stumbleupon

StumbleUpon is an internet discovery tool that also acts as a social network. You log in, set your interests, and then it will present interesting pages to you almost endlessly. You can like, save, and share pages and create your own lists for categorization.

It’s an amazing way to get traffic and something that I use for all of my niche sites. And the best part is it’s free. It’s a really great way to find websites about what you’re interested in that you may never have found if you didn’t use their web app.

I’ll show you how a few of my websites get close to 50,000 visitors per month from StumbleUpon, and how easy it was to do so. If you love push-button traffic, then this is as close to the real thing as it gets.

How to get traffic from StumbleUpon

If you don’t have a StumbleUpon account yet, make one. It’s free. It’s one of the easiest and fastest ways to get your content found instantly without having to pay a single cent (ads discussed further below). You don’t even need a following.

stumbleupon welcome screen

While other social networks might require some work to get your content found after you post it, with StumbleUpon, it’s really hands off. You simply submit it, and you’re done.

Submitting your pages

Making an account is easy. Make one and get familiar with how the website works. Start by selecting some interests and start stumbling!

Next, you can start submitting your own pages. While this section is for collectively adding interesting stuff you find on the web, I normally just submit my own stuff and it works great.

In the header, you’ll see a bunch of menu options. To add your page, click on “Profile.”

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Once you’re in there, click on “Add a Page.”

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It will take you to this page, and all you need to do is input your page’s URL, choose the appropriate category, add a few tags, and submit!

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And that’s it.

Seriously, how easy was that? You don’t even need to actively go out and share it with other members to check it out. Once you submit, you’re done.

If it gets good engagement, it will be presented to more people as they stumble in your category. If it continues to do well, you’ll see a LOT of visitors trickling your way.

Not all pages will get the same traffic

StumbleUpon is hit or miss. From what I’ve experienced, it will either:

1. Get a lot of traffic long-term.
2. Get a temporary spike and die off completely.
3. Get 10-20 visitors and then die off.

What we’re really looking for is #1, to get a lot of traffic long term. I’ve only been able to do this with around 50 pages and I’ve submitted hundreds of them.

The good thing is that there’s not limit to how many pages you can submit. You’re not spamming their web app, you’re helping to grow it by suggesting pages to their database.

Surprising traffic stats

The way StumbleUpon works for me is, I submit it and there’s maybe 5-10 visitors within an hour. Then in the next few days or so I’ll suddenly see 100+ people on my site at once (using real time analytics) – even to a brand new site. When I look at my stats, it’s all from StumbleUpon.

It’s weird the way it works but it’s really awesome when something sticks like that.

How to create posts that stick

The best way to succeed at getting a lot of traffic from StumbleUpon is to know what your category likes. To do this, just take a look at all the other posts that are doing well. Believe me, there are some really massive numbers out there with some posts getting traffic in the millions.

To see what posts are doing popular, go to your StumbleUpon home feed.

Click “Add Interests”

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You’ll see a giant list of topics.

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**This is also a very helpful way to come up with ideas on niche selection.

Click on a topic and it will show you how many views each one has gotten.

Skim through the titles of successful posts and what specific topics this category is interested in. That should give you a good idea on the type of content that does well, and the style of titles that get a lot of traction.

Paid Ads

StumbleUpon also offers an advertising option where you can pay to reach people in your desired categories.

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All I’ll say about this is that it’s not worth it for me. There’s no big differentiation between their paid program and their free submits.

After seeing a few of my posts do well on their network, I decided to throw $500 at their advertising system to try and see if it will help the chances of my newer posts get to the same level.

It didn’t.

They charge $0.10 – $0.50 per visitor depending on who you target. It was probably one of the worst results I’ve gotten from an advertising spend.

I did get visitors, but I got exactly what I paid for. Nothing more. It doesn’t even come close to the free traffic I’m getting from their submitting system.

This just proves that StumbleUpon is really hit or miss. If people don’t engage with your post after you post it (whether it’s boosted from ads or not) it will not get any traction and just die off.

Also, posts submitted for free get enough exposure that paying for them is not completely necessary. Most of the posts I submit for free get more traffic than the paid campaign.

I’ve only tried it once so I can’t say this will be the same for everybody, but I won’t be spending money on their ads again.

Not great for Adsense

Although getting traffic from StumbleUpon is easy, it’s not the best for getting Adsense clicks. Traffic from It has some of the highest bounce rates.

People just want to quickly digest your content, and stumble onto the next presented page.

However, just because you won’t get clicks, it doesn’t mean you should ignore it when it’s this effective.

You get more than just an increased traffic number.

You get more people interested in your niche to discover your site, bookmark your site, and share it with their friends. I see a lot of traffic from StumbleUpon sharing my content through other social networks like Facebook and Twitter.

Conclusion

StumbleUpon is a great tool to use. It doesn’t take much time to submit a post, and if it does well, it can send you upwards of a million visitors over the course of the year.

Not only is it a great way to get your content found, there’s also a giant database of categorized niches, making it a great way to discover new topics for your next niche site.

I use it regularly a few times a week. If you haven’t tried StumbleUpon before, you should definitely start using it to get traffic.

26 Comments

  • Reply
    Katherine
    March 20, 2015 at 2:18 pm

    I used stumbleupon quite a bit several years ago and for some reason, I stopped. I have only recently realized that it is still a viable place to help drive traffic. I think I’ll start again!

    • Reply
      Chris Lee
      March 20, 2015 at 9:32 pm

      You’ll find it’s a lot better than it was a few years ago 🙂

  • Reply
    Shaun
    March 20, 2015 at 2:58 pm

    Thanks for this – I always was just a reader, never a submitter. Now I’m going to submit!

    • Reply
      Chris Lee
      March 20, 2015 at 9:30 pm

      Thanks for reading, Shaun.

  • Reply
    Adenan
    March 22, 2015 at 5:56 pm

    Wow! never thought stumbleupon can be this very powerful to drive free traffic. Thanks Chris for sharing this info. Will implement this technic soon to my site. 🙂

    • Reply
      Chris Lee
      March 22, 2015 at 8:12 pm

      Thanks for reading, Adenan 🙂

  • Reply
    Robert Connor
    April 4, 2015 at 12:39 am

    We really like stumbleupon and are going to try some of your tips for traffict to our money blog!

    • Reply
      Chris Lee
      April 8, 2015 at 8:26 pm

      Thanks for reading, Robert! Let me know how it works out. Love to share the results.

  • Reply
    shafiqul islam
    April 23, 2015 at 3:34 am

    Thanks for sharing massive informative article.Your are really right and will help us.

    • Reply
      Chris Lee
      April 23, 2015 at 2:11 pm

      Thanks for reading, Shafiqul.

  • Reply
    2big
    April 23, 2015 at 4:37 pm

    Great article and I really enjoy reading from you. Just wanted to ask what is the theme you’re using on this site ? Any theme recommendation and will be appreciated

    Thank you

    • Reply
      Chris Lee
      April 23, 2015 at 4:40 pm

      It’s a custom theme I developed myself. I use my own themes for building my sites and haven’t used an outside theme in a while so I don’t have any recommendations.

      I can tell you though that you should stick to clean and simple themes (for standard niche sites). Flashy themes with a bunch of functions seem attractive, but they’re just loaded with a bunch of code that you won’t end up using even half of. Go with simple, with just the bare functions that you really need.

  • Reply
    Imran
    May 13, 2015 at 3:12 am

    Hi Chris,
    I have been using stumbleupon for long and started submitted my own blog content but I receive very little traffic as per Google Analytics. Although Google Webmaster tools indicates the good number of links to my blog from stumbleupon.

    Is there some specific technique to submit contents?

    • Reply
      Chris Lee
      May 13, 2015 at 6:37 pm

      Hi Imran, Stumbleupon is really hit or miss. Most of your posts will get a short spike and die off within 24 hours. But the ones that catch traction will send you a lot of traffic. I have several posts that get over 20,000 visitors/month from Stumbleupon.

      You can continue to submit your posts as there is no limit so you should be doing so. Of course, make sure it’s an interesting topic. For instance, if your niche is flight training, something like “10 Mysterious Flights That Disappeared in 2014” will do a lot better than “How To Get Your Flight Instructor License.”

  • Reply
    Samur Isma
    July 19, 2015 at 4:51 pm

    Excellent post!

    StumbleUpon is a great tool to bring the high amount of traffic to our site, and I am using it for a long time.
    Your tips are very important to the beginner bloggers.

    Have a nice week ahead.

    • Reply
      Chris Lee
      July 19, 2015 at 5:26 pm

      Thanks, Samur. You too.

  • Reply
    JJ
    December 15, 2015 at 11:07 pm

    I hear Stumbleupon might shadow ban you if you “spam” too much of your sites in your submissions. Also, often they stop accepting my submissions after 10 or so from the same domain.

    To avoid being flagged as a spammer, I’ll also use Stumbleupon to find other sites to build links with by picking my niche in the Interests and stumbling them (plus Liking the site if it suits me for linkbuilding, training their algorithm to spew out more similar sites for me.)

    • Reply
      Chris Lee
      December 16, 2015 at 4:44 am

      Awesome! Great tips, JJ.

  • Reply
    Prince Kapoor
    January 7, 2016 at 1:27 am

    StumbleUpon once gave very high spike of US traffic on our site. Excited me started submitting links on SU daily to repeast that spike ad eventually got banned 🙁 I still use SU (VPN ;)) but very less due to no sureity of traffic and high bounce rate!

    Thanks Chris! Great Insights 🙂

    • Reply
      Chris Lee
      January 8, 2016 at 3:21 am

      Thanks for the feedback, Prince!

  • Reply
    lusekelo
    December 21, 2016 at 8:41 pm

    I started using stumble upon recently and i noticed the same trend as you described in this post,some pages got a lot of traffic and some not that much,but to be honest it helped a lot to boost my alexa ranking and the bounce rate went low(i have no idea why).
    I try to add my niche blog with adsense also it gets some traffic but i never got even a single click on my adsense from that particular page,so it is a hit and miss but it is worth the time in my opinion.

    • Reply
      Chris Lee
      December 25, 2016 at 9:50 pm

      Thanks for sharing Lusekelo!

      Yes, definitely a good secondary traffic strategy, but shouldn’t be used as a main one.

  • Reply
    Reuben
    October 16, 2017 at 8:26 am

    Believe me Chris, this is very helpful. I’ve been using stumbleupon for a long time now… but i’ve not been able to use this feature. But now seeing immerse potential it has. I will start making use of this techniques now.

    Thanks for sharing.

    • Reply
      Chris Lee
      October 18, 2017 at 3:54 pm

      Cool, that’s awesome Reuben!

  • Reply
    Alen
    April 19, 2018 at 8:43 pm

    Hello Chris,

    I have a question. Adsense-StumbleUpon, does it work in 2018? I’m afraid that a big bounce rate can make the problem …

    Thank you

    • Reply
      Chris Lee
      April 23, 2018 at 11:51 pm

      Hey Alen!

      Nope. Stumbleupon traffic has never really converted. It’s just a nice way to give your site a huge traffic boost the times it does work out 🙂

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