Plumbers, chefs, electricians all have their trade secrets. Those little tools or techniques that just make it easier for them to do what they do. It’s the things that make them professional and separates them from the amateurs.
The Internet is the same. It has its tools and techniques that help you stand out. I discovered this by accident.
At some point last year, I was trying to figure out why I was having so many visitors to my blog (firstname.lastname@example.org). It’s a small blog and the traffic is small but regular. But suddenly the traffic was spiking. That one article had been viewed 45,000 times.
And I didn’t know why. So I began to dig.
When I started to look into it, it turned out that 99% of my traffic was coming from Stumble Upon. It was coming from a single piece I had put on my blog that someone had obviously liked and then had put up on Stumble Upon. And from there it just went a little bit crazy.
I knew of Stumble Upon before this. But I didn’t use it. It wasn’t on my radar. But it was dawning on me just how powerful a tool it is.
So I decided to try and find out more about how to use Stumble Upon. I watched a video by Tim Ferris who I believe amongst other things, is a truly great direct marketeer.
I visited his blog and found a video where he tells the audience just how important Stumble Upon was as a tool for getting his great content out there. I know how good Tim is at using the secret tools of the Internet, so that made me ask the question why doesn’t everyone know how good Stumble Upon is? It was like some secret tool for those in the know. Except, and I keep saying it, it’s massive.
Everyone talks about Facebook, Twitter and Google, (and understandably so) but no one talks about Stumble Upon. And yet it is huge. This set of Internet stats put it second to Facebook with a 25% share of traffic. (http://www.readwriteweb.com/archives/facebook_accounts_for_half_social_traffic_stumbleu.php)
So then I asked someone to go and research Stumble Upon and for them to tell me how we could use it for The Do Lectures. (www.thedolectures.com) To get our great content out there to more people and faster.
Then coincidentally at the same time, we got an email from Stumble Upon saying they would like to give The Do Lectures $5000 worth of free advertising. At first I thought it was spam. But I checked out the email address and it was for real.
So not only had we just found out how important Stumble Upon was. And how powerful it is. But they wanted to help us. We were going to get $5000 worth of free advertising. That would bring us 100,000 views plus more if it went viral.
So this August, we spent their money. And correspondingly our viewing figures went crazy. It worked so well for us because we could target their interests to our interest so accurately. And, here's the other good thing. It keeps on working. If people think your content is great they keep telling people they like it. So it keeps on being spread out there for free. So even though we spent the money real quick, it is still working for us now. Like a snowball going down hill. It just keeps getting bigger. And it keeps rolling without us pushing.
We have tried many things at The Do Lectures to get our talks out there to more people. We have tried Facebook but it hardly made any difference to us. We know Google adwords works but they aren’t cheap.
So when we have some money next year to spend on getting people to see our talks, where will be spending our money? Stumble Upon, no doubt.
I would have said that before we were given $5000 to spend on it. But now I have proof. I saw what it did to our traffic. And, importantly, what it keeps doing to our traffic. I know spending money on Stumble Upon is a super smart way to spend our money.
Just to finish up, whenever we get some spike in our figures now, the first question I ask is it Stumble Upon? The answer is often “Yup”.
Stumble Upon may not get talked about that much, but it is one trade secret worth knowing about.
Because it works.