Posted February 24, 2007 4:41 pm by with 9 comments

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StumbleUpon is one of my favorite ways to browse the web, though I have to admit that I haven’t used it much lately. As the number of users nears 2 million, lots of Internet marketers are thinking about the best way to take advantage of the traffic.

After all, StumbleUpon offers a steady stream of qualified, interested visitors—if your content is good enough. If your content gets the “thumbs up,” it will be shown to more stumblers. If it gets “thumbs down” or no votes at all, it will be shown to stumblers with decreasing frequency.

How can you be sure your site is really ready for StumbleUpon?

StumbleUpon’s paid inclusion program FAQ gives a few guidelines:

Entertaining and informative content works best. Our members crave information. They will go out of their way to give you valuable feedback if you provide them with an entertaining, enlightening, or informative experience.

Basically, think linkbait. Or, for a more detailed checklist:

  • As SU put it, submit entertaining and informative content. (Easier said than done, I know.) Lists can be popular, but aren’t quite the ticket to success that they can be on other social media sites.
  • Submit your own page to control what category it gets submitted to. An accidental missubmission will hurt your traffic since your site sure to be ignored. Even without human error, your site might be submitted to a less-than-ideal category.
  • If you’re looking for widespread popularity, appeal to stumblers’ interests. The most popular tags and subjects currently include animation, bizzare, blog, cyberculture, design, funny, games, Google, humor, illusions, Internet, multimedia, photography, photo, photos (yes, separately), science, stumblers, technology, videos, video games and war. Remember, however, that there are subscribers to every category and tag, so you’ll get traffic no matter what. It’s probably better to create an awesome, informative page that’s on-topic to your site than a completely irrelevant article just because stumblers (Diggrz?) might like it.
  • Create “stand alone” content: If possible, keep all the content on a single page. Stumblers can more easily hit the “Stumble!” toolbar button than the “Next>>” link on your page.
  • Provide “road signs”: make it clear what this content is at the top of the page, so stumblers know they’ve come to the right place. Remember that stumblers can and will subscribe to various categories, so it’s important to make sure they can quickly tell what type of site/article they’ve come to.

To learn more about the uses and advantages of SU, see also: