There has been some really strong recent buzz surrounding StumbleUpon and for good reason. I even including StumbleUpon in my Top 8 in this post about the 8 Most Important Social Media Buttons for Your Site.

For those of you not familiar with StumbleUpon here is a quick description about the service in their own words:

StumbleUpon helps you discover and share great websites. As you click “Stumble!”, we deliver high-quality pages matched to your personal preferences. These pages have been explicitly recommended by your friends or one of over 15 million other websurfers with interests similar to you. Rating these sites you like ( ) automatically shares them with like-minded people – and helps you discover great sites your friends recommend.

10 Reasons Why You Need to Pay Attention to StumbleUpon:

StumbleUpon Logo1) Social Endorsements. When your content is Stumbled by a user, that particular piece of content has been endorsed by a member of their community. That now makes it much more likely that your content will be presented to another StumbleUpon user who is already interested in your category. Talk about a great “social endorsement”!
2) The StumbleUpon Explore Box. StumbleUpon recently launched a much needed enhancement to their site with what they call the Explore Box which allows users to search for specific content by category in a much easier manner – this is HUGE. A nice use case for this would be to search for what it is you do for work and begin to get a sense of at least what this particular community feels is important. You can than use this information to help influence your own business decisions.
3) A Very Active User Base. StumbleUpon claims a user base of 15 million people and one billion personalized recommendations per month. On the flip side, despite being a fairly mature company, at 15 million users it does still seem like early days here so there still a nice opportunity to garner an early adopter advantage so get started on building your StumbleUpon network.
4) The Top Referrer for Web Traffic. In terms of social media referral traffic StumbleUpon is leading the way! In July 2011 StatCounter had them in the top spot for traffic referrals in the US beating out Facebook! While this is HUGE, I’ve put this one down a little lower on the list because while stats like this are extremely important, before running blindly into something please consider that despite the potential, if you want to see referral results from StubmleUpon you’ll have to work for it, first and foremost by creating fantastic content. .
5) Traffic. StumbleUpon provides a great opportunity to drive traffic back to your site – the wisdom of the crowd!

A few quick pointers:

  • Have a killer headline with your article.
  • A picture goes a long way.
  • In general I have observed that highly visual posts tend to do very well on StumbleUpon.
  • Don’t forget to provide some easy ways on your site for people to Stumble your content. Here is a post I wrote about where to place social media buttons on your site.

6) Paid Discovery. StumbleUpon has a pay service where you can drive additional traffic to your articles. They have baked in a pretty nice integration with Google Analytics and they also offer up some nice demographic targeting. This service is very affordable and is certainly well worth experimenting with. They’ve also done a nice job in creating their paid interface which is easy to understand and will not intimidate you.
7) Longevity. This is actually a pretty big one that is often overlooked or underestimated, but StumbleUpon has been around since 2001. Here is a really solid Mashable article about the company’s genesis. Why you care is because even though these platforms are for the most part free to use, your time is not free – and when you invest your time and energy in a platform that craters you are left both frustrated and also now needing to invest your time in building up value in a new service. Your time investment is safe here.
8 ) StumbleUpon is Hot Again. The renewed sense of urgency and purpose at the company has inspired many of the StumbleUpon users to also get considerably more active – this is a win for everyone as the net result is that more great content will get exposed.
9) A Great Narrative in the Works. The media loves a good story, and in StumbleUpon there is the potential for a great one – a social media dark horse spoiler. Take advantage of this renewed media love by featuring StumbleUpon on your site today – there is a very good chance you will get rewarded shortly, and I feel strongly that if you cede some of your own digital real estate to StumleUpon, your strategy will quickly be validated.
10) Your Life Will Be Better For It. For me, the best reason to spend time on StumbleUpon still remains the first reason I responded to the service – StumbleUpon provides a great user experience that allows all of the members to collectively benefit from a wide variety of web experiences – said a little differently, StumbleUpon exposes you to a ton of really cool stuff, most of which you are likely to find interesting because you have already filled out a profile asking StumbleUpon to provide you content specifically related to your interests.

I am also very happy to share with everyone that I crossed a bit of a personal milestone a few weeks ago and my post Create an Amazing Word Cloud In Minutes which has received over 1,000 Stumbles (all of which were organic) so a special thanks to everyone in the StumbleUpon community who thought enough of that post to share it. While 1,000 Stumbles are relatively modest in their ecosystem, for me it was still a very nice validation, and very much appreciated.

In addition to my 10 reasons why, I recently came across a really solid article with a few great tips on how to get the most from StumbleUpon in terms of marketing, so rather than recap their great thoughts, here is a link to a post from KISSmetrics on 4 Ways to Increase Traffic with StumbleUpon.

Also, here is a link to my profile on StumbleUpon should you want to follow me there. I usually share my posts there and I also tend to Stumble productivity ideas, time wasters and other random musings that I’ve found interesting as a result of spending time on StumbleUpon.

Thanks, and as always, feel free to share your thoughts and ask questions below.