With more than two million registered users, StumbleUpon has rapidly become a major player in the social networking craze that has swept through the computers of millions of web users, worldwide. Founded in 2001 by software engineers, Garrett Camp, Geoff Smith and Justin LaFrance, the three Canadian Nationals set forward to build a new take on an age old tool, the search engine.
Later purchased by Ebay, Inc. in 2007, StumbleUpon was the first of its kind, allowing a user to select specific keyword tags and then be randomly directed to web sites meeting that criteria from a simple click of the toolbar. With the added functionality of social bookmarking, users are given the ability to tag and submit their favorite sites, allowing you to keep them available for later reference and share them with friends.
Working With StumbleUpon
The first steps to getting started with StumbleUpon is as easy as setting up an account and downloading the StumbleUpon toolbar available for use with the Internet Explorer and Firefox web browsers. Once you have the technical stuff out of the way, we would recommend spending some time browsing the site, search for friends, browse people with your interests, create a new blog and of course, discover new sites.
The next step, would be to add your own blog to the StumbleUpon directory. This can be done through your StumbleUpon toolbar. Traveling to your site and clicking the blue thumbs-up symbol will allow you to add the corresponding tags and description of your page, making it easy for users with similar interests, to find your site.
Adding your own blog to StumbleUpon can be a great way to drive targeted traffic for free. StumbleUpon is well known for its ability to drive large amounts of traffic to the stumbled sites within its directory. It is of course impossible to say just how much traffic any one site will receive after being stumbled, however there have been many reported claims from bloggers that StumbleUpon has brought anywhere from 100 to 12,000 plus visitors in as little as one day.
Many bloggers have turned their entire marketing efforts towards StumbleUpon’s traffic and in some cases it has shown to be a well made decision. As with any social networking tool, an important factor in your marketing efforts should be involving yourself within the community. StumbleUpon makes this a fairly easy process by enabling users to browse through others with similar interests. Adding these people as your friends may give you additional exposure to your site and of course the opportunity to meet new people, which is altimately what social networking is about.
A Quick Thought On Money
Monetization always seems to follow the topic of traffic and with StumbleUpon I have found it to be no different. Making money with StumbleUpon is really no different than the traditional financial means for most bloggers. Simply put your already in place advertising efforts are all you need to make money from any social network site. Leveraging traffic, that is what makes your wallet sing. Use the social networks to bring large amount of visitors and if you have the standard text based ads, affiliate reviews and other advertising in place, you will not need to make any special changes to earn a passive income.
Most bloggers earn money in numbers. You can sell advertising space, however if you have no traffic you won’t find anyone willing to purchase it. You can place ads on your site and write affiliate reviews, but with no traffic you won’t have anyone click it. So before getting to far ahead of yourself, focus on bringing people to your site and StumbleUpon is a great way to do that. Once you have them there, then you can sell them something and that is the best way to make money with StumbleUpon.
StumbleUpon Tools and Resources
Here is a short listing of some of the other available StumbleUpon tools and resources to help get you started stumbling.
StumbleCrumble – A WordPress plugin that will display sites you have recently stumbled in the sidebar, header, footer or anywhere else you choose, on your own blog.
StumbleThis Button – Easily allows visitors to promote your site on StumbleUpon with the click of a button.
stumbleXchange – Although some may consider the technique unethical, this service allows you to promote your site by exchanging stumbles with other users.
StumbleVideo Button – Place this button on your site and share your favorite videos with other Stumble Upon users.
Making a Power Stumble Account – A huge list of tips and tricks to becoming a power Stumble Upon user.
Ultimate StumbleUpon Resource – A listing of many articles written about StumbleUpon covering a variety of topics including, monetization, performance, tactics and more by Mike Bogo.
Sujan Patel is Director of Search at Single Grain, which specializes in Search Engine Optimization and Social Media Marketing