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StumbleUpon is one of the best traffic generators among the top seven social media sites, referring more than other social bookmarking and voting sites such as Digg and Reddit according to Statcounter. Why? Because when a user likes, or stumbles, a particular page, it is put into the StumbleUpon lineup. As other StumbleUpon users are randomly searching for new content on a specific topic using the Stumble button on their toolbar, any pages in the lineup for that topic will be displayed to them. So how can you capitalize on this great network and start getting traffic?
Great ContentBefore we go any further, the main secret to StumbleUpon success is having great content. Sales pages and product info pages will not get you far, unless you happen to be Amazon or have some kind of extremely popular product like an iPad. Poorly written articles and blog posts may get them on there, but users can hit the dislike button just as easily as they can hit the like button and ultimately bury your content. So what kind of content thrives on StumbleUpon? You can start with using the StumbleUpon search query URL, http://www.stumbleupon.com/search?q=keyword, and replace keyword with your niche or industry. Common popular media includes:
- Tutorials – if your guide is the end all guide to a particular topic, then you’re in.
- Videos – entertaining, informational, or visually stimulating videos from YouTube, Vimeo, and other video networks can do quite well.
- Images – the photography community on StumbleUpon is pretty huge.
- Infographics – most networks love infographics, and StumbleUpon is definitely one of them. You can see the ones with the most views here.
- Lists – people love lists and will often stumble them for their followers.
1. Get Organic StumblesMost website owners and bloggers discover the power of StumbleUpon through their analytics, particular when they see a day like this pop up. This is a good example of how entertaining content can go from obscurity to viral fame with one stumble. ToobBox.com posted a random blog about funny iPhone auto-correct messages in February. A few months later, a random StumbleUpon user with only 179 followers found it amusing and stumbled it. The result was over 7,000 views in one day, and over time, 43,000+ views total. It just goes to show that entertaining really goes a long way on this network! If you want to increase your chances of your content getting stumbled, the best way to do so is to add a StumbleUpon badge to your website content. You can grab the coding for it on the StumbleUpon badges page. This page even includes integration tips for Blogger, Feedburner, Movable Type, TypePad, and WordPress integration. You can also find it bundled with social share plugins for WordPress like Digg Digg and the Active Share by OrangeSoda plugin used on posts here. The easier you make it for people to stumble your content, the more chances your content will be stumbled!
2. Share Content with Su.pr on Other NetworksStumbleUpon has its own URL shortening system, Su.pr. Once you have signed up for StumbleUpon and logged into your account, you can enter your message or just a URL to shorten with the Su.pr system. You can then copy this message and send it as a status update, or let Su.pr connect to your Twitter and Facebook and post it directly to those accounts immediately or schedule it for later. When someone clicks on the link, they will get to your website with the StumbleUpon toolbar conveniently above the post, making it simple for logged in users to thumb up your content. The toolbar even gives logged in users the ability to share the content to their Facebook, LinkedIn, or Twitter networks, so not only will you get additional StumbleUpon traffic, you will also get more shares on other networks!
3. Build a Following Base and Share ContentWant to take matters into your own hands when it comes to traffic from StumbleUpon? Once you have followers on StumbleUpon, you can share your content directly with them. Getting followers on StumbleUpon is much like getting followers on Twitter except that there is no automatic follow back users to rely on. You have to find users to follow, follow them, and essentially hope that they follow you back. Most will receive an email notification (if they have the option turned on) letting them know that someone has followed them. Finding followers interested in the same topics as you is simple. You can start by going to http://www.stumbleupon.com/discover/keyword/ and replace the keyword with topics you are interested in. It will then show you users who are interested in the same things. This is generally a good place to start. When you visit the stumbler’s profile, there is a little graphic in the right sidebar of the user’s profile that will show you how much you have in common based on interests. Use this as a guide, plus the user’s number of people they are following, to determine the likelihood they will follow you back and be interested in what you are sharing. Want to be a bit more forward? You can do a Google search for site:stumbleupon.com/stumbler/ “follow me” twitter. This should result in StumbleUpon user profiles who have included a link to their Twitter. You can follow them on StumbleUpon, follow them on Twitter, and send them a friendly tweet that you just followed them on StumbleUpon because of your similar interests.
Increase Your Chance of Being FollowedThe best way to ensure a higher chances of being followed (or followed back) by another user is to create a great StumbleUpon profile. So once you have signed up, be sure to:
- Fill out your basic bio information under the Settings > Customize Profile to let people know who you are and what you are interested in.
- Select the topics you are interested in under the Settings > Manage Interests.
- Upload a profile photo of yourself under Settings > Profile Picture. Be sure to use the same photo on StumbleUpon that you do on Gravatar (blog comments), Twitter, Facebook, etc. that way people who are connected with you elsewhere will recognize you here.