Remember when you used to pay Digital Point users to go give you some good reviews and thumbs up on StumbleUpon. Well, you don’t have to do that anymore. StumbleUpon recently released their own advertising platform. I had a chance to try it out and here’s what I think about it.
You aren’t really paying for clicks. You are paying for page views (at 5 cents a page view), and you can select the daily limit on how many page views to give a site. You choose a category that closest matches your landing page, and then you can select from some very limited demographic choices such as sex, age, and location (down to city-level). Once your URL is submitted, it then needs to be approved by StumbleUpon’s team. It took about 12 hours for that process to happen, and found that they seemed to approve once in the morning and once in the evening. Weekends I found that they approve slower than weekdays which shouldn’t come as any surprise. Once approved, page views will begin immediately as long as your account is funded (done with prepayments through PayPal).
I ended up running advertising a niche dating website with one of my affiliate links. Due to the niche and the ability to target a category directly matching that niche I thought for sure I would be able to at least break even. To profit I would only have to make 2 conversions per 100 viewers. Things never really went my way though. I spent around $100 split testing different ages and running the ads at different times, but I never saw a positive ROI. I’m only down about 30-50%, so I’m not a complete failure.
Here are some tips I have to give you guys on advertising with StumbleUpon:
- - I’m assuming this was released more to help your personal website build up traffic, get thumbs up, and allow it to get more traffic through organic stumbles. Affiliate marketing is just something that a lot will play with. If you’ve got a story or blog post that you think would do well, but just don’t have the organic traffic to help get those first few stumbles this is an excellent platform to use.
- - There is no discrimination other than the few demographics and categories you can choose from when creating your ads as to who will hit the page. This makes it very difficult to get super targeted. While you are only paying 5 cents per page view, you could be paying for many people that just aren’t interested in what you are advertising. $50 CPM isn’t exactely that cheap when you look at it this way. You’d be better off paying $8 CPM in an media buy that lets you create a banner ad making sure only people interested click what you are advertising.
- - To try and make affiliate marketing profitable, look at other popular stumbled pages and see if they are advertising anything. Also consider that most people that use StumbleUpon are very tech-savy. Things they are mostly interested in is technology, gaming, etc. Look for offers you think may be popular with these users.
- - Check the ad stats to see if you are getting thumbs up or thumbs down on your offer. It seems that most stumble users don’t actually use these buttons anymore though. With nearly 2000 views, no one gave my page any thumbs.
- - If you are using sub-ids in the URL, don’t use any form of the word “Stumble” or “StumbleUpon.” They’ll disapprove the ad for use of their name. Pretty lame, right?
And to StumbleUpon, here are some tips for you:
- - $0.05 a click!? Are you insane? I know you guys are laughing your way to the bank with these kinds of rates. The serving cost for these ads probably don’t even amount to a tenth of a cent or your end. There are much cheaper traffic dealers available. Hell! Paying for stumbles is probably cheaper than this.
- - Offer more demographics. This will need to be implemented into the regular StumbleUpon interface first, but your advertisers will be much happier.
- - Drop down the ad approval wait times. This is a problem with a ton of advertising platforms.
- - PayPal as a payment platform sucks. Give me the ability to directly charge post-payments to my credit card.
- - Allow me to view how many Thumbs I got per hour, not just per day.
If you are interested in the advertising platform, check it out here. Already tried it? Let me know what you think!