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How to Draw StumbleUpon Users Into Your Blog

StumbleuponThis is a guest post on How to Draw StumbleUpon Users Into Your Blog is by Skellie who writes tips and tutorials on creating better content at her blog, Skelliewag.org.

The potential for StumbleUpon to send traffic is often under-estimated, particularly by new bloggers. Unlike digg and del.icio.us, an item doesn’t need to become popular before you see immediate results. One or two votes can bring a hundred or more readers — more than a new blog might see in a day.

StumbleUpon users are, however, notoriously fickle. The service describes itself as allowing you to ‘channel-surf the internet’ and I think it’s a very appropriate description. Users flick through websites like you might flick through channels, often making a decision on whether to stay or leave your site before it has even had time to finish loading.

In this post, I want to suggest some quick tips you can use to draw StumbleUpon users into your site before they stumble away.

Channel-surfing the internet

We’ve all flicked through TV channels back and forth, waiting for something to hold our attention. The decision to stay on a channel or surf elsewhere is usually made in a second or two, and the principle is the same for StumbleUpon users.

With so many other potentially great sites available to them at the click of a mouse, you need to make it immediately clear why your site is worth their time. Here are some tips to help you do just that.

1. Make your blog’s core mission-statement unmissable

A core mission-statement as I define it is a one or two sentence description encapsulating what your blog has to offer. A good core mission-statement describes the kind of content you provide and broadly what your blog is about. It should communicate a lot of information in only a few words.

If a stumbler can see straight away your blog is about something they’re interested in then they’re likely to stick around.

2. Insert powerful visual cues

When channel-surfing the decision to stick with a channel or move on is often largely determined by visual cues. Even with the sound off you can tell a drama from a news program, a travel show from a cartoon, because visual elements provide clues as to what kind of show you’re watching.

The same principle applies to blogs. If your blog’s header contains an image of a pile of cash, we can reasonably assume the blog is about money (or making it). That’s a lot of information communicated instantly by a single image.

3. Push your content above the fold

StumbleUpon users often judge a site by what is offered in the above the fold area — the area of your site which appears on screen before any scrolling occurs.

I think this blog is an example of how to do that well. Not only do headlines and the first few paragraphs of a post appear above the fold, but other content of interest is showcased in the header area. StumbleUpon users immediately see a site packed with value.

You can use the top part of your blog’s sidebar, its header area and the post area to showcase your content. In doing so, you’ll straight away show StumbleUpon visitors why they should stick around.

4. Be unique, be pretty

While it’s difficult to judge the quality of a blog’s content in just a few seconds, people are much more hasty with aesthetic judgments. A gorgeous or interesting blog design encourages a stumbler to stick around and see whether the content is great too.

Of course, a great design is a lot of work (or quite a bit of money). The next-best thing is a unique logo or header image, an interesting color scheme, and so on. There are a number of small changes you can make to create a blog that looks unique and sets you apart from the crowd.

What we’ve done

The emphasis in all the above tips is on instantly showing visitors who’ve stumbled across your blog what it has to offer. This should help you make the most of StumbleUpon traffic and turn more stumblers into readers.

About Darren Rowse
Darren Rowse is the founder and editor of ProBlogger Blog Tips and Digital Photography School. Learn more about him here and connect with him on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn.
  1. I signed up for SU,but i donot know how to use it?when i face it i donot know what should i do first?what i can learn from here.After read your post,i think i should go and to learn SU,it sounds useful to bloggers,thanks the suggest!

  2. I wish I could get that same spike in traffic everyday.

  3. I’m a Stuble – “channel surfer”. And I must say that I don’t really care much about a site’s mission statement. I like an interesting and compelling title on the post, definitely a visual of some kind and quality content.

    Since I stumbled onto the post and it interested me enough to read it might I also add that additional links to similar content would be appreciated as well.

  4. Nice analysis on stumbleupon and their mental thoughts. But still I feel there are few other factors that make the people “Stumble” upon a website.

    But I feel Stumble grabs more view than Digg.

    Goodwork Skellie.

  5. nice tips, I did this and got over 200 clicks in less than 5 minutes :)

  6. Thanks for great tips!!!!

  7. Thanks- you make it seem simple. That is both encouraging and depressing- I’ve made 23 cents!

  8. This is a pretty legendary post. I am working on this side of my blogging now.

  9. I have to agree that I get very few referrals from Digg relative to StumbleUpon, but I’m not getting any revenue anyway. Maybe you;ll set me on the right path. J

  10. Hi,

    I’m a member of StumbleUpon but I guess I’ve never used it because one needs to upload a task bar or something like that ?
    Or am I making some sort of confusion with another social network ?

    Kind regards,


  11. you dont need anything except from an account to submit to SU, but I think you mean their toolbar. It makes it easier to submit by pressing the thumb icon, but you dont need to install that

  12. there’s a lot of information in the net…just like a turtle..i’m slowly walking and swallowing the info bit by bits…

  13. Great tips for using Stumble to promote your website,
    One important tip that i can see that it is rarely (never) mentioned here is “Stumbleupon Groups”. When you join a group, you can let a large number of the group’s members to know that you have visited this group. I have tried to join some groups and found that the most attractive is your Profile Picture, The large number are the visitors for your profile, and then for your Website for sure. Just wanted to reveal one important Secret for promoting your website using Stumbleupon.

  14. This is a good article for the beginners, follow these tips and you will get more readers of your blog. Attention grabbing headlines and a visual seem to be more important today.

  15. As pugsley said, it is very important to choose attention grabbing headlines, but you should also know that your headlines will not work perfectly without having a reasonable number of friends and interaction with your community.
    making communication with your friends can be the real clue for making unbelievable traffic for your website.

  16. Good tips. Was hoping there would be more than 4 though.

  17. i like this article,it is very useful to me,i am stumble member now,i find a lot of sites there, a lot of people,just like this article said,so many other potentially great sites available,to let our site popular is very difficult,this article give some useful advices,thanks again! If you like,please go to my site: http://www.cellphoneguider.com,and leaves your opinions about my site,so i improve them to gain more readers,

  18. I have to LOL, I just test the stumble advertising and by the time I should drink a cup of water, I got about a millon visitor “300” and by the time I say goes there. They all gone. LOL, I guess it doest work for forum and its a blog thing only.

  19. Wow, some great ideas. I really enjoy SU, it’s quite addicting. Have to start thinking about how to market with it.

  20. Great tips! I am a new user of StumbleUpon, my profile is
    http://inspirationforch.stumbleupon.com/. How to Draw StumbleUpon Users Into Your Blog provides clear steps on how to build a powerful profile on StumbleUpon.

  21. SU provides quick and fairly easy traffic. But real traffic or what we refer to as customer loyalty is all about content. When you go to McDonalds (should you desire this example) you know that the Quarter Pounder will be the same in China as it is in America. At Planet Berry we strive to create a look and feel that our content is not lost among the ads. Very tricky at times but our customer loyalty rate is doing well according to Google Analytics.

    SU is but one source of traffic. What we didn’t see from SU was continued loyalty. Everyone thumbing away but not really reading the content and thus gaining the CTR we sought.

    To each their own I suppose. We believe in content followed by content….the SBI way…..

  22. I don ‘t know what I am doing wrong, but I got no traffic from SU.
    Can any one suggest something for me?

  23. you dont need anything except from an account to submit to SU, but I think you mean their toolbar. It makes it easier to submit by pressing the thumb icon, but you dont need to install that

  24. Wow, some great ideas. I really enjoy us, it’s quite addicting. Have to start thinking about how to market with it

  25. I can readily agree that StumbleUpon is a great source of traffic and if you provide creative content it will be visited heavily. I launched TopTenz with one post about comic book villains and that post brought in almost 4,000 visitors the first day the site was live. All from Stumblers to a literally brand new site. It has now been about two weeks and I make a post every other day or so and the traffic is still averaging over 2,000 visitors per day, all from StumbleUpon. I was and am amazed.

  26. I think stumbleupon social bookmarking site is under estimated.

  27. Thanks for the advice in this post. I had pretty much given up on StumbleUpon, but will give it another try by implementing some of your suggestions.


  28. Very nice article. I’ll implement to my site

  29. Yes I agreed with you have been doing ‘digging’ for a while and have been getting some good response.


  30. I never really got much traffic from stumbleupon. i gave up on it. but i will try your ideas out and see if i can make the work.

  31. Stumble works very well for consistent traffic across a wide variety of subjects. Thanks for the post Darren.

  32. A slow loading page is a definite turn-off for me. As is ads taking up more than 30% of the screen real estate above the fold.

  33. Great Article Darren, I know added SU to my firefox :)

  34. Well, in my experience i would prefer SU to digg because of steady traffic that i noticed on my blog, however getting noticed my SU users is not easy either…. you have to be active in the community….

  35. In my oppinion the mission statement is imperative for a blog. It is setting the whole tone for the entire blog, and if that is not clear we just become a “wandering generallity”.

  36. I don’t use stumble upon on my blog simply because it does not support arabic blogs like mine !

  37. Roshan says: 12/14/2008 at 5:15 am

    that post was cool

  38. Like anything it takes time, effort and patience. We have had our site up and running for 18 months now. Seen a PR of 4 and now we are PR 2. Our traffic is off the charts for this site with over 35,000 page views so far this month. Last Dec we had 7,000 page views total. Stumble is a great way to bring new links and visitors but it takes a focus and relentless pursuit over time.

  39. These are great tips. I think I already have some of these implemented, but I will definitely look a little more closely.

  40. Oh, great tips, gotta apply them soon! I agree that stumbleupon has a great chance to deliver traffic, but never underestimate twitter, it grow fast.

  41. I’ve had tens of thousands of users come from stumbleupon and my subscription rate for my RSS feeds at AFA didn’t change much at all. Neither did my click through on ads.

    Stumbleupon is not worthless traffic because at least I got eyeballs. Eyeballs count because they’re connected to brains. Brains run in conscious and unconscious realms.

    Since getting stumbleupon traffic is so easy it’s almost mindless, why not get a bunch of it and over time you’ll have new subscribers… Your blog can grow because of it if you focus on it – just not by the hundreds and thousands per month – it’s a slower growth. I’m trying this strategy with some of my blogs.

    Will keep you informed…

  42. your article is very usefull for me thank you

  43. I have barely used SU in the past, now I will start looking into it seriously. I will join some groups related to my niche as well. Participating actively in all the different social sites is overwhelming, so I will focus in favoring the ones that give a better return, and better interaction with other bloggers.

  44. But mine is still not getting any visitors. May be i have poor content.God help me Im dying:D

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