Basic analytics on companies in different industries suggests that StumbleUpon can be a big referrer of traffic to sites.
As it is I have platforms coming out of my ears so do I really need to add another one I hear you say? But I was heartened when I read this blog by Planet D that said StumbleUpon is worth the effort once you put some time into it but it doesn’t require the same level of attention as Twitter in order to keep your level of influence established.
Okay so you haven’t used StumbleUpon before; let me help you out with a few tips to get you going.
1. Install StumbleUpon to your bookmark bar – this makes it easier to use when browsing the web.
This is the navigation bar on the site:
2. Click the Profile button to see your personal homepage. On the left hand side down the very bottom you’ll see a small blue link to your settings. Here you can update your photo and bio.
3. Click the Discover button on the home page to add interests. Interests are categories like books, technology, travel etc. You can then stumble through one particular category or all the categories that you have listed as your interests. Use the toolbar to change how you are stumbling.
4. Use this tool to find friends that are using StumbleUpon. StumbleUpon will also suggest people for you to follow based on your shared interests which is a nice way to grow your network. You can find suggested connections on your profile page on the right hand side.
5. When you are stumbling you are accessing random content based on your interests. To help StumbleUpon tailor this content you can like/dislike the pages you land on using the thumb icons in the toolbar. All content in the network has to be added initially by users.
6. When you are the first to add a page from a site you decide on its category and assign tags to it. This is why you may decide not to include the StumbleUpon icon in your share bar on your blog. If a user shares your post using the StumbleUpon icon and it is not already in the StumbleUpon database it can be added without any tags and this can affect your post being found and in turn your volume of traffic. Categories and tags can be updated by users after pages have been added.
7. Add your own content. It is possible to add your own website/blog to the network, once you have the tool bar installed give yourself the thumbs up! Proper netiquette dictates that you should share other sites as much or more than your own. It is possible to be banned from the site for too much self promotion.
8. However to use StumbleUpon properly you must be an active user, build up your connections and write reviews of sites so that people reciprocate. It is not enough to add your own content and expect results. To share your content directly with another stumbler you have to be following each other, this is a handy feature that allows you to pass content to friends to be passed to their connections. Again proper netiquette dictates that you should not over share.
9. It’s not for every business but if it suits your website/blog/pr release and you are an active user you can reap the rewards, unlike Digg or Reddit the traffic from StumbleUpon tends to be more consistent but the bounce rate is high, so it is important to write great content with catchy headlines and make your RSS icon prominent.
10. Alternatively you can advertise by paying for a stumble or at the very least you can discover great new sites and content that you can share across other platforms.
I’d be interested to hear if anyone is having success with StumbleUpon, please feel free to share your thoughts.