Before I started blogging, I forgot that StumbleUpon even existed. While it’s not one of the most popular social media channels, it still has the potential to bring in some good traffic to your site. You shouldn’t pass it up. I know it looks intimidating, but StumbleUpon is easy to use and doesn’t require a whole lot of time.
What is StumbleUpon?
It’s a social media channel that literally lets you stumble around the internet. Its key feature is the stumble button. You click it and BOOM. You’re on a random website or looking at a random image or video.
Ok, well it’s not entirely random. It’s not the ENTIRE internet. Web sites, pages, images, and videos have to be submitted to StumbleUpon to show up to users. You also choose which topics you want to see. If you choose 10 or 15 interests, you can stumble all of them at once or select one interest to stumble around in for a while.
People that use StumbleUpon are usually bored and looking to discover new things on the internet. Why not show them your stuff? Users can submit anything on the internet (Well, almost anything. They don’t accept any pages from Blogspot. So if your URL ends in .blogspot.com, sorry this isn’t for you. You should think about going self-hosted)
Sign up for StumbleUpon, choose your favorite interests, and stumble around a little bit to get a feel for it. Click the little thumbs up icon when you like something and it will add it to your likes so you can go back to it later if you want. It also recommends the page to other people with similar interests.
How to Add Your Content
Trust me on this. You don’t want to submit your own content. IT KNOWS. Your page won’t be shown to anyone even if you can get 34 other people to submit it after you do. Just don’t do it. At least not on a regular basis. You can submit one maybe every month or so.
Here’s what you do instead: have someone else discover it. If you have friends that use it, ask one of them to add your post or page. Most bloggers who use StumbleUpon are part of Facebook groups dedicated to stumbling and liking each other’s posts.
Here are some Facebook groups to join for stumbling:
- Stumbles and Shares (Weekly threads)
- The Bloggers’ Stumble (Daily threads)
- Growing Social Media for Bloggers (Daily threads plus other social media threads)
- Mom Bloggers Tribe (Daily threads for mom bloggers plus other social media threads)
How to Add Other Content
The best way to get traffic to your site is to be an active user and add other content. There is an “add page” option where you can paste a URL but from what I’ve heard, the StumbleUpon Gods favor pages that have been organically added by clicking a stumble button on the page itself. I have one on the left side of the screen (or bottom if you’re on mobile).
If a page has already been discovered, you’ll just see “this page has been added to your likes.” That’s it! That’s all you need to do.
If you’re the first person to stumble it, you’ll have to add more information about it. First and foremost, you’ll have to tell it if it’s safe for work. I’m guessing 99% of the time your answer to this is yes. Then you need to choose a category. It will auto populate with what it thinks the page is about, but you can choose any topic. Pick the one that you think would be closest to the topic. (Unless you’re in a group, and the person specifies which category to choose. Then pick that one.)
Then you need to choose a category. It will auto populate with what it thinks the page is about, but you can choose any topic. Pick the one that you think would be closest to the topic. (Unless you’re in a group, and the person specifies which category to choose. Then pick that one.)
Tags are optional but I like to add a couple about the topic especially if they fit into any of the other main categories.
If a page doesn’t have a stumble button already on it, you can use the Stumblebar to like it or use the add a page feature.
Get a Stumble Button for Your Blog
If you have the AddThis or SumoMe sharing bar already, you can just add the Stumble button to your featured sharing buttons. If you just want a StumbleUpon badge you can get one here, but I highly recommend getting AddThis or SumoMe instead because they include literally every social media channel that someone may want to share your site on.
Do you actually have an advertising budget? Hooray! You can use it to try out paid discovery. It’s StumbleUpon’s ad/sponsored content service. You can pay to have your site shown to users for 5 or 10 cents each. You may have come across a sponsored stumble while you were off exploring. That’s what you can do with your page if you have the money for it.
How do you get the most out of StumbleUpon?
No one really understands how the algorithm works or what might make a post take off on SU. There are a few tricks that we think helps.
- When submitting a link in stumble threads, link to another social media post so it thinks you’re entering organically from Twitter or Pinterest and not a FB thread.
- You’ll get more views if someone that organically finds your post within SU (from hitting the stumble button) hits the thumbs up.
- It helps to have your page correctly categorized. Suggest a category when leaving a link to stumble.
StumbleUpon is Not For You If…
- You care a lot about your bounce rate. There’s a high bounce rate for StumbleUpon users.
- You want to just add your content and run. Ya gotta share the love for it to work.
- Your url ends in blogspot.com.
- You’re already overwhelmed with other social media. Focus on Pinterest, Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram first especially if they bring good traffic already. StumbleUpon is only 9% of my total social media traffic, but that’s still almost 1,000 pageviews.
Have you tried StumbleUpon?
How do you like it? Let me know in the comments below!