Yesterday (around noon) I posted an article called Don’t Block Firefox! I wrote it after reading about an annoying site called WhyFirefoxIsBlocked.com on Reddit (and later on Digg). I submitted it to StumbleUpon, and posted comments on Digg and Reddit (including a link to my post).Â Within two hours, it was the most popular post on Webmaster-Source. I looked at the “Popularity: 100%” in disbelief. How did that happen? I immediately opened a couple of tabs and logged into Google Analytics and pMetrics.
The pMetrics “Spy” tool (the main reason I have a pMetrics account) showed a steady stream of people coming in from StumbleUpon. SU has been the top traffic source on Webmaster-Source for a couple of months now, so I wasn’t too surprised about that, though the amount of people coming in was a lot more than usual.
I checked Google Analytics for the exact figures, and nearly fell off my chair. StumbleUpon was sending over thousands of visitors…all of them going to the Firefox article. I kept an eye on my stats for the rest of the day (and I watched my AdSense revenue as well). It was exciting, watching the numbers go up (and seeing real-time updates with pMetrics Spy). By the end of the day, I had a total of 7,076 unique visitors and 11,310 pageviews (quite a lot higher than normal). 10,553 of those pageviews were on the Firefox article. Just how many of my visitors that day were from StumbleUpon? 98.7%.
I got online this morning to see what he grand total was, and I checked other statistics as well. My count of RSS subscribers had more than doubled, and I’d made over $2.40 off AdSense that day (SU/Digg/Reddit people don’t really click ads that much, but still, I’d like to have a few more days like that).
Take a look at this graph for August 18th:
See, it’s in the 20-120 visits range up until a huge spike from StumbleUpon. How did that happen? When a user clicks the “Stumble!” button on their toolbar, they’re taken to a semi-random page that’s determined by how many votes it’s received. As time progressed, people voted for my Firefox article. As the votes accumulated, the article started to come up more often. It’s kind of cool (and by the way, the StumbleUpon toolbar is addicting). Where will my traffic levels go now? Probably down a little, but I’ve gained more RSS subscribers and I’ve gotten some links from other blogs. I think overall, it’s on the rise, spike or not. I’m guessing that StumbleUpon will continue sending me a ton visitors for a few more days at least, then things will calm down a bit more and we’ll see where the numbers settle.
StumbleUpon is a powerful tool that, when used correctly, can net you a lot of users. While you may not have traffic spikes like this too often, you’ll generally get a steady stream of visitors the rest of the time. SU has been my top referrer for a couple of months before I wrote “Don’t Block Firefox!”.
I’ve been spending a lot of time replying to comments and checking my stats lately, but this has been fun. Hopefully something like this will happen again soon.