Many of us started our blogs as a bit of an online journal. We just wanted somewhere to write our thoughts and maybe give some family news to friends and relos. Then as more people started visiting our blogs we began to enjoy being part of the lives of a broader online community. We started paying attention to our stats and getting excited as our readership grew. And we became interested in what we might be able to do to grow it even further.
Allow me to introduce you to StumbleUpon
StumbleUpon is a social bookmarking site that can be a great driver of new traffic for your blog; if you approach it correctly. It is especially good for blogs that are not about ‘mainstream’ blogging topics like marketing, finance, blogging, tech stuff etc. The way it works is this:
- Go to the StumbleUpon site and register.
- Install the StumbleUpon toolbar (pretty straightforward download, in fact it identifies what browser you are using to make it even easier)
- Edit your profile to tell StumbleUpon what sorts of things you’re interested in. Whilst you’re there you might like to add me as a friend. Here’s my Profile Page.
- Click on the Stumble button on the left of your toolbar and you’ll surf to random sites and blog posts that fit your profile interests.
- When you see a site that you like, click the thumbs up icon on the tool bar and vote for it. If you click on the little speech bubble icon you can also leave a short comment or review.
- Or if the site has a Stumble icon embedded (such as at the bottom of this article), you can click that and write a short review or comment about it. You can get the button from the StumbleUpon site or there are widgets you can install in your blog to provide your readers with links to social bookmarking sites.
That sounds like fun, you might say (and yes, it is). But how does it help me get more traffic to my own blog?
Well with care and caution you can Stumble your own blog too!
Now a couple of tips for StumbleUpon beginners.
- Don’t try spamming StumbleUpon with nothing but your own Stumbles. It is a frighteningly smart beastie (Big Brother is an amateur by comparison) and it will know if you are doing that and start restricting you and devaluing the quality of your Stumbles.
- Make sure you tag your Stumbles properly. If your post is about how to get your kids to do their homework, don’t tag it ‘scrapbooking’. You’ll only irritate new readers who were expecting a scrapbook related post and they’ll just click away without reading your post.
- Only Stumble posts that you believe are likely to interest new readers who don’t know anything about you. Your friends will be interested in your family news but new readers who don’t know you are probably unlikely to be.
So what kind of traffic can I expect from StumbleUpon?
Generally you can expect between 200-800 new visitors after you have Stumbled one of your articles.
Now before you get too excited, this tends to be a spike. You’ll usually get them within the 24 hours after you Stumble and then they will drop back to a trickle over the rest of the week. And be warned: the majority of them will only stay for a couple of seconds and then click off to the next site. That’s why it’s important that you only Stumble articles that you believe would be of real interest to new readers. Your challenge is to grab their attention quickly so they stick around long enough to read your stuff and decide you’re worth bookmarking or subscribe to your RSS to visit you again. After all, apart from the sugar rush of watching your visitor count spike up, what you really want is long term visitors. So you’ve got to give them something worth coming back for.
The more you Stumble your own posts, rather than sharing the love and Stumbling other people’s, the less impressed StumbleUpon will be with you and the fewer visitors it will send your way. And by the way, please feel free to share the Stumbling love by Stumbling articles on Scraps of Mind that you enjoy. I’d really appreciate it.
Now although this is not an exact science, there is a way to get better results from your Stumbles: and that is to form a Stumbling community. Build a list of StumbleUpon friends in your profile and share the Stumbling love.
If five or six people Stumble your post over roughly a four hour period, and a couple of them also do reviews, this can really boost your post’s rating in StumbleUpon and it will push more visitors your way.
Just remember, StumbleUpon might send you the traffic, but converting those people into long term readers is up to you and the quality of your content. Don’t get caught up in the sugar rush of the spike of visitors, make sure that you can offer them a great place to hang out.
I hope you found this article useful. If you did please give it a Stumble so others can enjoy it too.
Other related posts
If you have a great desktop computer for sale, why not start a blog about it and get yourself some customers. Such electronics can be sold easily through blogs. Blogging could also link you to sites that offer free ringtones. The stumbleopen website is a great blogging site for maybe even selling a computer printer or laptop.