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:
Background of these Viral Stories
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:
- TheNextWeb; Just how successful has the iPad already been abroad? Ask eBay.
- Techcrunch; eBay Sells 5,000-plus iPads, UAE Buyers Pay Highest Prices
- 9TO5Mac; Over 5,000 iPads sold on eBay, UK loves them most
- Gizmodo; Sell Your iPad Overseas on eBay and Profit
- NYTimes; The iPad Travels the World, via eBay
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!
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:
- Coolest Movie Cars on eBay
- Most Expensive Cars Sold on eBay [Infographic]
- Ultimate Car Gifts
- 14 Crazy Car Mods
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
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:
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…!!!