An Uncomplicated Life Blog: Subsciber Pop-Ups: Bad For Blogging

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Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Subsciber Pop-Ups: Bad For Blogging

Let me start with a disclaimer: This is an op-ed piece, not an official "How to Blog" or "Blogging Tips and Ticks" post. Although, obviously, in my opinion, it should be listed as just exactly that. Disclaimer complete! On to the topic at hand:

SUBSCRIBER POP UPS.



Y'all know what I'm talking about? That annoying box that dominates your screen not but three seconds after you land on the site. "Follow us on Facebook!" "Subscribe to our email list now so you don't miss any updates!" "Like what you see? Follow us on Instagram!"

Um, NO. I don't know if I like you, if I want your emails, or if there were even any photos worth mentioning on your site because this horrific pop up dominated my screen before I could even read your headline. Heck, it was there before your dang site fully loaded!

I'm seeing more and more bloggers use subscriber pop ups, likely as a means to gain more followers in whatever channel they're promoting. I'm sure Wordpress has an easy to install plugin for it and Blogger has a widget for you to copy and paste in your javascript. Seems like an easy way to collect more social media followers and blog subscribers right?

WRONG.

Here's the thing. New visitors to your site don't know if they want your incessant communications. They need some time on your site, likely more than a few visits in fact, before they know that they really like you. That pop-up just slows the loading of your site and inhibits new readers from exploring your content.

I'll take this a step further: If you have a subscriber pop-up, I'm so instantly annoyed with you that I click away from your site. And I don't come back. This a) drives away your new readers and potential followers and b) increases your bounce rate. You may not care about your bounce rate if you don't have advertisers or sponsored posts, but if you ever do want to monetize your blog, I assure you, you'll care real quick.

Businesses can pull off pop ups. Bloggers can't.

Businesses can pull off pop-ups better than bloggers because people go to those sites to purchase product or services, or at the very least get a phone number to contact the establishment. They're on a mission. Businesses can offer discounts and other promotions this way. But people visit blogs because they like you (the author), or what you write about, or your pictures, or maybe they just think your dog is cute. Any way you slice it, pop-ups get in the way of readers interacting with you! It's a turn off the second they pull up your URL.

I know blogging is a numbers game and many of us are paid on how many social media followers and subscribers we have. Even if you don't monetize, it's a competitive environment to constantly get more and more new follows. We live in a world where our worth is defined by how many likes we get on social media.

Subscriber pop-ups are a quick solution to the "How do I get more followers?" equation. But you'll also drive away traffic, annoy your readers, lose readers, and increase your bounce rate. Quick, cheap "solutions" to problems are never truly solutions at all, and subscriber pop ups are indeed bad for blogging.

19 comments:

  1. This is a tough subject, so I'm glad to hear your opinion! I've always avoided pop ups because I know they annoy people. While I find them a little annoying, I'm ok with other bloggers doing it if they choose. It's bad when stuff keeps popping up or it's hard to make it go away! I think the hello bar is a much better option. It's still prominent and hard to miss, but it doesn't get in the way or annoy people.

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  2. I couldn't agree more. I get so insanely annoyed with those pop ups!
    I don't want to be hassled into subscribing when I'm new to a blog.
    I agree with Jenna. I think the hello bar isn't intrusive. It just sits at the tippy top of a page and you can view the content perfectly.

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  3. I actually agree with you 100% on this - it irritates me to no end and the retailers that offer you a promo code and you click out and they are like oh you want to pay full price LOL! xo, Biana -BlovedBoston

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  4. I think it would be so much wiser to have a delayed pop up (perhaps when someone has scrolled all the way to the bottom of the post?) as opposed to an immediate opt-in request. It's the blogging equivalent of being bombarded by someone at a mall kiosk who wants to rub lotion on you (ew!). The only thing I find more annoying that this are the blogs who have a checked box that automatically subscribes you to their newsletter when you leave a comment. I understand that everyone is trying to build their email list, but it's truly a turn off.

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  5. I effing hate pop ups. even the ones on the side. they annoy me so much. the only time i let them slide is when it's someone i already follow or like, or if i really want to read that post (like i found it on pinterest for a specific reason) but i will never follow them or anything. so annoying!

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  6. I agree with the full screen pop ups–they bug me too. I also agree that HelloBar or something similar that just hangs out at the top is a good balance. It still gives people a call to action without invading the real reason they came to your site. :)

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  7. I agree with the popups. I usually click off the site when they have them.

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  8. Well I don't love them but I don't notice them too much either. They're not my taste but if you want to have them, go for it. If they're annoying though, then I just click the x, simple as that.

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  9. I am not a fan of pop ups and I find them to be annoying. But I think that something like Hello Bar is a better option because it's less distracting and not in your face.

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  10. I can't stand this either! I have a mystery pop up ad on my blog that I can't get rid of and it is MAKING ME INSANE!

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  11. They always seem to screw up how the page loads for me (often make my computer freeze) so I've learned to really not like when people have them.

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  12. I feel the same way...It is annoying and sometimes those pesky pop up boxes do not have a visible close button. again, annoying.

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  13. Yes times 1000!!!!!! I HATE those pop up windows! Drives me crazy! I have a few bloggers I follow religiously that have them so I tolerate it with them, but if I'm new to your site, you can bet I'm clicking away and probably never coming back.

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  14. Tough one this, but if there's a pop-up then I just click the "x". The one's I hate are those that constantly appear every time I go to their site (isn't once enough?), or insist you sign up for their letter when you comment.

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  15. Ugh whenever I go to a new blog that has a pop-up I'm just like why is this happening?! You're right, it usually pops up before the site even loads so that's the first impression I get. Not cool.

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  16. I hate pop ups! I leave a site if a pop up is too obnoxious. A small like us on Facebook I can tolerate, but that's about it

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  17. I hate pop ups! I leave a site if a pop up is too obnoxious. A small like us on Facebook I can tolerate, but that's about it

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  18. I hate pop ups! I leave a site if a pop up is too obnoxious. A small like us on Facebook I can tolerate, but that's about it

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  19. So it was recommended to me to do the pop up to subscribe on my blog, so I did - and it only lasted a few days because of this exact reason! Plus, someone emailed me to tell me they couldn't find the X to close out of it and it really upset them - another nail in the pop ups coffin!

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