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7 Steps to Increase Online Traffic with StumbleUpon

August 12 2011

StumbleUponWhen 9:15 a.m. rolls around, you can be almost certain to find me swathed in an oversized sweater and hunched intently over my laptop. What's got me so riveted? StumbleUpon – that's what. It's a daily inspiration, spattering my wakening brain with plenty of ideas and information. Then, yesterday, it got even better. I discovered that StumbleUpon is actually a way to increase traffic to your website.

After reading several articles on the subject, I think I can break this down into a few simple(ish) steps.

1) Get started with StumbleUpon.
Duh. If you aren't already, you need to get set-up with StumbleUpon. I recommend that, before you start trying to get sophisticated with it, just immerse yourself in it for a few hours. Set up your interests and start stumbling. I just hope you'll be able to pull yourself away long enough to complete the rest of the steps.

  • You should definitely create a StumbleUpon profile. This will increase your chances of being followed (we'll talk more about that later.) To create your profile, you'll need to create a brief bio to let people know "who you are," select the topics you're interested in (under Settings > Manage InterestsSettings > Manage Interests). Finally, add your profile picture.
  • Get the StumbleUpon toolbar for your browser. Installation is super easy and will help you through the rest of this process. You can find the links to download the toolbar for your browser here: http://www.stumbleupon.com/help/download_stumbleupon/http://www.stumbleupon.com/help/download_stumbleupon/.

StumbleUpon toolBar

2) Assess your website content.
For this to work . . . strike that . . . for ANY online marketing strategy to work effectively, you need to have great content on your website. It's a fundamental principle: if your content isn't worth reading, no one will stay on your site (if they even find it) and they certainly won't convert to a lead.

Just to clarify, when I talk about "bad" content in the context of StumbleUpon, I'm talking about product pages or generally "salesy" pages. While some of these are a must for your website, they're not going to work for StumbleUpon. Instead, you'll want to cultivate other content such as:

  • Blog posts
  • Videos
  • Images
  • Tutorials or how-to's
  • Any other educational, informational, fun, and entertaining content of general interest

Want to see what content is most popular for your target market? Click on this link (http://www.stumbleupon.com/search?q=keyword) and enter a keyword phrase – for example "real estate san francisco." Create content similar to what you find, and you'll be in a good position to begin using StumbleUpon as a tool to increase traffic.

3) Snag a badge for your website.
Alright, now we're down to the nitty gritty. First, you're going to need to include a StumbleUpon badge for your website. Click on this link: http://www.stumbleupon.com/badges/http://www.stumbleupon.com/badges/. You'll even find integration tips on this page so that even the most tech challenged (a.k.a yours truly) can figure it out.

In the alternative, you may be able to find the StumbleUpon badge bundled with other social plugins for WordPress. Check out Digg DiggDigg Digg for a good example.

StumbleUpon Badge

4) Follow leaders.
As with Twitter, you can build a following on StumbleUpon by following users and hoping that they follow you back. To find people to follow, click on this link: http://www.stumbleupon.com/discover/keyword/http://www.stumbleupon.com/discover/keyword/. Then, use a keyword search (i.e. "real estate technology") to find people who are interested in your subject matter.


5) Share your content.
Practice what you preach and "like" your own content on StumbleUpon. The best way to do this is with the handy dandy StumbleUpon toolbar your downloaded in Step 1.

6) Make it known.
People are busy. If you want them to take notice, you've got to raise the flag. If you want them to like your content, you need to ask them to do it. A great way to start is to post to Twitter and Facebook. "Show us some love and like our content on StumbleUpon! [Link goes here]."

tweet for ret

7) Shell out some dough for Paid Discovery.
This isn't a "must." I just figure it's worth mentioning that StumbleUpon does offer the option of Paid Discovery. For a fee (they have several different packages), you can designate a page to be automatically stumbled for certain StumbleUpon users (categories you select). To learn more, visit https://www.stumbleupon.com/pd/.

I have zero metrics on the effectiveness of Paid Discovery. If you've tried it, I'd be interested in hearing your feedback.

So, there you go – 7 steps to StumbleUpon success. Oh, by the way, have you liked RE Technology on StumbleUpon yet? (Sorry, had to.)

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