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How to Get Traffic From StumbleUpon


is more than just a brain-numbing time waster…it can bring loads of traffic to your blog.  I’ve had a few successes with the Stumbleupon toolbar – most recently it’s increased my monthly traffic by about 30% (according to Google Analytics – screenshot below.)  I had no idea what I was doing when I started out…but after watching what’s gone on, I think I can shed some light on the formula for gaining success.  Here’s a few tips on increasing traffic with the popular social sharing toolbar.

To start out, you need to download the toolbar.

In the beginning, this is important here people,  just use the tool bar and surf the web.  When you see something you like – hit the thumbs up button.  Connect with other Stumbleupon users, subscribe to their stumbles, friend them…all the ‘usual’ networking type stuff.

Resist the urge to only thumbs up all your own posts. Spread the love, give all your stumbles to others.  Yes, all of  em.

After you’ve spent some time stumbling and giving props to posts you like, you’ll start to gain appreciation for the kind of content that does well.  You see, hitting that button becomes mesmerizing – content flashes by quickly and you only stop to read something that really and genuinely grabs your interest.  What kinds of content are you ‘thumbing up’ ?  I’d bet ya dollars to donuts that it’s:

  • Easy to read in 3o seconds or less
  • Has a cute / funny / beautiful picture
  • Is cute / funny / intriguing / thought provoking or otherwise geeky.
  • Is on a well designed site

Great Stumbleupon content is not typically:

  • Corporate or Brand centered
  • Commercial in Nature
  • Lengthy or time consuming to read
  • Void of  images
  • Lame / boring  / uninteresting and or useless information
  • On a poorly designed website

Now that you know what will do well and what would make you hit that button, how do you snag some of that traffic for yourself?

You can thumbs up your own post – just make sure you aren’t ONLY thumbing up your own stuff.  I submit about 1 post of my own for every 10 or so posts for others.  You can ask your friends to submit for you…but I always feel weird about asking someone to like something of mine.  I’d rather submit it myself and hope others will like it too.  That’s just me though.

Make sure you add a review.  The review is important – write  a short blurb about what the post is about.  Make sure you select the right tags and categories.

StumbleUpon will then start sending a few hits to that post.  If you’ve done a good job in creating content that’s suitable, other users will thumb it up.  If you get REALLY lucky, other users will write a review on it.  See the screenshot below (click the ‘info’ button on your toolbar to get to this page).  You’ll see below that I didn’t review my own post on this occasion but it didn’t matter here. I did select tags and other users hit the thumbs up button and reviewed the post so it carried on sending traffic my way.

If someone else reviews your post – hover over the review and it will ask you – was this review helpful? I say yes – don’t know if that has any impact or not…but feel it’s gotta be a nice thing to do.

Do not team up with your buddies and formally exchange stumbles.  ‘you thumbs up mine and I’ll thumbs up yours’ schemes are against Stumbleupon’s TOS and could get your account shut down.

Don’t be a spammy jerk.

Let the process happen naturally, let people surf in and react the the content in the way they see fit.  If they take time to give your post a thumbs up then Yay!  Good for you.   If they do nothing and surf on out then you know you didn’t hit the best chord with the audience.  Try something different next time.  Having your friends stumble your stuff doesn’t seem to have as much impact as if a ‘non friend’ naturally likes something of yours and honestly, that’s the way it should be.

Now go forth and Stumble.  Spread some StumbeUpon Karma and hopefully the love will return and you’ll see some traffic float your way.  Best of luck to you.


  1. You rock Heather. Great tips.

  2. Adding that it’s also against TOS to stumble giveaways.

    Great post Heather.

  3. Thank you!! One of my many goals for this fall is to learn how to use Stumble Upon more effectively!!

  4. I don’t understand Stumble Upon. Can you stumble some of my stuff? LOL I am afraid Stumble will block me for liking my own stuff. LMAO

    And Stumble has done nothing for me even though I have that damn button on my blog & that network thing. OY.

  5. Great guide! :)

  6. Great tips on using SU. I’ve been dabbling in and out for about 2 months but I’m really starting to see traction. In fact, this post ( is nearly two months old and is suddenly getting a life of its own. I’ve gotten almost 100 visits today just from that one post, which is cray-zee!

  7. Great post Heather. This helps clear up some of my Stumble questions. Now I’m off to “thumbs up” this! ;D

  8. Great post! I made an account with StumbleUpon when it first launched, and forgot about it until I started blogging and saw it mentioned frequently. This is a helpful introduction to the “New” StumbleUpon – it’s changed a lot since 2005! 😉

  9. It’s your typical SU traffic tips but it is still worthwhile specially if you haven’t read any other SU traffic tips.

  10. Thank you so much! You are the first person to actually explain how to use StumbleUpon clearly! Now I actually understand how to use that account I signed up for months ago.

  11. Thanks for your idea. I have just downloaded the toolbar mate :-(). My blog is small now and without traffic, it can not generate any buck.

    BTW, your blog on ProBlogger is great! I myself are facing this problem. I do not know which kind of content I will cover on my blog in the coming time, hic.

  12. Thanks that post is very helpful for me. But I do not know when I stumble my posts, I do not get much traffic. That is so sad!

  13. Great info Heather, I had totally forgotten about StumbleUpon, Definitely have to follow your tips.

  14. Hi,
    I was wondering if that was the traffic for a day or more than that?


  15. Thank you for this tutorial! I was told that StumbleUpon frowns on you submitting your own posts so I am happy to find out that is not the case.

  16. Thanks for the info. I need to revisit stumbleupon now.

  17. I’ve been getting tons of Stumble traffic lately, too. It’s been wonderful!

  18. That is so interesting that I stumbled upon this post. Ha! Actually I have a single post at OMSH that was from last August that has just exploded on Stumble Upon recently. It was stumbled shortly after it was posted but for some reason it has gone like wildfire. It was at about 3.5k views at the start of the year and now has over 100k. It has been stumbled upon 72k times and one day gave us 15k uniques. Yes in one day!

    So let me say now I love Stumble Upon, I’m just not sure how it suddenly got so successful, months after first being stumbled. And I have no clue to how duplicate the success!

  19. your “bet ya dollar to donuts” tips are extremely helpful!

  20. Thanks for these tips! I’m trying to figure out SU and see if it’s worth it for me/my blog and your post is really helpful.


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