Experiment: Submit every new Performancing article to StumbleUpon by at least 5 people during a 2 week period and evaluate the traffic benefit (will you help?).
You can track the experiment by monitoring pMetrics statistics for Performancing.
Having run Nudger.org in Alpha for a few months, it has become increasingly clear to me that human tendency is to pursue the simplest solution with the biggest perceived payoff. My goal here is to change your mind about the biggest perceived payoff in social voting, and to change your promotion behaviors (just like I’m starting to change my own).
When bloggers are choosing whether to submit to Digg, Reddit, StumbleUpon or Netscape, and they only have one choice, they almost universally go for Reddit.
I want to change this tendency because I am confident that it is the wrong approach. Normal Reddit traffic is borderline useless, except to artificially boost up your stats and maybe get an adrenaline rush. Reddit traffic doesn’t convert nearly as well as search traffic, and hardly any better than Digg (which is notorious for having poor ad conversion).
One hypothesis is that, all things being equal, there is a measurably better cost/benefit reward ratio for a steady dose of Stumble/Netscape then a steady dose of Reddit/Digg. Yet, I also believe that SEOs everywhere, including myself, are inclined to go with the Reddit/Digg combo or maybe just the Reddit solitaire. Why? Well, in the case of Digg it is so damn popular. In the case of Reddit, it is so damn easy (and I mean easy…)
The problem, as I see it, is that the simplicity of Reddit can become addictive and often provides no lasting effect. If you have an average blog you are probably getting somewhere between 75 and 400 visitors per day. Reddit can singlehandedly double or triple your traffic in any given day. But this traffic is largely junk traffic.
Netscape has the benefit of building strong, deep links over time. Some of my blogs have long-term PR 4 or 5 links straight from the Netscape domain. Many articles get short-term PR 6 and 7 link love. While you won’t drive much traffic from Netscape, you will help drive SERPs over the long haul. Netscape should be part of anybody’s long term link building strategy
Stumble traffic, in contrast to Reddit, is very focused and converts quite well. Sure, the initial submission is more time consuming, but then it’s all “thumbs-up” from there. Plus, I’ve found that a single Stumble can send thousands of visitors to your site. No need to get on the front page or anything. Just get a few people to “thumbs up” your article, and you’ll have sticky readers with an interest in your site topic flow right for high conversion rates.
So my hypothesis is this: Reddit has the least payoff of all the major social voting sites, but that it’s also the one solution that most people use. Instead of using Reddit, I think that a wiser use of your time is to go after topic-targeted traffic with StumbleUpon. It doesn’t hurt to do both, but avoid the temptation of using Reddit for all your social voting needs.