9 Tips For Using StumbleUpon With Your Blog

Our host today is Eric Bannatyne. If you're interested in getting in front of the readers of Site Sketch 101, check out our guest posting invitation here.

With over 8 million members, StumbleUpon is one of the most popular internet communities for sharing interesting web sites.

If, for some reason, you don’t know how to use StumbleUpon: you click on the “Stumble!” button on a toolbar, which takes you to a random website, based on your interests, that some others have discovered and submitted.

Unfortunately, many people decide to use StumbleUpon to promote their blog simply by giving their posts a Thumbs-Up once in a while, not even bothering to categorize it, write a short review, and to check out others’ sites. If you’re going to promote your blog with StumbleUpon, you should do it right.

9 Tips For Using StumbleUpon For Your Blog

  • A lot of stumblers will only spend a few seconds at your site. So do your best to make a great first impression. Make sure your design looks nice, make sure that any ads don’t get in the way, add links to some of your other content, and clearly display your subscription methods.
  • Make sure your site is memorable. Visitors who find your site might never remember it again, so make it different from all of the other sites. Use a custom design, write your content with a different style, and do plenty of other things to stand out.
  • When deciding on tags for your post, think of what keywords people might use when searching StumbleUpon for content like yours.
  • Don’t just Thumb-Up your own posts. Be sure to Thumb-Up interesting things that you discover that others might like.
  • Many Stumblers are bored when they hit the “Stumble!” button, looking for an interesting site. This means that you should stumble all of your most interesting posts.
  • Use StumbleUpon to find ideas for your blog. Don’t just steal ideas from others, though. Find a blog post that you like, and try to think of an idea based on a similar subject. A helpful strategy is to use idea mapping.
  • If you don’t seem to be getting very many thumbs up, you can consider exchanging stumbles, so that you get a Thumbs-Up in exchange for giving someone else’s blog post a Thumbs-Up.
  • If you want, I guess you could also do some paid advertising with StumbleUpon.
  • Do not Thumb-Up every single one of your posts. If there are too many stumbles from a Stumbler on the same domain, the domain may be banned from StumbleUpon. I may actually be guilty of this. So far, I’ve stumbled almost all of my posts, and now I recieve barely any traffic from StumbleUpon.

Do you use StumbleUpon? If you do, I would be interested to see what kinds of things you are interested in.

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  1. October 21, 2009

    Ron Boracay said:

    I rarely use stumbleupon but, I find the site really promising. Also, I heard some success stories regarding the stumble upon advertising.
    .-= My Latest Blog Post: Boracay Map – Boracay Island Map =-.

    • October 21, 2009

      Nicholas Cardot said:

      Ron Boracay –> I get about 50+ visitors from StumbleUpon every day on average. You all can help me improve that average by stumbling my articles and asking me to stumble yours! Then we can both grow together!

  2. October 21, 2009

    Vikas Gupta said:

    I sometimes ‘stumble upon’ my blog but I like Digg more!
    .-= My Latest Blog Post: Diwali Celebrations in my hostel and the JNU campus: A Photo Essay =-.

    • October 21, 2009

      Nicholas Cardot said:

      Vikas Gupta –> I like digg a lot also. In fact, I just added the digg button to the top of the articles. I’m going to see if that helps any of the articles here get dugg any more than they used to. I got one article to have almost 40 diggs a few days ago, but I’d love to work on getting more than that.

  3. October 21, 2009

    [email protected] Knowledge said:

    I am not use stumble on yet for my blog promotional because do not know how to use it. But, I already knew after read this article, i may start to optimize it for my blog.
    .-= My Latest Blog Post: Use Google Analytics =-.

    • October 21, 2009

      Nicholas Cardot said:

      [email protected] Knowledge –> It’s definitely worth looking into because it can help you promote your site and it can help you discover other interesting sites as well. It’s a very cool program.

      • October 23, 2009

        Vikas Gupta said:

        Your slug for this post is just stumbleupon! [http://www.sitesketch101.com/stumbleupon]!!

        Don’t you think it would have been better to make it ‘tips for using stumbleupon’ etc. Do you deliberately use small slug?!
        .-= My Latest Blog Post: Diwali Celebrations in my hostel and the JNU campus: A Photo Essay =-.

        • October 23, 2009

          Nicholas Cardot said:

          Vikas Gupta –> I do deliberately use short slugs. I design my blog for humans…not for search engines. Now you know that if you want to reach this articles you just have to type in my web address followed by the word StumbleUpon and here you are. I barely cater to search engines and yet I find myself getting way more traffic than about 90% of the search engine optimization websites that I visit. Write your blog for people and you will find greater success.

    • October 21, 2009

      Eric Bannatyne said:

      If you do start using StumbleUpon, it will probably help to greatly increase traffic to your site. Your bounce rate might go up by a bit, though.
      .-= My Latest Blog Post: Creating an Awesome Website Design With Gimp =-.

  4. October 21, 2009

    Angie (Losing It and Loving It) said:

    I don’t use Stumble Upon much but I have stumbled other blog posts and left reviews but never for my own stuff. These are great tips especially using it to find ideas.
    .-= My Latest Blog Post: Menu Plan Monday: October 19 =-.

    • October 21, 2009

      Nicholas Cardot said:

      Angie (Losing It and Loving It) –> It’s good practice not to stumble your own articles. But if you stumble an article here, you should send me a message and let me know and ask me to stumble one of your pages. I would be happy to do so!

  5. October 21, 2009

    Emm said:

    Have you heard of Su.pr? You can use it to shorten URLs to post to Twitter and Facebook. When people click on the link, the SU bar appears at the top and they can immediately stumble the post. When I am not being intolerably lazy, I pick out travel or photography sites daily and Tweet them using Su.pr and then stumble them.

    At the moment, they are developing something like Twitterfeed that will monitor the RSS of your blogs and immediately su.pr them. It’s been in development for a while, presumably to overcome the problem of too many posts from the same domain.
    .-= My Latest Blog Post: New York day 6: Day Trip to DC =-.

  6. October 21, 2009

    Randall G. Leighton said:

    I’m coming from the same place Angie is. I don’t use Stumble Upon much and I’ve never reviewed my own pages. Eric makes an interesting point when he says most Peppers, er, Stumblers are bored when they hit the Stumble button. That makes good sense. However, boredom is a sign of immaturity. That may or may not be the demographic you’re after.

    Of course, if you don’t care about who reads your blog and are only chasing numbers, those bored student-types might just be your ticket to success.
    .-= My Latest Blog Post: Carved in Stone – The Web Design Contract =-.

  7. October 21, 2009

    Jacques said:

    I have been using Stumpble Upon quite a lot lately, I get some traffic off of it but not very much. I suppose it also depends on the way that you use SU. You mention a great tip, “You shouldn’t stumble every post” – That is true, and like you also said it wouldn’t hurt to stumble other people’s awesome articles or posts.

    Thanks for the advice, appreciate it.
    .-= My Latest Blog Post: Top 10 Hosting Services for Designers =-.

    • October 21, 2009

      Nicholas Cardot said:

      Jacques –> You should also consider stumble exchanges. You stumble my post and I’ll stumble yours.

  8. October 21, 2009

    Stefan said:

    If you end up getting banned by StumbleUpon a good method is to post a short paragraph backlink in a forum, and then thumb up this specific post.
    .-= My Latest Blog Post: Get Free Content From Geocities =-.

  9. October 21, 2009

    Nicholas Cardot said:

    InternetHow Blog –> I completely agree. Simply stumbling your own articles will get you banned. You need to get involved and bring other articles to the network as well.

  10. October 21, 2009

    David | ilcantone.com said:

    I’m learning how to use Stumble Upon, I’ve heard that we can get large spikes of traffic if we use it right.

    I have a proposal: We could create a Stumble Exchange Group. Anyone interested to join is welcome, as Nicholas said: You stumble my posts I will stumble yours. wow!This slogan sound great, doesn’t it?

    We could get in touch via Twitter. For example, when we tweet our newest blog post, and if we’d like it to be stumbled, we should add at the end of the tweet a few letters to be noticed by the other members of the group. These letters could be, for instance, #USIS (U Stumble I Stumble) :). I checked it, no one is using these letters
    It’s only an idea and I’m open to suggestions.

    I use TweetDeck, it’s very useful to create groups, because you can create a column for any word, so you receive all the tweets with that word.

    I will send a Tweet adding #USIS at the end of it. So you will be able to find it using tweetdeck or any other similar service.

    What do you think? It could be a good idea.

    We can all grow together!

    See you on Twitter ๐Ÿ™‚
    .-= My Latest Blog Post: IL CANTONE IS NOW A DOFOLLOW BLOG | Leave a Comment & Get Rewarded with a Backlink =-.

    • October 21, 2009

      Emm said:

      Hiya, this is a great idea but you have to be so careful with StumbleUpon. They often blacklist users and for example, if they find out people are paying others to Stumble their sites, they blacklist both the site and the Stumbler.

      I’d definitely be keen to give it a try and join in but you do need to be careful.
      .-= My Latest Blog Post: New York day 6: Day Trip to DC =-.

    • October 21, 2009

      Nicholas Cardot said:

      David | ilcantone.com –> I do like that Idea, but as was mentioned, you have to be careful how you go about it. You don’t want to get banned by StumbleUpon.

    • October 21, 2009

      Eric Bannatyne said:

      There are also some sites dedicated to stumble exchanges. But as Emm and Nick have said, be careful when doing this.
      .-= My Latest Blog Post: Creating an Awesome Website Design With Gimp =-.

      • October 22, 2009

        Nicholas Cardot said:

        Eric Bannatyne –> I didn’t know that their were already sites dedicated to this. I had no idea about that.

  11. October 21, 2009

    David | ilcantone.com said:

    So maybe it’s better not to promote this group. We could make a private group, just for us.

    Ok Emm se you on twitter ๐Ÿ™‚

    By the way, thanks for the warn
    .-= My Latest Blog Post: IL CANTONE IS NOW A DOFOLLOW BLOG | Leave a Comment & Get Rewarded with a Backlink =-.

  12. October 21, 2009

    Eric Bannatyne said:

    If you only stumble your own articles, then you probably will get banned. Always stumble and Thumb-Up others’ articles. A pretty good guideline is to keep about a 15:1 ratio.
    .-= My Latest Blog Post: Creating an Awesome Website Design With Gimp =-.

    • October 22, 2009

      Nicholas Cardot said:

      Eric Bannatyne –> Excellent advice. Do not stumble only your own articles. The 15:1 ratio is an excellent rule.

  13. October 21, 2009

    Zhu said:

    Be very careful when stumbling your own posts. I was guilty of that, I stumbled my own blog a few years ago, just twice (basically two articles). And I was banned from SU last year and could never get my account back.

    I did stumble other good posts etc. to, I played the game. I don’t know exactly why I was banned but I’m guessing it’s because of that, apparently, you can’t stumble your own posts.

  14. October 21, 2009

    Gabe | freebloghelp.com said:

    I love SU! For some reason, I get more visitors from StumbleUpon than all other social bookmarking sites combined!

    If you don’t SU your articles, then you may be missing a number of extra visitors every day.
    .-= My Latest Blog Post: Simple tip for prioritizing your tasks =-.

  15. October 22, 2009

    Evan Kline said:

    Thanks for this article. We recently started submitting our stuff to StumbleUpon, and got quite a bit of traffic, but after reading your post, are going to cut back or even stop for a while. I do “thumb up” other stuff on occasion, so hopefully that will balance things.
    .-= My Latest Blog Post: How to Use Your Voice to Bring Order to Your Life =-.

    • October 23, 2009

      Nicholas Cardot said:

      Evan Kline –> Instead of stumbling your own stuff, stumble mine and then hit me up via skype or Gtalk and ask me to do the same for your article. I love stumbling other people’s articles.

  16. October 23, 2009

    John Samuel said:

    I have been on stumbleupon for a long time. It is really an interesting to find interesting sites
    .-= My Latest Blog Post: How to search Tagged Messages in Thunderbird? =-.

  17. October 24, 2009

    David said:

    I’ve had Stumbleupon for awhile now but have never really known the full potential use of it. I will now be implementing the 9 tips from the post and also the advice from the comments.

    Great post.
    .-= My Latest Blog Post: Are You Striving For Excellence? =-.

  18. October 24, 2009

    Ileane said:

    Thanks for this post, it has cleared up some confusions that I had about using StumbleUpon.

    Here are my thoughts on the topic.

    I have used StumbleUpon on occasion, and I wasn’t sure if I should thumbs up my own posts or not – it ended up that sometimes I did and sometimes I didn’t. Recently I had a very popular twitter related post which was added to SU by one of my readers. I think that generated more traffic than my own submits.

    In general I don’t like StumbleUpon basically for all of the reasons that were mentioned in the comments and briefly touched upon in the post. Somehow it doesn’t make sense to me to Stumble random articles, that I may or may not be interested in. I also don’t like the idea of changing the design of my blog just so it will “stand out” in StumbleUpon. I’m sure most bloggers (unless they have a design blog) will agree that our content is what’s really important and what our readers focus on – not our design. I also don’t like all of the rules they have about banning people and so forth. When the bottom line is, they do not provide enough instructions on how to appropriatley use the site.

    In terms of the url shortener, I am using HootSuite for tweeting and I love the Ow.ly shortener which provides link tracking and a much simpler toolbar.

    For bookmarking I just started using Diigo. It seems to be an excellent choice because it allows you to highlight and annotate text with sticky notes that you can share with users, subscribers or groups.

    I will stumble this article for you and wish you much success with using SU.

    Thanks for listening.
    .-= My Latest Blog Post: Do Twitter Backgrounds Attract New Followers? =-.

    • October 25, 2009

      Nicholas Cardot said:

      Ileane –> Well thanks for the stumble on the article. The idea of changing your design isn’t just to make stumblers more satisfied, but it’s an emphasis of the idea that readers need to have our content presented to them in a way that makes it enjoyable to consume. There are many sites that have great content that nobody ever sees because people click away before they see the first headlines just because of how ugly the site is.

  19. October 31, 2009

    Tony said:

    Yikes! That last tip about not Stumbling on all your posts caught me red handed! It was with Digg buttons and I was just too astonished with how damn pretty they looked on my posts. Luckily, I try to add the button on the more popular posts. Nice post, Eric!

    • October 31, 2009

      Nicholas Cardot said:

      Tony –> Just ask me to digg and stumble your posts and you can digg and stumble mine. If we mix it up we should be safe and effective.

  20. November 1, 2009

    chandan said:

    Yes all are some great point for SU. I am also big fan of SU as their system is something different than other. If you get lots of reveiw on your profile you will get lots of traffic. But for this you have build your network on SU and have to be one active member on SU.

  21. November 8, 2009

    Sarge said:

    Finally a post on stumbleupon (that’s recent anyway) I’m going to be getting into stumbleupon a bit this month with my blog and learning more about it.

    This post has been a step in the right direction. Cheers Eric ๐Ÿ™‚
    .-= My Latest Blog Post: Beginner Blogger Stats and Goals โ€“ Oct-Nov 09 =-.

  22. November 14, 2009

    Chris said:

    I’m really glad I read this post because I had no idea that you weren’t supposed to stumble a lot of your own articles. I usually stumble every other post and get a decent amount of traffic from that. Maybe I’ll just start stumbling like every third or fourth post from now on.
    .-= My Latest Blog Post: The Top 10 Gang Movies Of The 90’s =-.

  23. December 14, 2009

    scheng1 said:

    Stumbleupon is useless for blog with google adsense. Some bloggers experienced 5,000 page views without a single click, and the readers wont return.
    .-= My Latest Blog Post: Psychic energy and psychic ability =-.

    • December 15, 2009

      Nicholas Cardot said:

      scheng1 –> If you have a site that gets 5,000 views and nobody returns then something is probably wrong with your website. You need to design your website to invite people in and engage them with compelling content.

  24. February 9, 2010

    Matt Smedley said:

    Useful insights for StumbleUpon. I need to watch the point about only stumbling your own posts. There is lots of other good content out there deserving of the thumbs up!

  25. February 9, 2010

    Brian Cox said:

    I’m not sure if its been said, I only got through about half the comments but I wanted to make sure that everyone was aware that if you get involved with a promotion circle, or a circle of bloggers who promote each other on Digg and StumbleUpon most of the time the algorithms will recognize this and stop sending traffic to those sites.
    Happy Stumbling
    .-= My Latest Blog Post: Live like weโ€™re dying =-.

    • July 23, 2011

      Simon Duck said:

      I think I’ve always been wary with these kind of things, normally these tech companies know everything you are doing, so you aren’t going to trick them, even if it does work for a bit, it will get found out. Stick to producing content people will want to share, not content people have to share because you share there’s.

      Simon Duck

  26. July 23, 2011

    Simon Duck said:

    I tend to Stumble every post I come across which I find interesting, however I don’t often review and put them in category’s, which is my downfall on the websites.

    Luckily I learnt straight away to never use these services to promote your website too much, others will, so I only submitted a couple of my posts.

    Simon Duck

  27. March 22, 2013

    Siegfried said:

    lol, it seems that they banned me as well, even if I didnt like just my own stuff ๐Ÿ™‚