The value of StumbleUpon
Essentially the Bruce Clay Australia blog was started on the 1st of April (I do love the irony of starting a blog on April fool’s day). Since then I have not only been the main contributor of the blog but have also been tasked with content syndication goals for the blog to increase the profile and publicity of the blog. I have experimented with RSS content syndication engines as well as the usual social bookmarking sites ( Digg, Sphinn, reddit etc) but by far the best referral in terms of sheer numbers, low bounce rate and average time on site is StumbleUpon.
Photo by topgold via Creative Commons
StumbleUpon is a social website which allows its users a new way to experience the Internet. Users list their preferences and likes and are randomly directed to a site/ blog post that is tagged with and matches those interests, think of it like the Pandora music player but for content. It was originally sold to eBay for $75,000,000 (that’s 75 million if I got my zeroes right) and recently it was sold back to the original developers. StumbleUpon has more than 8,453,000 members as of October 11, 2009. It even has a nifty StumbleUpon Toolbar which makes it easy to rate selected articles and submit new articles for review by the StumbleUpon readers. One of the great things about StumbleUpon is that their algorithm is pretty good at choosing fun and interesting articles that match your tastes and deliver them seamlessly to you.
To put this in perspective during the month of September, StumbleUpon sent 5 times as much traffic to the Bruce Clay Australia blog as the next best referral site. Granted the time on site was slightly less that the site average but it is a great result regardless. A great piece of advice on a guest post from Problogger states that “write posts for your target market, not for the many” and I think this is really sage guidance. StumbleUpon has also driven traffic from places in the world where I’m pretty sure nobody had ever heard of Bruce Clay Australia (Isle of Man for example)
Now it’s all good and well that you know StumbleUpon can generate lots of traffic from a wide variety of sources for your site/blog, but how can you write articles that effectively garner new traffic? Well, I now present Marc’s Super StumbleUpon Submissions Secrets (try saying that a few times over):
• Make an eye catching headline– this will entice readers to read the article (this is true for all social media bookmark sites but seems to be particularly so for StumbleUpon.
• Dont let you blog/site look like a barcode-Spice it up a little, most of us are visual beings, throw in a cool image or two, research has proven that our eyes are attracted to images immediately and words secondary.
• Vote and Stumble often-the more you vote and Stumble other posts or article the higher value your Stumbles will become.
• Use Relevant tags-Don’t forget to tag your article with the correct and relevant tag, or it will never find the target market you are after.
• Suggest new sites– dont just Stumble the same site all the time, if you have found a new site that knocks your socks off, Stumble that too. StumbleUpon seems to give more weight to users who consistently Stumble new sites.
I would recommend submitting a series of articles to a number of social bookmarking to find out what works best for your genre or niche. When I did this, I found for the Bruce Clay Australia Blog that StumbleUpon was the best resource and shall now leave the Digging and Sphinning to my peers.
Happy Stumbling everyone.