How to Write a Great StumbleUpon Post

naked cowboy

You may have read our StumbleUpon tips guest post by Cheryl – or you may have participated in our StumbleUpon Twitter chat.  But do you really know what makes a great StumbleUpon blog post?  Come inside my world for a moment as I share with you some of the things that, in my humble opinion, make a great post that will get stumbled by thousands (millions!).  A post may have one or more of these factors – and I believe that the more of these you have, the more likely you are to get a thumbs up.  Before I begin, here’s the disclaimer: there is no “magic formula” to getting a post stumbled.  People can be finicky (hey, I am too), so it’s hard to tell what is going to be a “win.”  I truly believe that if you put these into play you can increase your chances of greatness, but just keep in mind that a number of factors affect your likelihood of getting stumbled, especially having your post in the correct topic/category.  Now let’s get down to the nitty gritty.  Here’s how to write a great StumbleUpon post.

  • Take great pictures. You noticed the naked cowboy picture at the beginning of this post, didn’t you?  Great pictures can mean a lot of things: amazing quality, an unusual topic, an important moment in history – whatever your photos embrace, make sure that they create as big of an impact as possible.  In terms of crafting tutorials, make sure that the photos are clear and concise.  Can someone re-create a project or be inspired using your photography?
  • Keep the text light. On my posts that get big-time stumbles, the time the reader spends before bouncing (leaving my site) is a little more than a minute.  I find my quick tutes get the most thumbs-up.  There are exceptions (sewing tutorials can get really detailed, for example), but just keep in mind that it’s easy for stumblers to keep on going.  Don’t assume they will stick around for awhile to read large paragraphs.
  • Don’t get too personal. I know we talk all the time in our #crafterminds chats about having some personal posts on your blog.  Yes, you definitely should!  Just remember that StumbleUpon is a different audience than your loyal readers – those who see you for the first time should probably see a craft tutorial of yours first.  They might not be inclined to stick around if they see pictures of your family vacation, but they would likely be interested in the tutorial for the beach bags you sewed for the trip.  The exception to this rule is if you 1) have AMAZING vacation photography a la Ansel Adams (then your post should go into the Photography category) or 2) your family was abducted by pirates and you lived to tell the story (your post should go into the Weblogs category).
  • Write about one topic.  We all have posts that show family pictures, discuss a fun shopping trip, feature a craft idea and then re-live how the dog pooped on the floor the other day.  I have more than my fair share of stream of consciousness moments, and these are more than okay on your blog.  After all, it’s your blog, and your readers want to know more about you!  However, keep your StumbleUpon posts to one topic only.
  • The blog entry makes sense and is timely. You need to ask yourself two things about a post before Stumbling it:  1) would you quickly understand what the post were about if you were a stranger happening upon the blog and 2) does the content of the post expire.  Overly complicated topics or tutorials *might* be okay, but just think about it before discovering it – do the “dummy” check.  Also, don’t stumble giveaway posts or coupon codes.  They expire.  Holiday posts are okay because you can always use them again for the next holiday (plus people search for holiday ideas all year round).

These are my top five criteria for what makes a good StumbleUpon post.  In your experience, what makes a great SU post?  What has worked for you?


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