Ever wonder how certain pieces of content ended up going viral? There’s a good chance it happened because of StumbleUpon. Designed for consumers who love falling down a rabbit hole online, this part social media, part search engine site lets users discover, rate and share interesting content from all over the web.

You can use it to create organic traffic or opt for the site’s ‘paid discovery’ option, and as long as you’re producing high value content, it’s a free to inexpensive way to boost your marketing efforts.

When you don’t want to spend any money

Don’t have room in your budget for another advertising campaign? No problem – you’ll have to put some time into the site, but as long as your content is interesting and entertaining, you should see a noticeable increase in traffic.

Getting started

Start by creating a StumbleUpon account and then add a StumbleUpon badge to any content you produce. Go back in to your account and use the Su.pr URL shortening system for the content you want to promote, and add it to your tweets and posts. You can also let the site connect to your Twitter and Facebook accounts and it will automatically share the shortened link with your followers. Now, any time someone falls on your site outside of StumbleUpon, they can rate and share the content through their StumbleUpon account; or, when they click your link in your Tweet or Facebook post, the content will open up with StumbleUpon’s toolbar automatically, so they can like and share from there as well.

Getting traction

To really drive traffic, you have to create an active profile on StumbleUpon.

Be thoughtful and thorough when filling out your StumbleUpon profile: select all topics that fit your business as interests, upload a profile picture (use the same one as you do on your other social media accounts), and fill out a bio. Now, find StumbleUpon users to follow, targeting people who you think fit your demographic. The site makes this pretty easy with a keyword search that lets you find users interested in similar things. The goal here is to follow the right people, i.e., those with a fair amount of their own followers, and hope that they follow you back.

Then, make using the site a part of your workday. Like and share things your followers like and share, and they’ll be more likely to share and like content that you put out. With the site, you do have to wait until someone else ‘stumbles’ on your content, but you can easily get a friend, family member, or employee to do that for you.

When you’re ready to take things up a notch

As with Facebook, StumbleUpon lets you create pay per click ad campaigns, or ‘paid discoveries’, that target users based on demographics, interests, locations, and even the device they’re using. Unlike other sites, you aren’t just getting a banner or little box on the side of the screen – your content becomes the ad, and users clicking on it get to see the whole thing on one page. There’s no minimum to spend and you can set your budget for each campaign; bonus, the pricing is relatively cheap, especially for the pay as you go tier.

Whether you opt to try out the site for free or want to dip your toe into paid discovery ads, you will see an increase in traffic if you’re creating entertaining content.


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