to like or review your own sites … but how does Stumble know you’re reviewing your own site? Just from the IP address? Could I stumble my own site from my work computer?

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    • Ya, it’s two things. One, when you sign up for StumbleUpon it asks you for your own site details. Two, even if it’s not your own site that your stumbling lots if you are “adding” sites by stumbling a site for the first time too often it will peg you as a promoter and not a user. So even if it is not your own site, you can mess up. I limit myself to “liking” a site as the page’s first like to only once a week. Otherwise, SU will think you are promoting, either your site or someone else’s. Does that make sense?

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  33. Really big thanks for giving us like this good info about stumbleupon

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  34. i never use Su.pr. It’s my big mistakes.

    Thanks for the advice.

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    • No problem… Using su.pr does slow the time from click to the entry to the site a little bit though, so use it a little more sparingly. good luck!

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  35. honestly,i don’t understand how to use stumbleupon.

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  36. Ha! Found your post while using Stumble, lol. Great info, especially for a beginner like myself. My wife A. (@gotpassport) was coaching me on it, and I’m getting the hang of it I think…
    Cheers,
    J

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    • You don’t have to do it every day Roy, just don’t let your account sit idle for too long.

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  37. hey,
    ihave a couple of clicks showing on the su.pr but the page views arent increasing on blogger stats!?

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  38. google analytics and the stats button in blogger.com.

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    • Hmmmm, google analytics should read it, although they are usually a couple of hours behind. Try the clicky stats of which I gave you a link to. They give to the second realtime stats. You can get a free trial of the pro membership, although the free version is fine too. Let me know if you have any questions with in or anything else.

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  39. su.r is working awesome for me!! but how do i use digg to drive in traffic?

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  40. A great summary of StumbleUpon. It still seems a little daunting but enough to get started. Good luck generating your traffic.

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  41. Those are some really good tips. Always thought that there could be more that we can do with StumbleUpon and also other social bookmarks that we use. Cool!

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  42. I have stumbled upon you a couple times trying to learn this mammoth beast. Stumbling around in the dark alone. Thank you for the tutorial. I will see how it works for me.

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    • no problem… hope it works out for you 😀

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  43. Stumbling across different sites has made me realize how absurdly true your bit about eye-catchers is. Shame really, some of the content on the not-so-well designed sites is truly worth reading but has a fraction of the likes/reviews

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  44. Hey Brendan, thank you so much for your tutorial, I really needed it 🙂

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    • No Worries Chris

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  45. excellent post on stumble for freshers 🙂 like us

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  46. What’s the sense to not like our own post or review it.?

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    • According to most tests, if you like and review posts from a certain website too often, the like/review loses its value. And, the first like and review seems to be the one that either sets it off or doesn’t. Thus, if you submit it yourself, you really don’t get the same power from it.

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