Power Of StumbleUpon & How-to Add Sharing Button To WordPress.com


StumbleUpon drives massive traffic to websites and blogs. In a earlier post Brand Building On Social Media I discussed how to use StumbleUpon to your advantage, along with Twitter, FB, Google, Pinterest and Reddit. For those who haven’t read this post, as an author your brand is you, not your book. That’s your product.

The Power of StumbleUpon

Whenever I added a blog post to my “likes” on StumbleUpon, including my own, that site received a burst of traffic. But I had no idea how or why it worked.

Until recently.

To help illustrate my point I’m using an infographic from Column Five.


As you can see StumbleUpon drives more traffic than Twitter, FB and Reddit — combined! This infographic shows that 51 pages per minute are added to StumbleUpon. Think about that a minute. That’s 3,060 pages per hour, 73,440 pages per day, 514,080 pages per week.

Now, as far as the infographic showing FB as the number two site… Sorry, I don’t buy that. But I’m guessing it’s because so many people on Twitter use bitly.com or something equivalent to shorten links. This, in turn, can skew the results. Regardless, Twitter will never surpass StumbleUpon. Ever.

This is why…

StumbleUpon is essentially a browser add-on, which adds a second menu bar that shows a thumbs up/thumbs down button, allowing you to “stumble upon” random sites geared toward your interests. Any post you give the “thumbs up” to is automatically added to your “Likes Page”. Your “likes” are built over time.

StumbleUpon isn’t simply a sharing site where you physically plug in a blog address. But you can certainly use it that way, too. What it does is it grabs other posts off the internet and suggests them to you. If you’ve tagged your post, or someone else’s post, properly StumbleUpon will suggest your site to everyone with similar interests. Which, in turn, drives huge traffic to your site that you wouldn’t normally receive.

Therein lies its power.

For instance, recently Nicholas Rossis wrote a very inspirational post (click link to read). I, then, added that post to my “likes” and tagged it “inspirational” “writing” and a few other things. Anyway, within one hour he received over 700 views. Why? Because I gave his post a “thumbs up”. Yes, it only takes ONE person to drive that kind of traffic. Now, imagine if two or three others also gave a “thumbs up”. His numbers would have been astronomical. Another example is my Q & A With A Real Undercover Operative – Part I. In less than an hour I had over 2000 views. Meaning, more than one person gave it a “thumbs up”. That three-part series garnered more views faster than anything else the previous year. Incidentally, if you missed this interview you can find Part II and Part III by clicking the links.

I’m always surprised by authors that don’t use this powerful site. I can only conclude that they don’t realize its inherent magic. Hence, my motivation for this post.

Still not convinced?

Let’s take a look at the life of a post. Herein referred to as a link. Because StumbleUpon grabs posts by “interests”, which is why proper tagging is so important — that’s a post for another day — it doesn’t matter if that post is one year old or three years old. See where I’m going with this? You got it. Your old posts are magically resurrected with StumbleUpon. Which is why I don’t shut comments off. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve gotten a new comment on a six month old post, and often times that leads to a new subscriber. As a reader of blogs I find it frustrating to not be able to leave a comment when a post really resonates with me. This, of course, is up to you. But why not encourage communication regardless of date?

Here’s the next half of the infographic…


With Twitter and Facebook the half-life of your link is only a couple of hours. Meaning, that’s how long it survives so others can share it. With StumbleUpon that same link lives on for 400 hours. And that’s only half the life. Take a moment to look at the life cycle of a link in the lower half of the above infograph. This is not to say that a link will die after 800 hours. As stated earlier, since you know to properly tag your posts your link can survive for years after it was first posted… with StumbleUpon.

Below is the last part of the same graphic…


Nowadays people don’t spend much time reading blog posts. Instead, they skim. Personally, I still haven’t figured out how to do that. Anyway, StumbleUpon beats out Twitter and Facebook by 25%. Incidentally, that’s longer than the average web page view. A StumbleUpon session, where people are reading the “suggestions” lasts for over an hour. Where with Twitter and Facebook most people only spend a little over twenty minutes browsing links.

If you’re still not convinced of StumbleUpon’s power there isn’t much more I can say to change your mind. All I can suggest is try it. See for yourself what it does to your traffic and how many more page views you’ll receive. The proof will be in your stats.

Problem is, when WordPress.com changed our sites around again — the so-called “improvements” — we lost our StumbleUpon sharing button. After noticing a pattern I took a look at my own site and was absolutely shocked when I find it gone. This isn’t okay with me. And it shouldn’t be all right with you either.

Don’t fret. I have a solution.

Go to settings > sharing > available services

Available services is where it shows your sharing buttons. Only now you will no longer see StumbleUpon as an option. You’ll need to install it manually.

Click “Add a new service” and a pop-up window will appear. In the “Add sharing url” input: https://www.stumbleupon.com/submit?url= (and then choose your variable from those listed below) I use: %post_full_url% But you can play around and see what best fits your needs.

Like with most improvements in WordPress.com they tell you that you can add any variable to your sharing link. I tried them all. None of them worked by just adding the variable to the end of StumbleUpon’s url. You must include this: /submit?url= And then the variable. Without this formula you’ll either get an error message that says StumbleUpon can’t locate the page, or it violates the site in some way.

If it’s easier for you to just copy what I did the entire url looks like this:


In the box below (same window) it will ask for the icon image. Here’s where it got tricky because most sites want you to buy image icons. What I did was to Google “StumbleUpon Icon” click “image” and then copy and paste the image into my library. I then took the url for that image and pasted it into the “icon url” box. Voila!

Within that same window press “Save” Then drag your new StumbleUpon sharing button into “Enable Services” window and press “Save Settings” at the bottom of the page.

Since I wasn’t able to find a StumbleUpon icon image that fit the perimeters of WordPress.com, under “Button Style” I chose “icon and text” instead of my usual “icon only”, and then dragged less important buttons like “print” “email” “pocket” etc. into the shaded box of “Enable Services”. What that does is it adds a “More” button to your lineup that readers can press that will show the other sharing buttons you offer without taking up a lot of space.

And that’s the power of StumbleUpon. I hope this helps to increase your blog traffic and make you all hugely successful. If anyone finds a better icon image I’d love to hear about it. Also, if you use a self-hosted WordPress site I could probably help you figure out how to add sharing buttons. Just shoot me an email or fill out the contact form on the main page.

Want to take it for a test spin? Press the StumbleUpon sharing button at the bottom of this post and give me a “thumbs up”. Tell me in the comments, leave a link to your post (once you add the button) and I’ll do the same for you. And isn’t that what the writing community is all about, helping one another?

If you haven’t received your copy of 50 Ways To Murder Your Fictional Characters you can get a sampling and sign up by clicking the title or go here.

61 thoughts on “Power Of StumbleUpon & How-to Add Sharing Button To WordPress.com

  1. Sue, this is what I love about your blog. You’re so willing to share valuable information with others. Being a self-confessed technophobe I didn’t think I’d be able to do this, despite your clear instructions, but I’ve just added the button to my own site and tested it out. It works – yay! I’m going to add your blog post to my Stumbled Upon list now. :)

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you so much! Sometimes I wonder if I come off as a know-it-all, which is so not my intention. It’s comments like yours that make it all worth while. And thanks for adding this post to your likes. Really appreciate it!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Thanks for this, Sue. I’ve never used S/U so I just took it for a test drive – sure can see the potential. When you mentioned WordPress.com removing your S/U button, I took a look at my site and see the link is still there, but then I use a self-hosted WordPress.org site. Maybe you can fill me and others in on the advantages / disadvantages of a WP.com site, like you use, to a WP.org site?

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I tried Stambleupon after your post about social media. Uhm… I don’t know whether that’s not the place for me or I’m doing something wrong, but I only got a couple contacts through it. After a few weeks of trying and not getting any results, I just stopped using it.
    Which is kind of a shame, I hear lots of people getting lots of traffic from it :-(

    Any suggestion?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Just by adding a sharing button and by sharing every post you write, you will see an increase in traffic. It sounds to me like you were using it like other social media sites. Which it is not. You don’t necessarily have to spend time there to drive traffic to your site. I spend very little time there. All I do is share my posts and posts I really enjoy and the traffic comes. What takes times is to build your “likes page”, but you don’t need a lot of likes if you’re only using it as a place to share. It is NOT to be used as a “social” place like Twitter and Facebook, but more of a search at your leisure type of place. Make sense? In other words, just share your own posts (and posts you like, if they have the button) and that’s it. Then sit back and watch the traffic increase.

      Liked by 1 person

    • To prove my point I just shared your V is for Volstead post and tagged it “the roaring twenties” “The Volstead Act” and “blogging”. Under categories I put “American History” instead of writing so that history fans will find it and hopefully check out the rest of your A to Z challenge, which I also mentioned in the title and in the tags. Let me know how it works out!


  4. Hey, Sue, great tutorial! The only bad thing I see with Stumbleupon or so I’ve read on so many blogs is bounce rate. So if one is not too concerned with bounce rate, I personally say go for it. If you get traffic to your site and they read just one post, to me that’s better than no traffic.

    BTW, shared to stumbleupon :) http://www.authorbrendalee.net

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Pingback: Brand Building on Social Media | Crime Fiction Writer Sue Coletta

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