“If you wait for another case study in your industry, you will be too late.”
– Seth Godin
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StumbleUpon is an internet discovery tool that also acts as a social network. You log in, set your interests, and then it will present interesting pages to you almost endlessly. You can like, save, and share pages and create your own lists for categorization.
It’s an amazing way to get traffic and something that I use for all of my niche sites. And the best part is it’s free. It’s a really great way to find websites about what you’re interested in that you may never have found if you didn’t use their web app.
I’ll show you how a few of my websites get close to 50,000 visitors per month from StumbleUpon, and how easy it was to do so. If you love push-button traffic, then this is as close to the real thing as it gets.
How to get traffic from StumbleUpon
If you don’t have a StumbleUpon account yet, make one. It’s free. It’s one of the easiest and fastest ways to get your content found instantly without having to pay a single cent (ads discussed further below). You don’t even need a following.
While other social networks might require some work to get your content found after you post it, with StumbleUpon, it’s really hands off. You simply submit it, and you’re done.
Submitting your pages
Making an account is easy. Make one and get familiar with how the website works. Start by selecting some interests and start stumbling!
Next, you can start submitting your own pages. While this section is for collectively adding interesting stuff you find on the web, I normally just submit my own stuff and it works great.
In the header, you’ll see a bunch of menu options. To add your page, click on “Profile.”
Once you’re in there, click on “Add a Page.”
It will take you to this page, and all you need to do is input your page’s URL, choose the appropriate category, add a few tags, and submit!
And that’s it.
Seriously, how easy was that? You don’t even need to actively go out and share it with other members to check it out. Once you submit, you’re done.
If it gets good engagement, it will be presented to more people as they stumble in your category. If it continues to do well, you’ll see a LOT of visitors trickling your way.
Not all pages will get the same traffic
StumbleUpon is hit or miss. From what I’ve experienced, it will either:
1. Get a lot of traffic long-term.
2. Get a temporary spike and die off completely.
3. Get 10-20 visitors and then die off.
What we’re really looking for is #1, to get a lot of traffic long term. I’ve only been able to do this with around 50 pages and I’ve submitted hundreds of them.
The good thing is that there’s not limit to how many pages you can submit. You’re not spamming their web app, you’re helping to grow it by suggesting pages to their database.
Surprising traffic stats
The way StumbleUpon works for me is, I submit it and there’s maybe 5-10 visitors within an hour. Then in the next few days or so I’ll suddenly see 100+ people on my site at once (using real time analytics) – even to a brand new site. When I look at my stats, it’s all from StumbleUpon.
It’s weird the way it works but it’s really awesome when something sticks like that.
How to create posts that stick
The best way to succeed at getting a lot of traffic from StumbleUpon is to know what your category likes. To do this, just take a look at all the other posts that are doing well. Believe me, there are some really massive numbers out there with some posts getting traffic in the millions.
To see what posts are doing popular, go to your StumbleUpon home feed.
Click “Add Interests”
You’ll see a giant list of topics.
**This is also a very helpful way to come up with ideas on niche selection.
Click on a topic and it will show you how many views each one has gotten.
Skim through the titles of successful posts and what specific topics this category is interested in. That should give you a good idea on the type of content that does well, and the style of titles that get a lot of traction.
StumbleUpon also offers an advertising option where you can pay to reach people in your desired categories.
All I’ll say about this is that it’s not worth it for me. There’s no big differentiation between their paid program and their free submits.
After seeing a few of my posts do well on their network, I decided to throw $500 at their advertising system to try and see if it will help the chances of my newer posts get to the same level.
They charge $0.10 – $0.50 per visitor depending on who you target. It was probably one of the worst results I’ve gotten from an advertising spend.
I did get visitors, but I got exactly what I paid for. Nothing more. It doesn’t even come close to the free traffic I’m getting from their submitting system.
This just proves that StumbleUpon is really hit or miss. If people don’t engage with your post after you post it (whether it’s boosted from ads or not) it will not get any traction and just die off.
Also, posts submitted for free get enough exposure that paying for them is not completely necessary. Most of the posts I submit for free get more traffic than the paid campaign.
I’ve only tried it once so I can’t say this will be the same for everybody, but I won’t be spending money on their ads again.
Not great for Adsense
Although getting traffic from StumbleUpon is easy, it’s not the best for getting Adsense clicks. Traffic from It has some of the highest bounce rates.
People just want to quickly digest your content, and stumble onto the next presented page.
However, just because you won’t get clicks, it doesn’t mean you should ignore it when it’s this effective.
You get more than just an increased traffic number.
You get more people interested in your niche to discover your site, bookmark your site, and share it with their friends. I see a lot of traffic from StumbleUpon sharing my content through other social networks like Facebook and Twitter.
StumbleUpon is a great tool to use. It doesn’t take much time to submit a post, and if it does well, it can send you upwards of a million visitors over the course of the year.
Not only is it a great way to get your content found, there’s also a giant database of categorized niches, making it a great way to discover new topics for your next niche site.
I use it regularly a few times a week. If you haven’t tried StumbleUpon before, you should definitely start using it to get traffic.