In this post we're going to learn how to increase blog traffic using StumbleUpon.
StumbleUpon is a social website and sharing platform where users vote to declare if they like a website or not by giving a Thumbs Up or Thumbs Down sign. A Thumbs Up sign recommends the page to others with similar interests in the category and is a goldmine for bloggers wanting to increase blog traffic as pages stumbled upon by many people can bring thousands of new visitors to your site.
The service is free, and all you need to do to start using it is to install a toolbar to your browser. User-generated tags (and not a search engine spider) organize the network of sites here. The tags let you view what others consider cool so that surfers find sites they find interesting.
The best way to get around the site is by pressing the ‘Stumble’ button in the toolbar. This takes you to a random website someone else had stumbled upon, but which falls in the areas of interest you had defined at StumbleUpon. StumbleUpon users thus have the potential of ‘stumbling’ upon all kinds of great sites they weren’t aware of before, including yours!
Reasons for bloggers using StumbleUpon
The main reason for bloggers using StumbleUpon is to increase blog traffic to their site. Sites stumbled upon can generate thousands of readers to the site. Moreover, Stumble Upon is a great resource for finding content readers may enjoy by sharing the content on your blog, Pinterest or your Facebook page.
It’s when a reader clicks the ‘I Like it’ button on the toolbar when on your site that they give you thumbs up, and puts your site on the network. The first few ones to vote your page get a notification saying they had discovered the website and are asked to give a quick review and some tags which best relate to your site. It’s when your site is ‘discovered’ that other StumbleUpon users can surf into through the toolbar.
However, the network’s random nature means that sometimes your StumbleUpon visitors may give you a high bounce rate. Readers can ‘channel surf’ using the toolbar, just like you look for your preferred channel while flipping through the television channels. This is why StumbleUpon visitors are rather fickle and tend to move on quickly, are from all over the place and may not click on any ads.
So while StumbleUpon traffic may not be high-value and qualified traffic, it does increase traffic to your site, and you can do something to make them more qualified when they arrive! However remember that SU users visit you based on their interests and that unlike other sites like Digg which only give you traffic spikes, SU generates a steady stream of traffic to your site.
There are a few rules to follow if you really want to know how to increase blog traffic from StumbleUpon.
1. Do not stumble upon your own pages
Do not keep stumbling your own pages as the platform will just start ignoring you. SU wants to see a range of websites you like when you start stumbling upon other pages. The rule of thumb to follow is to stumble at least 10 other sites for each page of your site you stumble.
2. Maintain consistency
Make it a habit to use SU on a daily or weekly basis to help the platform realize your likes and dislikes so that it shares the right content to you and other Stumblers.
How to use StumbleUpon
There are a few ways of interacting with StumbleUpon to increase your blog traffic. One way is by giving a thumbs up or down for the pages as mentioned above.
Other options are to:
- Add a page by visiting your SU profile and clicking on ‘Add a Page’. This prompts you to add the URL to the blog or website you want to stumble.
- You can use the social sharing buttons you most probably have on your site to Stumble your own page.
Categorizing your Stumble
You will be asked to choose a category or categories for your blog post once you add a page to StumbleUpon. This should be done wisely as it’s the category you mention which defines which audience sees your page. So adding your post to an irrelevant category may lead to Stumblers voting down your page pretty soon! And that's not good at all if you want to increase your blog traffic 🙂
There are various options for getting your site or blog stumbled upon like:
- Stumbling and adding other bloggers’ content through the StumbleUpon toolbar is important as it’s only if you help others can you expect them to help you increase your blog traffic too.
- Sending shoutouts to followers hinting them to stumble upon your post. Do this by clicking on the ‘Arrow in a box’ icon found on SU toolbar and it gives you a message box to use and send to followers.
- Joining FB Sharing Groups which encourage members to stumble upon other members’ pages
Making Your Site ‘Sticky’
It also helps if you:
- Have a nice web design as viewers are attracted to professional web designs.
- Have lots of content to offer readers so that they can’t read everything you have to offer in a short visit. ‘WOW’ them so that they end up bookmarking you and coming back or hitting your ‘I like it’ button.
- Control your ads as while advertising is necessary, too much outweighs the content and invites a bounce.
- Show how easy it is to subscribe to your newsletter or RSS feed as that’s the only way most people remember your site once they stumble on it.
- Get some users to click the ‘I Like It’ button your page. It’s even better if you do something to wow viewers to your site through some serious link bait.
- Build your network as the more friends you have, the higher the chance of ‘stumblers’ noticing your stuff. Check your profile and if you don’t have a list of ‘suggested friends’, it’s maybe because you are not that active on SU and thus have not trained SU on your interests. Once you do this, your interests will give you suggested friends which you can add as a friend just by clicking a button.
- Participate by voting on other people’s sites. Remember, StumbleUpon is community-based and by stumbling on a site, you place the site in front of others who share your interest. While the community may catch on if you submit only your own sites, your value and weight as a member increases if you stumble others.
- Choose and use broad and good tags while tagging a site as specific tags don’t work well.
- Make use of some great StumbleUpon tools like WordPress plug-ins and buttons.
Now you have done all this, you can finally sit back and wait for other users to StumbleUpon your site! Remember, while StumbleUpon can increase your blog traffic, it’s not guaranteed. It’s only with consistency can you slowly generate a sure source of traffic interested in your site and whatever you have for them!