Power Of StumbleUpon & How-to Add Sharing Button To WordPress.com


StumbleUpon drives massive traffic to websites and blogs. In a earlier post Brand Building On Social Media I discussed how to use StumbleUpon to your advantage, along with Twitter, FB, Google, Pinterest and Reddit. For those who haven’t read this post, as an author your brand is you, not your book. That’s your product.

The Power of StumbleUpon

Whenever I added a blog post to my “likes” on StumbleUpon, including my own, that site received a burst of traffic. But I had no idea how or why it worked.

Until recently.

To help illustrate my point I’m using an infographic from Column Five.



As you can see StumbleUpon drives more traffic than Twitter, FB and Reddit combined! This infographic shows that 51 pages per minute are added to StumbleUpon. Think about that a minute. That’s 3,060 pages per hour, 73,440 pages per day, 514,080 pages per week.

Now, as far as the infographic showing FB as the number two site… Sorry, I don’t buy that. But I’m guessing it’s because so many people on Twitter use bitly.com or something equivalent to shorten links. This, in turn, can skew the results. Regardless, Twitter will never surpass StumbleUpon. Ever.

This is why…

StumbleUpon is essentially a browser add-on, which adds a second menu bar that shows a thumbs up/thumbs down button, allowing you to “stumble upon” random sites geared toward your interests. Any post you give the “thumbs up” to is automatically added to your “Likes Page”. Your “likes” are built over time.

StumbleUpon isn’t simply a sharing site where you physically plug in a blog address. But you can certainly use it that way, too. What it does is it grabs other posts off the internet and suggests them to you. If you’ve tagged your post, or someone else’s post, properly StumbleUpon will suggest your site to everyone with similar interests. Which, in turn, drives huge traffic to your site that you wouldn’t normally receive.

Therein lies its power.

For instance, recently Nicholas Rossis wrote a very inspirational post (click link to read). I, then, added that post to my “likes” and tagged it “inspirational” “writing” and a few other things. Anyway, within one hour he received over 700 views. Why? Because I gave his post a “thumbs up”. Yes, it only takes ONE person to drive that kind of traffic. Now, imagine if two or three others also gave a “thumbs up”. His numbers would have been astronomical. Another example is my Q & A With A Real Undercover Operative – Part I. In less than an hour I had over 2000 views. Meaning, more than one person gave it a “thumbs up”. That three-part series garnered more views faster than anything else the previous year. Incidentally, if you missed this interview you can find Part II and Part III by clicking the links.

I’m always surprised by authors that don’t use this powerful site. I can only conclude that they don’t realize its inherent magic. Hence, my motivation for this post.

Still not convinced?

Let’s take a look at the life of a post. Herein referred to as a link. Because StumbleUpon grabs posts by “interests”, which is why proper tagging is so important — that’s a post for another day — it doesn’t matter if that post is one year old or three years old. See where I’m going with this? You got it. Your old posts are magically resurrected with StumbleUpon. Which is why I don’t shut comments off. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve gotten a new comment on a six month old post, and often times that leads to a new subscriber. As a reader of blogs I find it frustrating to not be able to leave a comment when a post really resonates with me. This, of course, is up to you. But why not encourage communication regardless of date?

With Twitter and Facebook the half-life of your link is only a couple of hours. Meaning, that’s how long it survives so others can share it. With StumbleUpon that same link lives on for 400 hours. And that’s only half the life. Take a moment to look at the life cycle of a link in the lower half of the above infograph. This is not to say that a link will die after 800 hours. As stated earlier, since you know to properly tag your posts your link can survive for years after it was first posted… with StumbleUpon.


Nowadays people don’t spend much time reading blog posts. Instead, they skim. Personally, I still haven’t figured out how to do that. Anyway, StumbleUpon beats out Twitter and Facebook by 25%. Incidentally, that’s longer than the average web page view. A StumbleUpon session, where people are reading the “suggestions” lasts for over an hour. Where with Twitter and Facebook most people only spend a little over twenty minutes browsing links.

If you’re still not convinced of StumbleUpon’s power there isn’t much more I can say to change your mind. All I can suggest is try it. See for yourself what it does to your traffic and how many more page views you’ll receive. The proof will be in your stats.

Problem is, when WordPress.com changed their sites around again — the so-called “improvements” — so many people lost their StumbleUpon sharing button. After noticing a pattern, I took a look at my old site (I’m now self-hosted) and was absolutely shocked when I find it gone. This wasn’t okay with me. And it shouldn’t be all right with you either.

Don’t fret. I have a solution.

Go to settings > sharing > available services

Available services is where it shows your sharing buttons. Only now you will no longer see StumbleUpon as an option. You’ll need to install it manually.

Click “Add a new service” and a pop-up window will appear. In the “Add sharing url” input: https://www.stumbleupon.com/submit?url= (and then choose your variable from those listed below) I use: %post_full_url% But you can play around and see what best fits your needs.

Like with most improvements in WordPress.com they tell you that you can add any variable to your sharing link. I tried them all. None of them worked by just adding the variable to the end of StumbleUpon’s url. You must include this: /submit?url= And then the variable. Without this formula you’ll either get an error message that says StumbleUpon can’t locate the page, or it violates the site in some way.

If it’s easier for you to just copy what I did the entire url looks like this:


In the box below (same window) it will ask for the icon image. Here’s where it got tricky because most sites want you to buy image icons. What I did was to Google “StumbleUpon Icon” click “image” and then copy and paste the image into my library. I then took the url for that image and pasted it into the “icon url” box. Voila!

Within that same window press “Save” Then drag your new StumbleUpon sharing button into “Enable Services” window and press “Save Settings” at the bottom of the page.

Since I wasn’t able to find a StumbleUpon icon image that fit the perimeters of WordPress.com, under “Button Style” I chose “icon and text” instead of my usual “icon only”, and then dragged less important buttons like “print” “email” “pocket” etc. into the shaded box of “Enable Services”. What that does is it adds a “More” button to your lineup that readers can press that will show the other sharing buttons you offer without taking up a lot of space.

And that’s the power of StumbleUpon. I hope this helps to increase your blog traffic and make you all hugely successful.

Want to take it for a test spin? Press the StumbleUpon sharing button at the bottom of this post and give me a “thumbs up”. Tell me in the comments, leave a link to your post (once you add the button) and I’ll do the same for you. And isn’t that what the writing community is all about, helping one another?


  1. Thanks for this article, very helpful. I have added stumbleupon today and hoping for lots of views! I hit the stumble button in the bar for you too. Would love if you could check my latest post out and do the same. Thanks! http://sharemyyear.co.uk/odeon-screen-unseen-baby-driver-review/

  2. Thank you! I really struggled to work out what to do and then found your fantastic post,

  3. Thank you for this! I was struggling to figure out the sharing button and this worked on the first try. Clear and easy to follow instructions. 🙂 I stumbled your article, here is a link to one of mine. http://venusfitness.ca/2016/11/24/postnatal-exercise-dos-donts/#more-1260
    Looking forward to enjoying the power of Stumbleupon!

  4. Thanks Sue Coletta ! I am a begginner to blogging and for that I did lot of research on Internet to know the inside out about it. There are so many things by so many people, but I take you as my guide in this. Your articles are really helpful and easy to follow.
    Thanks for the stumpleUpon guide. I have just added that on my blog.
    Raghav Malhotra recently posted…Download Infinite Fighter-fighting game v1.0.16 Latest Mod Apk [Mod Money]My Profile

  5. Thank you so very much for this most interesting and easy way to create and add the stumble upon icon to my blog. You’re a super super star.

  6. Sue, this was a great post. Am I right in thinking that the StumbleUpon button can only be added to a WordPress blog, though? Mine is a Blogger blog, and I have some other sharing buttons, but not Stumble.
    However, I was able to Stumble this article!
    Thanks again.

    • Thanks, Sharon. Honestly, I’m not sure about Blogger. I would imagine you could add it. Do you have an area like I’ve described here, where you can manually add sharing buttons?

  7. Great post. Many thanks for the kind mention 🙂
    Nicholas Rossis recently posted…Science Fiction eBook Giveaway and Book SaleMy Profile

  8. Thanks for this – very helpful!

  9. Awesome post. Very helpful! Will try it and get back to you to stumble.

  10. Thanks so much for this! Great post. I’ve stumbled it (I think?? – Totally new at this!) I was totally stuck with adding the badge but it’s now up and running. 🙂

  11. Thank you so much! I’ve just added the stumbleupon button and it worked! I followed your guide step by step and I am so pleased with the result. I was forwarded onto your article through Janice at mostlyblogging.com
    I am just going to stumble your article now. Thank you.
    I would love it if you would stumble my little poem. The link is:


    thank you

    mainy – myrealfairy recently posted…Beyond the Starline – Book ReviewMy Profile

  12. Thanks for this. I found it very helpful.
    Bun Karyudo recently posted…Things That Drive Me Crazy! (My Guest Post)My Profile

  13. When I click on your button, or any stumble upon button lately I just get a page saying ‘Get the Stumble upon App’, and there’s no way of adding a page. Btw I already have the app. Any idea what’s happening here?

    • In the upper right-hand corner it should say “log in.” For some reason SU goes through phases. Sometimes it doesn’t recognize me right away and other times it automatically signs me in. But there should always be a place where you can log in. If you don’t see it, email me a screenshot, and I’ll try to help you out.

  14. Great post – was recommended it by Hugh cause I couldn’t get my stumble button back. Thanks so much for writing it 😀

  15. I’m in the minority, not sure what I’m doing wrong. I followed the instructions step by step and get an error saying “An error occurred creating your new sharing service – please check you gave valid details.” Even though I copied the link and put it in the Sharing URL…

    • Did you use this link: https://www.stumbleupon.com/submit?url=%post_full_url% If you clicked “Add new” and then placed the link in the sharing url, something went screwy. If you want, you can email me a screenshot to: sue(at)suecoletta(dot)com, and I’ll try to help you out.

      • Thank you so much for all of your help trying to get this to work for me. I had to walk away and come back. Almost 2 months later and I decided to give it a shot, did the same thing we tried when we were emailing and it worked! I used a different image, not sure if the WordPress image gods just liked it better or what, but it works and I’m happy! Thanks for your article and personal assistance, very much appreciated!

        • That’s wonderful, Niki. I figured it had to do with the image (WP is so fickle). I’m thrilled everything worked out. Don’t forget to share your posts to SU when you publish them. 🙂

  16. Easy instructions and they worked! Thanks so much for the step by step and reminder to hit ‘save’ when installing StumbleUpon.

    Janice Wald over at http://www.mostlyblogging.com answered my question on how to add the SU sharing button and referred me to your instructions.
    Mona AlvaradoFrazier recently posted…A Year of the Best Christmas GiftsMy Profile

  17. Thanks for explaining this. I used to use SU but didn’t see anyone returning it to me. So I stopped. When the button disappeared I was not upset. I tried yours, added the pin and now like yours. Now what? Will people Stumble me? Will people reciprocate? I’ll have to see.

    Also my buttons are not as colorful as yours. They are only b&w. Hmm. I also wish I could add them to the side of my blog as you have.

    So glad I found you – from a referral from Janice Wald!

    • Yes, they will. Every time you publish a post share it to SU. Honestly, I rarely have time to do anything more than that, but my posts get stumbled about 1700 times on average. That’s a ton of traffic for only pressing my own share button once. It takes time. Don’t get discouraged. But little by little, the more posts you share to SU, the more people will see them and stumble them.

      To answer your question about the button itself: I have a self-hosted site now so the buttons are bigger with more color, and I can put them on the side. With WP.com you can’t. But you can do a Google search for a colored version of the button. Look in the comments here. There are a few people who posted links to the icons. Thank you for sharing my post. I really appreciate it. Oh, and Janice has a SU group. Have you joined? They all stumble each other posts, so that will get you more views in a shorter amount of time.

  18. I want to add stumbleUpon sharing button on my website.please help me.please tell me easy way to add this button.
    Rana irfan recently posted…Happy new year sms in HindiMy Profile

  19. Thanks, Sue, this is brilliant. Have stumbled this page.
    Margaretha recently posted…The Gratitude Experiment: Can Gratitude make us Happy?My Profile

  20. Great advice as usual, Sue.
    I managed to create a button for my two WordPress sites. The logo is not visible; the buttons clearly read StumbleUpon, though. And they work. 😀

    • It’s hard to find a really good icon for StumbleUpon that actually fits the perimeters of WP. When I was on WP.com I used the title rather than the icon, because it always appeared smaller than the others. It still worked, though. I’ll jump over and “test” your new button, Karen. See you over there!

  21. Hi Sue, I found you via Janet Wald’s Mostly Blogging site. I installed the Stumble Upon button per your directions and voila! it worked. Just saying thanks and now I will follow your blog 🙂
    Terri Webster Schrandt recently posted…One Word Photo Challenge: WinterMy Profile

    • Yay!!! I’m so glad you’re posts can be stumbled again. Thank you for the follow! Janice is awesome, isn’t she? Oh, I see you did the one word photo challenge. I’ll have to check it out. See you over there!

  22. Thanks for this fantastic help Sue. 🙂

  23. Great guide, thanks! I had resigned myself to no stumbleupon button until I migrate to .org which may not be for a while yet.
    Dermot recently posted…Award Winning Blog!My Profile

    • Yeah, a lot of people did, Dermot. Which is why I researched how to get it back. Now that I’m at a self-hosted site, I don’t need to worry about it, but there are still many who shouldn’t have to lose the benefit of SU because WP.com decided to get rid of the button. I’m glad I could help.

  24. Hi Sue,
    I will be linking to this article in a page I will be publishing this week.
    Janice Wald recently posted…How to Have a Winning Combination of Blog FactorsMy Profile

  25. Pingback: Wednesday’s Meritage: #MWWC19 Theme, Stumbling Upon and more | Talk-A-Vino

  26. Hi Sue,
    I know you are very busy with your writing and your blog, but…
    I am trying unsuccessfully to apply this advice to Flipboard. How do I install a Flipboard sharing button?
    This article https://share.flipboard.com/?utm_campaign=edu&utm_medium=email&utm_source=magmaker_edu
    gave me code; I added your %…. from the SU instructions, I got an icon URL but it doesn’t appear at WordPress. Any thoughts? Thanks so much.

  27. hi there, thanks for this. And yes if we don’t help each other out, it really does get hard doesn’t it! I’ll stumble yours for you 🙂 Can you please help us out as we are only new and getting no natural traffic through stumble upon – only getting traffic if we do the paid discovery. If you could share this post of ours pretty please – http://www.wanderluststorytellers.com.au/top-5-must-see-destinations-on-our-family-bucket-list/ 🙂 Thank you!!!! From the Wanderlust Storytellers 🙂

  28. Good morning! I found you through Janice’s reblog and I am so glad that I did. I have been looking for a way to add stumble upon on my posts. I just used your directions and it worked. Yay!! Thanks so much for sharing this and I stumbled this post. Have a great weekend! 🙂

  29. This is a TERRIFIC idea and I can’t wait to use it. I did get stuck at one step, though. I’ve found a suitable icon, reduced it to the proper size (16×16) and loaded it into my library. But how do I find out the URL for that image in my library? I think that once I get past that one step, the rest of it should fall into place. Thanks!

  30. Thanks for the easy to follow instructions. I usually can’t figure these things out and I actually did it!

  31. Reblogged this on Reflections and commented:
    Welcome to Another Installment of Reblog Thursday!
    Recently, I have been writing about how bloggers can use StumbleUpon to drive traffic to their blogs even though WordPress discontinued its StumbleUpon sharing button.
    What if I told you that Fiction Writer Sue Coletta discovered a way to put the button back?
    Yes, it’s true. WordPress.com users can once again have a StumbleUpon sharing button if they follow Sue’s instructions, and the instructions in those of her commenters.
    Sue begins her post with the importance of StumbleUpon as a way to get traffic to your blogs and ends with how to get the StumbleUpon sharing button back.
    Take it away Sue.

  32. Great post, Sue. I’ve done this, and it works! I found a suitable icon – here’s the link -https://www.google.co.uk/search?q=icon+for+StumbleUpon&espv=2&biw=1345&bih=918&tbm=isch&tbo=u&source=univ&sa=X&ei=zYdsVea6FYz9UJ7ageAJ&ved=0CDsQ7Ak They’re all too big, but I used Lightroom to reduce one to the 16px square required and posted the link from my library into the box and, voila! it works. Thanks for this.

  33. I have followed your instructions and I have added the button 🙂

  34. heatherjacksonwrites

    I feel like social media has become my part-time job! I am not on StumbleUpon, but I’ve added it to the list for the future with your name beside it so I can refer to this post again when I’m ready. 😉

    • That’s super! So glad I could help. Believe me, I know exactly what you mean. That’s why it’s best to concentrate most of your efforts on a few sites.

  35. I think I made it work?

  36. Thanks for putting this package together. I’m going to bookmark it for later. 🙂

    Anna from Elements of Writing

  37. Sue, this is what I love about your blog. You’re so willing to share valuable information with others. Being a self-confessed technophobe I didn’t think I’d be able to do this, despite your clear instructions, but I’ve just added the button to my own site and tested it out. It works – yay! I’m going to add your blog post to my Stumbled Upon list now. 🙂

    • Thank you so much! Sometimes I wonder if I come off as a know-it-all, which is so not my intention. It’s comments like yours that make it all worth while. And thanks for adding this post to your likes. Really appreciate it!

  38. Great post Sue! Super helpful! If I wanted to resurrect an old post of mine, do I simply share it using the stumbleupon icon in my post? Or is sharing your own posts a no-no??

  39. Fascinating info – thanks for such a well-researched post! And special thanks for including my example 🙂

  40. Thanks for this, Sue. I’ve never used S/U so I just took it for a test drive – sure can see the potential. When you mentioned WordPress.com removing your S/U button, I took a look at my site and see the link is still there, but then I use a self-hosted WordPress.org site. Maybe you can fill me and others in on the advantages / disadvantages of a WP.com site, like you use, to a WP.org site?

  41. I tried Stambleupon after your post about social media. Uhm… I don’t know whether that’s not the place for me or I’m doing something wrong, but I only got a couple contacts through it. After a few weeks of trying and not getting any results, I just stopped using it.
    Which is kind of a shame, I hear lots of people getting lots of traffic from it 🙁

    Any suggestion?

    • Just by adding a sharing button and by sharing every post you write, you will see an increase in traffic. It sounds to me like you were using it like other social media sites. Which it is not. You don’t necessarily have to spend time there to drive traffic to your site. I spend very little time there. All I do is share my posts and posts I really enjoy and the traffic comes. What takes times is to build your “likes page”, but you don’t need a lot of likes if you’re only using it as a place to share. It is NOT to be used as a “social” place like Twitter and Facebook, but more of a search at your leisure type of place. Make sense? In other words, just share your own posts (and posts you like, if they have the button) and that’s it. Then sit back and watch the traffic increase.

    • To prove my point I just shared your V is for Volstead post and tagged it “the roaring twenties” “The Volstead Act” and “blogging”. Under categories I put “American History” instead of writing so that history fans will find it and hopefully check out the rest of your A to Z challenge, which I also mentioned in the title and in the tags. Let me know how it works out!

  42. I can’t get any “available services” after going to sharing. Do you know what I am doing wrong?

  43. Hey, Sue, great tutorial! The only bad thing I see with Stumbleupon or so I’ve read on so many blogs is bounce rate. So if one is not too concerned with bounce rate, I personally say go for it. If you get traffic to your site and they read just one post, to me that’s better than no traffic.

    BTW, shared to stumbleupon 🙂 http://www.authorbrendalee.net

  44. Awesome info, as usual. Thanks for sharing.

  45. I had absolutely no idea. It sounds similar to my Zite magazine, but has some huge differences too. I’ll have to explore this.

  46. This is such a nicely detailed post about how to use S/U, Sue! Thanks. And what a great way to get interest in one’s blog without being obnoxious about it.

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