I don’t know about you but I’m addicted to the traffic that StumbleUpon can send to my websites. It’s easy. It’s big. And it’s just plain fun. Unfortunately, the potency of your StumbleUpon account will go downhill quickly if you submit the same sites over and over and if you get identified as being part of an obvious voting network.
As a general principle for social media marketing, I believe that it’s in your best interest to use social media the way it was intended to be used: to find and highlight good content. Not just your good content (and especially not your mediocre content). But as much top-notch content as you come in contact with. Hopefully some of that quality content is your content. But not most. And not all.
The good news is that by consistently stumbling yummy content from a diverse set of domains, the potency of your account will go up, even when you submit your own stuff. However, you need to stay disciplined and not fall into the bad habit of just submitting and voting on your own content over and over.
With this in mind, even if you only have 10-20 minutes per day to vote on StumbleUpon stories, here are three tips for finding the right kind of stories to stumble and thereby increase the potency of your StumbleUpon account.
1. Stumble Popular Stories At Digg and Reddit That You Like
Use the two links above to quickly scan for stories that you really like. Visit the sites. Thumb up. It’s that easy. By doing this you’ll be associating your account with good content that lots of other people are voting up as well.
2. Find Diverse Sources For The Kind Of Content You Like
- DRB: http://www.darkroastedblend.com/
- Hotlinks: http://www.reddit.com/r/hotlinks/
- Webslinger: http://www.kfbk.com/pages/webslinger.html
There are hundreds of high quality link editors out there. Bookmark a few of the sites you like, visit the articles you like best, and vote them up. Again, you are associating your account with quality content and chances are a high number of your stumbles will become popular.
3. Be First With Great Content
So this is where things get a little tricky. While it’s great to associate your account with great content, you also want to be associated with discovering great content. So sometimes you want to be the first to find a great story. This is where you might have to put in the most work, but it can be somewhat mechanized as well.
- Option A: Track popular sites like Drudge and HuffPo and the minute a story goes up, stumble it. The downside to this is that you can’t accurately predict when new stories will go live, so it could take a while.
- Option B: Network with people who run popular websites like CopyBlogger and once comfortable with the relationship, tell them you’d like to be the first to stumble their stories when published. Either they’ll work with you, or they’ll look at you like you’re weird. Worst case, nothing lost.
- Option C: Study the posting patterns of sites like Cracked. These popular sites tend to have a perceivable publishing schedule. However, because of this, you might be competing with lots of others.
- Option D: Publish your own top-tier content and then stumble it. Just make sure that you stumble your own sites no more frequently than you stumble other popular sites.
Ok. That’s it. I think the key to building a powerful stumble account is to diversify your stumbles across lots of quality content. And fear not, some of that quality content can be your own.
Ryan is co-founder of Brainz, the top-secret online information project.