How I Got 158,000 Stumbles on One Post

Like money, one thing you’ll never get enough of is traffic.

If you want to get a lot of traffic, one of the greatest sources is Going from a couple hundred visits a day to a couple thousand visits a day is a common result of getting picked up by the social media giant.

The problem is that this traffic typically dies down after a day or two.

If you’re clever, however, and you implement these tips, you might be able to carry your traffic for weeks or even months. This is exactly how I got 158,000 Stumbles on one blog post.

Step 1: Create Content that StumbleUpon Users Like

StumbleUpon traffic is difficult to please – if you don’t grab their attention in a split second, they’re on to the next one.

They key is to create remarkable, witty, bite-sized content. Photos and videos do well. Every once in awhile, blog posts get picked up too.

How to Get StumbleUpon Traffic

For me, it was a list of 101 entrepreneurship quotes. That article has 158K+ stumbles which makes it one of the most stumbled articles of all time in the Entrepreneurship category (only 220K Stumblers).

Step 2: Get Someone to Submit it to StumbleUpon

StumbleUpon has made it clear that the tool is meant for social collaboration. They track everything that their users submit. If they see that you only ever submit your own content, you could be banned and your content could be penalized.

My post was submitted by a guy in Florida. After it got it’s first 20K Stumbles, I sent him a thank you package. I’m not sure if that helped my results.

Here’s a timeline of how my post got submitted and picked up by StumbleUpon:

StumbleUpon Traffic

  • March 25th, 2011 – Article published.
  • July 28th, 2011 – Submitted to StumbleUpon.
  • August 21st, 2011 – 1,000 stumbles in a day milestone.
  • October 15th, 2011 – StumbleUpon traffic became more consistent.

Ever since, the Stumble traffic has been fairly consistent because of what I did next.

Step 3: Keep the Stumbles Rolling

If you’ve ever gotten an influx of StumbleUpon traffic, you probably noticed that it all came over the course of a few days or maybe a week.

To keep my stumbles going, here’s what I did:

Added a StumbleUpon Badge

With the Sharebar plugin I added a StumbleUpon badge to the side of my content. This way, anyone who didn’t come from StumbleUpon could stumble the article.

Included “Tweet It” Links

I first saw this strategy on OnStartup’s 23 Tweetable Startup Insights from Seth Godin.

I saw that it worked well and I figured that people would want to share quotes just as much as Seth Godin’s insights.

There are two ways to do this.


The easy way to generate these links is to use

2. Hard-Coded Tweet It Links

Whenever I can, I prefer to hard-code my links because it gives me more control over the output and it’s generally more stable. In this example, hard-coding allows me to customize the tweet to use trackable links.

Here’s an example of the HTML for the first quote link:

<a href=”’There are two rules for success. 1) Never tell everything you know.’ – Roger H. Lincoln” target=”_blank”>[tweet it]</a>

Direct People to the StumbleUpon Landing Page

This is the secret to the consistent Stumbles.

You’ll notice that all of my “Tweet It” links link to Rather than sending people directly to the article, this link sends them to the StumbleUpon version of the article.

StumbleUpon Traffic Toolbar

So everyone who shares the quotes on Twitter leaves a link that sends their followers to the version of the article with the StumbleUpon toolbar, which makes it easy to Stumble.

A good friend of mine gave me this tip while I was working on a project here for IncomeDiary. You’ll hear more about this project in a few weeks.

The Final Word

StumbleUpon traffic typically consists of people who are looking for a few seconds or entertainment or insight. It’s synonymous with flaky, one-time visitors. I found different, however.

With the entrepreneurship quotes article, the average time on page for that post is 19:07 (150% higher than the site average).

I encourage you to try out these tips, especially the “Click to Tweet” links. Just remember, that if you follow all of the advice here and you don’t get any results, it’s probably because there’s a problem with the content.

Give it a shot and let me know how it goes.

Image by: Robert Lane

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