If you want to learn about StumbleUpon and what it is, read my previous article about Stumbleupon traffic quality..
StumbleUpon is my friend. In a weird, they-just-showed-up-and-were-nice-to-me kind of way.
I’ll write an article about, say, The Plague that is Powerpoint. Nothing happens. I shrug and move on to the next piece.
Then BAM, weeks later traffic goes ballistic:
Pretty dang cool. I have no idea who started that Stumblefest, but thanks!
First: I am not manipulating StumbleUpon. I don’t have 50 accounts so that I can stumble my own stuff. In fact, I no longer stumble my own stuff at all. I got banned once, went through a Kafka-esque ritual to prove my innocence, and am now really conservative.
But there are a few things I do to maximize my Stumble-ability.
Make yourself a Stumble target
- Use an image. Always make sure you have an image that will grab a Stumbler’s attention:
- Make the image catchy. The typical StumbleUpon user just clicks the ‘Stumble’ button every 10 seconds or so. You need to make them stop clicking long enough to read. That’s what the photo is for.
- Write a good headline. This one’s been beaten to death, but write a cool headline. “Why Powerpoint is bad” probably won’t do it. Call Powerpoint a plague, though, and you’ve got something.
- Write something funny/useful. I don’t have to explain this, I hope.
- Make the page scannable. It has to be easy for someone to zip down the page, take in what they want, and then decide if they like it or not. I broke the Powerpoint post up with lots of images and sub-heads, as well as a few bullets.
- Don’t write too much. This one pisses me off, but it’s true. I write long, detailed posts about canonicalization issues and no one cares. Write a short post with a dead body at the top, though, and you’re SET.
- Keep blogging. If I stopped writing for a month every time I wrote a dud, I’d write once a month. Keep posting, preferably daily. Take the time. Old content establishes authority. Then one day a piece of new content grabs attention, and folks start going back through your old stuff and suddenly realize, “Hey, maybe this guy can write after all!”