Tips for Stumbleupon Success

Stumbleupon.com can drive significant traffic to your website, sometimes in excess of 10,000 visitors within 24 hours. Although content remains king, there are several things you can do to increase the odds that pages on your site will become popular. The following list is not comprehensive, but maybe eventually it will be. You can help by leaving your ideas and tips as comments, so please do.

1. Use a Noteworthy Avatar
Your avatar is often the first thing another stumbler will know about you. By choosing a colorful and easily recognizable avatar you’ll be sure to catch people’s attention and stick in their mind when they come across pages you’ve stumbled. GetElastic has 99 examples of excellent avatars, which should give you a good idea of what you should be looking for when choosing yours.

2. Learn from Top Stumblers
The people on this list are considered “top stumblers” for a reason. Check out their profiles and stumbling habits, and learn from what they do.

3. Maximize your Fan Base
One great way to increase the power of your profile is to have as many fans as possible. The easiest way to get some fans is to add people as friends who a) share similar interests and b) have a lot of fans themselves. Unfortunately, Stumbleupon only allows you to add 200 friends. Once you’ve added 200 people, make sure to go back and delete the stumblers who didn’t add you back. That way, you can add more until you reach 200. Repeat this process until all 200 that you’ve added have added you back.

4. Include the Stumbleupon Button on Your Site

You may think that this is not necessary since people can just give a thumbs up in their toolbar. This is not the case. Including a prominently displayed Stumbleupon button will increase the amount of votes and reviews you get. Stumbleupon has a page of instructions which make the process of adding a button quite easy.

5. Submit Quality Posts on a Regular Basis
The key to attracting fans, and the Stumbleupon success that comes with them, is to submit as many links as possible that become popular. Why is this? When someone stumbles a page that you’ve submitted, they’ll see that you were the one who originally discovered the link. This makes them likely to check out your profile, vote on your other submissions, or become a follower. It is important that you submit from sites that are not your own, to ensure that you have a broad variety of submissions. Some good places to find quality links to stumble include Reddit, Digg and PopURLs.

6. Send Messages to Your Followers
Few people use this feature of Stumbleupon, but it is at their peril. Sending messages with links to your favorite submissions is one of the best ways to generate votes. A few words of caution, though. Don’t send more than one link per day this way. Nobody wants to feel as if they are being spammed. Always be sure to return the thumbs up favor when someone sends you a link. Let them know that you’ve done so, so they don’t feel like they are being ignored.

7. Vote, Vote, Vote… And Then Vote Some More
Just like making frequent submissions will increase the power of your profile, voting on lots of URLs will do the same. Every time you vote on a link, your avatar, screen name and a link to your profile will show up on the Stumbleupon page for that submission. This can increase your fans dramatically.

8. Choose your Title and Review Carefully
Use a descriptive title that will draw people’s attention. Don’t be overly vague or dogmatic, as that will turn people away. For your review, I’ve found that it is useful to pull a particularly compelling quote from the page you are submitting. Otherwise, a good summary of what the page is about is probably your best shot.

9. Take Advantage of Tags
You only get five tags for each submission, so make them good. The image to the right shows the most popular categories and tags, so when your submission is relevant, try to use them.

10. Choose an Appropriate Topic
Your topic is the main piece of information other stumblers will use to find your submissions. Whether they are searching the site directly or stumbling, having an appropriate and popular topic for your submission will ensure that it reaches the broadest audience possible.

11. Get listed on Stumbleupon Buzz
Perhaps the best way to generate traffic from Stumbleupon is to have your submission listed on the Stumbleupon Buzz page. Once you are listed there you should see thousands of visitors per day while your site is listed. While votes obviously count toward this, the main factor seems to be reviews. If you are asking friends or colleagues to vote for your submissions, go the extra mile and ask them for a review. You’ll be surprised at how well this works.

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2 comments so far

  1. Svetlana Gladkova on

    Excellent post, it actually summarizes everything I’ve learned over a year and a half that I’ve been using SU. I wish someone showed me such a summary at the very beginning!

  2. ImaNicePerson on

    Great post. Stumble Upon is a great source of traffic. It is also a nice place to find other interesting websites.


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