It's probably been a while since you've heard anything about StumbleUpon. But why? StumbleUpon's community is still as active and engaged as they've always been, and they are a great source of traffic.

StumbleUpon is like a litmus test for quality content. If you've got a great collection of content, they can spend a significant amount of time going from page to page, checking it all out. But if your content sucks, they're out of there faster than you can say "stumble."

StumbleUpon has been around for a long time and instead of changing at a rapid pace like Facebook does, it has stuck to what works. This is why StumbleUpon is the quiet giant of all the social media networks. It might not seem like it at first but StumbleUpon could be the best thing to happen to your website, business, or blog.

It's not as simple as sharing each and every post on StumbleUpon, or even sharing everything you like through the service. You've got to work at it and you've got to be smart about it. There are strategies to build up a great network on StumbleUpon. It's through careful planning and strategic steps that you'll become big on StumbleUpon and make the most out of the network.

Carefully Build Your Network of Relevant Followers

Considering that StumbleUpon only allows you to follow 200 people, you need to be smart about who you follow. For instance, if you're looking to drive traffic to your technology site, you should be following other users that have an interest in technology. What you shouldn't be doing is adding all the friends you knew in college or following celebrities or anything like that. Also, you need to be sure that everyone you bother following follows you back; those 200 slots may seem like plenty, but they are precious.

When building up your network of Stumblers, you should be going after the big fish. Following a handful of small Stumblers is nowhere near as good as two or three very active and powerful Stumblers. The more popular - and more relevant to your brand - the Stumbler is, the better.

How do you find a good person to follow? Look for people with a large number of followers themselves, who have used StumbleUpon recently and consistently. The interest pages are a good place to start. For example, if you're in the Mustang parts industry, you'd want to look at who is following the interest pages for cars.

The interest page for "cars" on StumbleUpon.

The interest page for "cars" on StumbleUpon.

Stay away from spammers, but stay polite. You need to learn when to say no to friend requests that are obviously spam but you need to remember that making enemies will hurt your reputation. Keep things on track by all means, just don't do so at the expense of upsetting others.

Quality is Everything

It doesn't matter how quickly you can adapt to StumbleUpon, or how clever you in what you Stumble and who you follow if you don't have quality content. If you're Stumbling your own content for the sake of it, then you're doing it wrong. You should strive to make your content on your blog, website or business the best it can be before you even think of Stumbling it. If your content is good, it should blend effortlessly with the other stuff you Stumble, not stick out like a sore thumb.

For instance, if you're holding a sale on your online store, it had better be a good one if you're looking to share it on StumbleUpon. With a site as popular as StumbleUpon, there's already enough content out there, and not all of it is very good. Adding it to people's "no" pile is not the way to go. If you feel the content is lacking, then don't Stumble it this time around.

It's All About What You Share

Depending on what sort of website it is that you're running, you'll need to think a little differently about the sorts of things you share. If you're looking to use StumbleUpon to drive sales in your online store, you need to very careful about what you Stumble. You shouldn't ever Stumble the front-page of your site; that's a big turn-off to most Stumblers. If you're looking to get your eCommerce site Stumble-able, you should Stumble certain products that have a strong resonance with a particular group, among all the other relevant posts you Stumble from around the web.

If you're looking to get your news site or technology blog big on StumbleUpon, you should concentrate on sharing the best content you have to offer. StumbleUpon can be a great way to drive huge amounts of traffic to your blog, which may be all you need to make money off of advertising.

When Stumbling, there's a fine line between sharing too much and not enough. Finding that balance is important and it could be the difference between your becoming a spammer or an influencer on the network.

Your Posts Need to Be Great to Be Popular on StumbleUpon

Depending on what sort of site it is you're running, not all of your content will become popular on the site. After all, StumbleUpon is more about celebrating the entirety of the web, not just your little corner. Generic posts that are everywhere on the Internet don't do well on StumbleUpon, in fact they might not gain any traction at all. It's best to think about what others will be looking for when they Stumble across one of your posts. There are some questions you should ask yourself about your content before you share it on StumbleUpon:

  • Is it at all interesting?
  • Would you, yourself, Stumble this if you found it?
  • Has this kind of content proven to do well on StumbleUpon?
  • Have you been sharing too much of your own stuff lately?
  • Can the content be easily re-shared?

If you ask yourself the above questions before you Stumble something, you should soon get the hang of StumbleUpon. Being able to carefully judge which content will do well is what helps you become popular on StumbleUpon. Following the above advice should help you create a popular portal for your brand, website or business on StumbleUpon. It won't happen overnight though, so you'll have to be patient and keep at it.