We Need to Talk. It’s About Your Popups.

I was at your site a few days ago. Not sure if you saw me? I waved.

White dog next to person with laptopSomeone left a link on Facebook saying they really like your writing, so I thought I’d check it out.

I started to read your post.

I think it was the one where you went to that place? And did that thing? And then something really funny happened?

Or maybe it wasn’t funny. Maybe it was profound and life-changing.

To be honest, I didn’t read the whole piece. It’s not that your writing was bad or anything. I mean, your first two sentences were killer good. Really.

It’s just that right after I read the second sentence, a popup box just, you know, popped up, asking me to subscribe to your site.

Here’s the thing: I’m only two flippin’ sentences in! How do I know if I want to subscribe to your site?!

It’s like I agreed to meet you for coffee, and suddenly you want to move in together. You’re rushing the relationship, man! I’m not ready for that kind of commitment.

And yes, I noticed the cute way you worded it:

Screen Shot 2016-09-03 at 2.52.16 PM


Only I have to ask, who exactly is saying ‘you gotta’ have popups? Where is that written? Because I’ve been to plenty of other sites that don’t use them, and they seem to be doing just fine.

Take for instance The New Yorker. You’ve heard of them right? Respected publication, decent subscription rate, fair amount of ads.

Notice what they don’t have? Pop-ups.

But you don’t have the clout of The New Yorker, you say? Fine. That doesn’t mean you should use popups.

Check out this site: Introvert, Dear. It started as a humble little blog, much like yours, and slowly blossomed into something bigger. Notice what you don’t see on their site? Popups!

I could show you others, but you get my point, right? It’s possible to have a successful website without resorting to the very thing you claim to hate.

Okay, but you want to grow faster than those other guys and you’re sure popups will get you there. Here, you need to read this by Mark Manson: Shut Up and Be Patient.

There’s a few things I want to point out:

  1. He says he has 2 million readers a month. You claim to have 14,000. Personally, I think 14,000 is commendable, but it’s not 2 million.
  2. He has a little popup — actually, it’s not so much a popup as a slide out– that occurs after you read the entire article. Key word: AFTER.

So you see? It’s possible to do this without popups. Please, give it some thought.

You may be thinking the only reason you made it to 14,000 is because of the popups, but how many have you lost on account of the popups? Have you considered that?

Because you lost me after the second sentence.

22 thoughts on “We Need to Talk. It’s About Your Popups.

    1. It’s weird, I don’t know anyone who likes them, but apparently they must get the job done, otherwise why are people adding them to their sites?
      I’m like you, I click away as soon as they happen.

  1. Striking that particular rant from my list of potential blog posts – you nailed it to the wall! It goes without saying he didn’t have you at hello, and… Superb post, Christi. Really superb.

    1. You should be able to change your settings, it’s usually in ‘advanced settings’, to block all popups. Then if you visit a site that uses them, there’ll either be a warning or a discreet little notice in your menu bar giving you the option to allow popups for that site. It’s a bit of a nuisance if you do a lot of online shopping and banking, but I’m considering it.

  2. If there’s one thing that makes me wanna go out a shanking spree, then it’s popups. Especially those ones that pop up before you’ve even read the first two words!
    The ‘rushing into a relationship’ analogy, is priceless!. Well said.

  3. There are literally hundreds of bloggers out there who do not have me as a follower due to this very issue. Now, to be fair, many of them only do this because they have been listening to “experts” extol the virtues of a pop-up, since it’s very trendy right now. But the truth is, there is no perfect way to set up a blog, otherwise we would all have one. It’s all about hard work and happenstance, not formulas. Treat your reader as a guest and not a statistic…

  4. I also get so bugged by the popups that ask to take a survey. I woulda given them a B perhaps. But now its a D because of that popup! 😁

Leave a Comment

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s