I know what you're thinking - people still use StumbleUpon? That's what I was thinking too. So I blew the dust off my old account as I tried - and failed - to login. One password reset later, and here I am, looking at the forgotten Stumbles of my past. The last time I used StumbleUpon to seed client content was 2011....
As I browse through the links I added so long ago, I can see why I abandoned it as a tactic. While some of my earliest submissions from 2010 saw likes in the hundreds and thousands, most of my more recent submissions received absolutely zero likes from other Stumblers.
What was I doing wrong? Why did StumbleUpon completely fall off my radar when it comes to social bookmarking strategies? In this blog post, I'll explore how the platform can be used effectively to get more eyes in front of your content.
StumbleUpon Is Still Going Strong
As I began my research, I was skeptical. Who could possibly still be on StumbleUpon? To me, SU was like Pinterest before Pinterest existed - simply a place to organize and collect links that you like. My Stumbles featured recipes for pumpkin cinnamon rolls, funky nail polish designs and work outfit ideas. Today, as I browse around the platform, I see a lot of similarities to Pinterest in terms of the types of articles, cute cat photos, videos and recipes I come across. So how is this site still popular when there are other social bookmarking sites out there? Up to date statistics on StumbleUpon usage are hard to find, but here are a few interesting facts I was able to uncover:
- Over 30 million people are active on StumbleUpon on a monthly basis 
- The average Stumble session for women is 30 minutes, 22 minutes for men 
- 15% of B2B marketers use StumbleUpon to distribute their content 
Initially, StumbleUpon was often used by SEOs as a way to build links. Today, "link building" can be a dangerous SEO practice, but StumbleUpon can still be part of a strategy to build links to your website.
For example, regularly submitting your blog posts to SU is an indirect way of building links. While posting your content on social media sites does not have the same ranking impact as links, promoting your content and driving more exposure means more users will notice it and could potentially start linking to it.
While back in 2011, SU was the 2nd biggest driver of social traffic, this figure has now dropped considerably.
By the end of 2014, StumbleUpon drove 0.50% of all traffic coming from social sources; a bit behind Twitter but way ahead of Reddit, the Internet's front page.
There is still a lot of opportunity for businesses and publishers to get views on their content if they submit the right types of content. When a piece of content goes viral on StumbleUpon, businesses often benefit from a burst of additional traffic to their website. Though traffic may only be driven to your website in the short term, exposing so many new users to your brand in such a short period of time can have long-term impact.
What Kind Of Content Works?
It's all about the content. Users come to SU to discover new websites, articles and other types of content. In order to introduce your content to a new audience, you need to ensure that you're adding the best possible content.
You'll likely find that the most popular types of content on the platform include videos, infographics, list-type articles or tutorials. To figure out what kind of content works best for you, start by browsing what's already on StumbleUpon in relation to your industry or niche.
Remember that it's the quality of your content that is most important. A poorly-written blog post or simply submitting a random page from your website just won't cut it. In order to drive traffic, you should only submit your best, most interesting content that will entertain or educate your audience. Take a hard look at each content piece you're thinking of Stumbling and ask yourself: "Would I share this?" before you hit the submit button.
How To Submit Your Content
With every link you submit, take the time to craft an attention-grabbing headline and tag your submission with relevant keywords to make it easy to find in searches. Always make sure the webpage you submit features an image that can be pulled into the SU platform to attract viewers.
Be strategic about when you submit a piece of content to SU. Don't add everything at once, or you could risk looking too self-promotional and spammy. Instead, submit your pieces gradually as you curate other content as well. Keeping up an active profile and Stumbling great articles and websites that aren't affiliated with you can help your business be viewed as a great resource for interesting and valuable content. You may want to integrate a StumbleUpon badge into every page of your website to increase the chances that viewers will submit your content on your behalf, without ever leaving your website.
- How to Get Big on StumbleUpon
- A Match Made in Heaven: How StumbleUpon can Drive Web Traffic
- How To Really Be Less Reliant On Google Search Traffic