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StumbleUpon – The Most Popular Social Bookmarking Site for (Pro)Bloggers

Posted By Darren Rowse 29th of January 2008 Social Media 0 Comments

In the last ProBlogger reader poll I asked readers about their social bookmarking habits – more specifically to tell us about their favorite social bookmarking site.

Just under 1300 readers have voted to this point and the results look like this:


StumbleUpon wins quite convincingly with 31% of all responses (or if you subtract the ‘I don’t use any’ responses SU is a 38% slice of the total pie). I’ve included some reasons given by readers as to why they like StumbleUpon below.

Delicious and Digg were closer with 21% and 19% of the total vote.

What did surprise me a little was the 19% of those responding who don’t use social bookmarking. I guess it’s become such a normal and natural part of my own day that I forget that quite a few readers don’t get into it.

Lastly, on the ‘Other’ section of the pie – a few readers told us about their ‘other’ selections but none attracted more than 2 votes so I have not given them any category of their own. Those that did get the 2 votes were BloggingZoom, Sphinn and Sk*rt.

9 Reader Comments on StumbleUpon’s Popularity

Why did StumbleUpon win so convincingly? Here’s just some of the reasons that readers gave on the poll announcement post:

  1. supermom_in_ny – “I use StumbleUpon because I believe the playing field is more level than at digg. Your readers can stumble you and you can get lots of traffic very quickly. You don’t have to be part of an elite crowd like at Digg. StumbleUpon accepts a wider variety of topics as well as photos and videos. Digg users (voters) tend to enjoy more tech related articles and bizarre news stories.”
  2. How to Rule the World – “It seems to be the easiest way to get good traffic. People actually read the articles, sign up to my rss and come back again to visit my site. I also enjoy the ease of networking with other bloggers and the ability to chat and share ideas with others. Its not as secretive as digg…”
  3. Michael Martin – “StumbleUpon is my favorite because it’s the easiest way of finding new content.”
  4. UltraRob – “I really like StumbleUpon. I’ve found all sorts of cool things stumbling and I’ve made some good contacts from it too. I’ve also seen more traffic from it than other sites.”
  5. Ryan Oelke – “we find Stumble Upon generates the most traffic by far, which is one perspective on using bookmarking systems. Digg’s crowd is simply to tech oriented, even if they have multiple categories.”
  6. plonkee – “I love StumbleUpon. I’m a big fan of the randomness of it, especially if you have really disparate categories.”
  7. Michael – “Like many others, I look at most of them. But SU seems to have less junk and more of what I am looking for. And, from a blogger / webmaster’s side, it is the one that seems to work best for getting real traffic to my sites.”
  8. Cory – “I use StumbleUpon b/c it’s easy to use, and I feel like I won something when I get to be the one who discovers a new post.”
  9. Genesis – “I like StumbleUpon for several reasons. It sends me more traffic than any other social site. Many others, like Digg only count if you hit the front page and my blog isn´t really meant for Diggers. SU also has a variety of very useful content and I use it frequently to get ideas for blog posts and articles that I´m writing. It´s a great source of inspiration (and a good time waster, too, if you aren´t careful!).”
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, Google+ and LinkedIn.
  1. Singapore SEO says: 01/29/2008 at 6:07 am

    For me, I like to use social bookmarking sites that are user friendly. Basically, easy to submit, easy to vote. So far, because of the toolbar above, SU is the easiest I guess?

    But I dont really like the traffic coming from SU as everyone knows its not anywhere near targetted. But oh wells :|

  2. I have not had much luck with stumbleupon so far. I use it coccasionally to find sites and I should use it more. I also need to widen by searches.

    I have just added the feedburner option that puts stumpleupon etc. after each post, but I believe this only works for thsoe posts currently in your RSS feed.

    can anyone recommend a wordpress plugin that will allow my to put social bookmar sites at the end of each post – I would prefer to be able to have text links rather than icon links


  3. I’m just getting into StumbleUpon so I’m very grateful for the user comments and tips about it. My first impression is also that it is a good site for finding the blogs that are informative in their niche and that it appears to be a more level playing field. Let’s hope it stays that way.

  4. It’s quite interesting to see that even del.icio.us has topped Digg here (slightly). I wonder if Digg would have done so poorly even just a few months ago. Things have been going downhill lately…

  5. I also feel that SU is much better than Digg for about any site. Digg is all about technology, and the user base is collectively about 15 years old.

    SU has many different niches, including SEO. You can choose what kind of sites you want to see information about, and sites with long term value stick around much longer.

  6. Pretty interesting numbers. One of the things I love most about Stumble is the way it can drive a bit more traffic out of the blue. It’s also just how much fun it is to use. So many things I find on there probably wouldn’t get attention as well from other sources. Plus if your content is good you will get people giving it a thumbs up, and still more people seeing it, even if you don’t have a ton of friends or fans.

  7. The biggest thing SU has going for it, is that it’s fun, unlike many of the others.


  8. I haven’t used StumbleUpon as of yet. I basically use Delicious because I’m using it for items I need when I’m out at a clients and need information on a computer issue. It’s kind of like my library of papers that I don’t have to carry.

    With all the positive reviews I believe I will experiment with it.

  9. I absolutely LOVE Stumble Upon. It consistently refers more traffic to my site than any other plus, it’s FUN. I love to click that button and see where I’m going to next. I’ve added more and more categories to my preferences just so I can find more cool sites.

  10. The ease of use with the Firefox’s SU add-on (the stumble and favorites buttons) is the main reason I choose SU as my bookmarker site. The social aspect of it is not that important to me, but it’s there when I need them.

  11. I love Stumble. The users are generally more focused on quality content, rather than spamming the system.

  12. I agree with the results of your poll. I use Stumbleupon everyday. I always recommend it to other bloggers as a marketing tool.

  13. I have used it for the traffic…then I got addicted to it for the fun. I comment often and I ended up with a nice list of friends.

  14. I used stumbleupon for the first time on my new blog the other day. Things didn’t plan out like I had hoped though, I setup two pieces of content I thought would do quite well in terms of people viewing them and then instantly thinking “this isn’t bad” and then clicking the thumbs up. This however didn’t happen, I only spent £10 so no major problem but out of the 350ish people that Stumble brought me only 4 people gave my content a thumbs up.

    Rule number 1 of blogging, content is key and people can easy sniff out rubbish content in seconds… lessions learnt :)

    This won’t deter me though, I’ll keep trying to build on this experience in the hope of producing better content as Stumble does provide some very cheap traffic and the chance to grow it constantly.

    In terms of which site I use to find websites then StumbleUpon is heads and shoulders above the rest :)

  15. I personally find Reddit a great resource, but not for things related to blogging.

    Reddit is a very political/science driven site and it has the best comments of any social site. However, for blogging stuff StumbleUpon is the best. Hell, it’s my second biggest source of traffic behind Google.

  16. Thanks for the info. As usual I’ve learned quite a bit from your blog.

    I was wondering about digg, I thought it was a bit cliquish and now I know it isn’t just me.

    I use both digg and stumbleupon.

    I think I’ll go ahead and digg this article! **giggles**

  17. StumbledUpon looks very promising, although I was surprised at the limited number of categories they had.

  18. Yep, I like StumbleUpon, although Digg and Propeller are very good, too. In my experience, I have obtained a lot of traffic from StumbleUpon, but, on the other hand, this traffic have a low conversion rate.

  19. There’s no doubt that stumble produces a lot of traffic. I’ve never had targeted traffic come from there though … Not really …

    Although I have heard that some people do get medium to focussed traffic. Maybe it’s just me …:)

    A good thing : Stumble traffic doesn’t die off fast … it keeps coming for quite some time …

    Lex G – http://www.newmediatype.om

  20. I would have said digg 2 months ago, but out of nowhere everything from my site that is submitted vanishes after 20 diggs. Makes the site useless. Stumble has it’s moments, but I have a lot of luck with Fark.

  21. StumbleUpon rocks! I discovered a lot of wonderful sites through it.

    However, the one most irritating thing about it is that sometimes you would be presented with an irritatingly slow loading page containing Java applets.

    SU should include a feature to block users from stumbling onto Java (and probably Flash) embedded pages.

  22. I’ve found StumbleUpon to be a mixed blessing. I’ll get crazy traffic from StumbleUpon out of nowhere. Even old stories that I didn’t think were very special. It works better than Digg. I’ve never had good experience with Digg.

    I tried the targeted advertising from SU, but the random hit storms stay on the site just as long. My bounce rate is around 60% for SU. Unfortunately they don’t seem to come back until the next “big story”. I don’t seem to get many RSS subscribers from SU. I hope it’s SU and not me! :)

  23. My site is young …as of the date of this post, only a few months old… I knew nothing of stumbleupon before reading about it on problogger… didnt really think too much of it… I downloaded the tool bar, stumbled myself (my site) and the next thing I know I was featured in “old School websites” …that sent 500 visitors in 2 days… have no idea how I got a featured position or how long it will last but stumble is definitely a traffic builder… Like I said, my site is new and is still in development …I almost wasnt ready for 500 people to see what I was working on …wasn’t expecting the traffic that they sent… I now log onto stumbleupon on a daily basis… and I actually like stumbling through sites …definitely the best social bookmarker in my opinion.

  24. Darren,
    I’m not surprised that 19% who don’t use social bookmarking. Your older bloggers, like me, know how to cut and paste but are afraid we’ll stick it in the wrong place and screw everything up. I do have StumbleUpon on my Firefox tool bar and all of my friends emails but I know I’m not using it to it’s full potential. I’m also a member of Diggs and Del.icio.us but the same, I’m not using it to it’s full potential. I wish there were a book out there to help the older, a little slower, bloggers.

  25. Wow! So I’ve been missing a lot since I don’t use StumbleUpon. I read somewhere, a long time ago that Google doesn’t like traffic from SU or something, or doing active things to get stumbledupon. I really can’t remember, somebody help me out here. :D

    Anyways, it’s time to get myself an account in StumbleUpon.

  26. StumbleUpon works easier than the others. The toolbar is great, although I do find it makes my browser slightly slower.

    I only had StumbleUpon for two days before I noticed an increase in traffic.

    The Necro Files

  27. Slashdot has yet to be mentioned, amazing. They were hot stuff in 2006, sad to see they dropped the shoot.

  28. stumbleupon – It really seems to be popular. I haven t tried my hand at it yet. I was with digg for some time but I do not get much traffic from them. In fact I get more traffic from problogger than digg. I do agree with some readers who say u get traffic only if you make it to the first page. And I feel you need lot of clout and connections in digg for so many people to digg you.
    So digg does not seem to be working. Lets see how it goes with SU. Listening to the comments and poll I m quite motivated to check it out..

    will come back with feedback..

    Vineet Nair

  29. I love stumbleupon.
    A very easy and good way to attract traffic :)

  30. StumbleUpon provides the greatest return on investment by far for bloggers. Stumblers are relatively easy to target via social media (particularly Sphinn for myself), and it generates infinitely more traffic than any other social service (unless you are a power user with a massive network).

    I’m still somewhat wary of the quality of traffic, but I don’t think it’s a lot worse than other forms of social media. When you use social media I think you just have to accept that the majority of users will read a single article and then leave.

    From a users perspective, the Stumbleupon toolbar makes it more accessible than most. So it’s no surprise to me that it comes out on top.

  31. I’m REALLY new to blogging and just signed up for Stumbleupon yesterday. It appears I had a few visitors overnight from it however, does anyone know what percentage of your traffic comes from Stumbleupon? I’d be interested in seeing how to best utilize my time.

  32. guess I’ll need to take a look at stumble upon now….thanks for the post!

  33. I, too, am new to blogging and learning a whole bunch from this site. Thanks a bunch! The question I want to pose is how exactly does a blogger use stumbleupon. I won’t be stumbling on my own articles, correct. Where can I get some straight-to-the-point-tactics on how to used it for my blogging.

    Thanks again. You guys rock!

  34. I agree with the first comment, definately. StumbleUpon has simply been my best traffic referrer, among all the SBsite I use.

    Great information (as usual).

  35. I totally agree with this one..for me, Stumble Upon is one of the most popular Social Bookmarking sites. I really love how easy and efficient to use it.

  36. One of the most important elements of SU, and why it’s probably so popular amongst problogger readers, is the element of personalization. Just like the best blogs showcase a person’s individuality, SU also affords that ability.

  37. Stumbleupon has always been one of my favorites in social bookmarking.. And is one of the easiest ways to get instant traffic.
    Not always the traffic comes and leaves in a minute. If your content is matching and upto their expectation, you can get some good subscribers to your blog too :)

  38. I had originally voted for Digg because I wasn’t really familiar with the other choices. But just last week when I had some free time, I decided to try out StumbleUpon. Of course the first thing I did when I signed up was stumble various posts on my own blog O:-) But other people have stumbled my blog also and SU has been the top referrer to my blog every day for the past week; and surprising with only a 30% bounce rate according to Analytics. SU is also a good way to find new websites on topics I never knew existed. Overall StumbleUpon has been great for me! I know the poll is already closed and that I had originally voted for Digg, but StumbleUpon now gets my vote!

  39. For me, Stumbleupon generates more traffic than any other social site. But it seems to be pretty worthless traffic. I’m looking for leads, and I only seem to get those through the Google search results.

  40. A food blogging friend and I have been analyzing the traffic we get from these services. SU provides far and above more visitors than any other. I can get thousands of visitors from them in a day. The problem is the stickiness of the SU visitors. They helicopter in, then out. They don’t stick around, they don’t click on ads. My CTR on my ads go down considerably on the days I get a lot of traffic from SU. I think del.icio.us is a much better source for quality traffic, at least to my site.

  41. John Johnson says: 02/12/2008 at 8:10 pm

    I stumbled on this blog, SU is king

  42. Let them eat cake!

    If your users have voted StumbleUpon as their social bookmarking tool of choice, why doesn’t the cute StumbleIt link enjoy prominence under “Share this”, “What’s next” along with Digg & Delicious?


  43. I just started a blog, and have only advertised it through StumbleUpon. First month or so, my highest # of visitors was around 80. Today, I hit about 700, after putting several of my posts on SU. I didn’t get too many comments or anything, but the increase of traffic was amazing. I just hope they stay. ;)

  44. Stumbleupon is fun, the people are great and the traffic is amazing. The rest don’t even compare.

  45. yes stumbleupon has increased the traffic to my site incredibley, but also so has Entrecard and other web 2.0 sites like sitehoppin and powerdropping

  46. I love Stumbleupon, because the more you put into it, the more you get back. You get to discover lots of interesting sites and you become your own judge, too� It’s really a very reliable service.

  47. So far I have been receiving a lot more traffic from Digg than on StumbleUpon. Because of this I’ve focused more on posting for Digg but I’ll make sure to put some emphasis into StumbleUpon with the hope of getting some great traffic on there since other people have good results.

  48. My traffic source mostly come from stumbleupon, even i submit to digg and reedit, i did not get traffic from there :(

  49. StumbleUpon rocks! I discovered a lot of wonderful sites through it.

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