A lot of bloggers forget about StumbleUpon when trying to increase their traffic. Read why ignoring this social media platform is a mistake.
StumbleUpon is one of the least used social media platforms. It is, however, one of the best to really boost your traffic. No other platform will direct so many real visitors to your blog. It works especially well for new bloggers without a huge following. With a bit of luck and good curating your content might even get viral without doing anything.
Why do I think StumbleUpon is still viable?
I willingly admit that the glorious days of StumbleUpon are past. These days everyone seems to use Pinterest. While influential users on StumbleUpon might have 1.000 to 2.000 followers, having hundreds of thousands of followers on Pinterest (including me; here are my boards) is not uncommon. But you also have to understand that the StumbleUpon interface forces the user to actually load your blog. That’s a real visit you will register in google analytics! With Pinterest or Tumblr, on the other hand, your content gets reduced to a pretty picture with a more or less useless link. If you are lucky one out of 1.000 users will click it.
So you might get tons of shares, repins, retweets or likes using the more popular platforms – but ask yourself how much engagement you really get? This is especially true for Instagram. With StumbleUpon, however, you can easily score 1.000 visits with one post and drive traffic for your blog.
Above you can see the GoogleAnalytics snippet from one of my articles I stumbled. I only recently started travel blogging, so naturally I don’t have many returning visitors yet. I don’t have a big following on any social media platform either. When I blog something, I can reasonably expect 0-100 readers. That’s the flat line starting from Feb 22 in the chart. Somewhat depressing, eh? But just on the first day of March some influential stumbler seems to have liked my post! And now watch this spike!
I’ll repeat: I am a young fledgling blogger without a following. The probability that some of my posts will go viral is literally non-existent. Despite my best efforts at SEO I also have virtually no chance on ranking on google for traffic-strong keywords. And by simply adding one link to StumbleUpon I scored roughly 800 visits! This of course, is not going viral by any means, but still a very welcome increase to my blog traffic!
(Just in case you were wondering who is this guy to give me tips. Definitely do read my about page. Also know that in my professional life I work on 7-figure websites with millions of page impressions.)
Which content to post on StumbleUpon?
Now let’s take a closer look at the content you should be adding to StumbleUpon. A lot of people will tell you, that listicles and animal photos are best suited for StumbleUpon. But I totally disagree. Your aim shouldn’t be to gather a lot of likes (that is in fact quite true for any social media platform), but to find new readers. So add content that really matters! Sure, a lot of users on StumbleUpon use it to pass away a few minutes during lunch break. But if they discover a truly unique story they will read on, count on it!
So here is another GoogleAnalytics snippet from my article – this time broken down by source. As you can see The secret world of geisha parties reached 725 stumblers all in all. Not bad, but admittedly no spectacular traffic either. But if you take a look at the average time on page two columns to the right, things get quite exciting. 1:12 minutes is a lot!
There are many articles on how to use StumbleUpon to increase your traffic, and seemingly all agree that you can get a lot of visitors. They also agree that you will have a huge bounce rate and an average time on page close to zero. I cannot support these findings. You can do nothing against the bounce rate. After all StumbleUpon is about content discovery. Per design, once you discovered/read an article, you will hit the stumble-Button and not stay on the page.
If you focus on outstanding content, however, you can and will engage your audience. Just make sure too add easily accessible call to action buttons within the content so you generate long term traffic for your blog!
How to get more followers on StumbleUpon
Okay. This is not easy. In fact getting a true following on any social media platform isn’t easy. With #like4like you can, however, get easily deceived that you had a lot of followers (who aren’t in fact really reading your shares, just like you don’t read theirs). You get no notification, when someone is following you on StumbleUpon. You get no notification when someone comments on your share eithers. There is even no good way to message other users. So the only realistic way to getting followers on StumbleUpon is actually using the damn thing. Add pages (not only your own obviously!), like other pages, comment. Lather, rinse, repeat. At some point someone will take notice of you and there is a slim chance he or she will follow you. Naturally it doesn’t hurt to integrate StumbleUpon in your website.
(note: after I wrote this article StumbleUpon added some changes. You now do get a notification when someone is following you. In my opinion the follow4follow strategy is still not viable, and maybe never was on any plattform)
You can follow me, for example, by clicking this nice link. Since I really don’t have a lot of followers yet, I might even like your stumbles and get your StumbleUpon account going ;-)
It is important to know that you don’t necessarily need a huge following on StumbleUpon to get your content out. I only seriously started using StumbleUpon this year (the tool has been out since 2002!!) and yet it already worked for me. I can’t – in all honesty – say the same about Facebook, Tumblr, Instagram or Twitter (where i got close to 3.000 Followers). Just make sure to tag your content properly and the traffic for your blog will increase.
StumbleUpon generates real blog traffic for your
Having read all that, please don’t start thinking all you have to do is add your blog posts to StumbleUpons, and for each link that you added, thousands of visitors will follow. You would be deceiving yourself. StumbleUpon is no magic blog traffic weapon either. In fact a lot of my posts got no or only a handful of visits through StumbleUpon. But (!) despite having close to no Followers I did get a couple of real visitors. On other social media channels you might not get a single meaningful visit despite having a sizable amount of followers! Add quality content and a little luck, and you might benefit over-proportionally from your efforts on StumbleUpon!
Last but not least, it is probably unwise to invest too much time into StumbleUpon. You can get lost there without really making a difference. I added 5 minutes of using it to my daily routine. I am not sure where this will get me. To be frank, stumbling other content has somewhat become a chore. The internet is full of crap articles nobody wants to read and StumbleUpon will rub them into your face. Press stumble, press thumbs down, press stumble, press thumbs down – this is more or less how it feels. Sometimes, however, I find something that truly interests me, and then I am happy I started using the platform. Looking at my GoogleAnalytics stats I certainly know that I have to continue using it to increase the traffic of my blog!
What are your thoughts? Are you using StumbleUpon? Or do you prefer other social media channels? Share how you increase your blog traffic with me!
Great post Norman I also use Stumbledupon in my marketing. Good read.
I just think it is a great tool for discovering trending topics and to get your own topics out there. Naturally like all socialmedia StumbleUpon will take a little effort to really get going. But the fact that is rather a niche platform gives young bloggers a big leverage.
Oh – don’t hesistate to follow me then Henrico! http://www.stumbleupon.com/stumbler/anneesdepelerin
I am using stumbleupon in first month of this 2015. I’ve read in some forums, they talk about stumbleupon and most of them say that stumbleupon is ugly, they love another social media media just like twitter, facebook, pinterest, g+, reddit, etc… But, after I try to using stumbleupon, I think that this one is very different. Full page to show the content, free choice to give thumb up or down, and no notification for comment, followers, and other activity. In act, I really love it. Why?. It’s because all activity in stumbleupon is really natural. You don’t need to waste the time to increase the followers or likers that all of them are really fake for 80%. It’s because only one way to increase the followers and likers in other social media like facebook, twiter, etc. It’s follow them with expectation they will follow back. Hahahaha….
In of middle of appril of 2015, I got more than 5000 uv and it’s come from stumbleupon and from 1 post. Since the day, I’ve focus to using stumbleupon, reset about what’s the users interested, and make 2 or 3 very unique articles every week only for post it on stumbleupon. It’s really work, for some people this way is very difficult but for me this way is difficult but natural and 100% effective, and this is the blogger wants, right?.
Nice post dude, just doing as you love it :)
Hey…nice article!! I have started using stumbleupon too, for my blog marketing, and can really see the spikes. It is way more effective than Facebook and others such. Cheers & keep posting :)
Great article Norman. I’ve been thinking about using StumbleUpon for some time now, but reading this finally got me started. I also liked the honesty of this article : https://www.annees-de-pelerinage.com/how-i-started-travel-blogging.
I am now in the same situation you were back in February. Maybe you’ll do a one year report next Feb…
good to hear you started to join the game! I’ll definitely will be doing a recap in February after one year of blogging. It has been a good year really with bascially no bad experiences. I blame that on my huge professional experience though.
Great article, well from today i am going to take stumbleupon seriously
My comment is a year late but i was looking for info if stumbleupon is still relevant in 2016. It takes so much time and effort to promote posts and facebook and twitter are usually the first social places people think of when promoting. But i like the thought of each stumble actually registering in google analytics. Just a bit worried about bounce rates though if people leave the site too quickly. Oh well i better head on over there and try it out myself. Thanks for a very helpful post!
I wanna be honest with you Angela. StumbleUpon was great when I started this blog, but these days I rely on Pinterest. It’s superior in every way (in terms of driving traffic) and well..I really can’t mess with every social media or social bookmarketing channel out there. You might find this article helpful: https://www.annees-de-pelerinage.com/1-year-of-travel-blogging-lessons-learned/
1 post. Since the day, I’ve focus to using stumbleupon, reset about what’s the users interested, and make 2 or 3 very unique articles every week only for post it on stumbleupon. It’s really work, for some people this way is very difficult but for me this way is difficult but natural and 100% effective, and this is the blogger wants, right?.