Imagine how delighted I was when I checked my Google Analytics this weekend and found that last month, most of the referring site visits to my blog came from StumbleUpon traffic. What's also surprising is that the bounce rate for the StumbleUpon traffic is fairly low, and at 13.5%, it's much lower than I expected 🙂
I was just starting to feel like I “get it” when it comes to mastering the fine art of getting StumbleUpon traffic, until I did a little more research and found that I'm not alone. As you can see in this chart from StatCounter, Web 2.0 property StumbleUpon continued to rank higher than Facebook for traffic in the U.S. so far for the month of February.
StumbleUpon traffic is the green line and Facebook is the blue one
Mr. Ben Wan also got a nice blip on his traffic radar from SU earlier this month when I submitted his post How to Resolve WordPress RSS Widgets Time out Error to be served up to the community by the infamous SU “recommendation engine” algorithm.
Here are a few of the Do's and Dont's I learned for generating StumbleUpon traffic for myself, and others.
StumbleUpon Traffic Secrets
1. Don't follow your Twitter Friends
StumbleUpon offers some convenient features for finding and following your friends from other networks and your email accounts. Contrary to what you may have heard in the past, if you're already active on Twitter and Facebook, I don't recommend doing this and here's why.
Your Twitter and Facebook friends and even your blog visitors are already visiting your blog. Your goal for using SU is to find new users and interesting content but you can't expect the “recommendation engine” to do all of the work for you. You need to circulate and find other Stumblers with mutual interest – or maybe even discover a whole new area of interest! That's what really make this platform fun and exciting.
2. If you are a blogger, DO NOT invite all of your email contacts.
Most of us bloggers have email accounts established that send blog posts to sites like Amplify, Posterous and Tumblr. If you invite all of your email contacts that means you just sent a post to your blog, inviting people to join you on StumbleUpon, whether you wanted to or not. 🙂 Well it might not be the end of the world and you're not going to compromise your credibility but for me it was an embarrassing little “boo-boo” that I wish never happened.
3. Do follow popular users.
Remember, the rules of the SU game are totally different from the ones we are so familiar with on social networks. When it comes to “influence”, the more outlandish and bizarre the better! Join Groups or visit the Top Rated section and look for users that have high numbers of favs. Accept shares from your new found friends to your toolbar (find out how to use the StumbleUpon toolbar for Google Chrome in my video).
4. Find out which one of your friends has generated your newfound StumbleUpon Traffic?
First, let me mention that you don't need to submit each and every one of your own posts to StumbleUpon and it's is not a good idea to promote your blog the same way you do on Twitter and Facebook. I'm sure you're publishing top-notch content, so you can rest assured that your regular blog visitors and your organic search engine traffic to handle your submissions. Once you see the traffic appearing in your stats, navigate to the post in question, open the SU toolbar and locate the speech bubble.
Click the bubble on the SU toolbar to see who discovered and reviewed your blog post, and in this example I find a mix of new and old friends. Now is a good time to click the Share Now button and share your post on Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn right from your toolbar.
5. Watch out, you're getting hooked!
After spending some time building up your network, pretty soon you might find a new appreciation for the SU “recommendation engine”. Remember that it's important to click the box that says “Accept Shares To My Toolbar” under the “Following” box button.
Invest a few hours each week, hitting the Stumble button on the toolbar and you'll be on your way to getting a boost from StumbleUpon traffic too!