As I sat reading through my Twitter feed today (how exciting is MY Saturday), up popped an interesting question from @ciaobella50 “Have a question re: #StumbledUpon any bloggers who use it?”
Being a fledgling blogger myself, I always submit my blogs to StumbledUpon to try to increase my readership. Now it may seem vain, but I am also usually the first one to ‘thumb‘ it to get things going. I wanted to know what was at the crux of the question, so being me, I naturally responded that I use it and it definitely increases readership. This was followed by another question, “why so much variation?’. What Bella was asking was why do some posts do so well and others seem to, well for lack of a better word, stumble along? The first thing I wanted to do was look at the post that had gotten Bella 4000 hits (yes 4k), which you can read here http://bit.ly/f1tE83. The photos are fabulous, the material intriguing and the tags attached to the post, I thought, were the key (after all it is spring and everyone is doing a bit of DIY…). But I knew it had to be more than that so I offered to do some research and write a blog post, trying to explain what the secret is to getting your blog or post found and ‘thumbed’ on StumbledUpon.
What is StumbledUpon
In its purest form, people submit stories and websites to StumbledUpon for review. Other people read and review those sites and stories and rate it with a thumbs up or thumbs down.
StumbledUpon uses ratings submitted by ‘stumblers’ to form opinions on web content/website quality. Using a system of thumbs up/down and a proprietary (of course) algorithm, StumbledUpon then delivers content to you and others based on like-minded people’s reviews and user set preferences. In a world of quickly changing content on the internet, it is impossible to keep up with everything, never mind trying to limit yourself to what you think is quality, relevant material.
StumbledUpon attempts to do this for you. The following image is their explanation of how they attempt to use peer-to-peer recommendations and social networking to create a content referral system.
StumbledUpon does not collect a lot of statistics for you that tells you which key words or posts get you the most reads, you need to do that in your own blog, using your blog tools. With an account, you can also stumble, you can favorite articles, you can see how many followers you have, how many people you follow and how many ‘discoveries’ you have made (how many posts you submitted).
StumbledUpon Tips or…SUO (StumbledUpon Optimization)
Want to produce posts that get read and thumbed? These are the best tips I can offer based on my reading.
- Use a catchy title – make them curious to want to read more.
- Use lots of images
- Use the first paragraph to sell the post. If the first paragraph doesn’t draw them in, you won’t get their readership.
StumbledUpon readers are culling through lots of material so they like things that catch their eye quickly.
- Reserve StumbledUpon for short, time-lasting posts. Do not post time-sensitive giveaways, or promotions. They probably won’t make it in front of anyone if you do that. Also, readers on StumbledUpon are not there for lengthy posts, they like a quick read that grabs their attention in short bursts. If you make it look like it took a long time to put it together, you will be rewarded for you efforts.
- Quick, Unique, How-to guides.
- Create posts that have unique content and things you won’t find elsewhere.
- Build loyalty to your posts. Find like-minded stumblers and follow them. They in turn will follow you. Use your existing network of friends. Be sure to read back, review and stumble their material (yes it all takes time but well worth the effort).
So Why Was Bella’s Post So Successful?
I truly believe it was a combination of the title (The Home of Enchanted Fairytales)’ and the uniqueness of the images. They are beautiful one of a kind images that make me want to see more. I also think keywords played a role in it but I think the images outdid the keywords! It was a quick easy view to get through, so in short she met all the ‘rules’ of a great StumbledUpon post!
And What Did I Learn?
I need to consider posting my material to DIGG or REDDIT. My blog posts are somewhat long, sometimes technical and according to my reading, do not often make the grade for StumbledUpon readership! I have picked up some followers and reads through StumbledUpon but I also think it is worth trying the others to see if it is a better fit!
Will I post this blog to StumbledUpon? Yes because there is one more suggestion to getting your material read there…write about StumbledUpon!
Let me know if you found this post useful! Your comments and feedback are always welcome!