This guest-post on Building Your Blog With StumbleUpon is by Skellie. She gives away big and little ideas like these to bloggers, webmasters and web workers at her blog, Skelliewag.org.
If you think this is another post about voting up your own articles on StumbleUpon, you’re mistaken.
Every blogger should have a StumbleUpon account. Regardless of which social media service you prefer, StumbleUpon is by far the easiest and least time-consuming to use.
How StumbleUpon works
When you come across something you like online you can vote for it with a button on your toolbar. The page is then shared with others who have similar interests.
When you’re bored, or looking for inspiration, click ‘Stumble!’ and great pages others have liked will be shared with you.
It’s really that simple.
As with most things that seem simple, however, there’s much more to it beneath the surface.
This post doesn’t intend to be comprehensive overview of StumbleUpon. What it does intend to do is show you how you can build your blog and your blogger profile by participating in the StumbleUpon community — while having plenty of fun at the same time!
Getting started with StumbleUpon
If you already have an account, great. If not, sign up here. Don’t put it off — the process is worth it.
One tip: make sure your username and profile picture are branded in line with your blog. Use your blogging name for your profile, and a photo or logo your readers will be familiar with.
Once you have your account and StumbleUpon homepage, make sure you customize your interests to suit your tastes. You can ‘manage your interests’ via the sidebar. This is important, as it will effect what kinds of pages you get when you Stumble. It will also change the kinds of people who take an interest in your votes.
There are plenty of other things you can customize, but we’ll stick with the basics for now. Let’s get started building your blog and your blogger profile with your new account.
1. Connect with other bloggers
To start connecting with other bloggers through StumbleUpon, all you need to do is vote up their content (when it’s good). The more traffic you send them, the more likely they are to go and investigate the source, or even add you as a friend. StumbleUpon can be a great networking tool.
On top of that, supporting blogs you like is just good karma. What more could you ask for?
2. Drive traffic back to your blog with great stumbles
When you vote up a site that hasn’t been voted up before, you ‘Discover’ it. This means that you write its first review and your profile information appears in the sidebar of the reviews page for that item.
Great content can drive a lot of (influential) stumblers to the page profiling you, as they rush to vote and review it. Some of them will be drawn into visiting your profile, simply because you have such great taste. But how can we encourage these visitors to check out our blog?
3. Highlight your blog in your StumbleUpon profile
This is easy. Enter your blog URL as your website address, and this will be displayed above your image on the main page of your profile. You can also write a bit about yourself and add a link to your blog in your About blurb.
4. Connect with your readers
When you start to see traffic coming from StumbleUpon, take the time to visit the reviews page for the blog post readers have voted up.
The stumblers on this page have been enthusiastic enough about your content to want to Stumble it. If they’re not already loyal readers, this makes them great candidates for becoming one.
Take the time to thank them for their Stumble, and add them as a friend. Little acts of generosity like these leave an impression and may encourage the Stumbler to see what other types of great content you’re capable of.
5. Make friends for a more powerful profile
The StumbleUpon algorithm is a mysterious thing, but evidence seems to suggest that the most active and popular stumblers are rewarded with the ability to control large traffic-flows. The ‘active’ part is up to you — how much time are you willing to put in? The ‘popular’ part of the equation, however, depends on how many fans you have. Fans are those stumblers who’ve added you as a friend in order to see the pages you stumble.
How do you get fans? Great, properly labeled stumbles will do it. Another successful strategy is to add those who vote up your content. If they took the time to explore your blog they might recognize you as the author of the content they liked and add you in return. The friendship will enhance both of your profiles and you’ll be connecting with another potential reader.
6. To submit or not to submit?
Some bloggers believe that repeatedly stumbling the same domain will see the benefits of your stumbles at that domain peter down to nothing. Others believe it’s absolutely necessary to submit your own articles to ensure they’re placed in the category best-suited to them. I’d be interested to hear which approach you think is best in the comments section of this post.
7. Send great content to your friends
StumbleUpon users have the ability to send pages to specific friends, or all of them. If you’ve written something you’re really confident is worthy of a stumble then you might consider sending it out to your friendship network. They’re much more likely to vote up your content than the strangers who routinely find themselves at your blog.
Moderation is key when using this tool. If you overuse it there is a chance your friends will tire of you. An alternative to a wide-ranging send-out might be to send an article to one or two friends you know will be particularly interested in the content.
8. Create a profile people will visit for its own sake
Treat your profile like another blog. If you make it a place people will want to visit for its own sake, the chance of visitors engaging with it and following the link back to your blog increases.
Take the time to play with the colors, add images to your reviews, and explore the functions on offer to create your ‘blog’ (StumbleUpon actually refers to it as such). Fill your profile with votes and reviews for great content your friends will want to visit, and tell others about. A great profile will naturally attract interested and admiring visitors, and raise your profile in the StumbleUpon community.
9. Use it for inspiration
When StumbleUpon is at its best, it serves up a long line of great content suited to your tastes. A stumbling session can be a great source of inspiration when your well of ideas runs dry.
A tip: don’t stumble only within the topic you blog about. Sometimes the best (and most original) post ideas are found by trying to relate radically different content to your niche.
10. Have fun!
I hope this post has convincingly argued that the secret to building your blog with StumbleUpon is to participate actively, genuinely and enthusiastically in the community there. The rewards are sure to filter back to you and your blog.
If you get your StumbleUpon friends to Discover your blog posts/sites or whatever then you will get much more traffic because of this – so build healthy relationships with your fellow stumble friends :)
The OverDrone used to Stumble under the handle “jotto” but then let the profile die from disuse (it takes about six months of inactivity). Recently The OverDrone started a new, branded profile. Thanks for the info in the comments, they answered a lot of the questions The OverDrone had about Stumbling.
Filled in some gaps. Good stuff. I was stumbling for months before I even realised it had a blogging function and I could comment on sites – and even more amazing, sometimes other people read my blog. Only then did I start taking it seriously but you’ve given me a few ideas. I’ve stumbled my “real” website, but I’ve never even thought of stumbling another stumble comment let alone one of my one…
I can’t be the only one, though, who wishes that Stumble did a bit more. I would love to have the option to allow comments on my blog entries and actually have some interactivity between us. The groups are so underused that they’re a waste of space.
And I shall be campaigning for Two further stumbling options. The “I Like” and “No More Like This” are far too limited. We need (as well) “Comment Only” for those sites you do not necessarily like or dislike, but still want to comment on. (and you don’t want the stumble algorithm to start assuming you want such sites to be added to your preferences)
And we need “Never Again” for a single site. That’s to deal with those annoying repetitions of sites you keep stumbling but you neither like nor wish to discourage as a “genre”.
“one of my one”??
should read “one of my own”. I think it’s time I went to bed. Good night.
I have used Digg and Reddit but what I’ve found so far is that Stumbleupon brings in at least 2x more traffic than the other two put together! At times, it’s been 5x
Does anyone else know what works well?
I am a new stumble addict and will hopefully get some traffic to my site at some point through SU. Regardless, quality content is the key to stumbles.
Darren, I started using StumbleUpon because of this post. I submitted my blogging tips post that I wrote for your contest yesterday. I almost immediately got 185 stumbles in 20 minutes! Traffic from StumbleUpon has been steady all night and day averaging over 60-70 per hour for this one post!
The traffic isn’t sticking around too long. I put a amazon ad for a book about blogging hoping to take advantage of the traffic that way, but nothing yet.
Any ideas on how to make traffic from sites like Digg or StumbleUpon pay off?
P.S. I was excited to find out that I won Kirsty’s books today! Thanks for the great birthday celebration!
point #2 is the strongest one imho. being the first “stumbler” is always an advantage.
I joined SU a few days ago and am gradually learning the ropes. Your article has helped a great deal.
I did experience a lot of profile views within the first few hours of joining, but that has waned a bit. Are new members featured somewhere? I also gained three fans that same evening which was nice, though I’ve no idea why.
What I really like about SU is that it seems to bring the right audience to me. My blog isn’t about anything specific, it’s just a personal journal, so I can’t squeeze it into a defined category. Yet readers with similiar interests to me seem to arrive from SU. Guess it must be down to their flexible tagging system.
Yea, I’ve been hearing a lot about StumbleUpon and how websites are getting loads of traffic from there. I’ve been gathering guides, tutorials, articles and such about StumbleUpon. I’m bookmarking this page for sure. Thanks.
As a beginner blogger I loved stumbleupon and I’m thinking of writing a review for starters. My blog started grabbing traffic from stumbleupon immediately.
nice informative post on stumbleupon. very desciptive and explained very well. i’m a new blogger . . . so this information is invaluable! my site is dedicated to learning how to attract more web traffic, and this page was a nice start on learning how!
nice tips – I especially like the one about building a profile people will want to read.
I am new to this Stumbleupon I’ve heard some great things about it still waiting to see how it all works and how much traffic I’ll get. Definitely gonna read some more about it and take your advice.
StumbleUpon is bringing a lot of traffic to my site. I submitted two pages and it has been driving most of the traffic. The hard part is getting people to give it a thumbs up. But, that has to do with content, so its a whole different animal.
Thank you for this article. I kept hearing people mention StumbleUpon, but I never really knew what it was. Now I think I have the idea, and I’m going to begin using it like crazy!!! This website is great! I visit all the time and am using the advice found here to constantly improve my site. Thanks again… and keep up the good work!
I would advice anybody who has a website to use stumbleup. The site has given me so much traffic at some point i wanted to unstumble an article someone had stumbled because the huge traffic i got from stumbleupon was eating up all my band width.
I went from an average of 50 visits a day to 6000 visits thru stumbleupon. I didn’t stumble the article that brought me all that traffic myself someone else did.
I really liked your easy to follow post. I’ve been reading a few posts on StubleUpon recently to get a good idea of how to use it best and this post ranks right up there for me in the ‘great content’ category.
I joined StumbleUpon 6 weeks ago and each day I see steady traffic to my StumbleUpon blog. In fact most of my traffic to my website, http://www.inspirationforchange.com/ is from StumbleUpon. My profile at StumbleUpon is http://inspirationforch.stumbleupon.com/
Today i joined to stumble upon, it is greatest community i have ever seen, Thank you for this great post.
I heard about stumbleupon from many sites before but couldn’t understand how it works. Today I am very much clear of all the basics of and I am going to make the best use of it for bringing traffic for my website. Thank you for your tips.
Do you have any advice on having seperate accounts related to different blogs? For instance http://www.thecraftywriter.com is all about the business and craft of writing, but I also have a software development blog – 2 quite diverse niches. Would it be better to have 2 seperate tightly focussed accounts, or a single account which encompasses both areas? I would imagine a more focussed set of interests would attract more targeted friends, but then there’s the issue of having 2 profiles to maintain…
gr8 tips!!! dont really know ways to thank you better
Thanks for sharing such valuable tips. I’m getting ready to launch my blog and have been curious as to how I should integrate other technologies and social sites. This gives me some great ideas on how to maximize my time on Stumble.
Never knew what Stumbleupon was so thanks for the explanation, it is very helpful. My blog should be up and running within the next week and will make use of this info.
This has been an incredibly helpful article for me to read. You have offered some great advice for newcomers to SU, and all of the great feedback you’ve received in the comments is fantastic as well! Thanks so much for writing such great content!!!
Great article! I just joined Stumbleupon and i think it’s a cool utility to have on my browser.
Thanks so much Darren for the great article!
StumbleUpon is best platform for free traffic to my Blog.
One question – how do you control what goes in the “My Blog” part of your profile? I “discover” new sites all the time but it seems like all of my own content I stumble goes in the My Blog and everything else goes into “Discovered.”
Once again, great post! I also have to agree stumbleupon is the best social bookmarking site. I like it too.