When you publish a post you are going to want to get it found.

What is StumbleUpon?

StumbleUpon is a hybrid service. Somewhere in between an online PR agency and Social Media, StumbleUpon is a content curating service, designed to help people find new and exciting content in the fields they are interested in.

When content is submitted to StumbleUpon it enters a system where it is distributed to random users interested in that specific topic. If they like it then it will be sent out to more people, if they like it then the post will be sent to more, and so on and so forth. You get the idea.

When used correctly StumbleUpon is an incredibly powerful resource. The graph below shows some of our traffic recently, illustrating when two articles "got stumbled" a lot. This being said, StumbleUpon is surrounded by some common misconceptions.

Power of StumbleUpon

Using StumbleUpon

As it can be seen by the graph, StumbleUpon provided some pretty hefty spikes in traffic. It allowed for more and more people to find the page, and this is because the basic rules of StumbleUpon were followed.

  1. StumbleUpon is part PR, however it is also part Social Media (as mentioned above). Just uploading pages does not mean it will go viral. Like with many other sites, StumbleUpon rewards activity. Having a following, having an active profile, "stumbling" the work of others all goes towards having a socially active appearance on the site. These are the profiles StumbleUpon throws out into the aether for people to see. StumbleUpon is not a tool that makes posts popular for FREE. It costs time and effort.
  2. Tagging and commenting posts is a good practice so StumbleUpon knows how to file them. This is something that is often ignored, but it allows for a far more targeted approach. It allows for StumbleUpon to send your content out to the most relevant audience.
  3. Writing a decent post. This is the key, number one rule to blogging generally, but it is especially important when talking about getting content shared. Putting in the time and effort to create great content is well worth it. 

The Downside of StumbleUpon

There seems to be one big downside to StumbleUpon that we have found. Let's talk about two basic types of traffic.

When it comes down to blogging and content there are very much two specific types of traffic. The first of these is lead-generation traffic. This is traffic that could turn into a business lead. Whether B2B or B2C, content needs to (ultimately) achieve goals. People who find a blog through organic search or Social Media. These are those who are looking for that precise content and are far more likely to convert to goals. Naturally enough, due to the nature and randomness of StumbleUpon this is far less likely to happen through stumbles that social or other sources.

The second type of traffic is that which generates authority for a blog, blogger, or business. This can be useful in its own right, allowing others to see you as an authority, however it does not necessarily lead to engagement.

This is represented within the bounce rates and time spent on our blog over the three days of the spike.

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Now let's compare them to three days where we did not use StumbleUpon to promote posts.

 Screen Shot 2015-07-10 At 11.12.39

As it can be seen, the latter results have far healthier statistics. An average time of 46 seconds is not enough time to read one of our posts (bar maybe a One.Min for a fast reader) and so we know that the majority of the time our posts were not even fully read. The phenomenal 90.86% bounce rate is also disappointing, with 68.73% being far healthier for a blog.

In essence, organic traffic will provide a better rate of engagement than StumbleUpon will alone.

To Conclude

The key to using StumbleUpon is to manage expectations. Yes, it does create a rather impressive spike in traffic, however, how useful is that spike in reality? 

Where StumbleUpon does come into its own is in helping gain authority. It allows for new people to discover what it is you have to say whilst giving them a platform to effortlessly share it. This is a powerful tool, and is great for gaining a reputation for being good at what you do.

There are other ways of sharing content and creating far more reliable and effective social/content plans. Click on the button below for more information.

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