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StumbleUpon Traffic: Can You Get More Of It?

Now seems to be a good time to try to drive more StumbleUpon traffic to your website. It’s been announced on the StumbleUpon blog that the old 200-friend limit will be lifted. Moreover, stumblers will be able to subscribe to someone’s stumbles without becoming a friend.

Why should you care about StumbleUpon’s friends limit?

At StumbleUpon, whenever you stumble and review a page/image/video, the link and your comment are displayed on your friends’ homepages. Therefore, having a large amount of StumbleUpon friends can help you spread the word about your own sites and/or sites that belong to your partners or friends. This is why you want to be added as a friend by as many stumblers as possible. However, StumbleUpon used to have a 200-friend limit for all accounts. Such limit obviously harmed StumbleUpon’s networking potential.

Now that the limit is about to end and stumblers will be able to subscribe to as many people as they want, you can add everyone and everyone can reciprocate. But it doesn’t necessarily mean that everyone should subscribe to you, nor that you should reciprocate all subscriptions.

How to build a strong network via StumbleUpon

Personally, I believe that if you plan to use StumbleUpon as a promotional tool for your websites, the first step to take is watching your own stumbling habits. Try to refrain from stumbling things that have nothing to do with your industry. Apply niche concepts to StumbleUpon; save your thumbs up and reviews for web content that relates to your sites. By doing this, you won’t always be added by as many people as you’d like, but you’ll be much more likely to attract the right StumbleUpon subscribers: the ones who care for your site’s topic. They’ll arrive to your profile, see what you usually stumble and add you because they’ll recognise you as a source of good, interesting links.

Resist the temptation to add every single stumbler you find. Subscribe to the ones who belong to your industry, because it’s going to help you keep track of news and tutorials, besides giving you ideas to produce more content of your own. Also add stumblers who might be part of your site’s target-audience; if they visit your profile and reciprocate the addition, you may end up converting them into site visitors. And never forget to reciprocate when webmasters in your niche and/or potential site visitors take the initiative to add you first. Always send them a polite “thank you” note to let them know that you appreciate it that they’ve subscribed to you.

How not to promote your site at StumbleUpon

  • Do NOT stumble every single piece of content your produce. You’ll be seen as a spammer — and within reason. As recommended above, you should stumble and review pages, images and videos that relate to your site’s niche, but that doesn’t mean promoting your own stuff all the time. Occasional self-promotion is okay; daily self-stumbling is not.
  • Do NOT use the “send to” feature all the time. You’ll be seen as a spammer etc. etc. Moreover, it’s generally assumed that your friends’ stumbles don’t generate as much traffic as spontaneous thumbs up given by people that don’t belong to your network. So, if you abuse the “send to” feature you’ll be just punishing yourself.
  • Do NOT rely solely on stumbles to drive traffic to your site. Building a network is a must-do activity for any webmaster who has solid, long-term plans. Instead of counting on the spurs of traffic that StumbleUpon can send you, think about building relationships and branding yourself and your sites. By doing this, you won’t simply get hits; you’ll win loyal visitors and even reinforce your linkbuilding tactics.

There’s much more to be said about StumbleUpon and its traffic generation capabilities. I’m going to wait and see how the recent changes will affect stumblers. Then I’ll write more on the subject and possibly share more tips to help you improve your stumbling strategies.