The Ultimate guide to increasing your traffic with StumbleUpon
StumbleUpon is an amazing source of traffic for bloggers and companies alike – one good post and you can find yourself getting heaps of traffic from it, with minimum effort. In this blog post, I’m going to cover everything about it– what StumbleUpon is, why it brings in so much traffic and how you can use it to generate a ton of traffic back to your website or blog.
It had been some time since I used StumbleUpon, and, like many others before me I’m sure, one day when I checked my analytics I noticed a huge spike in traffic from the popular content discovery tool.
The traffic was impressive, especially considering I hadn’t done anything with StumbleUpon in a while, so I could only imagine what would happen if I actually put a strategy into place and used it to my advantage.
As other social media networks are making it more and more difficult to get your content out there (I’m looking at you, Facebook!), StumbleUpon has remained a constant source of fantastic traffic, where so long as you have great content, you are bound to improve your traffic stats, as well as your engagement levels. It’s also not as saturated as the main social networks, and you actually stand a good chance of getting your content into the eyes of people who are interested in reading, engaging and sharing.
I decided to take this opportunity to create an ultimate guide to StumbleUpon, for all of you who aren’t familiar with it, and for those who, like me, have not used it for a while. I recommend StumbleUpon to anyone who provides any type of content on their website, as StumbleUpon allows all kinds and there are over 25 million stumblers with a huge variety of interests just waiting to find some great content. [clickToTweet tweet="The Ultimate guide to increasing your #traffic with #StumbleUpon via @lilachbullock" quote="The Ultimate guide to increasing your #traffic with #StumbleUpon via @lilachbullock"]
What is StumbleUpon?StumbleUpon is a great tool for finding (or stumbling upon, rather) content that is relevant to you. It’s basically a great mix between a content curation tool and a social network. When you first create your account, you can select various interests so that StumbleUpon gets an idea of what kind of content you want to read. You can also search for friends and connect with them. If you want to improve the types of content you’re getting, make sure to like and dislike the posts you see, so that StumbleUpon can learn your preferences even better, and adjust the content you get to see accordingly. As far as using StumbleUpon, once you start ‘stumbling’ and you see an article you like, simply click on the “Stumble” button at the top of the page. As I mentioned earlier, StumbleUpon is also a social network of sorts that allows you to follow other users and to be followed by others in turn and to like things that others post. If you follow someone on StumbleUpon, you will see their likes in your recommendations stream, so make sure you like the same types of content as them so you don’t get content you’re not interested in in your feed.
Why use StumbleUpon?StumbleUpon is a great tool for finding new interesting content, to keep you up to date with the latest news in your field, or to help you find content to share on your social media. You can also use it to keep a record of your own favorite content, which is great as there are plenty of interesting articles that require a few re-reads and that you might otherwise forget about. It’s also a great tool for discovering new content sources and for finding interesting people to connect with and potentially build relationships with. And last, but definitely not least, StumbleUpon still is an amazing source of traffic and engagement.
Should you be using StumbleUpon?StumbleUpon is a great tool for anyone who has a blog where they publish content regularly, whether it’s visual (video, presentations) or text. It works great for even the smallest blogs, as well as the biggest brands in the world. The only important thing is that you provide quality, valuable content:
- Educational posts
- How-to guides
- Controversial posts
- Write short, mostly filler posts
- Write predominantly about your business or brand, and the products and services you offer
- Post infrequently
How to get traffic from StumbleUpon
Build a strong followingA post can easily become viral on StumbleUpon if enough people like it and stumble it. In fact, all it takes is for one person to find a great piece of content, start sharing it, and if the post is good enough it can lead to a huge boost in traffic. In order to make sure enough people see your posts and like and share them, start by building a strong following, just like you would have to do on social media. But it’s not just about numbers on StumbleUpon – it’s more important to get followers who share the same interests as you, so that they will actually want to read and share the content you post, and it’s also important that they are active users, who are genuinely interested in finding great content and sharing it with their network. There are several ways to find stumblers:
- Find your friends from social media, like Facebook
- Browse through other stumblers here by interests, lists or all 25 million stumblers
- Browse through recommended stumblers here
- Check who else liked the stumbles you like
- Check profiles to see who has the same interests as you
The contentThe content you write is definitely the main deciding factor when it comes to StumbleUpon traffic. That’s why so many bloggers get big surges in traffic from StumbleUpon, even if they’ve never even used it in their life, or some, even heard about it. But, they created a great piece of content that people wanted to read. So here, I would give the same advice I would give to a beginner blogger, or a beginner with social media – write valuable, relevant content. Or, be funny or topical. These are the types of content that get lots of stumbles, likes and ultimately traffic. So before you start writing something new for your blog, take a look at what people with your interests are reading, liking and stumbling to get an idea of what type of content is valuable to them. Then, try to write posts that provide real value – whether it’s a ‘how-to’ post, or a post filled with a long list of amazing resources, always ask yourself if what you’re writing will actually help someone in any way. And of course, just like with blogging and social media, a catchy, strong headline can be the deciding factor on whether or not someone reads your post, so long as you also have great content to back it up. And don’t forget it’s not all about great written blog posts or articles. If you have any visual content, images or video, as with most social networks, you’ll increase your chances of attracting people’s attention. [clickToTweet tweet="The Ultimate guide to increasing your #traffic with #StumbleUpon via @lilachbullock" quote="The Ultimate guide to increasing your #traffic with #StumbleUpon via @lilachbullock"]
Build your profileI mentioned earlier how in order to get more results from StumbleUpon, you should try to build your follower base. The best way to get a lot of followers, and make sure they stay your followers, is to build a strong profile – similar to Pinterest in this case. Just like on Pinterest where you have to keep your boards interesting and constantly updated, on StumbleUpon you have to share great content as often as you can, so that your followers have an actual reason to follow you. You might be tempted to only share your own content, and maybe a bit from some friends every now and then; don’t. It will probably get your account suspended, not to mention other users will probably be put off by it. So in order to consolidate yourself as a great stumbler, it’s as easy as this: start stumbling great content that provides value, or is funny or controversial. That is usually the trifecta of content types that generate the most clicks, reads and shares, and not just on StumbleUpon
Optimizing your website for StumbleUponStumbleUpon offers different tools that you can add to your website such as:
- Badges, which allow your users to add your content to StumbleUpon easily
- Widgets, which help drive more traffic to your best, most engaging content
- StumbleThru, a really cool feature that will help guide stumblers through the content of a specific website, based on their personal interests. So they will be getting their own personalised tour of your website, where they only get to see the content they would be interested in. It’s not difficult creating a StumbleThru on your website, all you have to do is simply add your domain at the end of this path: http://www.stumbleupon/com/to/stumble/stumblethru: However, it’s important to remember that this will only work well if there are enough pages from the website in the StumbleUpon index.
StumbleUpon Ads & Paid DiscoveryIf you want to speed up the process and get lots of traffic easily, StumbleUpon allows you to turn your content into traffic-generation ads. StumbleUpon allows you to share any type of content you want, visual or text, and to pay to make sure more people see your post, and consequently drive more traffic to your website. First, you start by picking your audience by age, gender, device and location: Afterwards, you can improve your targeting by selecting relevant interests and interest bundles: You can then select your budget for the campaign. There are three different options to choose from:
- Self service, pay as you go where you can control your budget, start with no minimum spend and stop anytime you want
- Managed, which starts $10k a month, where you also get a dedicated account manager
- Premium, which starts at $50k a month, and you get the full service: a dedicated account manager who will also help with the planning, setting up, and monitoring of the campaign, and premium ad solutions which include sponsored pages that users will see first thing
What to do with the trafficOne of the issues that many bloggers have encountered over the years when it comes to StumbleUpon traffic, is that they’re not exactly returning customers. There will be a huge boost in traffic for a particular post for a few hours and then, nothing. And while it is great to see some big numbers in your Google Analytics, most would prefer some more tangible results – opt-ins, sales, return visitors. So does this mean the traffic you get from StumbleUpon is not worth it? I personally disagree, so long as you actively work on it, you can get a lot of traffic that actually converts. StumbleUpon can help you build a strong, dedicated reader base, and it can also help you increase your subscriber and comments numbers. Just like with social media though, you can’t expect results instantly. You might be able to get a lot of traffic in a matter of hours, but if you want better results, than you have to work for it. It requires that you keep up with posting great content, building a strong following on StumbleUpon, and being an active user. If you do all of that, you will get more traffic, more shares, more comments and more subscribers.
ConclusionMy personal conclusion is that I won’t be forgetting about StumbleUpon from now on. It’s a great source of traffic and an amazing source for content and to top it off, it’s pretty fun to use. The main thing to take out of this I think is that as long as you have a blog which you load up frequently with quality, valuable content, you can use StumbleUpon to massively increase your traffic, and so long as you have a great website to back it up, you might also be getting some return traffic, engagement and even subscribers and conversions. Their advertising options are also worth considering, but again, only if you have quality content to back it up, as your content is the actual ad – and why would people want to read it or see it if it’s not worth it to them? The best part is that the better your content is and as it gets more engagement, the more chances you have of getting free traffic. It’s an especially great option of getting more traffic, since Facebook is making it almost impossible to get content into news feeds, and on other social networks it’s getting more and more difficult to make your content stand out. Are you using StumbleUpon? Or have you seen any spikes in traffic from it? Do you have any other useful tips for getting more traffic? Please let me know in the comments section, and please share :)