One of the most underrated social bookmarking tools – yet deservedly growing in popularity and use – is Stumbleupon.
A simple yet effective application, Stumbleupon allows users to find random sites on the Internet either by recommendation from other Stumblers, or by happening across it by accident – all with the click of the Stumble button on your web browser.
It’s also one the most effective tools for web or blog traffic when it comes to social bookmark sites – yet Stumbleupon is still being underused by many, despite having the power to increase your web traffic by several hundred per cent.
However, there are ways to make sure you’re utilizing all that Stumbleupon has to offer.
Start a Social Network Group for Stumblers
I can’t take credit for this idea – it was suggested by an online friend of mine and I was invited to participate. Yet the idea is so simple I’d be surprised if more haven’t picked up on it yet.
Simply, gather a group of friends and create a social network group that use Stumbleupon (not to be confused with the excellent social media clubs you can find online).
By gathering a number of online friends that use Stumbleupon as a social media and bookmarking tool, and emailing each other a couple of blog posts or links each week to Stumble and recommend, you’re instantly getting new traffic to your recommended link.
It also means you’re reaching new Stumblers through your friends, who can help you grow both your Stumbleupon and social media network.
To make sure it works to its maximum, keep the email requests to just a couple a week, and have your social media group at no more than 50 members. That means you only have to Stumble a maximum of 100 recommendations per week (including your own) which takes no time at all.
Use a Stumbleupon Widget
Although all blogs should really have some form of Share This or Add This widget at the bottom of each post – which allows readers to recommend the post to their friends – not all of them do. This is missing out on a great opportunity for your blog to reach a far wider audience – the Share This button allows the post to be shared on Digg, Technorati, Facebook and much more.
However, if you simply don’t like having too much clutter on your blog post, at least have the option to Stumble the post. This can either be via a Stumbleupon button or widget, or the very cool su.pr bar that you can use to help share your post even more.
This will see it being recommended to that reader’s Stumbleupon subscribers, which again will see you enjoy an immediate traffic spike.
(As an example, whenever one of my posts is Stumbled, I usually receive anywhere between a couple of hundred to over a thousand new reads. The more popular blogs receive several thousand new hits, so you can see the potential for business marketing as well).
The great thing about Stumbleupon is that once your blog has been stumbled the once, it offers a passive traffic flow for as long as your blog or post is live.
Any time someone online hits their Stumble button, they could be taken to your original post, regardless of how old it is. That’s just as good as any Pay-per-Click or AdWords campaign that I can think off, if not better.
And best of all, it’s free (although the platform does offer its own version of paid advertising) – you can’t ask for much more than that, can you?
How about you? Do you use Stumbleupon and if so, what’s been your experience? Or do you prefer something else? Let us know in the comments and let’s hear about your successes.
(And if you want to see what it’s like, hit the little SU icon fourth from the left in the social bookmarking menu under this post!)