Anyone know how to use StumbleUpon?

Not a writing post today – more a personal one. Earlier this week, I published a post about my plans to add a few features to my blogs over the summer. Once that’s up and running, and it may take all summer to get it done, I’ll start thinking about improving my ability to network with people online.

At the moment, I pretty much live on WordPress and Twitter, because that’s where I get the most, and best, engagement. I haven’t left Facebook or Google Plus permanently, I’ve just stepped away from them to focus on the blogs and the Twitter accounts. That’s why you haven’t been seeing +1s from me on G+ or fanpage likes on Facebook lately. I’ll get back to those in time.

We tried out nine different networks during the first few months because we were experimenting and trying to figure out what works best for us. We learned what we needed to know from the experiments, but they ate up a lot of time when I could have been writing. Now, I’ve shifted gears and changed my approach. Going forward, my plan is to focus on stockpiling content and really interacting with people on WP and Twitter until we get far enough ahead for me to truly use a third network.

My next move, network-wise (probably in the Fall) is to figure out StumbleUpon. Here’s why. Last week during the serial posting madness, @quaintjeremy added his Summer Reading Recommendations to the StumbleUpon “Books” tag. That got us 100 referrals the first day and 200 more by the end of the week. That’s a lot of referrals for us. It’s more than we get from Twitter in a month. We also got significant referrals on both Sourcerer and Part Time Monster with a couple of stumbles earlier this week.

We’ve seen referrals like that from Facebook, but only under specific circumstances. We know how it works, and the Facebook referrals aren’t something we can try for frequently. The content has to be just right, and it requires sharing and tagging tons of friends. We can’t do that very often.

StumbleUpon is different because those referrals didn’t come from our personal networks – they came from people either browsing the books tag or looking at Jeremy’s account. He’s the only one of us that’s stumbled anything in weeks, and we’re experimenting a bit to see if we can figure out what he’s doing right.

If anyone out there is using StumbleUpon, especially if you’ve had success getting referrals for your blog that way, I’d love to chat with you. At some point I’m going to revamp my StumbleUpon account and start following people. Stumble limits your followers to a very low number, so if you chat with me regularly on any social media, and have a StumbleUpon account that you actually use, I’d love to follow you there.

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5 thoughts on “Anyone know how to use StumbleUpon?

  1. I’m curious to see which answers you get, as I have no idea how this works. I have been toying with adding another social network, as I’m also WordPress/Twitter for the most part. I’m just wary of not being able to engage with people as much if I add another network. Still debating!

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    • I feel the same about adding other networks. Networks don’t do much good unless you maintain a presence and interact. When I was doing all the experiments, my engagement on WordPress and my blog content suffered. That’s why I’ve changed my overall strategy.

      The attraction of Stumble is that it took Jeremy 5 minutes to add that links to the Stumbleupon books index and it got us all those views and visits.

      We’re trying to figure out if we just got lucky with a well-timed post on a good tag, or if something else is going on. I’ll let you know if we figure out anything useful.

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  2. Pingback: Shake the dust off of your wings, and the sleep out of your eyes. | Sourcerer

    • I know what you mean, but we’re still experimenting to see if we can replicate that traffic spike, and we’re only interested, honestly, if it’s a quick-and-easy thing.

      I’ll keep everyone updated on our progress.

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