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 an all around great guy.


  1. Oh my, my, my, Brian! Leave it to my good friend, Mitch to pee in someone’s cereal! You have to love him. I do! 😉

    As for popups, I’m not a fan simply because I use mobile a lot. If a “annoying thing” pops up on my mobile, sometimes I can’t even get rid of it to read the content or comment. Trust me when I say, it’s not a phone issue. I have a Samsung Note 5 and blog on it. As long as it’s not annoying on the web, I can deal. There usually is an “X” to close it out. Again, mobile is my issue.

    I love how you and Mitch communicate with one another. Definitely great to see the comradery . 🙂


  2. Hi Brenda, just a little fun with an old friend while I try to bring some perspective to the issue.

    I’m not a fan of pop-ups either, I just think they can have their place. I have one running here but it only activates once for new visitors (or has been away for 30 days) and then only when it thinks you’re leaving certain pages. This is why I know they can be effective because I’ve tested them. 😉

    Mobile can be an issue, for sure. I haven’t seen a problem with mine (LeasdPages) but, like you, I use my phone a lot and sometimes the little “X” or close link is out of reach. That’s so frustrating, especially when you really want to see something and it’s so bad you have to abandon the visit altogether. That’s not good business.

    I appreciate all your support and tweets by the way. 🙂

  3. I have a little announcement and I don’t really want to create an entire post for it. Since it has to do with this post (somewhat), I’ll add it here first.

    It’s something I’ve been thinking about for a long time – dropping Disqus and reverting back to the original WordPress commenting system. Hopefully, the spammers don’t take notice. It got so bad before switching to Disqus that 80% or more of the comments were spam. I imagine I was on some type of list or something. No matter, WordPress comments are back on Hot Blog Tips.

    This is the perfect post to open up original comments because I’m sure Mitch Mitchell is chomping at the bit to rip me a new one. LOL Seriously, though, it’s only fair he should be able to respond and I knew he wasn’t going to on Disqus.

  4. Hi Brian,

    First time here.

    I have to (respectfully) agree with Mitch on this one.

    I feel everyone has the right to run his/her blog the way they feel is best suited for them. I would never tell anyone how to express themselves – as long as they’re doing no harm (you know, that Universal rule) 😉

    For me (and I’ll only speak for myself), it ruins the experience of reading the entire post. When something has my attention, I’m involved in it fully. Then something intrudes on my attention span. It’s like having someone walk in front of the film you’re watching and not getting out of the way until you ask them to (locating the exit icon).

    I know there’s a way to invite visitors to subscribe using the exit pop-up method. I find this option suggestive rather than intrusive.

    BUT – again, to each his/her own.

    I love that you wrote about this though because it inspires a discussion that many of us would benefit from.
    Isn’t this what blogging (and especially commenting) is all about?

    I love meeting new people, and I’m glad I’ve now met you.

    I also think it’s SO cool that even though this is something of a debate, you and Mitch have actually collaborated on this gem of a post – whether you intended to or not.

    Sometimes the best creations stem from our differences of opinion (depending on how we handle it). We aren’t here to agree on everything, but if we can disagree with grace and class (which I feel you both have), that’s an art form.

    I wasn’t planning on visiting blogs today, but thanks to you and Mitch (and Brenda for sharing this in the first place – which landed me here), I was encouraged to not only express my own thoughts, but I just met someone new.

    Thanks for that 🙂

  5. Thanks Dana, I’m so glad to see you here. Seriously, because I liked your comment on Mitch’s blog and your “I Am My Imagination” title got me attention. That is so clever. I’ll have to thank Bren again, another long time friend. 🙂

    Actually, that’s all I have here is an exit pop-up. It’s set to trigger only once for new visitors using a 30 cookie. It just activated for me today because I had to clear my cookies for another issue. Once my testing is complete, I’ll decide if I’ll keep it of not.

    I totally understand the movie analogy. I get super focused on tasks I’m on and the tiniest distraction can set me way back while I try to get back into that groove. Truthfully, I preach that to my family here at home but never really attributed that to pop-ups. That’s something to consider, for sure.

    I appreciate your comment and hope to read more of your thoughts. 🙂

  6. As always, you’re absolutely right. That’s not to say Mitch is wrong, just that this is a reality where you can both be right ;).
    I’m often told pop ups ruin the user experience. We are businesses not a charity. You come, you consume our hard earned content and then you (the reader) object because we ask to take the relationship one step on.
    We even offer incentives to make the relationships more valuable.
    We are not hostages, we are not forced at gun point to optin. We like something we make a choice. Clicking x to close is a choice.
    Given the average person stays on the average blog 15 seconds, we can time our pop ups perfectly. Mine trigger with the upward movement, as someone acts as if they’re leaving the site. A scroll up will trigger it as well. I use focus areas and post footers. Yet it’s the pop up that works the best.

    Ultimately, if the business blogger doesn’t collect email addresses, shares valuable information and makes sales, they’ll go out of business. The greatest content in the world won’t save them if they don’t test and use the tools that are there for them.

  7. Wow, Sarah, another amazing comment. Starting with, “As always, you’re absolutely right.” LOL

    You took my argument and said it better with a fraction of the words. I have no idea how you did that but it’s very cool.

    Pop-ups done right for the right reason. Pat Flynn often talks about how hard it was for him to ask for a sale or opt-in. He overcame that and I can’t imagine how many lives have been drastically improved because of it.

    Can you imagine how differently things might have been if he had listened to the people that pushed back? And he did have push-back. He gave and gave, all for free, and that’s what people become accustomed to.

    Smart business means you listen to customers. The trick is understanding who’s going to become a customer and who’s going to support us in other ways. A balancing act, for sure, but an important one to master.

    I feel very “preachy” lately. I hope I’m not coming across like that. I really appreciate the comment Sarah, we’re on the same sheet of music.

  8. Well… finally, after years, I can comment on this blog again… and now you’re in trouble. lol

    First, thanks for asking people to read my post first. Second, you then should have told them to read your comment because you kind of took what I’m calling a 150° turn instead of a full 180 and got closer to agreeing with me; I knew I’d have that effect on you soon enough; I always do. lol

    Here’s the thing for those who haven’t gone over to see my post.

    First, I’ve always railed against popups, so this isn’t something new or totally out of the blue.

    Second, I visit lots of blogs on a daily basis, whereas most people who use popups aren’t really visiting all that many blogs since they’re concentrating on their own properties. So, your experience is going to be way different than mine, as a reader and as a “true” blogger; yeah, I said that!

    Blogs are basically the first line of offense in this thing we like to call social media and social media marketing. I assume your purpose is to get people to at least read what you have to say. If that’s the case, then why assault people as soon as they get to your page before they’ve even had a chance to see what you’re writing about, how you write, and whether you’re worth the time or not. Are you scared that people won’t like it so you’re trying to get to them before they’ve had time to kick the tires, like car salesmen? Don’t you hate it when they show up before you’ve had a chance to look around a bit first?

    That’s my main gripe about popups. Dana reminded me of the issue on mobile; sometimes you can’t even close the stupid box and your only option is to hit that back arrow to get out of there; Flipboard is another place where those popups are literally impossible to get rid of.

    Talk to me about business. I’ve been an independent consultant for 14 1/2 years, and I’ve been writing one of my blogs for 11 of those years (just had my anniversary last week). I understand the business side of things, and I get why you use popups. However, you have to know that if it’s showing up before people have had time to consume your product (if you don’t see your articles as product you’re not thinking about business properly) that many of them are leaving. I’ve read some comments where people are defending the popups by saying “hey, no one’s complaining”. That’s because most of those folk aren’t reading; they’re just leaving! lol

    Basically, that’s my gripe. Visit as many blogs as I do, see all those popups coming at you before you’ve even had a chance to read anything, then come to me & tell me it doesn’t bother you. If you can say it with a straight face… well, I’ll leave it at that.

    See Brian, I wasn’t worried about a long rant as a comment; then again, since I was a part of this article, I’m going to act like I wrote some of it. 🙂 Welcome back to the WordPress Commenting System & CommentLuv! Now I can select a different article to link back to since you’ve already linked to the one about popups…

  9. First, welcome back to Hot Blog Tips Mitch, you have no idea how happy I am that you feel free to comment here. As you know, you are always welcome. (I set you at ease, get your guard down, and BAM, knock you out. LOL) Joking

    I do recognize that a “true blogger” might get tired of things like pop-ups by the sheer number of them they might see in a day. I like the argument Dana, whom I totally stole from you, made about the distraction of them. The older we get, and you are VERY old, the harder it is to get focused again.

    I think, for the most part, we’re actually in agreement with each other. Don’t tell anyone because that would make for a boring debate. I think the one pop-up I have running here fits the definition most people say is acceptable. Even with that, it’s only temporary and will disappear if the testing doesn’t show a massive return.

    Before I forget, I watched a short video a little earlier by Joel Comm that pretty much addresses why those people you are talking about don’t get much negative feedback, even me. It’s worth the watch: How to Keep Friends and Influence People. Joel’s referring to the dangers of talking politics but I think it applies here. In fact, it could apply to this controversial post I wrote. Too bad, I wrote it before I watched the video. 😉

    They value their relationship with you more than [expressing] their opinion. ~ Joel Comm

  10. Hey Brian, long time no comment 😉 Sorry mate, as much as I like you and your posts I don’t comment on blogs that use Disqus. Never have and never will.

    I remember installing a popup on one of my blogs some time ago. It was one that asked people to like it on Facebook. Never did work for me. Must remember to remove that little sucker lol.

    As for popups, I’m not a fan. I hate them when they popup in the middle of the post. Unless there’s content that I really need or want to read I usually just wander off.

    I noticed on Mitch’s blog that you said you used a popup. Interesting, I didn’t see it. Maybe guys from Downunder are immune from your popups lol

  11. Wow, my old buddy from Downunder. So glad to see you, Peter. Can I call you Sire? Just once? LOL Very cool.

    I’m thinking you might have seen it after you left the comment and left the page. It’s not set to activate until the reader actually leaves the page and even then, only for new visitors. It’s been so long I imagine you would fit that definition.

    I didn’t realize you didn’t comment on Disqus. Adrian Jock told me the same thing on Triberr today. I wonder how many readers I actually lost by switching. No matter, I’ll work to get them back.

    Thanks for taking the time to comment and agreeing with me. Oh wait, you agreed with Mitch. Oh well, I’ll forgive you. LOL

  12. You can call me whatever you want Brian, although I haven’t used Sire for quite some time now. Heck, I’m even using my own image rather than some of the Gravatars I’ve been known to use.

    I reckon you probably switched to Disqus because of the Spam problem. Akismet takes care of the bulk of my spam and I’m quite happy to send the rest on their merry way. A small service that I’m happy to provide so my readers can enjoy the best commenting system ever.

  13. Hi Brian,

    A perfectly crafted answer indeed. Not sure why people are against pop-ups. Of course, too much of everything is harmful but having small number of popups are definitely required.

    Nobody is forcing anyone to signup. There is nothing wrong in building a list and selling the products to them. It takes time and efforts to convert them into a loyal subscriber.

  14. Hey Brian,

    As I mentioned on Mitch’s post, I don’t care for them either. The ones that annoy me are those that don’t even let me scroll to see the first sentence before they’re popping up asking me to subscribe to their list. I might be a first time visitor and I NEVER sign up for someone’s list if I haven’t had a chance to check them out. I honestly don’t see how that is successful for them but it must be working or they wouldn’t have them.

    As a business blogger though I know how important my list is so at the same time it’s their blog and they can do whatever they want. I’m not like Mitch in this respect, I’ll still read and share their content if I chose to. Pop-ups won’t keep me from reading the content I want or enjoy. I have let some bloggers know that they don’t need three of them coming at us from everywhere, that’s SO overkill. I’ve run into a few of those and talk about annoying.

    I don’t read blog posts on my phone but I know so many people who do and they hate those pop-ups because they can’t get them off. I think people should seriously think about that when putting them up because if that’s the only way they access your information you can guarantee they won’t be back.

    So enough about the darn pop-ups… This is your blog and you can do whatever the heck you want. If you don’t get a lot of readers then you can always investigate as to why. Then and only then you could consider it being a pop-up. I’m talking in general of course, not you personally! 😉

    Thanks for the rant fest Brian, hope everyone has gotten this all off their chest now. LOL!!! Love both of you guys!


  15. We’re a lot alike in this regard Adrienne. You could have used my name for the comment and I wouldn’t have changed a word. Other than reading blogs on my phone. I do that a lot. I’m away all day so that stands to reason. I rarely comment on blogs anymore because of it. I get so frustrated trying to comment on that tiny screen and, well, I can’t even call that a keyboard.

    Anyway, like you, I’m about all pop-up’ed out too. Funny, that work made sense in my mind. lol How about, “I’m all pooped out on pop-ups?” 😉

    I commented on one of Mitch’s videos yesterday and just took the fifth for the pop-up part of the video. There’s really only so much to say on the matter. And once I’ve said it, it’s pretty much settled for the entire blogging community, right? Oh, wait, no one but me knows I’m the final say on these matters. LOL

    I appreciate you stopping by. Your opinion matters a lot here and it’s nice to see you again Adrienne. 🙂

  16. That’s true Dev, but I agree with the others that point out that the way we approach the matter is very important. Smart marketers don’t shove opt-ins and order forms into the faces of every site visitor. The “number’s game” is a dead concept in this day and age. Thankfully.

    An opt-in strategy has to be built on trust and influence or the subscribers become a liability, not an asset. Plastering ads, pop-ups or not, all over the place is beyond ineffective – it is harmful for the brand.

    Thanks for taking the time to comment.

  17. Hi Brian!

    Been here quite often but this is my first time commenting. This is a subject I feel very strongly about as well.

    People need to realize that they’re running a business and the point of a business is to maximize profit. Considering so much money is made through email this means that getting more people on your list should be a huge priority. Pop-ups are a great way to do this. At the same time you have to balance user experience – go overkill and profit will drop.

    I think there is a right way and a wrong way to go about using pop-ups. I don’t understand people who have entry pop-ups. This likely works better outside of the IM / MMO markets but I know few people who will opt-in to somebody’s newsletter before reading a sentence of their content.

    There’s also a huge issue for pop-ups that don’t load well on mobile. A good pop-up plugin will solve this – I use OptinMonster and have never had any problems.

    Anyway I think delaying the pop-ups to a certain time / scroll percentage and using a pop-up plugin with exit intent does well to capture subscribers without becoming an immediate annoyance. People go on and on and on about how they don’t want to bug their visitors but honestly I wouldn’t want whiners and complainers on my list anyway. Imagine all the other headaches they’re going to cause down the line.

    I think Mitch is a great guy and I enjoy his work but man, I don’t understand all the hate towards pop-ups. But that’s cool, I’ll keep enjoying all the competitive advantages of having one implemented.

    Great post Brian!

  18. Hi Brian,

    It’s my first time coming over to your site and I’m loving this conversation!

    First off, I’m that guy who hated pop-ups as well and wouldn’t put them on my site. For 18 months I’ve worked to create some of the best content that I possibly can. In fact, I see Dana Gore posted here that she doesn’t like pop-ups and yet she visits and comments on my site every week.

    Guess what, I use SumoMe and I have a pop-up.

    However, I work create incredible value. She even said today she can’t believe that I give away so much for free in my content and that it’s some of the best she’s ever read.

    Same for Adrienne Smith… and many more.

    So, I give a lot away for free… I’m a business, not a charity. Is it really too much to ask if someone values what you say and they want to consume what you give them; to ask them if they want to enter my sales funnel?

    I don’t think that is one bit unreasonable at all.

    In 18 months I earned a whopping 250 subscribers by not asking. Last month I introduced the opt-in and earned 500 new subscribers.

    Since then, I’ve sold over 300 of my eBooks on Amazon and earned over $20,000 in new business.

    I’ve now decided as a business decision that pop-ups work! And, they don’t in any way diminish the user experience for those I’m trying to attract.

    Content marketing is just that.. .marketing. Blogging for me is a form of content marketing where I’m establishin my competency with the visitor and giving them reason to engage with me through various other media.

    Email is their way of telling me they want a more meaningful experience and they are serious about learning how they can work with me. It’s my way of asking them out for coffee without asking them to marry me.

    If someone doesn’t value my content and is antagonist towards a little pop-up, then I’m okay with the reality that they are not someone who is desirious to network with me or do business with me.

    I’m not a charity. Business is about an exchange… but an exchange rarely happens without an ask.

    Great post Brian. I affirm what you had to say 100%. In everything, there is a balance.

    Have a great week and after visiting for the first time, I’ll defnitely be back!!!!

    ~ Don Purdum

  19. I actually don’t find your pop ups annoying nor intrusive Don.
    I’m able to get through the entire post without being interrupted.

    Yours (if I’m not mistaken) shows up after the comment has been left. I see your offer for your book (which I have and read), but by that time, the message and initial discussion (my comment) already had an opportunity to take place.

    I don’t have an “ask” (love that term btw) on my blog yet – other than a generic sing up on the sidebar, but I’m looking into it. I know this is valuable…I just haven’t gotten to that stage yet. It’s time though.

    Yep, everything in balance.

    See Brian what you’ve sparked up here? You and Mitch…

    This is so entertaining, but it’s encouraged such thought-provoking discussions.

    I’m actually back because Don shared your post on Ggl Plus and HIS comment about HIS comment on YOUR post ignited my curiosity.

    I’m learning a lot here. These are some creative (and completely organic) ways to get people to visit your site.

    This has been so much fun 🙂

  20. My readers are also getting annoyed they keep on emailing me how to get rid of these popups or how to turn it off. Actually I am running a plugin for newsletter subscription which is tend to target new readers but the old readers are getting frustrated by that popup.
    Another fellow blogger told me to remove it and I said I am having fun atleast I am not ruining their post with hundreds of ads.

  21. First James, let me say thank you for reading my stuff and for taking the time to comment on this one.

    I’m testing a LeadPages exit popup right now. Truthfully, testing is very difficult because an increase in subscriptions means nothing if that’s where the improvement ends. I have to take those that subed using the pop-up and compare the actions of that group with the other segments. In other words, what percentage never open after the initial welcome email, unsubscribe right away, or click though? It’s a slow process, at least for me.

    I think Mitch it pretty much in agreement with at least tolerating a pop-up if he can get through the content first. That seems to be the most popular line in the sand for most of us.

  22. It can be a delicate balancing act Muhammad. You might want to find a program or service that’s a little more reliable as to who is served the optin. It’s probably a bad idea to annoy current subscribers and regular readers if the ultimate goal is to develop trust and offer paid solutions.

    Maybe you already pulled it because I wasn’t able to find a pop-up. Good luck though.

  23. I’m glad you found your way over here Don and I’ll check your site out as well.

    I love to see “success stats” like that. Just as we’ve witnessed “banner blindness” over the years, the same has happened to sidebar opt-ins. Seriously, no one even sees them anymore. Well, not until we wise up and get creative. Thinking outside the boring norm and find a unique way of inspiring attention and action. Great graphics and video is certainly worth testing but it it helps to be more creative.

    I’m sure we all realize the pop-up is well on its way out too. I’m not just referring to popup killing software, I’m talking about too many offers cause our brains to shut down and stop noticing. Other solutions will replace the pop-up and we’ll be right back here debating those as well. I’m going to side against Mitch just because I love debating him. LOL

    Seriously, though, you mentioned you’re not running a charity a couple of times and I believe that is a necessary attitude for success. Many of us have to work hard to ask for a sale or opt-in. It’s not in everyone’s nature but it has to be overcome for business. We’d have to be awful exceptional for people to line up with money in their hands just because we’re charming.

    I mean he’d have to be ten times more charmin’ than that Arnold on Green Acres, you know what I’m sayin’?

    I hope you know where that came from. LOL My number one favorite movie of all time. 😉

    Thanks again Don, I hope to see you around a lot in the future.

  24. It has been a lot of fun Dana. I almost didn’t publish the post – for two reasons. First, I wrote it after staying up all night on Friday and I’ve written some pretty bad content in the past like that. Second, controversial posts can be very productive or just blow up in our faces. It can be a tough call to predict which way it’s going to go.

    I’ve known Mitch for decade, I think, and we’ve talked about every subject under the sun at one point or another. We have even recorded over 200 videos together. So I was confident he’d take my punches in stride and deliver back just as good.

    You never know how others will take it, though. I’m sure a few people read the post and figured I was being a jerk and clicked away. All in all, however, I have truly enjoyed this discussion and feel I’m making some pretty cool friends. 🙂

  25. Hi Brian, I’ve gone back and forth on this one but at the end of the day I can live with them and I understand why people use them. They are more annoying on mobile when trying to read a post and you cannot click away from the pop up. Much easier to x off on a desktop. Studies show they do work and people do have to make money so I would not stop using them or stop visiting a site unless they were extremely annoying.
    The alternative is that we would have to pay to use a website, right? And who wants to do really do that…..
    Great debate Brian!

  26. Hi Lisa, I guess I’ve been right there with you. I’m not crazy about them but it’s not usually a deal-breaker.

    Pay me for my content? You might be onto something. LOL

    Several of us mentioned “balance” in this discussion and I think that’s more important than ever when it comes to controversial issues like this but there’s another reason to look at other solutions beyond pop-up ads.

    Anyone paying attention to the most recent trends regarding ad blockers can see relying on ads and pop-ups might be coming to an end. It’s probably better to stay ahead of the curve rather than waiting to be forced into a better solution.

    I appreciate you taking the time to comment Lisa and I hope you have the bestest weekend ever. 🙂

  27. Hey there mate,

    Great topic and counter discussion to Mitch’s original post (which I’ll be visiting later today to digest fully). To me, that’s the beauty of blogging and the open web – point, counter point, great discussion all round.

    For the longest time I was against pop-ups, primarily because the blogger didn’t take the time or effort to optimize for the user experience as much as the blogger experience – and both are as equally as important as the other.

    As others here have said, the ones that force the popup in your face before you’ve started reading. Or the ones that popup halfway through. Or the Godawful ones that deliberately remove the close option….

    But, they do work. I added an Exit Intent popup a couple of weeks ago, and my sub rate jumped from about 3-4 per day with an After Post box to 10-12 per day with the pop-up. And I deliberately leave it off mobile (at least, for now) to ensure a smooth experience there.

    Used correctly, and optimized for the reader as much as the blogger, makes a popup a no-brainer.

    Besides, as Mitch mentions, you can simply choose not to visit blogs that have them. That’s the beauty of choice – and the audience that does visit are now much warmer for down the line offers, exclusives, freebies, and loyalty rewards.

    Cheers, sir!

    PS – now you’re back on native comments, you should really check out Postmatic. Especially with some of the cool stuff they’re doing with subscribers, optins and engagement. No, not a paid endorsement, just a fan. 🙂

  28. This is a great article. Thinking from one side pop ups do help us in list building conversions or social media boost up it could ruin our website while thinking from the other side. I personally hate popups but for the good deed of my blog i use them occassionally.

  29. Brian far be it from me to criticize how another blogger runs their blog. If you are being successful with pop ups, then keep doing it.

    We all have a goal in mind and how you choose to get there is none of my business. If I visited a blog and the pop up bothers me it is my preference to click away.

    If I continue reading the blog or participate somehow then I am not that bothered. Why would you get mad at a fellow blogger, but not be concerned with Forbes when they do it.

    My two cents are do what works on your blog.

  30. Google AMP will remove them anyway. Accelerated Mobile pages for those who have never heard of them. For example, Google “Trump” and the scrolling bar at the top is labeled “AMP”, Google had been falling behind Facebook and Apple in delivering fast mobile news pages up on the web, this is their solution.

  31. I Danny, I had a similar experience when I added the exit pop-up here. I just need to determine if they’re going to remain active subscribers or if they just dropped in for a quick freebie.

    I didn’t realize there was a way to turn off the popup for mobile. I’ll have to look into that. I do believe LeadPages is fully optimized for mobile but it’s worth knowing.

    Thanks, I’ll look into Postmatic, for sure. 🙂

  32. Hi Michael, it’s been a long time. Welcome back. 🙂

    That’s a great point about the big mega-sites and all of the intrusive ads there. It’s true, we don’t hear a lot of complaints when it comes to those websites.

    Oh well, you’re right, to each their own and we have to decide for ourselves what is best.

  33. You’re right John, if AMP doesn’t get in the way, other things like ad blockers will. It just goes to show we have to stay flexible and never rely on a single strategy.

  34. Hi,
    How about providing a button on the pop-up to “Disable further pop-ups.” This way, those who hate pop-ups may give your site a second chance.

  35. Whats with Disqus hate?

    Other than that, I am anti-popups. Over 25 years on internet now, and I still remember exactly what it was like before I found ways to stop popup nonsense back in late 1990’s.

    Monetize, market, sell all you like. I am capitalist and pro-money by all means. But popups just leave bad taste in mouth for me.

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