StumbleUpon: Exposure That Lasts

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After looking at my statistics after numerous posts from my site were submitted and promoted on StumbleUpon, I saw a huge difference between traffic from the more mainstream socially driven sites (i.e. Digg and Netscape) and that from StumbleUpon, in a very positive way.
Exposure that lasts
Both Digg and Netscape send almost zero traffic until you get promoted to the sites’ homepages. While both these sites, and especially Digg, have the power to send thousands of visitors to your site in a very short time, exposure from these sites starts only once your content gets promoted and lasts only as long as you are in the first few pages of the promoted content sections of the sites. The further down the homepage you move, and then the further down the pages of the homepage you move, the smaller your traffic numbers will get.
On the contrary, you only need 3-4 thumbs of approval from Stumblers before a decent number of visitors start coming in to your site. The more ‘likes’ (thumbs up, or votes) you get, the more traffic you will get. Unlike Digg, where you can get 5,000 visitors per hour for a few hours and then next to none from there on, StumbleUpon sends you sustained traffic over long stretches of time. For example, I have been seeing the site send me around 200 unique visitors per hour for 3 days now, with the number sometimes spiking to 350 per hour and even as high as 1,200 visitors per hour.
People often discount StumbleUpon because the traffic spikes aren’t as sudden and as huge as those resulting from Digg. While it’s true that the spikes aren’t as huge, if you look at the total traffic trends over longer stretches (i.e. a week or two) you will see that the visitor count equals out. Furthermore, because the traffic from StumbleUpon is averaged out over longer periods, you don’t have to worry about exhausting your MySQL databases or crashing your servers.

Cameron Olthuis

Cameron Olthuis

Cameron Olthuis

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  • Very good point… that is why I have been putting more emphasis on SU lately.

  • I run health websites and I can’t see SU traffic being valuable to me. I was going after Digg homepage to get backlinks only, but I hope I’m wrong about SU though. Can you enlighten?

  • I love StumbleUpon for traffic. One stumble still gets a spike every two weeks or so. When this happens I receive about 350 – 500 unique visits. I first posted it in February and it is now September.

  • StumbleUpon sends lots of traffic – not sure about conversions…

  • RustyS

    I’ve noticed the same thing. We tend to see far more traffic from StumbleUpon over the long haul. I guess if you’re a site like Engadget or a Mac-oriented site, then Digg is your best friend and a leading source of traffic. But for the average site, it’s a long shot at best.
    That being said, I need to spend more time analyzing the quality of the traffic we get from StumbleUpon. Given the very nature of the network’s users I can’t help but think the average visit length might actually be significantly lower than even Digg users (who actively clicked the link wanting to see more info on the story.)
    I use SU all the time too because it’s the ultimate browsing service. But if I’m any indication of the service’s users, I can still blow through about a dozen sites a minute until I find something that really interests me.

  • I cannot agree with you more. You get so much traffic out of SU.
    Good post. I just stumbled this post.
    Jamy from Seaykopitiam

  • StumbleUpon is definitely better than Digg or Netscape.
    It would be nice to see more articles about it. Some studies like:
    Is it advisable to submit your own articles to StumbleUpon?
    What is the benefit of having a big list of friends in StumbleUpon?
    How the groups function? Are they important?

  • I haven’t gotten to much traffic out of SU. And even fewer comments. ;D

  • Stumble is a great method of getting traffic as long as you get it in the right way.
    If you just go after traffic to your home page you are not going to get as good a response than if you go for traffic to a single post. I come across a number of blog front pages where I am looking for a particular piece of information through surf.
    If you get your tags right then you will benefit if you go after the big keyword tags then you will get less of a response.