Monday, August 17, 2015

A Beginners Guide To StumbleUpon ♥

 Since writing my post on how I tripled my blog traffic in one month I've had a lot of questions and emails from fellow bloggers who are wondering just how certain websites I use for blog promotion work - namely StumbleUpon and Reddit, so I've decided to put together a little beginners guide to StumbleUpon, a website which I've been using since 2010 and one which has driven a lot of traffic to my two blogs. If used correctly StumbleUpon can be a great traffic driving tool for websites and blogs, but some people find the website difficult to navigate (I'm not going to lie, I found it hard to get my head around when they changed the layout) and hard to work out what's the best way to achieve maximum success from it, so I'm here to help. This is my step to step beginners guide to StumbleUpon and hopefully the screenshots and my explanations will help you get your head around this amazing traffic driving tool and get maximum exposure for your website or blog.

1. The Layout of StumbleUpon
The number one thing people have commented to me on is how they can't for the life of them, figure out the StumbleUpon layout, it's pretty easy once you get the hang of it. As you can see, in the top right hand corner is a link to your profile, clicking on this will bring up a tab which is where you can access your settings, saved likes, interests, lists and friends. This is also where you can sign out of your account and add a page - more to come on this below.

The thumbs up icon adds the page you have 'thumbed up' to your saved likes. Doing this means that more people will see that page and the more people that give it a thumbs up the more traffic it gets. The thumbs down icon works in the opposite way, pressing this means that StumbleUpon will show you less posts like that page.

The red Stumble button is used to find new pages and this is generally what drives traffic to pages via StumbleUpon. The more you press this button the more pages you will find from your interests. It is said that giving a thumbs up and then stumbling generates even more traffic but I don't know how true this is - it's worth a shot though!

2. Adding Your Pages To StumbleUpon
Now to the part which everybody wants to know - how do you add your page to StumbleUpon? You simply click on your profile image on the top right hand corner, then on the tab screen press 'Add a Page', this will take you to a new window where you can add in your post URL, state whether it is safe for work or not (i.e. is it family friendly), add tags and any comments you want.

Make sure that the posts you are adding have their own domain (.com, .net, etc.). StumbleUpon doesn't allow blogs or websites such as those which end in blogspot.com or wordpress.com, this is to stop the site being spammed.

Above is an example of what I include for my posts. I never write a comment and it has never had any negative effect on my additions. I try to include at least three tags and a relative category or 'interest' for my post. The particular post above was about tips for taking photographs of your children so I of course added it to the Photography interest. If your post covers makeup or beauty I would simply choose the 'Beauty' interest. Travel, Interior Design, Photography and Beauty have been my best performing interests. Sadly, parenting doesn't give me many hits but I used the 'Babies' interest recently and I did get hits from that. It can be hit (pardon the pun) or miss with the interests but it doesn't take long to see which ones give you traffic or not.

3. Seeing Your Saved Likes and How Well Your Pages Are Performing
If you click on 'My Likes', as shown in the tabs screenshot above, you can access your StumbleDNA, this shows how many posts of a certain interest you have liked. You can also see how many likes in total you have saved, how many comments you have made, how many people follow you and who you follow and screenshots with links to all the pages you have liked and saved.

Underneath the screenshots and links you can see just how many hits your likes have gained from StumbleUpon. As you can see, two of my posts from Fawns & Fables have gotten hits, one has 63 and one has 50. If you click on the number of views it will take you to another page where you can see just how many people gave your post a thumbs up and you can also follow those people from here too.

From my experience, not everyone who has liked your page will show up here. I don't follow people on StumbleUpon, I don't really see the point and once again it hasn't had any negative effect on my pages but if you do wish to follow people simply click the 'follow' button under their picture. You can access this on posts by clicking on the post views number as shown above.

4. Stumbling Your Own Page
Above is how your own blog or website page will look when you stumble it. It will have the StumbleUpon toolbar on top for navigation to and from the site. To stumble your own page simply go to 'My Likes' on the tab screen accessed from your profile image, click on the post you submitted to StumbleUpon, this will take you to the page on your blog or website via StumbleUpon. You cannot give your own page a thumbs up as this automatically happens when you add a page to StumbleUpon, by doing this you are, of course, liking it and recommending it to other users. Remember to press the red 'Stumble' button after this too to take you to another page and generate more traffic. It is recommend that for every page you submit to StumbleUpon that you stumble ten more, so get clicking that thumbs up or down icon on pages you either like or don't want to recommend to others.

5. Remember What StumbleUpon Is About
I'll make it very clear that I would only recommend you add pages to StumbleUpon that you think people will be interested in reading, after all, the site is for, in my opinion anyway, things that are out of the ordinary, touch a cord with people or that will make you go "wow" - hence why photography is such a popular category on there. I would only add pages that have good photography - a blurry or poor quality image is never going to make anyone interested (same with Pinterest). I'd also make sure that your blog has a clear and uncluttered look to it as it just makes it easier for people who are stumbling to read posts. I don't submit personal posts about my family to StumbleUpon because the audience there won't be interested in that, I do however submit my photography posts, personal posts about parenting issues that other users may resonate with, beauty reviews but only on products that are unique or look great, my travel posts as there are travel readers on there and my interiors posts because the image mood boards always grab people's attention.

Following the above points should help you to generate traffic to your site but remember, like with all these social sharing sites, content is king, you want to engage those who are stumbling. The interests can be hit or miss and can generate little or no traffic if you get it wrong but for a two second submission I think it's worth a punt, don't you?

StumbleUpon is the biggest traffic source on my photography, travel and inspiration blog Fawns & Fables and has sent 210 views to this blog already today - it does work, if you get the formula right.


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18 comments

  1. Great explanation Fiona - now it makes more sense!

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    1. Thank you for reading Mary, so glad to be of help!

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  2. Really useful. Following you....

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    1. Thank you for reading Tori, I followed you back on Twitter.

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  3. Great article, well explained. Thanks for sharing.
    I'm at http://polkadotsandcurry.com/2015/08/17/shopping-fast-lessons-learnt/

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  4. This is so helpful Fiona! Thank you! I heard someone mention that StumbleUpon is laying off people. I hope it's not going to disappear right when I get into it! But thank you SO much for this information. Here's hoping I can learn how to work it for my blog :-)

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    1. You're welcome Katie, thank you for reading. I heard that too put it's a very popular website so I don't think they'll shut it down. Good luck with it :)

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  5. This looks like a great website and i'm definately going to sign up now!!

    Thank you, Em www.emilyy.co.uk

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    1. Do give it a go Emily, it's fab!

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  6. I'm not a blogger but recently created a StumbleUpon account. I was really confused just as a reader. This helped me quite a bit. Thank-you!

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    1. Glad to be of help Natalie, thank you for reading!

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  7. I saw this tutorial & thought it was to answer to my prayers but my stumbleupon is the new version so I still can't figure it out! :(

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    1. Oh no Toni! Sorry about that. I'll have to update when and if mine updates too.

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  8. Well done. Thanks so much for this, now I definitely have no excuse. What a helpful post.

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  9. I love SU for my blog traffic too, but for me it's definitely about the photography ones - the one photo posts do brilliantly. While as you say, parenting ones take a while to get moving. I do find though that because people are generally just looking and moving on, my bounce rate has gone right up, so something to bear in mind - it's hard to get people to click into the blog to read more.

    Good explanation for those who struggle (and I rarely add my posts any more - it used to do the add a page automatically if you liked, but now it doesn't. So I generally just like/stumble it instead. Might need to remember to add the page in future - wonder if that impacts it?!

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  10. Thanks so much for this Fi! I'm brand new to stumblel upon & am still figuring it all out. Your tips are very helpful! x

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  11. Thank you for the info about how Stumbleupon works. Very helpful.

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Thank you for reading my blog and taking the time to comment. I appreciate all your comments and try to reply whenever I can.

Peace & love,
Fiona
xo

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