StumbleUpon is a web sharing tool that allows users to “thumb up” sites/videos/photos they find useful or just all around awesome and then share it with the millions of other “stumblers.” By “going stumbling” (definition and screenshot below) you can discover some enjoyable articles you might not have found otherwise. And when you share useful articles with others you are making the stumbling experince richer for other stumblers.
I am going to take you step by step through StumbleUpon – from setting up an account to getting more hits on your blog posts and even share tips on which posts do better on StumbleUpon than others. Please ask questions in the comments and I will answer them!
My friend Heather has a wonderful StumbleUpon tutorial on her Calgary mom blog so go over and check that out too.
1. Create an account. Logging in with facebook means you can share your finds on your facebook wall, but that option can also be turned off.
2. Then set up your interests. This is the fun part. You are choosing what kind of sites/articles will show up every time you click the “Stumble” button on your toolbar. You can always go back into your profile and change your interests. When you pick the most popular topics, you are more likely to get more stumbled articles, which means they will also be higher quality/more likely to be interesting to you.
Then you can start stumbling!
3. Install the toolbar – Wait! Install the toolbar first. I don’t have a photo for this step because my toolbar is already installed. The link I gave you though is for Google Chrome browsers. So if you have chrome, click that link and begin downloading. Since most people have Firefox, I will use screenshots of the FireFox toolbar in my next instructions.
4. Stumble! Now you can stumble! Click the Stumble button on your toolbar. This will load a random page that StumbleUpon pulls from their files based on the interests you gave them at the beginning. If you like the page/article it brings up, click “I like it!” If, however, it is a site you find disgusting, click thumbs down. You can change your interests or stumble only one interest (like photography) by clicking the “All” button next to Stumble and changing your preferences there.
If you are hoping to gain traffic on your blog posts from StumbleUpon, you must go “stumbling” and thumb up (or “stumble”) a bunch of sites/articles that are not your own in addition to stumbling your own posts. If you only submit your own posts, SU will think you are spam. But you can certainly stumble your own posts in addition to others!
Also, protect yourself while stumbling. My friend wrote a great post about 2 viruses she caught while stumbling and how she now protects her computer.
5. Always use toolbar or use buttons on blog posts. You don’t always have to use the toolbar, you can use the stumble buttons that are at the end of blog posts. It makes no difference – all roads lead to the same end here – StumbleUpon!
6. When you stumble something for the first time or want to write a review – here is how you do. Usually, if you thumb up something that has been stumbled before, you will just hit the “I like it” button, it will turn green and you can move on. But if you stumble a post for the first time, you will see a screen like the one below. Just follow the directions and it will be submitted to StumblUpon, easy!
7. Writing reviews helps! If you find a site that is really cool – like a mouthwatering recipe for cherry tart – then you can add a comment or review of the site. This helps other stumblers as they browse. Reviews also help with keywords. If you write a review, make sure the keywords you use are things people will search for.
If you want to write a review on a site that has been stumbled before, click the “quote bubble icon” in the google chrome browser toolbar or the “info” button in the Firefox toolbar. Then you will see this window:
I prefer the chrome version (above). It seems so much clearer and easier to use than my FireFox version. I can “x” out (or minimize) the toolbar at any time and just click the SU icon on the right and see it again whenever I want!
8. What you will see when you log in. You will see your favorites, how many views they currently have had, who your followers are and access to your inbox. On StumbleUpon you have the option of sending pages to other followers. Whether that is a good idea or seen as spam is a topic for another post.
9. Followers – the benefit of following people. When you follow someone you can choose to have their “stumbles” or interests shared with you when you stumble. This is really a good idea because then people usually reciprocate and your stumbles (with your posts in there) will be shared with them when they go stumbling!
10. The posts that get the most hits on StumbleUpon: Keep in mind, when you submit a post to stumbleupon, it is in their database forever. So only submit articles/videos/photos that are timeless. Giveaways, sale notifications, and news that will be old tomorrow are not good for stumbleupon. If it is something you would enjoy 2 months from now, stumble it!
Food, craft how-tos, amazing photographs – all do fantastic on StumbleUpon. As people Stumble they like things that grab their eyes and make them go “wow! I like that a lot” and click that thumb up.
There you have it! It is a wonderful tool. Stumbleupon can bring a bunch of traffic to your blog post and it can be a really fun way to pass a few minutes throughout the day.
Want to learn more? I wrote an eBook full of information like this and more – including FAQ’s about stumbling your own content, how to read the dashboard and best time of day to stumble. Click the banner above for more information – books are $12 each! And you can sign up to be an affiliate and earn 50% commission for every book you sell.