StumbleUpon Breaks Traffic record on my Site

Did I already told you how I like StumbleUpon? I’m not only using it, and liking it, to discover new great sites and content. I also get great number of visitors through StumbleUpon to some of my websites. And lately I’ve experienced first hand that StumbleUpon is on Fire. I have a theory about the new popularity of StumbleUpon, you can read more below.

But first, my Poetry website broke new records in the number of visitors in one months for the months of January.

 StumbleUpon for Poetry

I found myself spending and stumbling a lot of time on my iPad using the StumbleUpon App. You can quickly stumble from site to site, and find a lot of new content which you can easily share either through your twitter account, or through email with your friends. This is why I think StumbleUpon is really taking off and sends massive amounts of traffic to great content.

I’m almost at 3,000 sites stumbled, and have discovered more than 500 new webpages. Just 2 years ago I passed the mark of 1,000 sites stumbled. At the end of this year that number will probably be much higher if I keep Stumbling each day a couple of minutes…

This is what Avalanche StumbleUpon Traffic Looks Like!

Ever wondered how an avalanche of visitors on your site from StumbleUpon looks like, keep on reading, because below I’m describing the small success I’ve had with some posts that went somewhat popular on StumbleUpon. I can agree with the post on TheNextWeb.com; on how StumbleUpon brings in more traffic than Facebook.

As a teaser, in the first picture below here you can see the traffic from StumbleUpon which was generated through four different articles in a short period of time:

StumbleUpon traffic

Background of these Viral Stories

iPad launch

Back in April last year, the iPad launched in the US first, ad month later also across the globe. One of the amazing powers of the eBay concept of a global marketplace, is that it makes inefficient markets more efficient. So when a product is scarce in one part of the world, but widely available in other parts, equilibrium will be set through matching demand & supply through sharing information on availability of products and prices.

The information on how many iPads were sold on eBay to other countries around the world is an amazing example on how specific eBay data can become an amazing story sharing on all the tech blogs. With a simple infographic, view here, the story got media attention from:

I knew I’ve been sitting on a treasure of data, but to get this success out of my first attempt was just amazing and very encouraging!

Viral Stories

I’ve been a fan of a number of great ingredients for Viral Stories. Among these are:

  • Data; I love the amounts of data I have available at my fingertips at eBay. Just imagine you can research what people are looking for at:
    • Seasonal searches; special events or just the winter time
    • What people are prepared to pay for that special item
    • When did that product became popular
  • Seth Godin; marketeers tell stories. Great marketeers tell remarkable stories. Your story can spread virally if it’s a purple cow; aka remarkable! The eBay data is unique and worth sharing as a remarkable story, depending on the way it’s presented!
  • StumbleUpon; I fell in love with the way you get targeted content presented based on your preferences back in 2006. I was very excited to start engaging with the SU team back in 2007 when eBay bought SU. When the owners took SU private again in 2009, I was both sad and happy. Sad because I could not engage with the team on a direct basis, happy because I knew the founders would do remarkable th9ings with the site, technology and community. See my other two post on StumbleUpon: 1. My 1.000 Stumbles, reviewing 2 years of Thumbs Up; 2. StumbleUpon direct recommendations through email

I stayed true to StumbleUpon, even when the company I work for, eBay, divested it’s investment in the startup. I have more than 2,700 sites stumbled, and almost 500 discoveries at the time of writing this article. You can review my StumbleUpon profile here!

I recently accelerated my Stumbling through using the iPad App of StumbleUpon. It;s just such an easy way of finding new great content in the specific interest fields you have indicated! My recent answer on Quora regarding the question Why SU referral traffic appears to be growing so fast:

I started to use StumbleUpon much more as soon as I got their iPad app installed. Stumbling on the iPad has become so easy, where you can share the sites you like easy on Twitter, Facebook or send yourself an email.

Telling remarkable Motors Stories

I wished I could dream in SQL. I would have a wet dream everyday I would go to work. eBay has so much data on how the site is being used, what products are being searched for, what price these are going for and which categories are complimentary to each other. More interesting, based on the eBay data, you can test real auction theory at scale, as there are so many items closed on a daily basis in auction format!

When the eBay Motors team came to us with the idea to set up a blog for collector Car enthusiasts, I knew I wanted to be part of the building of the site. While I like to blog, I read more on what can build a great site, why people come back, and how you create viral content. I needed some practical experience, before I can ever put this on my resume or start doing it for myself!

The eBay Motors Blog has been setup in cooperation with my team, and we have engaged with the BlueGlass agency to create 4 really interesting viral stories, with the intention to show what we can do telling remarkable stories based on eBay data. The stories we have worked on are:

  1. Coolest Movie Cars on eBay
  2. Most Expensive Cars Sold on eBay [Infographic]
  3. Ultimate Car Gifts
  4. 14 Crazy Car Mods

Viral Car stories

Not all of the cars featured in the stories above have been sold through eBay, but some have been listed on eBay, some where added to give the story more flavor. These are cars you might be able to find on eBay, which makes the eBay platform so interesting to pull stories from!

A StumbleUpon Avalanche of Traffic

The results are in, and all of the four articles have been a success in driving ‘free’ viral traffic. The objective for these articles have been to establish the eBayMotorsblog, and to gain more social media traffic and incoming links. My big learning were the following points:

  • DIGG has almost become irrelevant in social sharing. Although I still would like to see every article I work on on teh homepage of DIGG, I rather have the story go popular on StumbleUpon!
  • Facebook is good for sharing content, but you will always share that content with your inner circle of friends. The more you share, the less likely your social circle will share your stories. There is a point of diminishing returns on your sharing activity on Facebook, where you will loose “friends” if you continue to spam their wall messages
  • StumbleUpon is the true sharing platform, where you can share the story with people who have “opted-in” to the category of your story. So you need to make sure you Tag your story right

Traffic from social media sharing sites

The eBay motors story are perfect to share on StumbleUpon as these are very targeted at Car enthusiasts. People who love cars, are more likely to give the thumbs up to a car story which is entertaining, fun and tell a remarkable story about the cars they love!

At times, the number of visitors coming to the story which went viral on StumbleUpon peaked at 3,000 unique visitors in just 5 minutes. Some of these posts got over 50K visitors in just one day. I know this is small potatoes or peanuts compared to the real popular posts on StubleUpon, but I was fairly happy with these first attempts. Here is what it looks like if your site gets a StumbleUpon Avalanche of traffic:

The video of real time traffic was made with GetClicky and SnagIt

For a one months old blog, focused on a large niche enthusiasts, we have had a great start. Now we need to create more stellar content which can appeal to the interest of our target audience.

Keep on Stumbling…!!!

Stop stumbling at your workplace!

While I was stumbling (at home) I stumbled on the following website: blocked (see screenshot)

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Pretty funny stuff.

Now I knew immediately that is was not real for a) I was at home and b) at my work they wouldn't block StumbleUpon, because they own the site!

Still I thought it was a pretty good joke.

StumbleUpon Direct Recommendations through eMail

45 minutes ago I received my first ever StumbleUpon recommendations email. I'm not sure if these has been sent out before, but I have to say, I love it!

I'm a huge Stumble fan, Especially if the system decided to send a whole bunch of traffic my way.  Through SU I have discovered a whole lot of new, fun sites, which have enriched my life in many ways. New information, new fun and new knowledge that is hard to find if you just type in a search in Google.

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 The more precise you are in targeting your interest, the faster the system will learn what you actually like. The sites served to you when you click on the Stumble button are getting better and better the more you Stumble.

Check out my profile: DennisGnl.StumbleUpon.com, and connect with me on StumbleUpon

My 1.000 Stumbles, Reviewing 2 Years of Thumbs Up

Since February 2 2007 I've been a great fan of StumbleUpon. I just love the way the Stumble algorithm is serving you a new unexpected site every time you click on the little stumble button in the toolbar.

A common complaint I hear from people that have tried SU, is that the sites they get are not relevant to their interest. Yeah, duh..! The system learns more and more from your feedback. As long as you don't give the thumbs up or down, the system cannot learn from you, and will serve any random site that only matches your interest just a little. The StumbleUpon system is hungry to learn from what you like, to serve you more that matches people's thumbs up.

A Thousand Stumbles

After 2 years I accumulated exactly 1,000 stumbled today, exactly 2 years after subscribing to StumbleUpon.

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And number thousand was a special StumbleUpon coffee: StumbleUpon, More addicting than Coffee!

Picture by Dayza.com

It's pretty funny that I just realized that on the exact day of the two years anniversary of my subscription of StumbleUpon, I reached a 1,000 sites stumbled, and the #1,000 was a picture on how addictive StumbleUpon really can be!

Reviewing a site

Although I have 1,000 sites rated, I just have over 50% reviewed on StumbleUpon. The sites that have received a review from me are 505!

Reviews give you an opportunity to use StumbleUpon as a personal bookmarking repository. As long as you review the site so that you understand the content, and use tags to describe the content.

My StumbleUpon Tags

I have a wide variety of tags that I use whenever I review a site on StumbleUpon. This might be because I have a broad interest in different subjects of websites. It's also because whenever I come across a site a really like, I'm not afraid to spend two minutes to give it the thumbs up and review the site. Sometimes you even get "lucky" to be the first. It can be very interesting to find a virgin site if it comes to stumble.

Here are my Stumble Tags:

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Stumble Power

 I have seen some of my Stumble Power in action when I discover a post of a site that I either have control over, or if I know the owner of the site (primarily the latter as I don't like to discover my own stuff that much).

Sometimes StumbleUpon can be amazing in driving return traffic to your site. Enough blog posts have been written about the SU effect, where traffic does not only can come in an avalanche, but it comes back after a few weeks, and keeps coming back!

Below is a small graph of one of my sites. Every couple of weeks the site gets hit by a stream of new visitors through StumbleUpon. I have to admit, I need to revamp the site, as it is not really stumble worthy enough to go viral. but you can see the power of a simple stumble!

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This graph is just showing on a small scale the power StumbleUpon can have. With better content and site structure, this particular site could even see much more!

Connect with me

If you found this interesting, make sure you try out StumbleUpon, and stick with the system for a while, I promise you, it'll get better over time the more you stumble.

In the mean time, feel free to visit my profile: DennisGnl.stumbleupon.com. You can either ad me as a friend, or first review my profile.

How to use StumbleUpon

As I use StumbleUpon to discover great new sites, there is also a downside to the traffic generating factor of stumbleUpon. It attracts Spammers.

Don't let that bother you, just make sure you rate the sites the way you want to rate them. If somebody is sending you a site through the send a friend button, don't feel pressured to give a thumbs up only because it's somebody you allowed in your inner circle. You, and only you control what you like!

Other reads:

Disclaimer

These thoughts are all my own experience and the love for StumbleUpon is real, as you can check in my profile by looking at the sites I stumbled.

I occasionally advise StumbleUpon on SEO, but they have an awesome team already, so who needs me anyway!