StumbleUpon is a second generation website that allows its users to discover interesting web pages and sites without doing a search in a search engine. You install a tool bar in your browser and channel surf the web by clicking a button on the tool bar.
You sign up at StumbleUpon website and list your interests. When you click on the surf button in your browser tool bar, you are randomly directed to a webpage that matches your interests. If you like the contents or the website offerings, you can tag the page and give it a thumbs-up. If you don’t like it, simply ignore the site or give it a negative vote, a thumbs-down, if you feel the site has employed some trickery to draw your attention.
You can also use the StumbleUpon tool bar for social bookmarking. When you find a new and interesting webpage, you can tag it and share it with others. Click the Send to button in the StumbleUpon tool bar to send the webpage you are on to a friend in your StumbleUpon network.
It is possible to get a massive amount of traffic from StumbleUpon. If you have an interesting or useful article, blog page, or an entire site, you can include it in StumbleUpon. If lots of StumbleUpon users thumbs up your page, you will get a large amount of traffic in a very short time period.
Besides a sizable number of thumbs-up by StumbleUpon users, there are other factors that help drive traffic to a site in StumbleUpon. The number of StumbleUpon friends, the type of friends and their profiles, the number of sites you have stumbled, and the number of reviews you have gotten in the past all determine traffic volume to your site. Another factor is the broad tagging of your article by other StumbleUpon users.
What are the other benefits of being stumbled besides a short-time traffic surge? Your website will get exposure and many visitors will comeback regularly. If your site is a blog, you will instantly increase your reader base. You will also get numerous backlinks from other StumbleUpon users who run websites.
To increase the repeat visits by StumbleUpon users, your site should have a professional design, in-depth contents, richly blended ads, and a memorable URL.
StumbleUpon users like video, humor, and web 2.0 sites. However, the monetization potential from StumbleUpon users using affiliate or contextual ads like Google Adsense is very low because these users are very fickle and want to click to the next site using the StumbleUpon button in their tool bar.
Like any social network, your goal should not be to use the system for driving traffic only to your site. Stumble other high quality and useful sites for others to benefit from information you posses. Develop a good online social network using StumbleUpon, share websites with others and have fun.