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Against the Wind

Wind is a funny thing – it is as equally capable of creating destruction as providing lift.

the challenge of the windWhen it falls directly in our face it’s hard to ignore, but when it’s at our back it can move us forward in ways that are frequently imperceptible.

I’ve fallen prey to the wind on a morning run. I’ll start my run headed south feeling good, in fact, feeling very good. The kind of good that makes me think that perhaps through hard work and innate talent I’ve somehow mastered this thing called running.

And then I’ll reach my turn around point and turn north only to be stood up and challenged against a wind that makes it feel as though I am now dragging bags of sand.

I think our view of business can be challenged and lifted in the same way.

It’s hard to ignore the strain of the daily wind in our face, but when things flow magically we often feel it has more to do with our brilliance than the work, support, and lift of the community around us.

We may even keep score this way as well – I made this happen – good or bad.

Here’s the deal – all we need do is create a big vision, raise our gaze and keep it focused on that vision and then detach from how we’re actually going get there.

Sometimes you have the wind, sometimes you fight the wind, but keeping score and judging every step as either good or bad just gets in the way.

You never have it as bad as you think, you never have it as good as you think – it’s all just wind pushing and pulling you in the direction of your vision.

5 Step Approach to Learning the StumbleUpon Targeted Traffic Tango

Maybe the term StumbleUpon is new to you, maybe you find it fascinating, or maybe you realize what an important traffic tool it is, either way, it’s time to dig in and learn a little more.

From StumbleUpon – “StumbleUpon is a discovery engine that finds the best of the web, recommended to each unique user. It allows its users to discover and rate Web pages, photos, and videos that are personalized to their tastes and interests using peer-sourcing and social-networking principles”

StumbleUpon for traffic

StumbleUpon is a bit of an oddity in the world of online marketing, used by some to discover new things and by others to generate traffic. I use it for both and find that with a systematic approach it can become an important source of traffic.

Now, traffic for traffic sake isn’t always the best pursuit. Quality traffic, the kind that is interested in what you sell, wants to contribute to your community and subscribe to your newsletter, is the real goal of online traffic generation, and StumbleUpon traffic is generally a mixed bag in that regard, but with very little effort you may find some of that ideal traffic coming by way of a StumbleUpon strategy.

I often liken orchestrating traffic generation to dance steps, so here’s my five step approach to mastering the StumbleUpon Tango.

1)   Install the Toolbar

The first step of course is to create a StumbleUpon account, but to actually use the tool in the manner I suggest you should also install the StumbleUpon browser toolbar to make it easier to find, share and communicate with the community.

2) Connect Around Interests

StumbleUpon will show you content when you stumble based upon the interests you list in your settings. If you want to use this tool to discover Web content to share for business purposes take care when selecting these interests.

There are many ways to network and use StumbleUpon in a social manner and connecting with people who share your interests is a good idea. You may also want to add your contacts or connect via Facebook to see if any of your current contacts and friends are using StumbleUpon.

One of the secrets to getting your own pages shown to StumbleUpon users is to have your pages reviewed and liked by lots of other users. If you can build a following and then encourage your following to like each other’s relevant content you will get more from your efforts. (Warning here – creating groups just to Stumble content is not what I’m suggesting, but connecting with people with like interests can be a powerful way to get Stumbles.)

The first rule of StumbleUpon is to give – share and review other’s people content and you may find the same happening to your content.

You can connect with me on StumbleUpon here

3) Install the Stumble Button

Another obvious integration of your StumbleUpon efforts comes in the form of a button or badge for content on your Web pages and blog posts.

Just as many have installed the Facebook Like, LinkedIn Share and Google+ buttons to their content pages, StumbleUpon has a button that makes one click sharing of your content on StumbleUpon a snap.

4) Use su.pr

StumbleUpon has its own link shortener called su.pr. This tool makes it very easy to submit your content to StumbleUpon at the same time you submit it to Twitter and/or Facebook.

You will also get some nice tracking stats from using the tool.

5) Explore Stumble Paid Discovery

StumbleUpon sells traffic and while the quality tends to suffer, it can be a low cost way to send a surge of traffic to a specific blog post or campaign.

You have the ability to target the traffic by interest as well.

For a little more on the benefits of using StumbleUpon you might enjoy this infographic put out by them.

Weekend Favs Octobery Twenty Nine

My weekend blog post routine includes posting links to a handful of tools or great content I ran across during the week. I don't go into depth about the finds, but encourage you check them out if they sound interesting.…

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