I’m on a train. What better time to yap on about StumbleUpon right? It’s quite a nice train journey actually – lots of scenery and sunshine. I figured it was about time I wrote up about this as I have been loving stumble upon lately and hopefully it can help you all too.
So what is StumbleUpon?
If you haven’t heard of stumble upon, essentially it’s one of those websites where you spend way too much time and end up getting sucked into a stumble vacuum. It pulls together pretty much a huge number of websites together and then let’s you go through them randomly.
When you sign up, you enter your interests and then hit the big red stumble button and it will pop up a website or blog which it thinks will interest you. Then you can give it a thumbs up to keep seeing sites like that or give it a thumbs down and you won’t see as many sites like that. Then just keep hitting stumble and end up wasting several hours on your Friday night!
And why should I care about it?
I mentioned this in a happy things blog recently – I had been using StumbleUpon for a little while but it finally started to pay off, one week normal traffic – the next, a giant traffic spike!
If your blog gets picked up then we aren’t just talking about a few extra views each day but a significant amount of traffic which will be pushed to your website. Over those couple of days I got literally 10 times the amount of views as normal and it pushed up my traffic for the week ahead. So if you are looking for something which will help in upping those views rather than something for engagement (like Twitter) then StumbleUpon is a good place to put some energy.
So how do you get a blog picked up?
The big thing about StumbleUpon is that it isn’t like most sites where you can just throw your links out often and there won’t be any problems. If you think about Twitter or Pinterest, the only thing stopping you doing that is worrying about spamming your followers, stumble upon doesn’t work that way.
Once you have signed up and given it a go, the one key thing you need to remember is that you need to stumble or add other people’s sites to stumble upon more than your own. For me, I’ve found the best ratio to be about 4 to 1, so I will add 4 other blogs each time along with stumbling and ‘thumbs up’ a fair few pages before I add one from my own site.
If you don’t follow that golden rule then StumbleUpon will look at it like spam and just stop showing your page to others. Once it has been added, it will be shown to more people if it gets that thumbs up, so make sure you are sharing content which will appeal to a wider audience. My two most successful posts are those on my tips for fear of flying
, and 10 crime podcasts which you should listen to
. These are both things which can appeal to anyone, whereas I don’t share things like my happy posts on there as they wont get picked up.
Once you add your post, you will be given a load of options to categorise your post – I will usually use around 4 and make sure you use the most important one first as that is how it will be shown to most users. For example for one of my Gran Canaria posts, I would usually put travel first, then follow up with Spain, Europe, and maybe something like food if the post focused on the cuisine.
What else can you do?
Well to be honest, StumbleUpon is quite a simple one – it mainly just relies on you spending that time stumbling and adding then waiting for posts to be picked up from time to time. In addition you can:
– Make sure you add a stumble button to the bottom of your posts. This isn’t something many people think about that don’t use the service but it is so helpful for people like me that want to add more sites!
– Join stumble groups. You can usually find these on Facebook or Twitter but essentially the premise is that you add or thumbs up others posts which they share and they in turn do the same for yours. This is helpful as it can help posts get picked up more and pushed to more people, however keep in mind if you use it too often it can look a bit spammy – I use it every couple of weeks which has been helpful.
– Check your stats and see what does well. StumbleUpon is a totally different audience to other social networks, and has a lot of American users. It’s important to check what posts have been picked up like I mentioned earlier then share similar posts.
I know StumbleUpon can be a bit of a minefield if you’re not familiar with it – but do give it a go as I saw awesome results within a couple of weeks of using it.
Hopefully that was useful, I’m almost at the end of the train journey now so at least it was a productive journey! I also have a post coming up on how to use Reddit for your blog which is another area where it can be a very confusing on how to get started.
So tell me, have you used StumbleUpon for your blog? What are your tips?