Stumbling Stumble Upon

I’ve been fooling around with Stumble Upon. I get quite a bit of traffic from them because of readers “Stumbling” my articles. Stumble Upon is a browser based toolbar that helps you discover and share great websites. When you click the Stumble button. the service delivers Web pages matched to your personal preferences. Rating the sites you like automatically shares them with like-minded people and helps you discover sites other Stumblers recommend.

Stumble Upon makes money but selling Stumbles. When you hit the Stumble button on the toolbar, you are supposed to get a page that was recommended by other Stumblers. However, for 5 cents per user, Stumble Upon will show that user your page.

Signing up for an advertiser account was easy enough. You can even create a campaign before signing up. I decided to test Stumble Upon by sending traffic to my Making Money from A Blog – February 2007 recap. All new campaign has to be approved and that usually takes less than 24 hours. For whatever reason, Stumble Upon didn’t approved the campaign. There was no explanation – the campaign just disappeared from the approval list. So I decided to use the blog’s front page. I listed myself under the Weblog category but Stumble Upon changed it to Cars. No doubt they saw the Pagani Zonda R post and the Zonda Fs in the header and assumed I was a car site – dumb asses.


Stumble Upon sent me 326 visitors before I stop campaign. Approval was running at a not so great 63% from Stumblers who visited the blog. That’s not very surprising since this blog isn’t really about cars. Yes I have some car posts, but this is not a car blog.

I resubmitted the campaign in the proper category and I’m waiting for approval. Stumble Upon doesn’t seem to work on the weekend because it’s been way more than 24 hours. I assume they will approve the new campaign on Monday. Stay tuned.

73 thoughts on “Stumbling Stumble Upon”

  1. Gary Lee says:

    I’ve just implemented the Stumbleupon button onto my site and I’m still trying to figure out how to use the system to promote my site. I just read a great article on about his stumbleupon experiences. I think he’s really maximized the stumble effect from what i’ve read. By the way, when I first saw this post on my feed reader, I thought you came up with some diabolical way to abuse Stumble!

    1. Jane May says:

      I saw that you submitted one of my posts Gary, thanks. It brought an extra 350+ visitors that day. 🙂

      1. Gary Lee says:

        really? how’d i do that? hahaha . . i’m such a stumblerookie right now . .

        1. Jane May says:

          I think just by stumbling it…by clicking “I like it”

          Atleast I think it was you 😉

          1. Gary Lee says:

            it was me 🙂 cuz i do like your articles . . .

          2. 350 from one Stumble Upon link?!?! That’s crazy! I must be missing out!

          3. How does this work?
            To lazy to go to their site…
            I’m sure I can get answers from this “forum”

  2. This is a pretty cool thing, a new angle to. I know I never would have though of this. This helps both ends very well to, I think I might use the user end one, not the advertising end-part.

    1. Jane May says:

      I’ve tried the user end and not the advertiser. I’m pretty happy with them. The only downside is that I had to download the toolbar to submit anything. I wonder if there’s a way to get around downloading the toolbar? I don’t want it on my personal computer, I care less for my work one 😛

      1. I’m not a fan of toolbars either, I want maximum viewage!

        1. Zach says:

          I’m not a big fan either, i think that stumble upon should come up with another idea to make everything look nicer

    2. Ashish Mohta says:

      It really works.Best is to ask your friends do it for you and you do it for them…it rocks

  3. Tyler says:

    I have stumble on my toolbar, haven’t really used it too much. I offer people to StumbleIt as well on my site and people do it. I get a little amount of traffic from stumble but its not crazy insane either 😉

    John you need to check the Pagani I photoshopped on my site one day 😉

    1. Gary Lee says:

      I installed the toolbar too . . . it’s annoying to look at, but to be honest with you, when i’m really bored, I click the stumble button and I’ve found some really cool sites . . . most graphical stuff

      1. I agree with you. I like the idea of discovering interesting sites by random.

        1. That’s what I use Digg for!

    2. Ashish Mohta says:

      yeah i dont get like insane traffic.Guess you need to know the algorithm

  4. Jon says:

    :mrgreen: I was one of those 326 people, this is definitely the best blog I’ve stumbled upon (haha, like that pun?). I design websites, for a hobby at the moment. Hopefully for a job soon though! You’ve got some great posts on here.

    Cheers mate!

    1. Ashish Mohta says:

      write some tutorial then.It will help bloggers like me who think really stupid when it comes to desings

  5. Seopher says:

    I’ve played around with StumbleUpon loads, I even included it in my series of articles on advertising your website StumbleUpon Advertising.

    I found it’s quite an interesting system and a consistent means of getting cheap visitors ($0.05 per unique) but the quality of visit is rather low, and the actual number of conversions to visitors is just awful.

  6. Tim says:

    Out of the 30,000 unique visitors to this year, 24% of them have been from stumble upon.

    I paid $40 (800 visitors) in an attempt to promote certain areas of the site which means the other 7200 were natural, not paid.

    Stumbleupon is a good way to test a new design. You can send people to the site, and see their response. If they stick around you know your site makes a good first impression. If people don’t like it it’s not worth paying for more visitors. If they really like your site, they’ll vote for it, which will send visitors to your site free.

    1. A cycle definitely. You attract new visitors to your site, and if they like it they stay, and perhaps bring in more visitors tagging along.

      1. Ashish Mohta says:

        i agree with you.New bloggers are coming now and then and they will never stop so attract them with this..

    2. That’s a very interesting point! I should look into this…

      1. I hope someone will stumble upon my blog 🙄

  7. Jon says:

    Hmm, so thats why I stumbled your blog. I love your blog by the way! It’s so interesting I just want to read more of your posts!

  8. Ryan says:

    It doesn’t make sense for them to move the category without getting your approval.

    If they had a question about it then they should have asked you first before making you waste money targeting people that like cars!

  9. Ms. Q says:

    They seem to be constantly updating the toolbar as I’ll get “do you want to update” messages.

    Yesterday I tried Stumbling and couldn’t – I clicked Start Stumbling and..nothing. I then went to the actual website and saw that they were doing maintenance until 8pm. The login didn’t display any error, just went away.

    HMTKSteve SU’ed one of my posts and my traffic shot up that day. Until I figured out why by looking at the referrers and tracing back. First I’d really heard about SU. I’m not sure how many people who found my site have returned to it since then.

    It does allow you to find a lot of interesting sites and overall I like it.

    1. Ashish Mohta says:

      Yes it does.I am working on a a post and i found one great info …will definetly helps it to make better

  10. Nice post John, similar post to mine that I published last week – I would’ve thought your blog would’ve kicked ass on StumbleUpon. Mine’s doing quite well:

  11. Sounds like an interesting advertising resource – but it would be nice to see some ROI stats from advertisers. Not sure if semi-random traffic is worth it…

    1. Gary Lee says:

      I agree . . the conversion rates and click through rates are going to be disgustingly low, no matter how you spin it . . . 5 cts a click might even be too much if you ask me!

      1. Ashish Mohta says:

        wow didnt knew that.Now u scare me for that…so what we should do not stumble?

    2. I wrote an article about how worthless StumbleUpon was for my small $10 test campaign, here it is in case you’re interested.

  12. I wrote an article that was stumbleupon and my hits went crazy for 3-4 days. It went from my normal 200 hits to 1800 hits/day. Trying to replicate it again but without much success.

    1. Ashish Mohta says:

      it just happens once.These algorithm are strong enough to control where traffic goes.They d it my intelligence feed Artificial intelligence algorithm…

  13. Only problem I have with StumbleUpon is the users (like on Digg) make it seem like your fault if an article they disagree with gets posted on there.

    1. Ashish Mohta says:

      its called driven my common sense and human intelligence. that will be web 3.0

  14. Mama Duck says:

    I’ve paid for them before (for visitors to my products side) and have had a grand total of ONE visitor translate into a sale. Although when you think about CPC it is still better than Google, perhaps it’s the nature of my business that people love to look around everywhere and then come back to buy, without of course telling me exactly where they found me in the first place. I do better with Stumble traffic from the oddest articles, I wrote a blip about Hittail and got a ton of traffic from that for some unexplained reason, since my blog is not about that at all, really, it didn’t help with returning visitors though.

  15. David says:

    I’ll have to check it out, I’ve never bothered to learn about it for some reason… 🙄

    Time to play around with it :mrgreen:

    1. Ashish Mohta says:

      @david lol stumble my posts too 😈

      1. Mine too! Mine too! 😳

  16. Kenny says:

    Hmm… I never knew you could buy traffic from SU but I have used it from the enduser side. Its great for days where you’re bored and want to find some new sites you never would stumble upon… (sorry, I had to!) :mrgreen:

  17. ilker says:

    Yeah I love StumbleUpon when I have some free time as well.. but usually I end up in places that are really really good! 🙂

  18. Erik says:

    I’ve signed up for an advertisers account, but they have yet to approve me.

  19. Mike Panic says:

    For the users, get the Firefox extension, who really wants or needs another toolbar?

    I used it as a user for a while, I could never remeber to actually stumble sites and the random thing works for a while, but if I’m that bored, I’ll just go watch TV, not surf who knows what sites.

  20. caplondon says:

    I tried paying for the SU advertising. It did not do me any good. It did deliver the number of hits they said it would. But none of the visitors stayed long enough to view the page. Most people in SU just take a quick look and stumble on to the next page.

    1. HMTKSteve says:

      If you have good content they will stay.

    2. Definitely so. Most users on the stumble toolbar are there to pass time. You have to create a strong first impression for them to stay.

    3. Ashish Mohta says:

      make your post title eye catchy they aint going anywhere

  21. I had some visitors that seemed to have stumbled from nowhere onto my site, so it was quite ‘stumbling’ surprise. Quite an interesting site though. Much like, erm.. “digg”.

    1. HMTKSteve says:

      SU is no Digg. I mean that in a good way.

      1. Yea, I don’t mean it in the operative way though. As able to find at good/ interesting articles by chance. That is better than spending loads of time trying to sift through the useful and non-useful stuff.

        1. Ashish Mohta says:

          its lot better than digg but then u cant beat digg in terms of can rip of your bandwith

          1. Much as I like the traffic, I would rather have evenly-spread traffic, than a one-time splurge on the site. It is damaging for your other regular readers. And, if you are a relatively small-time blogger.

  22. Thuan says:

    Just downloaded the stumbleupon toolbar. Hope that this will increase the number of visitors to my site (had nine today!). Well, I have to be more evil to beat John Chow this year.

  23. HMTKSteve says:

    SU does not convert well, why click and adv when you can click the stumble button?

    SU may help your Alexa rating as people who use SU use Firefox and some of them may use the Alexa/PR plugin for Firefox.

    I think SU is just now becoming available for IE. I do not expect many IE users will use multiple toolbars.

    I have never paif dor stumbles and yet I get thousands of hits every week from SU!

  24. Raghu CS says:

    After reading your message I gave it a shot – the traffic did have a burst but surprisingly the visitors hardly clicked anything else on the page where they landed on !

    1. Usually, it will be the people who are relatively bored or free that will ‘stumble’ on the sites. They are just glancing at the many sites available out there on the platter for them. Good for creation of traffic, but how long will that last for you? Guess the answer is obvious. I feel that it should be ‘used’ to create awareness for your site.

      1. Raghu CS says:

        Right sure I agree with that. But definitely its good to have a decent amount of traffic coming in quickly – if they like the content on your site they might come back, which is what I am hoping for

        1. Definitely so. Usually what they will be seeing is the front page. If your posts are all in full (e.g. No ‘Click here to Read more’ links), most probably you have audience that would not be clicking much on anything else.

      2. Will the glancers count? :mrgreen:

  25. Deb Ng says:

    Stumble upon sent loads of traffic my way. My only beef is it aids and abets my procrastination habit.

  26. Matthew says:

    i love stumble upon, we’ve gotten a few thousand extra visitors from getting stumbled

    1. A few thousand?! 😯

      That’s already the figure in my counter since I started my blog 2 months back! :mrgreen:

  27. I just added SU to my toolbars and then I created my profile. I’ll look back soon to check on SU.

  28. Austin Luna says:

    Stumbleupon is by far one of the best things ever to sit in the toolbar area.

    Thanks SU for the 15K visitors you sent to my site last month….and at no charge.

    I will continue to find the best sites out there for you.


    John your sites are the sh*t. You don’t even need to start a campaign…as long as your readers are choosing the correct categories and throwing in the correct tags for your pages SU will rock for you.


    I stumble by the name nukemdomis

  29. I keep meaning to play with this – not sure why I haven’t yet.

  30. Das Brain says:

    You know I am learning more as a go through all your post John. I didn’t know that you can buy traffic from StumbleUpon either, but now I am informed.
    I always wondered how StumbleUpon makes money, now I have an idea. StumbleUpon is based in Calgary, Canada, anyway good post. 😎

    Das Brain

  31. Zach says:

    this is a clever idea to genreate more traffic, I’ll look into it

  32. Jimi says:

    I never really even notice SU until I was looking at my stats today and saw a few hundred incoming hits from it. Apprently someone submitted it for me and I got a burst that day, but haven’t seen much since from there. This was my AGLOCO site though so I can’t imagine many people would keep coming back.

    Either way one thing is for certain. I didn’t pay to get those hits. I don’t see why I swould want to if it is as easy as just adding the Stumble It links to your posts and having other people submit for you.

  33. Yah I really like stumble upon to find random post ideas. I have learned a lot by just clicking away for a half hour or so. Now I have to go check out how I get my site to be a part of stumble upon.


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