Right off the bat, I am going to say that this is a user guide for new and experienced users alike. So if you are new to Stumble Upon, read the Intro. If not, scroll down for the advanced class and a list of resources at the bottom.
What is stumble upon? Basically, stumble upon is a cool web service that allows you to find some of the best websites on the web.
How does it do that? Stumble Upon is a community of people who surf the web and give things they are reading, seeing, or watching, a thumbs up or down. If you subscribe to someone’s favorite’s or just randomly stumble you will see these user submitted sites. When enough people visit a site and give it a thumbs up Stumble Upon starts featuring those sites and they can gain a lot of visits very quickly.
Why should I use it? Both to find cool new things on the internet and to promote your own site.
How do I use it? First, you sign up. Next, you put in your profile information. (Similar to facebook and other social networking sites.) Then you install the toolbar for Firefox, or install the toolbar for Internet Explorer. Most other browsers, including Chrome, are unfortunately not currently supported. Once that is done, you are ready to start stumbling…
But how do I really use it? I would suggest playing around with it. Once you install the toolbar try giving an article you read a thumbs up. It will take you to the stumble upon site and you can choose to write a review about it. If you are the first to give it a thumbs up a pop up window will appear and you can then choose to write a review or cancel it.
If you are bored and want to randomly stumble pages then just hit the button called “Stumble!” Or like I said, find some friends, subscribe to their stumbles, and they will help you find the coolest sites on the net.
How do I make friends, and why do I want to do this? Many people feature a stumble upon profile on there website. Mine is jeremymday. You can click on my name and it will take you to my profile. From there, you can friend me and subscribe to my favorites. I do find some pretty awesome stuff you will probably enjoy!
So friends are people who you can network with in the stumble upon world. This is really good for website owners which we will talk about later.
You can also find friends after you stumble a site. It will show other people who liked the same stuff. This is where stumble upon gets really cool. When you find people who like the same stuff you do you should befriend them AND subscribe to their favorites. This will help you discover similar content that you like reading that you otherwise wouldn’t have found. Pretty cool, huh?
After you subscribe to someone’s favorites you will start seeing them every time you go to your stumble upon page called “What’s New”. Not your profile page or your actual home page, the “What’s New” page.
What else can you do with Stumble Upon? You can also browse websites by category or by interest. (You can setup your interests in your profile.) I like to sometimes browse the “self-improvement” category because that is where my interest lies. I have found a ton of great content that way.
I’m still confused? Well if you are, you can use my contact page or comment below to ask me any other specific question you might like.
Now, The Advanced Class
So how do I use Stumble Upon to Promote my Site? Good question. I would say, add lots of friends, subscribe to people who stumble similar content, join the discussion boards, and discover what is popular at Stumble Upon.
Realize that not every article you write is Stumble-worthy. You should only really promote one of your articles a week, and let your other ones get stumbled only if people really like them. With practice you will discover what people really like.
Should I review or give my own article a thumbs up? No and never is my first response. However, I have broken that rule and I am unsure how it has helped me or hurt me. But from my research it is generally not good to stumble your own stuff.
So how do I promote my stuff then? Give before you receive! Make other people look good. If you want to know how, check out Barbara’s blog @ Blogging Without a Blog. She really knows how to make others look good. And she is always featuring new blogs.
But really, go and find worthy content on the net. Befriend bloggers you like, stumble their stuff, subscribe to their favorites, and then stumble their favorites if you like them. Once you have a relationship established, use that little “Send to” button on the toolbar and ask them politely to check your newest post out and see if they want to stumble it. If you have been helping them out, most likely they will want to help you out.
How do I become a power user? First ask yourself why you want to be a power user. Its not really necessary to get a lot of traffic from stumble, but it sure can be fun. Tina from Think Simple Now decided to become a power user of stumble upon and it seems to have helped her promotion efforts tremendously. You may think about it too, but it does take a lot of time.
So what’s the final word on Stumble Upon? Use it if you like it, and don’t use it if you don’t. Simple as that. You want to get noticed? Write good content, stumble good content. Too simple? Perhaps. But sometimes the simple answers are the best.
Good luck with using Stumble Upon. Feel free to add me as a friend, and ask me any questions if you have them. And use the other resources below…
List of Resources:
- The Definitive StumbleUpon Resource List
- How To Write Posts That Set StumbleUpon on Fire
- 2,208 Reasons Why StumbleUpon is Your Friend
- How to Grow a Young Blog With Stumble Upon
- Stumble Upon Do’s and Dont’s
- A Comprehensive Guide To Stumbleupon: How to Build Massive Traffic To Your Website And Monetize It – My Favorite of the List!
- Build Super Links and Traffic With Stumble Upon
- How to Use Stumble Upon for Your Business: The Definitive Guide