Are You Stumbling Yet?

Dec 16, 2008   //   by Gerald Weber   //   SEO Blog, Social Media  //  23 Comments


(photo by Scott Beale / Laughing Squid)

As regular readers will probably remember, Gerald made a post at the end of October that was titled 5 Social Media Sites That You Must Explore. In this post, Gerald provided an overview of five popular social media sites (Twitter, StumbleUpon, LinkedIn, Technorati and Plaxo). In addition to discussing all five of these websites, Gerald also promised that a detailed look at each one would eventually be published on this blog.

Since my personal favorite out of these five websites is StumbleUpon, I thought that I would kick off the series of five detailed posts with a look at why you should start stumbling today (if you haven’t already).

So, what exactly makes StumbleUpon such a special social media website? If I had to identify one characteristic of StumbleUpon that really makes it great, it would have to be the level of personalization that it provides to its users. When you first sign up for a StumbleUpon account, you will be asked to provide some basic information about your interests. Once you get everything setup, you can start Stumbling. This involves pressing a Stumble button (which will take you to a random page that matches your interest), and then rating the page you are taken to with a Thumbs Up or Thumbs Down (this used to require a Firefox toolbar, but StumbleUpon now allows you to also Stumble from within a web browser). You can rate any webpage you visit with a Thumbs Up or Down, and you can also leave a written review for any page or website you visit. Over time, you will find that as you rate more pages, StumbleUpon will get even better at providing you with content that you are really interested in.


(photo by dannysullivan)

While I’m sure this all sounds great to you, since this is a search engine marketing blog, you are probably asking yourself “how can StumbleUpon bring traffic to my website?” This is a very good question for any Internet marketer to ask, and I have several good answers to provide you with.

Although Digg gets a lot of attention for having the ability to send large amounts of traffic, the problem with Digg is that it will send a big burst of traffic, which will quickly fizzle out after only a couple of days. On the other hand, not only can StumbleUpon send traffic from the beginning, but it can also send a very steady stream of traffic over a long period of time. To give you a real life example, I wrote a blog post that was Stumbled over two months ago, and StumbleUpon is still sending traffic on a daily basis as a result of this one post (in fact, the most recent review was written just five days ago).

In addition to getting traffic flowing organically through StumbleUpon, one really cool feature is the ability to buy advertising. For $0.05 a person, StumbleUpon will insert the piece of content that you want to promote into their natural flow. When a visitor is Stumbling and sees your page, they won’t be aware that it is actually a paid advertisement. In fact, because users can review and Thumb your content, if people like what they see and rate it well, you can actually begin to attract organic StumbleUpon visitors instead of only paid visitors.


(photo by Si1very)

From all of the reading I have done (and personal experience), you don’t need to waste your time trying to game StumbleUpon. Since it provides lots of networking features (including friends, messaging and profiles), you can build up a strong StumbleUpon network by being active and genuine with other people who are interested in the content you are trying to promote. When you combine this with creating some interesting pieces of content, you will definitely be able to see an increase in traffic coming from StumbleUpon.

If you need to kick start or expand your StumbleUpon network, feel free to connect with Gerald or myself.

Whether you just started using StumbleUpon or have been using it for quite some time, please leave a comment below and tell us about your experiences with it so far!

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Gerald Weber

I founded Search Engine Marketing Group in December 2005. More recently I co-founded viralcontentbuzz.com. which is the free platform that helps bloggers generate REAL "social buzz" on their best content. Feel free to follow me on Google+

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Comment Policy

  • manilenio says:

    hey, nice article… i didn’t know SU offers advertising. now i know :)

    manilenio’s last blog post..Caramoan Peninsula

  • Abdul says:

    Great Article, but I don't think that SU users are worth paying $0.05 for each! They use SU like a remote control, if someone accidentally skips over your page, you simply lose the money and the visitor!

    <abbr>Abdul’s last blog post..A Goodbye Kiss from Iraq</abbr>

    • Tyler Banfield says:

      Abdul,

      While $0.05 per visitor is higher than you will pay with some programs, you have to keep in mind the potential “organic Stumble effect,” which could result in you getting more visitors than you paid for (as long as you have great content).

  • Jordan Pearce says:

    Good point there is no reason to try and game Stumble.

    They kick you off!

    Why risk it? :)

    Jordan Pearce’s last blog post..Friday Social – Networking

  • Jackie Dishner says:

    This is an interesting article, but it doesn’t really tell you how to use SU effectively with others. For instance, I signed on about six months ago. Would click on the SU icon, and that would take me to a site for whatever reason I didn’t quite understand (Thanks. You explained that here.). I wanted to Stumble my own site to see what happened. Wasn’t quite sure if I did that right.

    I did that a few times with other sites I wanted to help out. I didn’t see any improvement on my end, so I forgot about it.

    Then, recently, I Stumbled someone’s site again, and hit the Like button. A registration page came up that I hadn’t seen before, which made me think I’d been Stumbling wrong the whole time.

    Whatever the case may be, I’ve had recent Stumbles on my travel blog by some friends who I reciprocated with, and I’m not seeing an increase in traffic yet.

    So, I guess, I still don’t get it. I’ll keep trying, but is there a tutorial somewhere on line that tells more?

    Thanks!
    Jackie Dishner

    Jackie Dishner’s last blog post..Monday Funday: McDonald’s and its teal arches

    • Gerald Weber
      Twitter:
      says:

      Jackie,

      First let me say thank you and we sincerely appreciate your taking the time to comment, however in the future please do not post links in your comment unless it is directly related to the post at hand. There is already a link in your name and the link to your last article in the comment love at the bottom. Anything more than that may be considered spam by some people.

      That being said please allow me to answer your question(s).

      The best tutorial for StumbleUpon is other stumblers. It is a social platform so it’s important that you do just that and become social. Interact with other stumblers. You can ask them questions, share websites with them, and as time goes on you will start to develop an actual circle of SU friends. That’s what it’s all about. You can’t just sign up and submit your website and expect to see results.

      Feel free to add me Gerald Weber and I’ll be glad to help.

    • Tyler Banfield says:

      Jackie,

      Since it seems like you have some basic questions, I would check out the StumbleUpon help section:

      http://www.stumbleupon.com/help/

  • Gerald Weber
    Twitter:
    says:

    Jackie,

    First let me say thank you and we sincerely appreciate your taking the time to comment, however in the future please do not post links in your comment unless it is directly related to the post at hand. There is already a link in your name and the link to your last article in the comment love at the bottom. Anything more than that may be considered spam by some people.

    That being said please allow me to answer your question(s).

    The best tutorial for StumbleUpon is other stumblers. It is a social platform so it's important that you do just that and become social. Interact with other stumblers. You can ask them questions, share websites with them, and as time goes on you will start to develop an actual circle of SU friends. That's what it's all about. You can't just sign up and submit your website and expect to see results.

    Feel free to add me Gerald Weber and I'll be glad to help.

  • Tyler Banfield says:

    Jackie,

    Since it seems like you have some basic questions, I would check out the StumbleUpon help section:

    http://www.stumbleupon.com/help/

  • Chuck says:

    Great Article…

  • Salwa says:

    I have opened my stumbleupon account nearly 7 month ago but i must say I heveant been as active as I should be. This a great post and reminder to me to get back to it and oh i never knew about advertising. Cool.

    <abbr>Salwa’s last blog post..Why Your Blog Design is so Important</abbr>

  • Dennis Edell says:

    One of the key points is to make sure you take a minute to find the right category for the page you’re stumbling…otherwise it may never be seen by your target anyway.

    Dennis Edell’s last blog post..$100 First Prize! The *Best Blog Review Contest* Is In Full Effect!

  • Matt says:

    Hello my name is Matt, and I am fast becoming a Stumble addict.

    There, I feel better now.

    Matt

    Matt | Small Biz Bee’s last blog post..Will Big Business Ruin Twitter?

  • Jackie Dishner says:

    Gerald,

    Sorry for posting the link. Didn’t know that was taboo.

    Tyler,

    Thanks for the links. It seemed to me that you could overdo SU. I knew someone who wanted his coworkers to Stumble every post he wrote. And he said he’d do the same. That was my intro to SU, and I didn’t think that would work well after a while. Plus, who writes a great post every time?! Not likely to happen.

    So thanks for the links; I’ll read more about this before proceeding any further. It’s just that people who’ve told me to do it seemed to think it was the secret to building traffic, and I didn’t see that happening for me. I don’t really get it. I’ll read more.

    There’s so much to learn about the social network technology, as well as the etiquette.

    All my best,
    Jackie

    • Gerald Weber
      Twitter:
      says:

      Jackie,

      Your thinking on the right track. You don't want to join StumbleUpon and just start smart bombing your own links. You won't see results that way. You have to genuinely participate in the in the StumbleUpon community, make some friends etc. In other words use SU as it is intended to be used. You will also discover some great web content along the way.

      Once you have been active in the community and have some friends others will have no problem occasionally Stumbling and reviewing some of your articles. However if you do come across as over the top and spammy not only will you not have too many friends but you may very well get kicked off the platform. It's OK to self promote some but just don't overdo it.

      Thanks for stopping by and commenting. Let us know if you have any other questions. Have a great new year. ;-)

      <abbr>Gerald Weber’s last blog post..Is Your Captcha Killing Your Business?</abbr>

  • Jackie Dishner says:

    Gerald,

    Sorry for posting the link. Didn't know that was taboo.

    Tyler,

    Thanks for the links. It seemed to me that you could overdo SU. I knew someone who wanted his coworkers to Stumble every post he wrote. And he said he'd do the same. That was my intro to SU, and I didn't think that would work well after a while. Plus, who writes a great post every time?! Not likely to happen.

    So thanks for the links; I'll read more about this before proceeding any further. It's just that people who've told me to do it seemed to think it was the secret to building traffic, and I didn't see that happening for me. I don't really get it. I'll read more.

    There's so much to learn about the social network technology, as well as the etiquette.

    All my best,

    Jackie

    • Gerald Weber
      Twitter:
      says:

      Jackie,

      Your thinking on the right track. You don't want to join StumbleUpon and just start smart bombing your own links. You won't see results that way. You have to genuinely participate in the in the StumbleUpon community, make some friends etc. In other words use SU as it is intended to be used. You will also discover some great web content along the way.

      Once you have been active in the community and have some friends others will have no problem occasionally Stumbling and reviewing some of your articles. However if you do come across as over the top and spammy not only will you not have too many friends but you may very well get kicked off the platform. It's OK to self promote some but just don't overdo it.

      Thanks for stopping by and commenting. Let us know if you have any other questions. Have a great new year. ;-)

      <abbr>Gerald Weber’s last blog post..Is Your Captcha Killing Your Business?</abbr>

  • spellathon says:

    Great post indeed, sure stumble upon can be used as a tool to get lots of traffic, but 0.05$ is really higher. Anyways thanks for such an informative article.

    <abbr>spellathon’s last blog post..What Women Want?</abbr>

    • Gerald Weber
      Twitter:
      says:

      Spellathon,

      I tend to agree with you. Not sure I would pay .05 a view for Su traffic. Shhhh don't tell Stumble I said that. ;-)

  • Gerald Weber
    Twitter:
    says:

    Spellathon,

    I tend to agree with you. Not sure I would pay .05 a view for Su traffic. Shhhh don’t tell Stumble I said that. ;-)

  • StumbleUpon is one of my favorite sites. I had joined SU just 3 months back..and I see continuous traffic to my blog. I am much more comfortable with SU than other social sites.