StumbleUpon has the ability to drive steady amounts of traffic consistently, not just in one big spike. If you’re attempting to build your audience or find your tribe, StumbleUpon is a great way to get noticed. You can submit and vote on your own site or articles occasionally, but if that’s all that you ever do, and you never submit other sites, your account will probably get yanked for being a StumbleSpammer.
Stumble can be a key traffic driver for many blogs and websites, but the Stumbles that matter the most are those that come from a diverse group. If you and 10 friends all Stumbled only each other’s stuff, sooner or later, you’ll stop seeing any traffic from Stumble.
The key point here is that social media is social. If you are only pushing your agenda, or simply broadcasting your message instead of having a conversation, then you aren’t going to get very far with other people. If you are sharing interesting links, adding value, and making connections with people, then you’ll find that others will submit your content without having to beg for ‘thumbs-up’ for yours.
StumbleUpon is also great for finding topics that people want to read about, or to see what types of articles draw the most attention. If you’re starting a blog, search Stumble for your niche, read what’s written on other blogs, and then write your article with links to posts you’ve found that expand upon or give background on your topic.
StumbleUpon is the Gateway for Social Media
Once you start using Stumble to discover sites and blog posts, it’s quite addictive. And when an article or site of yours gets Stumbled and you see the effect it has on your traffic, you’ll see the value of crafting interesting, informative posts.
StumbleUpon is much more democratic than digg or Reddit, in that ‘power users’ have less influence there, and news articles tend to take a back seat to ‘evergreen’ articles. Commenters and reviewers are generally more positive and less snarky, because people are Stumbling topics that they are already interested in, not usually topics that are controversial.
Stumble and Twitter go hand-in-hand for me. When I come across a great article, I give it the thumbs up and send out a Tweet to let others know about it. If I want to share something directly with my network, I can also send it via the toolbar. Sharing too many links of your own with the toolbar might get you unfriended in a hurry, so use it sparingly (not multiple times every day).
I hope you’ve got the basics now, and if you’d like a hand getting started, I’m here: d-man413. Feel free to add me, and look through my list for other cool Stumblers to add as friends.
Image courtesy of Burning Image
Derek Markham is a freelance writer covering environmental topics, and can be found at Twilight Earth, Green Options, and Natural Papa. When not writing, he spends way too much time on digg, Twitter and StumbleUpon.