Enough With The Pop Ups Already

If you’re a big fan of using pop ups on your website and feel that this was the best decision ever, you’re going to want to stop reading now. Seriously, because I’m on a rant and I just want to put it out there. But if you’re fed up and losing your mind dealing with popups everywhere, this story might be for you.

Why Pop Ups Are Driving Your Readers Away

A lot of bloggers will say pop ups are essential for building your email list and bringing repeat traffic to your blog. I’m not going to argue that point since I don’t know if it’s true or not. Because I find them so incredibly obnoxious that I can’t bring myself to use them on my websites.

A couple of months ago one of my readers described those begging for attention pop ups kind of like a creepy first date. Where you arrive at the date, shake hands, and the guy asks you to marry him. Ummm….maybe we should have a drink and get to know each other first. Creepy. Stalker like. Kind of needy. Exactly!

I can’t remember when this pop up nonsense began but I can remember that it took me a long time to get over the onslaught. When I first came across these “Sign up here!” pop ups on the front page of a blog, I simply left the site without trying to find what I came for. Lately though, it seems everyone is using them and if you want to read the content you’re going to be forced to confront the onslaught of “please don’t leave”, “please like me”, “please sign up for all my future thoughts even though I don’t know what they are yet” as soon as you arrive. So I learned to find the little tiny x at the top of the box to close it out so I could browse the site.

Enough with the pop ups already. Why your blog is losing traffic.

Fine. You won that round.

But pop ups these days have taken over the universe and all manner of common sense. They’re so common place now, even on my favorite sites, that I’ve become an expert at finding the almost invisible little x to close the damn pop up so I can determine if I like what you have to say before entering into a committed relationship. Occasionally, I decide we can hang out long term and sign up for your email list.

So how come I’m still getting those damn “let’s be friends” pop ups when I come back for your next article? I thought we were friends…maybe we’re not good enough friends? Seriously though, isn’t there a way to disable those pop ups for those of us that have already signed up. So freakin’ annoying that it makes me want to unsubscribe right there. Why you gotta test my love like that?

Why pop ups are driving your readers away. Blogging don't.

Things have gotten completely out of hand however, in the past couple of months because the pop ups aren’t limited to the plea for e-mail addresses any longer. They’re now hanging out in the form of advertising pretty much everywhere.

I noticed it the first time when I clicked on an article I found on Pinterest from a blogger that I knew I liked. When I got to the site, I had to push through the “let’s be friends forever” pop up (already signed up, thanks), to find all of her photos now covered with advertising pop ups as well. I couldn’t actually see the bottom of her project photos for the advertising. Which sucked because she had made a DIY project that was a really great idea. I think. Because I couldn’t actually see the full photo and all. Maybe there was no bottom part to her project and the ads were hiding that.

Since I was determined to see her idea, I decided to try to figure this out. Oh! I found a tiny x to close the ad. I clicked on the x to close the ad and, wait for it….I got taken over to the ad.

Enough with the pop up ads already. Why readers are fed up with pop ups on blogs.

Umm….was that you’re intention? To lose your traffic? Because that’s what happened. I went to the trouble of clickng the back button because I really wanted to see the DIY she’d done and was still planning to leave a positive comment, despite my growing frustration. But, Oh. My. God. The pop up was back and begging me to sign up, the photo was covered with another ad…actually all the photos were covered. And just when I was trying to see how the project turned out, I got yet another pop up down the right corner asking me to see what she was pinning.

Sorry. I’m outta here. Not commenting. Not pinning. Not sharing on Facebook. If you’re blogging and sharing your posts to get people to visit, to like and share your work, you’re doing it wrong. Not only am I not sharing, I’ve unsubscribed and I’ll remember your blog when I see your next great idea on Pinterest or Facebook. And I’ll remind myself that what I got to see the last time were some ads for things I didn’t much care about when I went to your site.

Tonight was the final straw. I got an email reminding me of one of my favorite link parties that have been a bit hit or miss for me lately since we’re in different time zones and I’m often asleep when the party goes live.

You can probably guess what happened…..

I was greeted by the pop up when I got on the site offering me a free e-book if I signed up for her email list. Ummm…..already signed up and got the e-book that I didn’t even want but whatever.

Hey, it’s cool. By now I’m used to these pop ups that are like bouncers at the door of a party. Even though we’re friends and I’ve been there a hundred times before, I gotta prove myself all over again every time I swing by. Never mind that this is a link party I’ve been invited to because of that whole e-mail list thing and all. Thanks for that.

But tonight the pop up thing climbed to a whole new level of crazy. The entire bottom of the screen, at least an inch high, was covered in an advertising pop up.  I’ve now had to click twice in 4 seconds to get rid of pop ups. I finally find the link party and after clicking the “read more” link, I arrive. Oh, wait! The ad at the bottom is back. That’s 3.  And then I notice that the bottom of all the feature photos are covered in pop up ads. That’s 5 more. The title of the post has a pop up ad. So now we’re up to 9.

At this point, I decided that I’m completely over this link party and the blog as well. Because I’m so crazy distracted and annoyed that I’m not even interested in reading, visiting other bloggers, or linking up any longer.

Can I just add that the actual title of one of the features was at the bottom of the picture. Guess what? The post looks great but I can’t actually read what it’s about because the title’s been covered by an ad. I’m sure the blogger that was featured must be so thrilled. And, no matter how many times I click to close it, it’s immediately replaced by another one.

Sorry, blogging friend. No more parties and definitely no more subscriptions. Consider me unsubscribed. Which sucks because I liked her and thought she had a pretty great blog with terrific ideas and projects. She probably still does but I just can’t see them for all of the pop ups and advertising.

I get the whole need to earn an income thing. I really do since I’m the single parent to two little boys with special needs. I agonized over adding advertising both on my side bar and in my posts and kind of felt like I sold out. But times have changed since I first started blogging and we’ve all had to change with it. Serious blogging isn’t a hobby any longer and, for many of us, it’s a full time job. At the very least, it’s supposed to be a secondary source of income. I get that.

For three years, I limped along without anything covering the costs of my blog and the projects I shared. Last year, I had to leave my career to take care of the boys full time which meant the blog needed to make money. Blogging isn’t free, projects are expensive, and we have families to feed. Fair enough. But I have to believe we can still share our ideas, connect with readers and make an income without being so crazy obnoxious about it.

I don’t have the biggest and best blog out there so I’m probably not in the business of telling people who make more money than I do how to go about doing that. But as a blog reader, it’s a pretty awful experience being bombarded with advertising and sign up requests when you just want to read a post and make a comment here and there. Which I thought was largely the point of blogging.

I know I’m going to get hate mail here. Lots of folks are going to email and comment to justify the need for the pop ups. Please don’t. You don’t need to do that because I get that it’s your site, we need to make an income, and you should do what ever you want to make that happen for you. Really, don’t write to justify your choices. Just move on and be okay with your decisions. (It’s not too late to quit reading this post!)

This particular rant is for the rest of us that have to fight to read your content. Personally, I’m tired of wading up river, looking for the original post, just to read ads and get free e-books or printables for signing up. E-books and printables that I don’t actually care about all that much. I just wanted to see something pretty and connect with the blogger.

And on that note, I’ll get back to the business of making pretty things. Rant officially over.


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  1. I agree with you 100%!! Those popups drive me absolutely nuts, and it makes me not want to sign up at all. I’m getting ready to start mailchimp. The only way I’m going to do a popup is if I can make it only show up the first time someone visits the page, and not at all if they’ve already signed up. I read the other day that there’s a way for the signup popup to show up when you get to the end of an article. I need to look into that as well.

  2. Thank you! I hate pop ups. I have never used them. I have left from various blogs because of these pop ups, before commenting or sharing or exploring the blog. If i want to sign up, i will do. A pop up will prevent me for signing up, that’s for sure!

  3. I’m totally with you on this. I hate the constant pop up ads- especially before I’ve even seen the material on a blog. And, I don’t think they’ve ever gotten me to subscribe -even once. But I should mention my OTHER pet peeve – bloggers who use crass language. Drives me nuts. I enjoy your thoughts, but would enjoy them SO much more without the 4-letter words.

  4. I am so with you on this one! I’ve stopped visiting some really great blogs because it’s too much of a hassle, and time-consuming, to view their content after weeding through the ads and pop-ups! ~Rhonda

  5. Jenna, you’ve saved me writing a post! There are lots of lovely bloggers who I try to support, but when I have to close four pop-ups to get to their pretty posts, it’s a bit off-putting. You’re right, in saying it’s all a bit too much too soon. By the way, I actually had a guy give me an engagement ring on a first date once…creepy doesn’t begin to describe it. I couldn’t escape fast enough. The pop ups make me feel not quite so icky, but it does appear all a bit desperate. Whose idea were they anyway? There must be a better way. For me, it’s like the difference between the inexpensive magazine I’ve bought to read while waiting for a dental appointment, and the glossy book I want to keep on my coffee table forever. Or telemarketers trying to get me to donate to charity. I donate anyway…you don’t need to chase me! Please lovely bloggers, give the pop up, a miss! Mimi xxx

  6. I had a pop up and took it down, now I have a less offensive one sliding up from the bottom. I agree with everything you say Jenna but the fact is that it does help with subscriptions and like you, some of us need to make money. I will agree 100% that once the ads and the e-books pop up it goes to a whole different level and it really becomes offensive.

  7. Agreed! Pop-ups are getting out of control. It took me 5 “click the x” clicks earlier just to be able to read an article. It was insane. It’s even worse if I’m trying to do some work/reading on my phone at night when my hubby has the laptop. I’ve completely given up a number of times because I can’t even find the x while browsing on my phone. (visiting from Titus 2 Tuesday)

  8. THANK YOU! THANK YOU! THANK YOU! for posting this rant. I agree with everything you said and I add to it all the video advertising. The videos take priority in loading and slow everything down or cause the page to “Oh Snap” Yep, we have been trained to find the tiny little x and close the pop up but these videos–first you have to wait for them to load and maybe then you can turn them off —not always. I am whittling my subscription list down to avoid the video advertising. The video ads totally obscure the very content the bloggers are trying to communicate. There has to be a better way to cover the cost of the blogging. Is there anyway I can help get this message across? If I add comments the bloggers become defensive and give me the I have to cover the cost of the blog excuse! I am subscribing to your blog right now—3 cheers to you!

  9. YES!!!!! There was one I saw the other day that I swear did not have a close option. I could not get out of it to read the blog that the person had gone to the trouble of sharing on a link party. BYE BYE!

    Saw this on You’re Gonna Love It.

  10. I also hate pop-ups! But, I have gotten pretty good at just clicking them away for the most part. But, they totally turn me off. Sorry. They just do. I’m okay with the Hello Bar because it doesn’t get in the way of anything on the page.

  11. So, its not just me! I have clicked on several blogs, to read a post that I though sounded interesting, only to have their advertising freeze my computer – causing me to reboot. Since this has happened a few times now, I am very leery of pop-ups and video ads that start as soon as you arrive on site. Unfortunately, this means I will leave their site immediately, without reading their post and I won’t return. Thanks for the great post.

  12. Yes!! I get so tired of pop ups every where. I won’t go on, you covered everything in your post. Just know that I am right there with you on this!!

  13. Preach it sister!! The worst is when your connection is slow and you think you’ve hit that tiny little X only to have your page suddenly load and BOOM, what was supposed to be a great DIY idea is now a blaring article on losing weight (which you totally didn’t need to be reminded of) with a combination of caffeine pills, detox juice, and prayers to the carb fairies. Down with pop ups! Loved the rant. Thanks for sharing!

  14. No hate mail from me — purely LOVE mail! I completely agree with everything you noted. I would love to make money from my blog, but if that’s the way to do it, no thanks! Pop-ups definitely make for a dissatisfying experience. Thanks for your rant. Very well done. Smiles from Linda at Paper Seedlings

  15. Oh my goodness, yes! I gave in and got the share bar on the side of my screen, sometimes I love it and sometimes I’m not so sure. The unending popups get old quick!

  16. Funny and so true 🙂 I hate pop ups too. I use ‘old’ laptop for blogging and all the pop ups are slowing sites down. 3 pop ups and my laptop is officially done with the blog 😉

  17. I am with you! I wrote about this very point in one of my posts. I don’t like it when Yahoo does it, and I don’t like it any better when a fellow blogger does it. If this were The Dating Game, it would definitely be one of my “turn-offs”. Thank you for sharing!

  18. Thank you SO much for writing this! I whole heartedly agree. Those popups drive me absolutely insane! And I have broken up with many blogs because of just that! Now I’m off to check out your blog!

  19. I’m with you here! I recently stopped sharing at a link party because of too many pop-ups and pop-up ads. If it’s that big of a hassle for me, then it is for everyone else and there will be way less likely to take the effort to come by to see too. There are many other ways to excite your reader to subscribe, like awesome content and an easy to find subscribe area.

  20. Agreed. If there is a popup the X I click on is the one to close the browser window. Sorry, I won’t be reading the blog. That’s one reason why I like bloglovin… It lets me skip some of the ads and pop Ups!

  21. I love the graphics! Ads don’t bother me, but the subscription pop ups can be annoying, especially when they freeze the page and you’ve never visited before. Thanks for sharing at Merry Monday.

  22. I don’t know if these pop ups actually work for some people but for me as a reader I view them like pesky flies that I tut and swat away. As a relatively new blogger I often wonder if they are necessary and if I really need to implement them or not. It’s good to hear someone’s view point who has the same opinion as me.

  23. OMG I’m so happy you wrote this! It’s soooo annoying trying to read an article and getting interrupted by a stupid pop up. I have not and will not put them on my site. 🙂

  24. I AGREE!!!! I hate those pop-ups and videos so much! And then they write a post on how to make $10K a month from blogging! Unfortunately those bloggers most likely have their virtual assistants writing their comments so they never will know how their blogs ultimately fail in time. It is just hard to believe that those bloggers even look at anyone else’s blog because surely they would see how annoying it all is. It is so disheartening when you see a post you want to read and it freezes your computer with all the trash you have to go thru to get to the post. I have begun to just delete most of the parties too because the same people post to those and about 50 others with the same posts over and over. What a bore! I don’t even bother to look at most of them any more. I just unsubscribe and delete the email. There are a lot of other really great blogs out there to read and I’ll find them.

  25. There are so many articles that say “pop ups WORK” and I used to wonder whether people are different from me- I hate pop ups too! but i’m ok if I can click on x and continue. it’s like ‘no thank you’ & move on. Maybe the timing would’ve been better, say a good 3 minutes after reading the post. It makes no sense to have it within the first 3 seconds! I wonder if there is a code available for that!

    Always, pls do link up at the Practical Mom Link Up! I’d love to see you there & I have only one pop up that you can politely say no thank you to 😉

  26. Jenna, WORD! I am so with you on this! I want readers who want to be here, not readers that sign up for my newsletter cause they couldn’t find any other way to get rid of the pop up! ARG! They are annoying. As bloggers we see one and realize why they are there, but I want people other than bloggers reading my blog too, they don’t realize that this was a business decision, a bad one, but made out of a need to make a few dollars. I have never bought something from someone cause I signed up so I could read the rest of the post. If I find something I love, I sign up. If I like you a whole lot, I sign up. If you have a pop up I will most likely click out, making your bounce rate higher and unless I have to, I won’t be back anytime soon. So, remedy, work on your content, make people like you, love you, create great content that you only serve in the newsletter. A much better solution than adding a popup!

  27. I don’t like them, but if I want to read the post, I find my way around them. Thank you for sharing with us at Snickerdoodle Sunday. Pinned and tweeted to fire the revolution! 🙂 Have a great week!

  28. Well said! I especially hate when they block the content OR interrupt me when I’m trying to leave a comment. I’ll just skip the comment altogether when that happens. Thanks for sharing on the Small Victories Sunday Linkup!

  29. YES! And worse when you’re trying to read on mobile! Gah! I too have left some sites and stopped visiting because of pop ups, it’s a real shame! I wonder if the new subscriptions they get from them actually balance on the number of people who stop visiting their page because of them? And is it worth it when lots of people subscribe to things but never click on any emails they receive afterwards? Food for thought.

  30. I hate hate hate those ones that push down from above the site and cover the whole page. Hate them! And I hate the ones that go over all the blog’s photos. I want to see the photos! I am guilty however of having a subscriber box pop up and a hello bar like you do. I did learn you can tweak them though to only show x amount of days or only on certain posts/categories. Someday I’ll pay to have it only show to “new” visitors. But yeah, all the extra stuff gets annoying and it makes sites lag.

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