Harness the Power of StumbleUpon

Harness the power of StumbleUpon to get more blog traffic, more readers, and more opt-ins

StumbleUpon is an under appreciated social media site.

I visit a lot of blogs, and most of the ones I visit have social share buttons, but no button for StumbleUpon! Now, to be fair, I don’t think that book blogging posts do particularly well on StumbleUpon. SU just isn’t a bookish scene. But if you post about blogging, business, or design, it is the place to be!

"Make Your Own Planet in Photoshop" - a StumbleUpon share with 23K "likes"

When I first discovered the viral nature of StumbleUpon

Buckle in. It’s story time!

It was 2012 and I was running Creative Whim as a design/web development blog. I posted an article about how to make your own planet in Photoshop. The post went viral on StumbleUpon and I got 15,000 page views in one day! That number eventually soared to 23,000 views via StumbleUpon. That’s pretty insane!

I haven’t had this same kind of crazy success, but I have had a few little gems lately.

Thousands of page views through StumbleUpon

Here you can see a very clear spike in social media referral traffic:

Graph from Google Analytics showing a huge spike in StumbleUpon referral traffic, with 1104 sessions via social referral

That big spike is solely because of StumbleUpon!

In the last month or so, I’ve gotten two big hits via StumbleUpon:

  1. Is Your Full Screen Image Killing Your Design? — 1,569 page views via StumbleUpon
  2. Create Business Cards That Actually Mean Something — 1,408 page views via StumbleUpon

Both of those posts triggered my Google Analytics alerts for social media—that’s how I knew I’d gotten a huge spike in referral traffic.

Heck, even my review of The Heir by Kiera Cass has gotten 380 page views via StumbleUpon. Not too shabby!

Tap into the viral potential

Submitting your blog post to StumbleUpon is super easy: you can do it through their website. But consider making it easier for your readers by adding a StumbleUpon share button.

Some people recommend that you submit 10-15 other posts/pages for each one of your own pages that you add. Apparently StumbleUpon doesn’t really like it when you only add your own stuff. I’m not sure how much weight there is to this, but it’s a good idea to try to make a habit out of submitting posts and pages that you like or find interesting.

Do you use StumbleUpon for your blog?

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I'm a 28 year old California girl living in England (I fell in love with a Brit!). My three great passions are: books, coding, and fitness. more »

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31 comments

    1. It’s pretty different from anything else out there. It’s kind of most similar to Google, but instead of searching for something specific, you plug in your interests and ask it to find you something random based on that.

  1. I’ll submit posts to stumble upon from time to time but since I don’t use it as much as I used to as a reader, nowadays most of my SU traffic cones from other people submitting the post. When I used it more heavily I definitely noticed a difference when I made sure to submit other content as well vs only my own posts. A 1:3 ratio seemed to be the bare minimum to drive any real traffic. I definitely need to get back into it, but maybe within a circle of other bloggers so that we can use each other to avoid submitting our own posts. I have a circle like that for the sites my company uses and it works really well.

    1. Yeah a circle of bloggers like that would be great. Whenever I come across a great post by another blogger I make an effort to submit it!

    2. Brittany I really like that circle idea because I have been trying to use stumble upon for the past couple months and it is hard to find sites I follow that use it so that I can submit other and not just my own. Also safari hates stumble upon and I have to use a different browser to submit at all.

    1. Thank you!

      There are a lot of social media sites. StumbleUpon is very easy though in that you just need to submit your page and job done!

      But really, I think it’s most important to focus on 1-3 social media sites that YOU really like. You don’t have to be on all of them, just pick a few and work those few really well.

  2. I use StumbleUpon a lot. I’ve heard the 10-15 other pages for every one of your own before, so I tend to stumble pages from blogs I visit as well as my own stuff. I’ve gone viral twice this year. One page got over 3k hits in one day, and I’m STILL getting traffic from it over a month later.

    The more people who thumbs up one of your pages, the more views it will get. And the more pages you’ve rated, the more weight you have when adding pages. My fantasy friday posts, and discussions get the most. But I also get 50-100+ visits for book reviews as well.

    Some of that traffic even turns into subscribers. *laughs* It’s fun to see what post will get the big spikes. Usually it’s ones I was expecting to do poorly.

    Silvara recently posted: Do You Have Your Own Feature?
    1. That’s super fantastic! Congrats on those viral posts.

      And yes, I’m often quite surprised at which posts do really well. Then the ones that I expect to do really well don’t!

  3. I was completely addicted to StumbleUpon 5 years ago, but completely forgot about it. And I forgot about the feature to add the pages you like. I’ll be adding the pages from my blog from now on. And some other interesting stuff I stumble upon.
    Thanks for the reminder.
    BTW I really should add social share buttons at the bottom of my posts… You posted some a while ago if I remember correctly… I’m off to see if they have a StumbleUpon button. šŸ˜‰

    Dragana recently posted: Armchair BEA 2015 ā€“ Giveaway
    1. Well as I said, I’ve never had particularly good success with book reviews and such. But it works brilliantly for blogging tips and things like that! So if you only post bookish things, you may not see much return from it.

  4. I have heard of StumbleUpon, but never really looked into it or figured out what kind of site it is. I figured the least I could do is add the social sharing button for StumbleUpon to my sites, so that if peopel want to submit it, it’s easier. I noticed Jetpack has the button for StmbleUpon, but I never added it before as I didn’t realize what it was. Might have to check it out eventually, it sounds like it can drive some nice traffic to your site if you use it well.

    Lola recently posted: Review: Suspected by Rori Shay
  5. I used to have an account, but this made me go check it again. I’d add a StumbleUpon button to the blog but I have no idea how to add it to the preexisting set of social buttons already. And I’m guessing that I would need to be social for it, but I honestly don’t know where to begin!

    Shannelle recently posted: Bigger and Better
    1. Ah yes, your social buttons come with your theme, right? So you’d have to add that in manually.

      StumbleUpon isn’t really about being “social”. It’s just about submitting and liking sites. You can get a little more into it if you want by creating “lists”, but you don’t have to be THAT into it to see benefits. All I do is:

      * Submit most (but not all) of my blog posts. I don’t submit book reviews because they typically don’t do well on SU. But I submit all discussion/blogging/business/design posts.

      * Any time I come across someone else’s blog post that I really like, I submit it to SU.

      That’s it! Very little time/effort. šŸ™‚

  6. I signed up for Stumble Upon when it first started and didn’t find it particularly helpful at that time. I liked that they had a button for your browser so I could stumble anything even if there wasn’t a SU share button. I have a SU button now, but few people hit it. I think that very few people understand SU. Since you wrote this post I’ve been clicking around over there and found all sorts of interesting things. Last night I got lost for about 2 hours. You may end up on my s**t list if I keep stumbling down the rabbit hole! šŸ˜‰

    Elizabeth recently posted: Weekly Wrap Up 6/6
    1. I find that all it takes is one person to hit the button (usually myself). Then once it’s submitted to SU, it’ll either take off or it won’t. You don’t need a lot of people to hit the submit button—only YOU need to hit it. Then it will either do well or it won’t.

      I find that a lot of “feature” type posts and book reviews just don’t do well on StumbleUpon. By that I mean:

      * Book reviews
      * Weekly/monthly recap posts
      * Stacking the Shelves
      * Waiting on Wednesday

      StumbleUpon just isn’t a good scene for them.

      But blogging tips, design posts, infographics, and interesting discussions can do very well!

  7. I’ve added StumbleUpon to my little row of Share buttons. I’ve never used it before and wondered what that button was about. šŸ˜‰ I recently deleted my Pinterest account. I just didn’t get how it could help me. Facebook and Twitter are my marketing tools. šŸ™‚

    Amelyn recently posted: Thrust by Victoria Ashley
  8. Great read! I’ve been utilizing SU on my blog for roughly a month now. It’s definitely a great resource to drive traffic with interesting content. It’s actually super fun to stumble around and just see what pops up too. =) Thanks for the informative post!

  9. I don’t use StumbleUpon currently, though I do have a Share button for it since I use your social share plugin šŸ™‚

    I never really knew much about it before, but I’m totally curious to go exploring now šŸ™‚

    Annie recently posted: Fairy Tale Legacy: Rapunzel
  10. I just started using stumbleupon, and more in a once a week kind of way just to test it out. Do you think the number of followers you have increases the likelihood a post will go viral?

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