SUThis post contains serious tips from a friend of mine who is a StumbleUpon authority figure. She has bookmarked over 3400 pages, has 365 fans, a network of more than 6500 Stumblers, over 70 SU members have reviewed her profile, and is a darn nice person. When this lady bookmarks content it’s certain the thumbs-up will drive 150 to 5000 unique visitors to a website or blog…for each post that catches her eye.

The StumbleUpon Effect
Once, a review she wrote ignited a spark that drove 25,000 visitors to an aimClearBlog post in the course of hours. We’ve experienced this phenomena a number of times for our clients’ sites.

I’ve not included my friend’s SU name to avoid opening the spam-gates and we asked permission to publish the tips below. In the StumbleUpon community, as with all social media sites (and life), making authentic friends and loyalty is what matters. Here are her tips for StumbleUpon success in response to questions about how she built her SU network:

Hi Marty,
I thought you knew how I was building my network at SU. To start with, I have a much larger reach because I am interested in and write about a wide range of subjects and some of those are rapidly growing in demand.

I increase the audience for those subjects because I’ve learned how to interest readers in information most people would normally skip over by providing the connection between it and something they are already interested in.

Then I intentionally keep multiple reviews featured on the Buzz page to maximize who finds me. That is possibly partly because of the authority I’ve built there and that rating is plugged into the SU algorithms.

Another factor is that is that I write far more compelling and extensive reviews than most people do so it is likely that they garner a lot more yes votes than the other reviews. That probably keeps my reviews featured (and sometimes moves some up that weren’t originally featured) and also adds to my juice there.

And let’s not forget tagging – many others (surprisingly also many SEOs) don’t use the best tags or enough tags. You know how important that can be. I have a good example of that:

A writer from Pakistan wanted to post her article on 4-10 year old children being abducted from her country to be forced to be jockeys in camel races. SU won’t let her post her own links any more.

I asked what she would use as tags and she said Pakistan, camels, children, and something else. She would have posted a story about camel racing or children being killed – both would be avoided by most.

If you read the review I did on that article when I posted it for her you’ll see that I “pre-sold” the story the way the best affiliate marketers will pre-sell but not sell whatever they’re promoting. It is a multi-step process:

1. Identify it with something they already know
2. Tell them why they would care
3. Present the story

Here is what she wrote and then what I wrote so you can see how different they are:

Her Version
Camel Jockey is the worst kind of human rights violation, and the victims are small kids aging from 4-10. For a ruthless amusement of few many families lose happiness forever on losing their children; to be trafficked as camel jockeys in camel races.
My Version
Anyone involved in horse racing knows that riding races is extremely dangerous. Many famous riders including Canadian Ron Turcotte who rode Secretariat have been seriously injured or even killed. Injuries are so common that there is a charity specifically to help injured riders and the families of those who are killed.

Even though Ron is in a wheelchair he drove all the way from Canada to Texas to support the Jockey’s Guild charity. The Jockeys Guild site is at

Adults who choose to ride are aware of the risks they are taking.

Forcing children to ride is another matter entirely. Any one of us would never want anyone to physically take us against our will. Rubab wishes that we understand this issue and help make our world a safer place for children.

From the page: “4 to 10 years old children who are ruthlessly tied to the Camels to run in deserts on certain tracks; where these children are usually crushed under the feet of contesting Camels.

In order to manage these children, children trafficking of four to ten years old from Pakistan and other South Asian mostly under developing, has become a common practice for last three decades. Yet, most of the studies done in this context, cover issues like reasons for trafficking, target communities from where children have been trafficked, routes of trafficking etc. However no report yet could empathize with the innocent & victim children being used as the camel jockeys in such areas because a comprehensive investigative report was missing describing the situation of these helpless and small children.

Human-trafficking has become a grave concern for the Government of Pakistan particularly and World’s civil societies generally. Over a million people are reportedly trafficked each year; women and children are alarmingly noticed as the main victims. ”
What I do is not always nearly that long, but it is generally substantially longer than what others would write (if they write anything at all). My calling is to help people see and that requires stretching their paradigms, repeatedly, a little at a time.

  • Geoff

    Great post. I’ve been trying to get going to my blog with StumbleUpon. When I hear about all the traffic it sends, it seems a great avenue. I haven’t had too much success yet, but I keep trying. This post gives some good pointers I’m going to try out. Thanks.

  • Marty Weintraub

    Thanks for the comment Geoff. Stay with it.

  • N athania

    This is super-helpful! I love StumbleUpon and I’m glad I have tips to make the most of it now. Thanks so much, Marty!

  • Marty Weintraub

    Cool. I’m glad it is useful content.

  • Kat

    Good post, Marty. Thanks for the tips.

  • Rubab

    Hi Marty!
    this is me Rubab who asked our common friend to post my article, i could never figure out the way she does things on internet and made her authority in which way. She is truly unbelievable. She knows the art of turning invaluable things into valuable and precious. I am sure the things recommend by our common would never be taken simply as just by going through, my encounter with her on Stumbleupon is marvelous and i have started enjoying the fruits.

  • Aloke Kumar

    That is great.

  • Marty Weintraub

    Rubab, welcome, we need to make sure we promote our friend’s new blog in SU-Marty

  • Rose

    Informative post. I get a lot of traffic from StumbleUpon.

  • Matthew

    Stumbled this 🙂 Great post I found this from sphinn. Great tips from your secret friend, Id love a high power stumble like that

  • Brian

    I stumbeld this from sphinn too.

    I’ve never seen much trafiic from StumbleUpon, perhaps I need to pay it more attention.

    A great post, Marty.

  • Tad Chef

    Great tips, but I disagree that you need someone important on SU to post your story. My nascent 6 weeks old blog, has been stumbled over and over by now, the first time two days after it was launched. I can already see some patterns to it. One is that really the number of reviews and “like its” is key and the time in which they are added.

    If an active user posts it’s better but s/he does not have to be one of the top users. There are several other things you have to mind while using StumbleUpon. Some of those will also bring you traffic, but this is the key difference between Digg/Reddit and SU: At SU even a nobody like me can succeed, on Digg/Reddit you are a nobody.

  • Simonne

    I never gave too much attention to my SU reviews and now I see how wrong I was. Thank you for sharing this story. I’ll remember it each time I’ll want to write a review in a hurry again.

  • Marty Weintraub

    Me too! Thanks for stopping by Simonne.

  • Clement

    I wish I had that kind of friend:)

  • Clement

    But for now let me just stumble your post. Maybe that friend of yours will have my attention

  • Ray

    I love Stumbleupon, I have been using Stumbleupon for a few months now.
    My traffic has really increased. Thanks for the great tips on getting the most out of using Stumbleupon.

  • Stumble Upon Genius

    StumbleGenius Stumbling on thru, StumbleUpon thumbs up to you, hope to see you in more clicky stumble trips soon. Happy day merry seasons greetings an all that jazz.

    Read you later or tweet me on Twitter @StumbleGenius … tweet you soon ???