For a while now, I have been hearing stories about how other bloggers are getting great traffic results from StumbleUpon. I admit it, though, I’m a bit late in the game to gleaning the true value of StumbleUpon. Until recently, I just saw it as another social bookmarking tool like Digg, Delicious, or Reddit. And while each of those are important to helping you in your blog distribution plan, I treated StumbleUpon as just another place to submit a bookmark to my site so I could create an inbound link.
Boy, was I wrong. StumbleUpon, in my humble opinion, is one of the best learning tools for new and experienced bloggers and if you’re not taking advantage of it, you’re missing out.
So you don’t make the same mistake I did, I put together a list of 10 ways that StumbleUpon can help you improve your blog and drive traffic:
1) It’s a social network – Just like Twitter and Facebook, you can follow other members who have interests similar to yours. As you use StumbleUpon and the SU engine learns more and more about what you like and dislike, you’ll start seeing some familiar faces when SU tells you that “so and so also likes this”. When you see these folks, follow them. Build a relationship with them. Ask them what works and doesn’t work for their blogs. Learn from like-minded people who are sharing similar experiences. Who can beat that?
2) Find articles written by other bloggers in your niche – I tell my friends, family, and colleagues over and over that the only way to get better at blogging is to read other peoples’ blogs and practice writing your own. By stumbling blog articles in your niche, SU will be able to better identify other articles and authors that might interest you. Read their content. Learn about them. Analyze what they’re doing right. Analyze what you think they’re doing wrong. Learn from them and apply that intelligence to your blog and articles.
3) Stumble your own content, but not only yours – As I understand it, the StumbleUpon engine knows when you are just being self-promotional and that’s not what SU is about. So don’t just submit your own articles and leave. If you do, you won’t see any traffic. Instead, stumble other bloggers’ content and sprinkle some of your articles in with them.
4) Analyze whether your articles are getting traffic – If they are, great. If they aren’t, ask yourself why. Are they relevant? Are they well written? Are they interesting? Do they have titles that draw readers in? All of these considerations should be taken into account and, if your articles aren’t getting any stumbles, think about why that might be. Then, find some articles in the same niche that are getting lots of stumbles. Compare the articles, determine what you could have done better. Improve.
5) Listen to the feedback that you get – If your stumblers are gracious enough to leave a comment, pay attention to it. If someone says “Great article, really enjoyed it.”, thank them for the comment, ask them if they agree or disagree, start a conversation. Learn from the conversation.
6) Find new resources – As the StumbleUpon engine learns, it’s going to send new resources your way. Write blog articles about them. Share them with your readers. Then stumble them and share your article with the StumbleUpon community. It’s a great big circle of blog content.
7) Like and dislike to enhance the results that StumbleUpon gives to you – The more you use StumbleUpon, the smarter it will get. The smarter it gets, the more targeted the results it will serve you. This should help you identify resources, bloggers, and content that is more tailored to your blogging niche. The more you interact, the more you’ll get out of SU.
There you have it. 7 simple tips to help you get more out of StumbleUpon. If you continue to learn, improve, and submit your content, you’ll start to see more and more traffic from StumbleUpon. The more traffic, the more stumbles, and the more stumbles the bigger your SU social network should get.
Have another tip on how to best use StumbleUpon? I’d love to hear it in a comment!