It is a closed system where user participation determines outcomes. Heavy users of StumbleUpon thumb up or down a lot of content, and that allows the system to understand their demographic better and associate users within a certain niche.
Be an Active User
1. Participate in the community and spend time thumbing up or down websites you discover while there. StumbleUpon uses your thumbs up to help find your niche.
2. Make friends with those who share similar tastes since StumbleUpon shares content with your friends within a niche. This will encourage people to follow you and that will increase the chance they will stumble upon your own content.
3. Contribute content to the website. Eventually, those who are in your niche and follow you will discover your content. This leads to traffic generation.
StumbleUpon lets you influence their recommendation system with advertising sold at five cents for every stumble.
There is a lot of advertising on the site, so it is not considered spam, but Stumbleupon users may thumb down your content if it seems too blatant an attempt to influence them.
The more users thumb up content, the more it appears to other users, thereby generating traffic to the site, but the reverse is true for content that receives a lot of thumbs down.
Wait until an especially poignant piece of content is in your posssession then use advertising to help more people stumble it.
Be a Follower
User ratings and their friends’ ratings help StumbleUpon form a collaborative view of the websites in their system. Users will only see content approved by people in their niche.
1. Follow those who seem like they might like your content, since the more StumbleUpon associates you with them, the greater the chance they will see your content.
2. Follow those who said they liked your content by giving it a thumbs up.
3. Follow those the system suggests for you since they are showing similar demographics to you.
4. Follow those who follow you. This is a bit of courtesy, but also a good way to build followers. If they follow you, then there is something that interests them.