Maximizing StumbleUpon For Your Content Sharing Strategy

Maximizing StumbleUpon For Your Content Sharing Strategy

By: Guest
January 20, 2012

how to maximize stumbleuponStumbleUpon is a powerful site for maximizing your content sharing strategy. And it can be the missing tool to crank your social media to the next level.

But before StumbleUpon can start paying off for you in spades when it comes to content marketing, you need to learn a few tips and tricks to get started. Why bother? That’s simple: StumbleUpon will increase your web traffic (and that’s content marketing) and it will also boost the life cycle of your content.

StumbleUpon is a fun social networking site, but it’s also a powerful social bookmarking tool.  Rule #1 is to be professional and make it easy for you to be found. Be sure you complete your profile with a complete bio and an avatar, and be sure and use a name that coordinates with your presence on social networks so people can find you. Using your real name for all your profiles creates a consistent presence for you and that’s just about always what we recommend.

A Secret to StumbleUpon Success: Be Social

Once your profile is complete, find a few friends. Don’t immediately add all your Facebook or Twitter friends, which is a common SU newbie mistake. You can only follow a certain number of people on Stumble and if you’re going to leverage the power that StumbleUpon brings, you need to have some savvy friends in this group to help propel your content. How to find them? Look for some Stumblers with lots of likes and views on their Stumbles. Also, as with any social networking site, don’t be afraid to ask for advice on Stumbling from these more experienced folks. Do a lot of paying it forward and earning your chops by sharing their content and liking their Stumbles. That strategy will pay off for you over time. As always, being an active part of any community is the key to success!

Pick Your Interests Wisely

StumbleUpon is a discovery engine. It helps you find things that you might be interested in, based on things you routinely “like” and share. This is kind of neat, so pick a topic you’re interested in and give it a Stumble. This can be a great way to research for blog posts or other content you might be interested in creating. You can Stumble all your interests or just pick one from the handy drop down menu.

Maximize StumbleUpon

To make Stumbling easy, add the free StumbleUpon toolbar for Chrome. Using the toolbar, you can:

  • Stumble one or more of your topics.
  • Give a page the thumbs up.
  • Look for “more” pages like the one you are currently on.
  • Share via Facebook, LinkedIn & Twitter.
  • Share via email or to other Stumbles using a drop-down menu. When you share to other Stumblers, this creates a notification for your friend that you have shared something and would like a thumbs up on it.

  • You can change the toolbar to explore all your interests or narrow it down to one interest.
  • The text bubble lets you know if others have commented on this post.
  • It lists how many favorites you have.
  • Clicking the house icon up in the right corner will take you to the StumbleUpon homepage.
  • The “X” next to it in the corner will close the toolbar.

Cool. Now, What Can You Do With StumbleUpon?

While it’s fun to just browse, StumbleUpon can also be very helpful for finding relevant content to share across your other social media platforms and/or, as mentioned before, a great place to do research for blog post topics and/or relevant links to include in something you’re writing. This is where picking your interests helps you to find what you want to share with your followers. StumbleUpon is a HUGE resource that you can tap into for better content, more focused sharing and a place you can also just have fun!

How Do I Post a Link From My Blog on StumbleUpon?

The easiest way to Stumble a post you’ve written or something you’ve read is to use the StumbleUpon Chrome toolbar and from there, *like* any page with the thumbs up icon. If you like something that has already been added to StumbleUpon, the thumb will change from blue to green. If you are adding a new item to StumbleUpon (like a newly published blog post), you’ll see this:

On this pop up, you will want to add the link, complete all the information, tag it (SEO always matters) and write a comment. It says optional; however, this is a review for the page and adds more weight to your Stumble. Always add a review — it doesn’t have to be long, but be sure and make it interesting and fun. Lastly, don’t be egocentric. Don’t just exclusively Stumble your own blog content or the content from a client’s site. StumbleUpon likes variety, so take some time and share a variety of interesting content–that will help you reap the most benefit. The same could really be true of just about any social network and considered a best practice for sharing content, so keep that in mind.

Why You Should Get Serious About StumbleUpon

According to StatCounter, in the past 3 months 46.98% of all referral traffic was generated by StumbleUpon, with Facebook at 37.56%. Those are some serious numbers and they continue to increase. In a 12-month period, Facebook was in the lead from a traffic generation standpoint, with 46.97% — StumbleUpon was nipping at Facebook’s heels with a solid 40.10%, as shown in StatCounter’s graph (below).

Bottom line — you want your content to be seen by people? Of course you do — get it on StumbleUpon!

Another Advantage? StumbleUpon Increases Your Content’s Shelf Life

How long does your content stay fresh when you share it? Not long!

Per a recent infographic from the StumbleUpon blog, “after 24 hours a popular shared link will typically get:”

  • 0% more retweets on Twitter
  • 5% more likes on Facebook
  • 83% more Stumbles!

Clearly, StumbleUpon is proving that it isn’t just a lightweight, random diversion in a sea of online tools. Serious bloggers are here sharing their content and you should be, too!

A Few Notes

Take it from me and don’t Stumble crap! People will give it a thumbs down and there goes your StumbleUpon street cred.

One glitch with StumbleUpon is that sometimes the views will be pretty high and the next time you go back they are down to one again. They are aware of this problem and hopefully will get it fixed soon.

To ensure that you are getting Stumbles on your blog, make sure that you have StumbleUpon on your blog or site’s share bar and list your StumbleUpon link wherever possible.

Now that you’ve received a crash course in StumbleUpon,  you have no excuses–get out there and start Stumbling! And if you’re already a fan of StumbleUpon, I’d love to hear how–and why–you use it!


Peg FitzpatrickPeg Fitzpatrick is a positive vibe producer, social media butterfly and all around happy person! She is Director of Marketing and Social Media Manager for Kreussler Inc., where she directs online brand management and lead generation via Twitter and Facebook. Creating a fully integrated program, Peg blends traditional marketing and advertising with new media. Peg is the Brand Sparker with re:DESIGN You, which focuses on branding and Social Media services, helping brands & individuals create a unique and special message to get noticed. She’s also proud to be Managing Partner and writer at, and she created the very successful #MyBookClub, hosting such well-known guests as Guy Kawasaki, Dave Kerpen and Olivier Blanchard. She has also begun speaking at events such as the #140 Conference and is honored on several of the “best of” online and blogging lists. She is thrilled to be on the Alltop Twitterati and Pluserati lists! Please follow Peg on Twitter, circle her on Google +visit #MyBookClub and stop by her blog.

  • I just haven’t seen any traction on StumbleUpon, and I’ve busted my ass off! I’m going to use this Peg and see if it changes my tune! Thanks for the SU help!

  • @kjellfish

    Thanks Peg and Shelly. I’ll give it a try for my #12in12 for February.

    Happy Friday.

  • Thanks so much for this post! After reading it, I realized that I was using SU correctly, and I didn’t even know it. I was lost, but now, I’m found. Haha. Thank you, Peg!

  • Great guest post. I discounted StumbleUpon for years, then I realized there were a few critical components for getting a Stumbled page to convert.  A few: 1- Really clear call to action *within* and especially toward the end of a blog post. 2- Really targeted content, and 3- a light, fast loading page with engrossing content. 

    To discover the secret to getting subscribers and returning traffic from StumbleUpon, I had to really think about how I surfed SU. After that it became clear. On the majority of pages, I Stumble without voting. Average, lengthy, or even pretty good content isn’t enough. 

    A great image has to stop me. A headline has to grab me and be targeted to what I want to read. There’s more thought than what goes into getting traffic from FB. But it’s worth it.

  • I really appreciate this information, Peg!  And thank you, Shelly for hosting this! SM really intimidates me and I love it when people explain thing in easy, clear words.  I am not stupid, but there is so much information out there…so many people telling you what you MUST do, that is is overwhelming!  I have come to a point that I have let it all go and trust that the universe will have me “stumble upon” the information I’ll need 🙂  

  • Useful information, and certainly StumbleUpon can provide a solid traffic boost to your site. You correctly point out that, like all social media, it’s important to contribute and engage rather than merely broadcast (providing reviews of other sites, making sure not to simply post your own content).

    The biggest weakness with StumbleUpon is that while it can provide large traffic spikes, a lot of that traffic is very poor value. You’ll likely notice a massive increase in bounce rate if a page becomes popular on the service, and a big drop in average time spent on site. That’s because the nature of StumbleUpon means that people are clicking through lots of sites very quickly.

    Obviously you can work to address this, by making sure your pages are instantly engaging and provide a strong call to action. Large increases in traffic with a high bounce rate can still mean a higher absolute number of people engaging with your content, but you definitely need to accept that other metrics outside of visitor numbers can be negatively impacted.

  • Ok, question oh mighty Stumbled Upon guru…when I just shared a stumbled upon post, I got comments that they couldn’t not “share” it with others.  No way around this?  Seems like it keeps the link from moving forward.

  • Anonymous

    I agree with you, Robin, and have experienced that traffic spike/high bounce rate with SU. As such, I always caution clients that it’s something to be considered, but isn’t always the best indicator of “good” or “sticky” traffic. That said, using SU as part of your other social bookmarking/networking is a great way to get your blog post seen or discovered by others who might not have otherwise seen it.

    We watch SU traffic very closely around here – for just those reasons!

    You are the best blog commenter ever, by the way. You need a prize!

  • Anonymous

    LOL. There is a ton of information out there and sometimes it’s hard to process it all, figure out where to invest your time, energies, etc. You might especially like playing with SU … it’s really a great place to find a lot of interesting content, people, ideas, etc. But be prepared, it can suck you in :))) Doggone those Interwebzzzzzzz.

  • Anonymous

    Isn’t it funny how that works, Tinu? Great content, imagery and an attention grabbing headline. Oh wait, that’s true just about anywhere :))

    I think SU is its own animal. Valuable to a certain extent, but only one part of our overall content distribution strategy. That’s partly why I wanted Peg to write about it – so that we could collectively learn more about using SU and some best practices.

    Love your thoughts here – and you’re absolutely spot on!

  • Anonymous


  • Anonymous

    Excellent! Happy Friday to you, too!

  • Anonymous

    Hi Lina, 
    How did you stumble the post? And how could others not share it? 
    More deets please.

  • Excellent. I’m just getting the hang of it. I’ve been using it for content for awhile but just learning about the social aspect. Think I’ll favorite this on Stumble 🙂 Thanks!

  • Before starting to read your article i had never heard about SU. Then i’ve start to use it and now  i would like to say : Thank you !

  • Ah Heather – you are the Queen on StumbleUpon with your magic post! If only you could harness that magic with each try. 

    I hope that this was helpful — I have learned a lot but feel like I am just scratching the surface as well.

  • Wow! That makes me really happy Vincent! I should apologize now for all the hours that you will spend there. BUT I think it is worthwhile.

    Appreciate the comment!

  • This comment makes me laugh every time I come back Shelly!

  • Isn’t she a sweetheart? :-/

  • I am happy you got positive reinforcement from my post Laura! Do you have tidbits that you would add to this? Love to learn more…

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  • Glad it didn’t sound as jumbled coming out as it did in my head. The thought came out as “but the thing is, it’s stumblestumblestumble B R O W S E subscribe 
    stumblestumble thumbs down 
    stumblestumble thumbs up review 
    B R O W S E subscribe – and you have to learn how to be in the browse.” I can say that now. But then I would have felt like an idiot leaving that comment with no context. 😉

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  • Anonymous

    This comment made me laugh out loud, Tinu. And I know exactly what you mean. I’m struggling, though, figuring out SU’s new interface. What about you?

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  • If your Stumbling your own stuff make sure its super. Look at what is getting the most stumbles in your category and then try to create some content just for stumble.

  • Todd

    Hey Peg – do I want to signup with Twitter or FB? If I use FB, it looks like my personal profile info will be used and if I use my Twitter account, I think my business info will be used. Of course I am doing this for marketing purposes and would prefer to use my business name. What do you suggest?

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