Stop Ranting About Pop-Ups

Stop Crying About Popups, Blogging Isn’t Just For Kids – Silly Rabbit

How many years have we watched bloggers from every walk of life bitching about the way others are running their blogs? Well, I guess as long as blogs have been a thing because bitching is as much human nature as trying not to eat our young is.

I’m going to settle this once and for all. I will be the voice of reason for the underdog that wants popups on their blogs. I fully anticipate my say will forever end the silly debate of pop-ups and pop-up ads because, well, I am me.

This blog post started out as a comment on another blog post. Does that ever happen to you? So here’s the deal, I’m taking that brilliant, albeit somewhat long, comment and posting it here as a reply. Why? Because that’s how I roll.

Before We Go Further, Care To Chime In On Pop-Up Ads and Opt-Ins?

I know I’m going to change minds here – I’m a superhero like that. (New folks are like, “Who’s this idiot think he is?” LOL)

I know I’m going to change minds here – I’m a superhero like that. (New folks are like, “Who’s this idiot think he is?” LOL) So I’d love to get your quick answer on this simple Twitter poll if you don’t mind. If you change your mind after reading my impressive article, feel free to admit it in the comments (No more Disqus commenting system by the way).

Putting It Into Context

You might find it helpful to have a little context and understand what, and who got my panties in a wad this morning when I’m supposed to be in the gym posting to SnapChat.

It’s Mitch Mitchell’s fault! Oh, no he didn’t. LOL

Then, sadly, I make Mitch regret these words…

My Original Comment – In All Its Glory

So, my friends, this post is my direct response to “Popups Ruin A Blog Readers Experience” by Mitch Mitchell. I recommend you read that post before continuing with my assessment that will surely clear up any misconception as to what a blog is, whom it is for, and what can and should be done with it.

The following is the unedited comment that I wrote for Mitch – yes, my buddy after it exceeded the qualification of “ranting all over another blogger’s blog.” I debated whether to format it for an easier read but I opted for that authentic look (Outside of the occasional block quote, italics and bolded font). 😉

Well, you asked for it Mitch. LOL I had already read this post, as well as the previous one, and I respectfully disagree with much of it. Since you invited my rant, I mean reaction, I’ll do my best not to make it about me and, of course, I will remain respectful.

Anyone that read that opening statement couldn’t possibly skip this one. 😉 The truth is, for anyone that doesn’t already know, I’ve been friends with Mitch for many years, and I cannot think of a single person I know online that I respect more than Mitch Mitchell.

Okay, here we go…

First, the statement,

I know these folks care more about how many people they can get subscribed to their newsletter or how many products they can sell than they actually care about the readers”,

seems totally unfair.

It’s not unfair that the statement isn’t true, the idea that their business motives are somehow wrong, deceptive, or inappropriate. They’re not. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with using a blog to sell products, build a list, or just use it for earning trust and developing influence.

In my opinion, and that’s all this is, we need to stop with the “purist” notion of blogging.

This “starving artist” (with a few exceptional standouts) mentality is hurting the platform.

Or at the very least, recognize that blogs are, and can be, a tool for business. In fact, blogs can legitimately be many things at once, including great content mixed with a marketing message – just not in the same breath on the same post.

Here’s the deal, I’ve been blogging since 2004, shortly after Google bought Blogger. I can even remember when we could easily add an image to a blog post for the first time – he says in a weak old man’s voice. lol My first site was in 1999 on GeoCities. Remember them?

Oh snap, I said I’d do my best not to make it about me. Happens every time. Wait, what were we talking about?

Oh, popups. Hold on, I’m getting there.

So my point is, for over a decade (I gave myself a couple of years of padding), I’ve been shouting to the masses (All 14 people that read my blog) that almost everyone can have a blog. I’ve been paid to sit in conference rooms and explain how blogging and content marketing can, and should, benefit their business.

Okay, I know you may be screaming that you never said businesses shouldn’t blog, you just hate popups.

But you see, that’s tying the hands of business blogs in the name of purism.

A blog can be an extension of our soul, as much art as a painting or naked ladies made from clay – gracefully spinning on a turntable between my hands, caressing my fingers… Sorry.

Or, a blog can be a tool. A blog as a tool is every bit as legitimate as a blog that is written solely for an audience. In fact, I’d argue that they both can exist together within the same blog.

Let me say that again – bloggers CAN offer amazing content for free, build a list, and offer products, all in perfect harmony and without upsetting the time/space continuum. I’ve been teaching exactly that for years.

Here I go, this is me getting to the point…

So, as bloggers and content creators, we give, and give, and give. We give our heart and soul and freely help others – for free.

After all that value (a very over and misused word, by the way), how dare we have the audacity to activate a tiny little invitation, in the form a distracting pop-up, to join our list!

Wait, did I say invitation? I should have said invasion, right?

Who do these bloggers think they are? The next thing you know, they’ll be asking us to buy something.

Pay for something? That’s why we have Walmart and Coney Island. No, that blogger should build a list on their own time, as long as it doesn’t get in my way.

I don’t care if they have helped millions, have a family to feed, and work 10 hours a day at a job they hate. I read blogs for my benefit and shouldn’t be bothered with some writer’s true agenda – more readers and more money. How dare they!

Seriously? Are we actually ranting about a list building tool – an effective one at that (I know, it’s debatable but that’s not the issue) – on someone’s blog that may be changing lives for the better, because it’s such a tragic annoyance?

Is it really? Is it really that much of an annoyance? Can you? Can you wipe out that much red?

If tests show popups work on someone’s blog, bringing in the right subscriber, and that’s a major roll for the blog, who am I to object to the marketing method? I certainly don’t think the popup voids all potential value within the content provided.

Popups do not ruin a reader’s experience unless they allow it to. I will admit I don’t care for many of the distractions myself, but I would still counsel bloggers to make business decisions based on effectiveness and not my personal preference.

You say you have a problem with people who in one voice say they are there for the people and in another voice, aka action, are doing the very thing that alienates us from wanting to deal with them.

I say, that’s about as unreasonable as it gets.

It sounds like you’re saying that if someone adds a popup to build a list or offer a product so that they can help even more people in even more ways, they’re somehow two-faced because you didn’t get to read the content you came for before you seen an ad? Seriously?

I will certainly admit that popups do have the potential to hurt a brand (As you know, bloggers and business are brands) but that has more to do with timing, message, and strategy than it does distraction.

Ask me to buy a pair of shoes before I get in the store and I’m likely to walk away – but that’s another topic.

Again, I respectfully disagree. You know I love you Mitch, and I’m not going to say you’re wrong – but you know I’m right. I know you won’t admit it – but you know. If you need some tissue, send me a DM on Twitter, I don’t read those either. LOL

!!! Spontaneous Contest Alert !!!

Win a Do Good Stuff sticker

The first person to comment below with the name of the actor (real name or character name) and the title of the superhero movie I referenced in the comment above will win a “Do Good Stuff” sticker – sent to me by Joel Comm.

Over To You My Fellow Blogger

You want to hear something funny? Mitch can’t even reply with a comment on this blog. Why, you ask? Because Mitch refuses to comment on any blog that uses a third-party commenting system like Disqus. You know, I might be seeing a trend here. LOL

UPDATE: I have removed Disqus commenting from Hot Blog Tips and went back to the WordPress commenting system. Not only for Mitch but that’s a big part of it. Now I have to get prepared for a beating. LOL

You can still comment too, right? I mean, if you want to. Even if it’s to stick up for Mitch.

Please Note – This post is all in fun and in no way meant to discredit Mitch. He has every right to his opinion and I respect that. It’s not his fault he’s so old he got stuck it his ways so hard it would take Thor’s hammer to dislodge his stubborn ass. 😉

About Brian Hawkins

Blogging superhero by day and internet super villain by night. Blogger, future online millionaire and all around great guy. Subscribe to our
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