StumbleUpon is one of the hidden gems of Web 2.0. It's this weird, funky, strange little website that most of us have no idea what to do with. On the surface, it could even seem like a phenomenal waste of time: Clicking a button to “stumble” around the web for interesting Internet icons. It's like the online equivalent of the Magic 8 Ball. Like Forrest Gump said, “You nevah know what'chou gonna get!”
But beneath the surface, StumbleUpon holds the power to propel your blog traffic through the roof. I use it. Tim Ferriss uses it. My mega-foodie blogger sister uses it. And in this post, I'll show you why you should consider using it too.
I use StumbleUpon (SU) because it increases my blog traffic. Bottom line. It has become the single biggest traffic-driver for this blog in the short week that I've been using it. It's passed Facebook, referral sites and yes, even my beloved Twitter. Those are results you can't argue with!
This isn't surprising, considering SU has passed Facebook as the no. 1 source of social media traffic on the web. The secret to the magic is the other people on SU. If someone “stumbles” your page, it's pushed to the millions of SU users across the web. The chances of someone seeing your post increase dramatically with each stumble. Thankfully, SU makes it easy to get your content onto the social web. A process I'll explain in this post.
SU says it “discovers the best of the web,” so why wouldn't you want to throw your hat into that ring? Sign me up!
Getting Started with StumbleUpon
Let's get the easy part out of the way, shall we? Here's how you get started:
- Head over to StumbleUpon.com
- Register for an account. Use the Facebook login option. (This saves you from having to create another set of login credentials. Way easier.)
- Look around (if you want). We're going to move onto the next phase, but feel free to get familiar with StumbleUpon if you'd like.
At this point, you should be logged into StumbleUpon. You need an SU account to use su.pr, so make sure you do the above part first. Depending on what your browser is like, su.pr may ask you to sign in again. If that happens, just hit the login button and you'll be good. It seems like SU and su.pr don't talk to each other very well on the login side, so you may have to try a few times.
Importing Your RSS Feeds into StumbleUpon
The trickiest part in this whole process is importing your RSS feeds into the SU machine. I say “tricky” because getting your settings right will take some trial and error. How do I know? Exhibit A:
Initially, SU may post your feeds at strange times. That's what had me apologizing to my Twitter followers! Double posts = the devil.
Step 1: Grab Your RSS Feed
You should know what an RSS feed is by now. If you don't, um, well, go here. Copy your feed and slam it into SU's interface.
Step 2: Add Social Networks
As you can see, I've already imported my Twitter and Facebook accounts. If this is your first time using SU, you'll need to pull in the accounts you want to use.
Step 3: Tweak Your Settings
Self-explanatory. Find the initial rhythm that works for you.
Step 4: Track and Monitor
To find a time that works, just keep tweaking the frequency settings and you'll find a process that drives traffic like whoa! You'll likely have some hiccups along the way, but soon you'll find the flow to maximize traffic. Su.pr provides you with extremely helpful data to help you schedule your posts at the right times.
There's also a WordPress plugin that you can use, though I've had mixed results with it. You're better off just following the advice in this post and using the RSS feed feature.
Voíla! That's it. Your blog is not primed and pumped for the StumbleUpon Beast. Congrats. Now sit back and watch the traffic (and the good times) roll!
Bottom line: StumbleUpon works. It consistently drives large amounts of traffic to my blog for each and every post I use it for. Do yourself a favor and get stumbling!
Are you using StumbleUpon already? What have your results been like?
UPDATE: Some readers are reporting that the su.pr settings page stops after promoted websites. If that's the problem you're running into, you're not crazy. I found this in the back alley of the su.pr forum boards:
As you can see, this is from two (two!) years ago. The RSS feature is only open to a portion of users, according to Admin George. I should have mentioned that I've had an active su.pr account since 2009. That could be the reason why I have the RSS feature enabled and some of you do not.
At any rate, sorry for the confusion! If the RSS option isn't available to you, you can still get the same functionality I described by using the su.pr WordPress plugin. If any of you try it out, let me know how it goes!.