I know what you've been told ... but StumbleUpon doesn't work for promoting
or selling products, much less someone else's products as is the case for affiliates.
Parent company eBay is supposedly trying to find a bidder while the traffic at
StumbleUpon is on a plateau and, at worse, is taking a nosedive. Here are a few
reasons why StumbleUpon is a joke, and a few alternatives for acquiring visitors who actually contribute to the conversation in your community and
to attract those who will actually convert into sales.
I nearly fell out of my chair this morning when I read the following from StumbleUpon General Manager Michael Buhr: "Search is
really powerful when you know what you're looking for. Discovery is more about when you want to explore
your interests. It is not about needing to find something now." That's exactly the
problem, discovery is for exploring - not engaging, not participating and
certainly not buying. If you were a clerk in a retail store would you focus
your efforts on getting a casual browser to buy, or someone that asked
you for something in particular?
In a last-ditch effort to ramp up their service, today StumbleUpon offered a browser-based
version instead of a toolbar, creating some buzz online. Believe me they
need it - check out the unique visitors (via Compete.com) and you'll see that
the plateau is real. But that's not half the problem.
I came across a blog post this morning by an affiliate who generated
well over 150,000 visits to his site during the last month, the majority of which came from one
individual post that was Stumbled. His earnings for the month? Right around $70.
My guess is that if you're relying on StumbleUpon traffic it's probably the same
for you as well.
Here's another example a little closer to home: The average
time on WebsiteMagazine.com for those arriving via StumbleUpon was 66%
lower than the site average. But it gets worse. Below is a screenshot of visits
and conversion rates that Website Magazine received from StumbleUpon recently:
We track several goals at Website Magazine, but one I watch closely is subscriptions. The average conversion rate for all referrers of
traffic is 12.31%. Even the
limited amount of time I spend on Facebook promoting the magazine (by
participating in forums or on the WM Facebook page) yields a higher conversion
rate (0.82%) than StumbleUpon. How about others in the sphere of social media?
Digg.com yielded a .87% conversion rate and Mixx.com yielded a .17% conversion
rate. Even participating in LinkedIn yielded a 2.56% conversion rate.
Partnerships (excluding affiliates) yield a good conversion rate - many in the 2-3% range. The limited amount of PPC advertising we do
even yielded well over 3% conversion. While the actual traffic was much lower
from these other networks, the conversion rate was far and away higher than StumbleUpon - and
that is what affiliates (or anyone participating at StumbleUpon) should be
So as an affiliate, where do you turn to get a higher conversion rate?
Anywhere else. Social media, paid advertising, and yes, search engines like
Google, Yahoo, and MSN. While the investment of both time and money will be
high, the results will be better than you could ever receive from StumbleUpon.
Don't get sucked in to the new browser-based StumbleUpon - you'll never get out
and never get on the real road to Web success.