I’ve been stumbling around the blogosphere lately, on a mission to find good posts on new and low traffic blogs and bring them and their writing talent into the spotlight using StumbleUpon. Several bloggers have posted the results from my mission, such as Jamie Harrop, Eric Socia, and Ivy Tan. Here’s how I’m conducting my mission and how you might improve your chances of getting stumbled by me or someone else.
I Have To Find You First
There have been two main ways I’ve found the sites where I’ve been the original stumbler and both have to do with how social the blogger in question is.
First, I read comments on the major, A List, blogs looking for good comments. I don’t just look at the top couple of comment either. I work the list from top to bottom. I discussed this technique earlier in this article, Long Tail Prospecting For Bloggers. I click on the link for the commentator and take a look at their blog, seeing what they have to offer. If I like what I see, I stumble it.
My second method is to use the new Blogging Zoom social bookmarking service and a few other second tier or niche services like it to find new sites. My approach there is the same, visit and if I like what I see, stumble it.
The bottom line is to promote your site socially. If you don’t, nobody will find it beyond someone searching Google with very long tail search criteria.
Content, Content, Content
Of course, promotion will only get someone to your site. You have to also have good content to get them to stay, read it, and recommend it. Ivy Tan has some good suggestions on how to write your content to appeal to first time visitors so instead of me repeating what she said, just click her link above.
Good User Experience
The last thing is that the site has to be a good user experience. This means that the theme’s font and color scheme makes it easy to read. Small fonts and bad color combinations run visitors off. Don’t make them struggle to read your content.
Advertising is fine although having a big Adsense block before the article begins isn’t a good idea. Having sound that automatically starts, very pushy flash or animated ads, or popups of any kind is a definite deal breaker. However, if I find the ad placement tastefully done I’ll usually click an ad or two to open in a new tab, particularly if it looks like something I might be interested in.
My last pet peeve would be if a site didn’t allow comments or required registration to comment. I’d probably pass in that case as well.
Well, that’s my criteria and how I determine which sites I stumble. Do you have some thoughts or additions to this? If so, leave me a comment.