A newbie’s guide to Stumble Upon – how the hell does it work!?

Stumble Upon how to use

You may have heard many whisperings throughout the blogger ranks about Stumble Upon, this content discovery tool that promises new traffic and eyeballs for your blog.

It’s definition in Wikipedia is thus: StumbleUpon is a discovery engine (a form of web search engine) that finds and recommends web content to its users. Its features allow users to discover and rate Web pages, photos and videos that are personalized to their tastes and interests using peer-sourcing and social-networking principles.

If it works for you, then it is a great of getting more people who MAY be interested in your content to actually discover it, which is already a great thing.

But how do you actually use it, and how do you make it work for you?

The how do you actually use it part is relatively straight forward. Here is a basic breakdown you need to make Stumble Upon potentially work for you:

  1. You do all the usual set up an account yadda yadda yadda part as you would with any other platform
  2. Download the Stumble Upon browser extension for your web browser here so you can stumble other people’s content when you so desire
  3. Ensure that you have a Stumble Upon sharing button on your website – not all sharing bars are equal and some do not accommodate Stumble Upon websites but ones I know of that do are the Jetpack, Get Social & Shareaholic plug ins (for self hosted only).

After that, the truth of how to make Stumble Upon work for you is by and large a mystery to users of the platform. You stumble one of your own posts using your trusty browser bar or sharing button. Some days, even weeks you can get nothing, other days and weeks hundreds, sometimes even a thousand views. But here are the things that so far in my humble experience you need to be mindful of.

  1. Don’t stumble everything. Be choosy with your content and only submit potentially viral content. Snappy how to guides, lists, humour, strong opinion/controversial topics are generally what’s featured on Stumble Upon.  If your blog post post doesn’t fall into that category, don’t bother. It seems you only have limited bullets with the Stumble Upon platform, so use them wisely.
  2. Don’t just stumble your own content. Seriously, sooner or later if you do this, you will get found out and squished to silence. The general rule of thumb is to stumble around ten other pieces of content for your own piece of content. If you want to be regimented about it, you can even join a daily Stumble Upon Facebook group/thread to help you achieve that like this one and also on Blogger Club UK but there is no guarantee that any of this actually works!
  3. Be an active member of the community. That means not only stumbling other people’s content but also connecting with other members, including lots of people you don’t know, but also lots of people you do know too. Otherwise, you are just an island.  I generally connect with a load of stumblers who have also stumbled the same post as I have.

Stumble Upon can be a cruel platform. One minute you are flying high, the next it’s tumbleweed, and it can bump up your bounce rate too but if you’re game for the challenge and have quality content which ticks the above, it could just give your blog that extra boost it needs. Currently Stumble Upon and I are on a little break as we’ve decided, well, it’s complicated.

Have you tried Stumble Upon yet? If so I’d love to hear your experience of it so far, and also any tips you have to share for newbies….

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  1. Oh gosh, this is really REALLY useful. I am going to try and get to grips with SU when I get back home next week – I’ve set up account details etc. but then got really lost. I’ll study your post hard when I’m not so sun-addled (sorry, did I mention I was on hols? :)) And I love the ‘squished into silence’ line! #coolmumclub
    A Right Royal Mother recently posted…Prince George Puts the Mouth in PortsmouthMy Profile

  2. wow this is so ridiculously helpful – Ive made a note on my very long ‘blogging to do list’ to come back to this article and engage in stumble upon fully! I’ve seen the term banded about and I’ve had people state that they’ve found my post or put my post on stumble upon but was totally in the dark about it – that you so much for sharing – really useful post for me #coolmumclub
    justsayingmum recently posted…If I Could Just Go Back For One DayMy Profile

  3. Eek sounds a load of work…I wonder where do people get the time to maintain so many social networks whilst having any life in the real world?

    Thanks for sharing the fabulouso tips with the #coolmumclub
    MMT recently posted…#coolmumclub Linky week 27My Profile

  4. I go through such phases with stumble upon – much like it goes through phases with me it seems! I’ve had a couple of posts receive 1000’s of hits but then, as you say, I’ll get nada for months. It can be great, but I also find it difficult to dedicate set time to it like the other platforms as you don’t always seem the benefit. Random it is! #coolmumclub xx
    Mum in Brum recently posted…Instagram – lessons I’ve learned so farMy Profile

  5. I have a love hate relationship with stumble upon and I was always unsure how it worked but now thanks to this brill article I feel like I understand it a bit better. I was taking a stumble upon break but I am now going to break it to share this! 🙂 #coolmumclub
    Emma recently posted…I am attending Brit Mums Live 2016My Profile

  6. I always know that I can rely on you to tell me about stuff that I didn’t know that I didn’t know about haha. I have seen the (very occasional) referral to my site coming from Stumble Upon but otherwise didn’t have a clue what it was. I’m off now to investigate. Thanks so much for sharing Talya x
    Rhyming with Wine recently posted…Eating out – Toddler style…My Profile

  7. I’ve found it to be a great source of traffic, but like has been said, completely random. I’ve tried all sorts of different things to try and make some sense of it and come up empty. It is a great place to share other people’s pieces that you really like though.

  8. I used stumble yesterday to stumble all my linky (#Abrandnewday) posts. I got 14 hits back on my website that day. It think there is something in it but haven’t quite worked it out! I’ll stumble this for you! #coolmumclub
    karen recently posted…Light PlayMy Profile

  9. Funny I should come across this post. Apparently someone submitted one of my blog posts onto Stumble Upon, and I’ve been getting so many views from it this week! I created an account, and browsed around a bit, but it is DEFINITELY a complicated website-at least for me. I was left scratching my head, confused at the seemingly lacking algorithm. Maybe I’ll fiddle around with it some other time lol. Thanks for sharing <3 #coolmumclub
    Savannah recently posted…The Sleep DilemmaMy Profile

  10. I’m finding Stumble Upon a real mystery too – sometimes hundreds of hits and sometimes none! There’s also a badge you can download showcasing your own content which I’ve added to my sidebar x #coolmumclub
    Crummy Mummy recently posted…#MySundayPhotoMy Profile

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