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March 09, 2009

Add Blog Subscribers: Find and Thank StumbleUpon Reviewers with Analytics!

By Alex Cohen

Stumbleupon-logo In the blogosphere, you have 4 basic audiences:
  1. Readers
  2. Commenters
  3. Subscribers
  4. Reviewers

Readers are vital, but they aren't very engaged until they become commenters or, more importantly, subscribers.  A subscriber is more likely to engage and spread your content which, in turn, gets you more subscribers.

So, How do You Get More Subscribers?

It's that last group, Reviewers, that are most likely to add subscribers to your blog.  Word-of-mouth is probably the best way to build your subscriber list.  We all trust our friends. 

That's one of the reason StumbleUpon is a great source of traffic.  StumbleUpon lets people find random sites by stumbling on them with their toolbar (learn more with their step-by-step guide).

People rate your site by giving it a thumbs up or down.  Some Stumblers will also review your site.  Reviews can have a huge impact on your traffic (I got a 10x increase in visits to my post on picking a blog platform after someone reviewed it).  They are also likely to get you more links, which also brings you traffic and helps your search engine optimization.

Say Thank You and Build a Relationship!

If someone goes to the trouble to review your site, it’s a great opportunity to cement their positive feelings and build a relationship.  Doing this builds your brand and may lead to more reviews and links (and subscribers!) in the future.

Here are step by step instructions to use web analytics data to find and thank your StumbleUpon reviewers.  I’m using Google Analytics in the instructions, but any web analytics package will have these data.

  1. Look in Referring Sites

    You may notice a large spike in your traffic.  Start by looking at All Traffic Sources.  Choose “Medium” from the dimension listed just below the graph to the left.  This will show you your major channels of traffic – Organic Search, Direct Traffic, Referring Sites, etc.


    If you notice that Referring Sites is send much more traffic than usual, it may be due to a StumpleUpon review or another similar review site.  Open the Referring Sites report up and find which site is causing the spike.
  2. Filter by Landing Page

    Click on StumbleUpon.  This will drill down just to the activity from that referrer.  Next, change the Dimension to “Landing Page” to figure out which page was reviewed.  There it is, a giant spike in your traffic for a page that someone liked.


  3. Install The StumbleUpon Plug-in

    The next trick requires you to have the StumbleUpon plug-in added to Firefox.  My guess is there are alternatives for IE, Safari and Chrome users (feel free to comment if you know of one).

    You can get the Firefox plug-in right here.
  4. Find the StumbleUpon Review

    Google the full URL of the page that was reviewed.  Your result will be at the top.  The StumbleUpon plug-in will display a rating and/or review bubble next to the listing that looks like this:


    Click on the link and it will take you to the review. 
  5. Return The Favor

    Aha, now you know who’s been spreading the good word.  At the very least, you should send them a thank you for the review. You can join their network and friend them to stay in touch.  Most StumbleUpon reviewers list their site in their profile.  If you like it, return the favor with a short review.  

The Power of Relationships

Like most things social media, this takes time.  That’s exactly why it helps you stand out from the crowd.  If you show that you’re paying attention to your fans and are grateful.  
Now, if you like the article, I wouldn’t turn down a review :-)

Alex Cohen writes about optimizing your website at Digital Alex.  He’s also the Marketing Manager at ClickEquations – Pay Per Click Software.


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StumbleUpon can also hurt you if people don't like your website and start giving you thumbs down.

Hi Nick,

I suppose that would just hurt you by decrease StumbleUpon traffic. Sadly, you wouldn't see that in web analytics data.


Nicely laid out. I like the division of types. I find it's like pulling teeth to get stumblers to comment on posts. Instead they give great reviews which only other stumblers, mostly friends, see --- your visitors only see comments. But, that's just the way it is. I find conversion is very very difficult.

Great job with the info. How did you find it? Please let me know.

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