Bloggers – Make StumbleUpon your Best Friend in 2012

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You aren’t even registered are you? Oh, you’re registered, but you never log in? Isn’t that the place that generates the “bad” traffic? So for all those unaware of StumbleUpon or non-believers, please take notice.

What is StumbelUpon? – StumbleUpon is a veteran in the Content Discovery space. SU was founded way back in early 2002. SU has over 20 million users, and a Global Alexa Traffic Rank of 125. Nice numbers, but not exactly Facebook. SU’s platform allows their users to discover new and interesting sites across the internet. SU uses a thumbs up/down grading system and determines what each individual likes and puts similar content in front of the user moving forward. SU loves new content. Earlier today I Stumbled over 50 sites in the topic Technology. Over 75% were articles from 2011, and the remaining from 2010. They just changed their interface and logo at the beginning of December. “Easy” is not the first word that comes to mind when trying to navigate. I witnessed many complaints from super users, with many demanding the old interface, which is still available. That’s the bad news, now for the good news.

Traffic, Traffic, Traffic – Back in August 2011 Statcounter came out with some surprising numbers. StumbleUpon (50%) has surpassed Facebook (38%) in referral traffic from Social Media sites. Wow. Really? Even if you don’t take Statcounter’s numbers at face value, you need to take notice.

Last month it was reported (Fast Company) that StumbleUpon’s Mobile growth rose 800% in the last year. That equates to 200 Million Stumbles alone in December 2011. Expectations are for 40-50% of SU’s volume to come via mobile over the next year. Are you starting to believe?

The Proof is in the Pudding – Until recently, I fell into the “don’t log in very often” group. I had joined years ago, and recall Stumbling on sports and technology topics. I became focused again after speaking with Saul Fleischman, who leads one of my Triberr groups. Saul made me a believer after sharing some of the positive traffic results he experienced to his site OsakaBentures.

Lisa Illman writes a blog called Kritters That Twitter. I was familiar with the blog and noticed that Lisa had over 2500 Favorites in StumbleUpon. I reached out to Lisa and discovered some incredible numbers. Are you sitting down? Lisa’s visitor count went from 2K in August 2011 to over 100K in October 2011. These are jaw dropping figures. Lisa credits StumbleUpon with the dramatic rise. I mentioned “bad” traffic at the start. Sort of like “bad” pizza, even when it’s bad it’s good. Eyeballs on your blog are always a positive. While Lisa admits that many stumblers hit her site for mere seconds, she has become more “social” with many stumblers to improve the quality of the visit and generate comments.

Discovery – If you discover your own blog posts, but never like or discover any other content it is frowned upon. However, if discovering your own post is a small percentage of your participation within StumbleUpon, then it is perfectly acceptable. By doing this, all users have to do is click like or thumbs up. It also allows you to choose the relative topics where it can be found.

Share Buttons – I’ve seen my fair share of blogs, especially over the last few months. My unscientific study shows that far less than 50% of bloggers have a StumbleUpon share button on their site. You’re missing traffic everyday you don’t have this share button in place. We all have Facebook and Twitter share buttons. Heck, Twitter came in under 5% on the report. Do yourself a favor, and get that StumbleUpon share button on your blog. Your blog will thank you for all the extra attention it gets.

36 comments
FangFeng88
FangFeng88

Steve, good information. Looks like I should be more active on SU.

devinelines
devinelines

Interesting conversation. I'm in the "registered but don't log in very often" category. I have noticed that when certain posts get stumbled they get a lot of traffic. (Is it bad? Maybe if they bounce-back and don't stay long.) I've got a StumbleUpon share button and need to do more sharing myself! Thanks for the reminder.

Dianne Dixon
Dianne Dixon

Oh, I think I'll have to get back on to that.There are so many tools out there and I could spend so much time using them and not writing. I guess that's where time management comes in...and Sundays :)

Great article!

TheaBredie
TheaBredie

Will keep it in mind, thank you:)

DebraEckerling
DebraEckerling

Okay, I guess it's time for me to try StumbleUpon. Thanks for the encouragement and information.

GiseleNavarro
GiseleNavarro

Three things I really like about StumbleUpon: 1- I've had great results when it comes down to traffic (but it's good to know where you're sharing your articles, and use the tags wisely in order to get the traffic you're looking for). 2- Don't forget there's a nice community out there, I've made some friends there who share interesting stuff with me everyday. 3- And at last but no least, I always "stumble around the web" everytime I'm looking for inspiration :) Good advice, Steve!

markwschaefer
markwschaefer

Respectfully disagree. Bad pizza can make you sick and so can a dependence on "bad traffic" like Stumble Upon. I would challenge you to write your next blog post comparing data on "time on site" from SU traffic to all other traffic. If you're like me, it would be something like this: SU traffic - .001 secs all other 2.3 minutes. Clearly a strategy that emphasizes Stumble is attracting visitors not residents for your blog or website. It doesn;t necessarily HURT anything but let's not be lulled into thinking that Stumble traffic equates to any meaningful business benefits. "Traffic" on its own is a terrible leading indicator of Internet marketing success.

BonnieSayers
BonnieSayers

I joined SU years ago and the bar always caused problems on my computer but in the last few months many are talking about the site again. Do we need the bar in order to get to the next level?

clout
clout

The title is misspelled. Sorry, I can't help myself. It's not "Blogger's" It's "Bloggers". I've just been proofing too long. Need more coffee.

osakasaul
osakasaul

Thanks for the acknowledgment, the StatCounter shot really clarifies the value (and I'll have to learn about StatCounter myself).

mqtodd
mqtodd

Have a better understanding of S U now Steven. Keep the great posts coming

lisaillman
lisaillman

Steve great post, and thank you for the mention. As we communicated, I am a fan. SU has been a good friend to me, but it took some work. Even though most of the traffic is not long term page flippers (Stumblers are infamous for click click clicking through sites), the volume of clicky traffic is great for SEO. And some people do return.

Thanks again, see you on Twitter!

GeeklessTech
GeeklessTech moderator

Alan - I keep seeing evidence of that, and after researching for this piece it looks like they are on the upward path...

GeeklessTech
GeeklessTech moderator

Thanks for stopping by Shelley. For a platform that does generate so much traffic, it does tend to fly under the radar.

alanmhorton
alanmhorton

I like Stumbleupon and have had an account for many years. If you get it right, you can achieve 100's of hits (if not thousands) on an individual page.

Shelley Pringle
Shelley Pringle

Thanks for sharing, Steve. I am definitely in the 'do not visit often' category. It's time to take another look at SU, for sure.

Latest blog post: PR Blooper of the Year

GeeklessTech
GeeklessTech moderator

@GiseleNMendez Thanks for the comment Gisele. I agree with all 3. Specifically focusing a lot of attention to #2. While the environment doesn't really lend to it, it can still be accomplished. I look forward to seeing on SU.

dinodogan
dinodogan

hey Mark, I must disagree. For 2 reasons.

Number 1. There is no such thing as bad traffic. Just ask Mashable. They use HTML5 capabilities to force a refresh when you're idling on their page. Let's think about that for a second.

If Im on their page and I leave to do something else, with my computer "on", idling on their page, they will record a new "hit" or visit every 40 seconds. Multiply this by the number of people who leave their computers idling on a Mashable page over a period of 1 month and you get a SIGNIFICANT appearance of traffic.

Check their stats to see what I mean. You can actually pin-point when they implemented the Operation Fake Traffic http://siteanalytics.compete.com/mashable.com/

Appearance is all that matters since Mashable's biz model relies on bragging rights and ad sales. And advertisers are not splitting hairs as to "what kinda traffic it is", they just want to see big numbers.

I expect many websites will start employing this technique when it becomes more known.

Number 2. SU traffic is the BEST traffic simply because stumblers are looking for content to consume. The problem is that we dont give them the content they:

A) Want to consume, and

B) We dont give it to them in the form they prefer to consume it.

So they leave.

The question then becomes, HOW do we captivate a zonked-out stumbler and "turn" him into a subscriber, commenter, or at least regular visitor?

I hate to be one of "those guys" but since it's highly relevant and I would LOVE to see you both there, I'll leave a link to a G+ Hangout we're doing on Jan 29th that will cover these topics.

Unlocking the Secrets of StumbleUpon and su.pr - a G+ Hangout -> http://triberr.com/blog.php?post=20688

I hope to see you there, Mark. You too Steve.

@markwschaefer

GeeklessTech
GeeklessTech moderator

@markwschaefer Thanks for stopping by, and taking the time to leave a comment Mark. My plan is to write another post in the next few months when more data was collected. Since I wrote this post my SU time on site has averaged 0:59. While not a home run, better than most would expect. Of course, the topic of "StumbleUpon" most likely skewed those numbers. I'm going to participate in SU daily, so we'll see how that factor plays in the results. Hopefully, it will be a pleasant surprise to you and others. Bad pizza in the NY/NJ is actually pretty good.

GeeklessTech
GeeklessTech moderator

@BonnieSayers Hi Bonnie, yes I think that is the answer if you're looking to participate daily. It makes the process much more efficient.

GeeklessTech
GeeklessTech moderator

@clout Funny, I caught the error in the body and changed and missed the title. Thanks for the heads up.

GeeklessTech
GeeklessTech moderator

@osakasaul Thanks Saul, I think we'll continue spend in StumbleUpon and see how she progresses. Looking forward to making some connections on the platform.

AskKim
AskKim

@osakasaul Its easy to look at this curve and assume that SU continued to climb. The two (FB & SU) have been in a back and forth dance for about 6 months or more now. An updated graph that shows the entire trend is really needed.

GeeklessTech
GeeklessTech moderator

@mqtodd Michael, thanks for taking a minute to comment. StumbleUpon is definitely a place I'm going being spending time moving forward. I heard from Neal Schaffer yesterday, and he has a piece on StumbleUpon coming out next week.

GeeklessTech
GeeklessTech moderator

@lisaillman Thank you so much Lisa. Your data still has my head spinning. I'll definitely be spending more time there and building relationships. Have a good night...

markwschaefer
markwschaefer

@dinodogan I would agree that bad traffic won't neck early hurt any one but it bothers me when SU is touted as a focus or new bloggers who may not know any better.

The Mashable example is extreme. There are not going to be too many of us driving millions of fake page views to attract ad dollars, right?

What is going to drive your business? My business? People who stop, read and connect. My Stumble traffic is way up and I think it just skews things. I need to take out SU traffic to really see what is going on.

clout
clout

@GeeklessTech It's a great article, by the way. sometimes I despise my typo-catching nature, it's almost freakish.

GeeklessTech
GeeklessTech moderator

@AskKim@osakasaul Thanks for stopping by Kim. Yes, and I think we'll see an update this month. Just amazing that SU is so far above the other networks as it battles with FB.

osakasaul
osakasaul

Dance, they do, @AskKim as for myself, I look in Google Analytics Referral Page Views and find SU usually at the no.1 spot. FB sometimes pops above it, though - but only briefly. Surprising, too, is how I see SU visitors tend to stay close to three minutes on my blog. For me, that's high.

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