StumbleUpon is one of those sites that you either never heard of it before or is already a long lost memory back from the early days of the Internet.

Once upon a time StumbleUpon was the place to go to generate website traffic but lost its place to new discovery players such as Tumblr, Pinterest, and obviously, Reddit.  Even though StumbleUpon should not be entirely discarded as a tool to drive traffic to your website, there is still some potential left in it.

What is StumbleUpon?

First things first, if you have never heard of it, StumbleUpon is a site that helps users find websites they might like.

When signing up for an account, users are asked to select ten or more topics of interest. After that, users start ‘stumbling’ from page to page to find websites within chosen topics, and every time a page loads, users are presented with a choice to like, dislike or just pass on that site. The more a user answer with a like or dislike, the more it will influence StumbleUpon algorithms and the pages that particular user will see in their following ‘stumbles’.

If you have 15 minutes to spare, create an account, and start stumbling away as this will give you the best introduction to how this website works.

If you manage to stumble on a few amusing, weird, and awesome websites, you will soon understand how addictive StumbleUpon can be. I managed to find a few pearls myself, you might want to check my list of useless websites. Once these sites are voted up they reach an even larger audience inside StumbleUpon.

StumbleUpon has an enormous potential to distribute content to countless individuals all over the world, and it is often used as a place to kick-start viral campaigns. This might sound too good to be true, but it doesn’t have to be, as long as you know how to make the best of it.

Using StumbleUpon to Generate Traffic

How can you make StumbleUpon work for you to drive traffic to your site? As with most platforms, there are a variety of ways to make them work, but essentially it comes down to this, the more you know about how to use the tool, the better results you will get out of it.

First, you need to get your website listed in the StumbleUpon database, and there are three ways of doing that.

The first method is by creating an account and submitting your website. You can do that in less than 5 minutes, and it will get the job done but is not the best option.

If you’re tempted to add your own page, just be careful as blatantly promoting your own site is picked up by StumbleUpon algorithm and will act to your own detriment. Best to get a friend to add your site in the first instance and for you to like at least ten other sites for every stumble and like you give yourself.

Warning: Do not submit multiple pages from your website using the same account, as this will likely trigger StumbleUpon algorithms and you might end up having your account, or worse, your website, marked as spam and banned in the platform.

The second method is by getting someone else to submit your page for you, preferably, someone who is a heavy user of the website. This is likely to yield better results in terms of the viral effect it will have on the StumbleUpon platform.

There’s a bit of a glass ceiling for raising your own rankings this way, however, and it’s only through the organic help of others that you will see real results, which leads us to the next point, what kind of content works better with StumbleUpon?

Make it Interesting, Relevant, and Engaging

Having great content on your site is simply the best way of leveraging the StumbleUpon platform. A website, or even a single page, that actually engages people featuring an attractive design and appealing high-quality images work wonders for this. Remember those ‘like’ and ‘dislike’ buttons are very close to each other, so make sure you give viewers a reason to pick the like button.

Stumblers come to the platform to discover new websites, and usually, introduce this content to their own audiences.

You will soon find that the most popular types of content on StumbleUpon are videos, infographics, top ten articles, and tutorials. The best way to come up with ideas of content that would work best for your business would be by creating an account and start stumbling on stuff that is related to your industry.

Here are a couple of tweets I’ve sent with stuff I found on StumbleUpon:

Ultimately, StumbleUpon is built to give more visibility to submissions receiving higher rates, or better saying, receiving the more likes in the shortest amount of time as possible. With that in mind, there are a couple of things you need to have in mind when making a submission:

  1. Your content must be relevant to the category of submission. Remember that people pick their interests for a reason.>
  2. Your content is interesting enough to that audience so trigger them to like, and potentially, share with their friends.

The quality of your content is the most important thing to keep in mind. Take a step back, and analyze your own content carefully in an unbiased way. You should ask yourself if you stumbled on your piece of content, would you hit the like or dislike button; or even better, would you share this with your audience?

If you feel that your content is anything less than ‘epic’, then keep working on to improve it. There is always a way to make it better.

StumbleUpon Ads

If you find that organic submissions are not yielding the result you would like to see, there is always a way to get your website advertised with StumbleUpon Ads.

StumbleUpon Ads Website Screenshot

This would, obviously, require a budget. So, the more-monied and less patient among you may find the StumbleUpon advertising service suits your traffic needs. For the rest of us, however, tagging your pages properly, making optimized article headlines, and keeping up the hard work of making your site the best it can be is the surest way to make StumbleUpon work for you.

What is your experience with StumbleUpon? Have you ever tried their paid ads? What was the best site you found with StumbleUpon? Let me know in the comment area below.

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