You’ve probably heard of Stumbleupon, but if you haven’t tried it for yourself, it can be hard to explain the brilliance of it. It's not the next Google; in fact, it's not a search engine at all. Instead, StumbleUpon is for users who don't know exactly what they want to see, only that they want to see something new, cool, and interesting. It's a great tool for creators of online content to get work more visible. Keep reading to find out how it works, and how it can help for you.
Learn How StumbleUpon Works
The concept for StumbleUpon comes from the idea of simply helping users to “stumble upon” really cool stuff on the Internet. It's a simple premise: you casually navigate from one site to the other with the aid of the engine, and you end up with interesting content you never would have found otherwise. StumbleUpon does not work based on search terms and lists of web results. Instead, users choose categories they want to see (and categories that don't interest them), and StumbleUpon does the rest. By pushing the Stumble button, you're taken to a seemingly random, interesting webpages based on your categories.
Since StumbleUpon has a browser add-on, the experience is handy for users in the corner of their browser. Which also means that it's easy to connect and share with Facebook, take screenshots, and download YouTube videos. It has a Facebook share button that's easy to use, and is great for sharing content with others.
Understand What Kind of Content to Create and Submit
If you're creating content you hope will become popular via StumbleUpon, it's important to remember why people use it in the first place. Interesting, to-the-point content is most important. Editors review content before adding it to the database, so users know they will get quality results every time they use the feature. The best way to get an idea for content you hope ends up on StumbleUpon is to download and use the feature itself. You'll see that everything from infographics and articles to photographs and videos show up, but that it all has the same thing in common: it's compelling and fresh. Make sure your writing is comprehensible and edited well. Your videos should be watchable and as short as they can be, while achieving its goal.
StumbleUpon welcomes the chance to review your website for inclusion in their database. Scroll to the bottom of their feedback page, and there's a handy submission form. Ultimately, you want to focus on your interests and your talents. Show people something they didn't realize they wanted to see!
Pay Attention to StumbleUpon Categories
The way users get the content they want on StumbleUpon is through including and excluding categories in their submissions. Users will be shown content that fits at least one of their category interests. Sometimes that will include content that features in two or more categories, even if they only expressed an interest in one of them. But if a piece of content is tagged with a category a user has excluded, StumbleUpon will never take that user to that page.
Thanks to StumbleUpon’s customizable user settings, content creators can direct extremely targeted traffic to their work. Set up an account and check out the list of categories StumbleUpon offers you to choose from. You’ll want your content to fit easily into at least one of those categories. Aim for one or two categories per each piece of content, but consider creating lots of content that fits many of the categories. Users can also exclude categories that don't interest them, so an editor giving your content multiple categories is a double-edged sword. You'll be seen by more users, but you also run the risk of falling into excluded categories for more users.
Ultimately, the key to creating sharable content isn't by following a formula. With StumbleUpon, it isn't about SEO or keywords, either. Because of how it works, and because editors review every site before including it in the database, you want to focus on creating something that people will be delighted to find and ready to share with their social network circle. People use StumbleUpon because they don't know exactly what they're looking for, but they do know that they want something new and interesting. So try using it to discover something new, and then submit your own website for consideration. Learning how to master different social media platforms can land you a great job, and being able to drive traffic via these platforms is an invaluable skill to have.