This tutorial is going to quickly show you how to use StumbleUpon.
This assumes you already have a StumbleUpon account and that you have installed the StumbleUpon toolbar in your browser.
StumbleUpon can help drive traffic to your blog. But first, let’s talk about how StumbleUpon works.
StumbleUpon is a network of sites (not just blogs). When your site is registered with SU, you have a chance of receiving free traffic from other members (called Stumblers). But like with any other social media tool, you have to BE traffic to get traffic.
You go visit other sites in the network and review them. People do the same for you. The more reviews you get, the more traffic you’ll get to your site!
It’s really just another flavor of people “liking” your Facebook fan page or retweeting one of your posts.
So let’s see how it works in practice.
See that “Stumble” button up on your StumbleUpon toolbar? When you click Stumble, you’re going to be taken (fairly randomly, to start) to a website that’s part of the StumbleUpon network. Let’s pretend that my friend Lori’s site, In Pursuit of Martha Points, is what came up when I clicked “Stumble.”
Now I decide whether I like her site, or don’t like it. This will help StumbleUpon build a profile of what kinds of sites I like and which I don’t. Well, I like Lori’s site. So I click I Like It.
Now, a little pop-up screen is going to appear and I will get to write a short review of In Pursuit of Martha Points for OTHER Stumblers to read. (you can think of this like a retweet!)
I answer the questions on the review: is it safe for work (yes or no). I add some tags that I think relate to the site or the specific post (here, I entered humor). I write a little review of the site and tell people how fantastic I think Lori’s writing is. Then I click “add review.” This review is now added to Lori’s profile.
The more reviews you get, the higher your rank in StumbleUpon, and the more times your page will be presented to other people who are Stumbling!
If I don’t want to write a full review, but I still want to give Lori’s site a mention, on that same pop-up screen, I click on Quick Submit tab.
Now, I simply just answer whether the site is safe for work and hit submit. Voila! I’m done! I’ve just helped Lori increase her visibility within the SU network.
When Lori sees a post on my site that she likes, ideally she’d return the favor.
As I Stumble more sites and tell SU what kind of sites I like, the sites it presents back to me will, theoretically, be more suited to my interests. It’s kind of like when Amazon presents “You Might Like” recommendations based on what you’ve already purchased.
Or, you can go into your SU account, click Settings >Manage Interests to tell SU what topics you’d like it to show you when you Stumble.
Now, one issue with SU is that it’s easy to forget it’s up there on your toolbar. With reading posts, adding bloggers to Twitter, and commenting, you might overlook the chance to click I Like It for someone. As with anything else, you need to get in the habit of doing it.
So how many different ways can you utilize SU? There are a few.
1. Randomly Stumble when you have a free moment. See what random sites come up. Build your profile for SU. You may find some great finds.
2. As you read blogs in your Google Reader or other service, make sure you start telling SU whether you like or don’t like the posts you’re reading. (if the site is not part of SU, nothing will happen).
3. Join a StumbleUpon group that will go and “like” your posts for you and you do the same! We have set up a StumbleUpon group that you can participate in to do just that. It’ll be a great way for us to get started.
I hope this helps explain more of StumbleUpon. Admittedly, I am a newbie at it too and need more practice. So let’s learn together and get stumbling!