StumbleUpon v. Reddit

I’m looking at StumbleUpon and Reddit as key networks to expand into over the next year. The reason for that is simple: if you’re looking to bring visitors to a website as efficiently as possible, building a viable presence on one or both of those networks is probably a good move. The problem: They require a lot of engagement, and they step on sharing one’s own stuff pretty hard.

This means figuring out how much time you can get by with spending on them and knowing how often to put your own links out there are tricky. I have no idea how either of those networks decide what counts as “affiliation,” and I publish at and promote several blogs I do not own. I don’t want to be demoted before I even get started, and I don’t have a lot of time. So I’m proceeding slowly and cautiously.

But I have been experimenting. I have a StumbleUpon account I don’t use very often and no Reddit account at all. We’ve seen some success with both over the last couple of weeks. I’ll share a few numbers with you today and then explain the differences between these two networks as I understand them.

This spike happened here the weekend of Aug 10. I’ve included the mouseover info for the peak day. This is a good four-day spike from Reddit. It started on Sunday and trailed off on Wednesday. We still got a little from it on Thursday, and continued getting odd views last week.

15_08_10_spike

Most of this traffic went to a Tolkien post and a Batman post that were shared on various subreddits by a friend of mine who is not affiliated with the blog on Sunday, Aug. 9. The Tolkien was shared early and the Batman was shared late. The Batman post generated about 100 views, and they came in over a shorter period of time than the views on the Tolkien post, which brought us visitors for days. I’m assuming the difference is explained by the relative sizes and activity levels of the subrreddits where the posts were shared.

Overall, we received around 240 documented referrals from Reddit from this. That’s two or three days’ worth of traffic for us, depending on time of week and how we’re set for content. So, totally worth the minimal amount of time it took to drop those links.

Just to put those 240 views over a 4-day period into perspective for you. In the last 30 days we’ve received 195 views from the WordPress Reader, 115 from Facebook, and 75 from Twitter. And we’ve only gotten a little over 1,000 from search engines.

As I was putting this post together Friday evening, this happened. These are stats from Part Time Monster. The Friday/Saturday spike represents almost 800 views. A few came from StumbleUpon, but most came from Reddit. The info in the mouseover is for Saturday, which turned into Diana’s best day ever.

PTM spike 15-08-23

This one was a surprise. Diana’s Girls and Gaming post was shared spontaneously on Reddit by a blogger who as far as I know, we’ve never talked to. That post received more than 307 views on Friday and we recorded 168 Reddit referrals that day. I stumbled the post around midnight and it got another 53 views from StumbleUpon between midnight and 2 am on Saturday morning.

The StumbleUpon traffic trailed off, but PTM received another 179 Reddit referrals, and by the end of the day on Saturday, the gaming post had been viewed another 298 times. Out of the total of 780 views at the Monster on these two days, 605 were on the gaming post. We’re sure that 400 of those came from Reddit and StumbleUpon.

Again, just so you have some frame of reference. In the last 30 days, PTM has received 204 views from the reader, 57 from Facebook, 57 from Twitter and 604 from search engines. It’s also worth noting that Part Time Monster’s previous best day was a 400-view day in mid-March, and 85 of those views came from StumbleUpon. Our best day here at Sourcerer is 391 views, and 81 of those came from StumbleUpon. In fact, every time we’ve set a new best-ever record in the last 18 months at either of these blogs, StumbleUpon has been involved.

This is real progress for us for a couple of reasons. We’ve seen handfuls of referrals from Reddit before, but never anything like this, and these numbers are comparable to all the StumbleUpon spikes I’ve ever seen aside from the two or three very best. The 50 views I got for Part Time Monster from StumbleUpon is also the first time I, personally, have had a successful stumble. Up to this point, it’s always been other people stumbling our posts that got the views.

So which is better, Reddit or StumbleUpon? That depends on how you like to play on the internet, and on what you’re looking to get out of it.

Reddit is basically a huge forum with sub-forums (called subreddits) for just about every topic you can think of. People chat and share links related to specific topics. Reddit users can vote things up or down. Enough up votes will land a link on Reddit’s front page. Enough down votes can disappear a link entirely from Reddit.

StumbleUpon is a network for sharing and curating links. Users follow topics (called “Interests”) and can follow up to 100 other Stumblers. StumbleUpon sends content from your interests and from the people you follow into your feed, and you can like/dislike things. StumbleUpon saves all your likes and allows you to build lists of things you like. You can also share pages to StumbleUpon and categorize them for other users to find.

Reddit strikes me as easier to use — I find the StumbleUpon interface difficult. Reddit is also probably a more predictable source of traffic if you can learn to share there effectively, but StumbleUpon probably has higher traffic potential. (I’m saying “probably” here because I’m not well-versed enough to be sure). StumbleUpon was one of our top five referrers here in 2014 and brought us almost as many views from two or three lucky stumbles as Facebook did from every link we shared there.

The value of both to bloggers is simple. If you generate enough views on a single post in a short period of time, that helps the post get into Google searches. I’d say 80 percent of the the search traffic we get here is from people finding posts that were put into those searches originally by StumbleUpon.

I plan to eventually use both of these networks, but I am starting with StumbleUpon because I have more friends who use it than use Reddit, and because I already have a StumbleUpon account set up.

What about you? Do you use either of these networks, and do you have any advice for us newbies?

Happy Monday!

#WeekendCoffeeShare: Using the Linky

I noted a minor issue with the #WeekendCoffeeShare linky while ago, so posting this instead of the usual photo today. The linky works just fine, but the labels on the data entry fields confused me, so I am assuming they’ll confuse a few other people as well.

Adding Your Link

Here is a screenshot to show you where all the info should go.

Linky_InstructionsTake a look at Trent’s link at the the top of the screenshot. That’s what a properly-entered link should look like. This is confusing because the labels are below the fields they represent instead of at the top, and they have colons. I did mine wrong the first time, and had to delete it and do it again.

To Delete Your Link

If you do it wrong and need to start over, hover your mouse over your link URL on the Linky list until the mouseover appears. A tiny trash can will appear at the end of the URL, and you can use it to remove the link from the list.

This is a minor annoyance. The linky tool we are using right now is the only free one Diana could find. Once we are satisfied that the blog link-up part of this is going to fly, and we get a few bucks into our development budget, we will find ourselves a more user-friendly tool.

Thanks to everyone for joining in. I’ll retweet as many of your #WeekendCoffeeShare tweets as time allows this afternoon.

In which I give #WordPress advice

Since Sunday is my preferred day for blogwanking, I’ll just share this today. Let me add. We publish stuff here and use the stats to measure the effect. Then we figure out ways to give our readers more of what they like. Reducing my ability to measure the effect makes WordPress less valuable. I agree with Luther here.

Infinitefreetime.com

(Note: I typed this in the old editor, too.)

Dear WordPress:

Let’s talk about your new stats screen for a bit.  I put up a one-sentence post a few hours ago to confirm that other people feel the same way I do, and it’s amassed eighteen comments and twenty likes in that time, so I’m pretty sure I’m not on my own here.  I’ve been actively blogging on your site for about a year and a half, although I’ve had the account for several years longer than that, and I spend a lot of time obsessing about my stats.  An unhealthy amount of time, in fact.

You recently changed your stats page, and by a number of indications you seem to be interested in user feedback on it.  However, using your feedback form really didn’t give me a chance to explain what I actually dislike about it.  It could be…

View original post 634 more words

Dept. of Humorous Oversights

Aside

I discovered last night that I can build lists in my WordPress reader. I asked the two WordPressbloggers I talk to most often if they knew this, and they did not. Posted on Facebook and someone else told me they noticed it after one of the upgrades a few months ago.

MONTHS! I’m kicking myself.

Every list I have on Facebook and Twitter is to keep up with bloggers. Soon I shall have lists for that here, too.

Those of you who have wondered over the last few months why you see so little of me despite your faithful likes and comments are in luck.

The reason you’ve seen so little of me is that even though I follow a relatively small number of blogs, most of you get lost in my reader. I don’t have a lot of time to spend with the reader, and gave up on it awhile ago as useless for keeping up with anyone. Well, now I can keep up. I can carefully and deliberately build a set of small-ish lists along these lines.

  1. Friendly bloggers I interact with on three networks.
  2. My closest Tweeps.
  3. Photobloggers to share on Facebook.
  4. #SundayBlogShare pals.
  5. Regular commenters who I should be giving more attention to, because comments are the gold standard of engagement to me.
  6. People who like almost everything we post, but we just never talk.
  7. Bloggers I had friendly conversations with and linked to in the beginning, but who fell off the radar as I moved into other networks and had less time to scan the reader.
  8. People I know from specific Facebook groups.

Then I can use those lists to see who is not on my Twitter and Facebook lists but should be. You get the idea, eh?

Do you you use the lists in the reader? And can anyone tell me when they were implemented? At one point I bookmarked 75 blogs because that was the only way I saw to keep up with them.

And now you know what I am going to do . . . . .

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