Over the course of my Internet wanderings I have noticed certain qualities shared by many popular links. If you ever want to get an article picked up by Digg, StumbleUpon, or other social networking websites, read on.
1. Make a top x list
People like lists featuring the best of something. Making it a definite number does two things: it makes people think that your items are the definitive best and it lets them know how much farther they have to keep reading.
2. Keep it brief
Short, sweet, and to the point. Use headings with little blocks of accompanying text so readers can skim. Internet readers don't read long chunks of text.
3. Know your audience
Who are you writing for? The more focused your audience the greater the interest. Only Stumblers who are interested in a certain topic will be directed to your site.
4. Encourage readers to leave comments
Readers spend more time on your site and are more likely to come back if they leave a comment. It is also an easy way to figure out roughly how many people are reading to the end.
5. Mention StumbleUpon in your post
StumbleUpon users tend to be the most dedicated to their network. Users of Digg and Reddit, by contrast, are generally not the devotees that Stumblers are so an explicit reference to StumbleUpon will help you.
6. Be an active Stumbler
Being an active user of any social network will draw attention to your site. StumbleUpon treats the elders (like me) with much more respect than the newbies. Join other social website while you're at it; even being a member of Answerbag.com has allowed me to build some traffic.
7. Give yourself the first Thumb Up
Don't be afraid to give yourself the first review of your own article. Be humble and admit that it is your post.
8. Share it with your Stumble friends
Don't spam every person you find, but feel free to send your article to a few choice friends. Remember that you need to get at least two Thumbs Up before an article will be sent to the general public.
9. Bait your audience
Directly ask for what you want them to do. If you like this article, please thumb it up!
Stumble traffic is a consistent flow, unlike the breaking dam effect of Digg. It takes a while for a site to attract any attention in SU so don't expect an instant spike in traffic. Check your review page to see how many more people have given it a Thumbs Up or positive review lately.
Have more suggestions? Add them in comments!