I like to think I’m pretty savvy when it comes to the interwebs. I took to blogging easily, Facebook and Twitter are my favorite hangouts, and I’ve operated my self-publishing business almost entirely online. So imagine my surprise when I recently discovered two things: 1. That StumbleUpon exists, and 2. That it’s existed since 2002.
I’d heard of StumbleUpon in passing, like when a fellow blogger was like, “Great article! I stumbled it!” and I was all, “Cool, thanks.” Whatever that means.
I decided to look into it after this article (which was written in 2012 but is still relevant) popped up on Twitter. It was enough to get me to try the site.
I should have asked my blogger friends what “Stumbled” meant, because it turns out StumbleUpon is awesome for driving traffic to your website (or blog, in my case). I’m still very new to the site but I want to show you what it’s done in just a few days.
I took the first screenshot early this morning (Nov 16), before I added any posts for the day. Nov 13 was the first day I added posts.
The next screenshot is just before noon, about four hours after I added a post.
Chew on that for a minute, because we’re coming back to it.
First, let’s talk a bit about what StumbleUpon does.
When you create your account and as often as you’d like after that, you select topics of interest from several categories. These are the ones I’ve selected so far.
Once you’ve done that, every time you click that orange “Stumble” button in the top left corner, the site delivers a randomly selected webpage that aligns with one of your interests (as it did in the first pic). You can then “like” it (with the thumbs up button), “dislike it”, share it, or simply skip over it by pushing the Stumble button again. Here are several pages I received upon pushing the Stumble button.
When you like (or add) a page, it gets added to your “likes” page under your profile.
Okay, those are the basics. To drive traffic to your blog, you have to add a page from it (you may recognize some of mine on my “likes” page). Do that with the “Add a Page” button in the top right corner. Paste the URL from the page you want to add, select its category and add relevant tags. Hit “Save”, and now your page will be delivered to Stumblers with interests that match your category and tags.
So what does that do for traffic?
Remember the stats I told you to chew on? About an hour ago, I added my post about Twitter hashtags.
For comparison’s sake, this is the graph from about noon again.
And this is the shot from a minute ago.
Not bad for an hour. So StumbleUpon clearly drives pageviews for a brief period (more if Stumblers like your page, I suspect). I haven’t yet seen many “likes” or interaction on my blog from it, but I’m still new and learning the ropes. I haven’t even completely figured out how to follow people or how to get them to follow me.
For now, I’m happy with my increased traffic. As I learn more, I’ll write follow-up posts. In the meantime, if you’re familiar with StumbleUpon and can teach me things, feel free to in the comments!