Over the last two months, I’ve generated tens of thousands of visits to my personal web properties from StumbleUpon. Compared to other social bookmarking sites such as Digg, Sphinn, and Mixx, I’d say that StumbleUpon users are more likely to like tools, utilities, and pictures, rather than just good content, breaking stories, and the latest on what Kevin Rose is doing, so for me and my sites, it was worth my time to be very active on StumbleUpon. Let me also take a step back and say that all of the pages that I have stumbled are in no way spammy, and in my opinion, these pages offer a cool, value add to the user, which means that they have a big opportunity to take off virally in the first place.
Download the Toolbar
Downloading the StumbleUpon toolbar is crucial for understanding how StumbleUpon works. Its lets you understand how people get to your site in the first place when using StumbleUpon, and helps you understand why they will often stay on your site for less than a second. More importantly, with the toolbar installed, you can submit new, important content in less than 30 seconds, which in turn will give your stumbleupon profile a higher quality score. More on this in the next couple of tips.
Don’t Friend Random People Just to Friend Them
StumbleUpon has a friend limit of 200 people, so if you friend random people with very little in common with you, chances are, they won’t friend you back, and when you find someone who has more in common with you in the future, you’ll have to go back and remove these friends. Also on this note, in my experience, a one-way stumbleupon friendship is not very valuable for you. The biggest value add in friending someone is in hoping that they will friend you back, in which case, your profile’s quality score will go up.
Be the First to Stumble Good Content
For example, if you submit a breaking story, and 20 people review it and then give it a thumbs up, your quality score will go up. Also, diversifying your submissions across different domains will increase your quality score, and make it less likely that your account will be terminated for submitting only content from one site.
Stumble Profile Pages of People You Like
I mostly do this so that those people see that I gave them a thumbs up, and then they will either friend me or give me a thumbs up. Also, Stumbleupon users will sometimes stumble the tag ‘stumblers’ to find new friends. If you give someone’s profile a thumbs up, you will be helping them get more friends.
Don’t only Stumble Content from One Domain
Your account could be terminated
Friend People Who Have Submitted Content that You Like
If someone submits a site, chances are, they are an active user, and will take notice if you friend them. Also, these types of users tend to have higher quality scores, which means your friendship will have a greater increase on your profile’s quality score.
Get Your Friends to Review Your Page
A thumbs up is good, a review of your page is VERY good. Anyone can review a page that they already ‘liked’ by going to the ‘pages liked’ tab in their profile then clicking on ‘reviews.’
Give Negative Reviews of Bad Pages
Obviously, be careful not to piss off a powerful stumbler, but there are plenty of pages that you can give bad reviews of. To air on the safe side, when giving a bad review, be very descriptive when speaking towards why you don’t like the site. For example, check out my negative review of TripAdvisor.com.
Discover Some Cool Photos and Tag Them with ‘cool’ and ‘photos’
Stumblers love random cool stuff. A cool photo on flickr can be just that. Discover a cool one, and you could suddenly have many friends.
Those are some of the bigger things you can do to get more traffic to your sites with StumbleUpon. If you have any thoughts or questions, feel free to shoot me a message on StumbleUpon. And, of course, feel free to give my profile a thumbs up :)
Finally, for your reference, here are a few pages of mine that have been the most popular with StumbleUpon users: