23Feb

You Can’t Handle The Truth … about Pop-Ups

The online business has become The Land of Canaan for so many people. You see solutions and plans for making you rich at every digital street corner. It’s a common thing these days that online writers have an eBook of their own that can shed a light on your actual problems. We are being advised to buy SEO plugins, landing pages, wordpress themes and skins, subscription boxes and … pop-up forms. There are people who are totally against pop-ups; people who appreciate a business or site that uses such a feature and others that just don’t mind.

With so many bloggers around, (16 millions self-hosted with WordPress), it’s so hard to keep up and provide awesome content, wrapped in clear, welcoming design instead of some “highways” with advertising banners. I still wonder how is it possible for some websites, filled up with a lot of clutter to have so many visits. Is it good to have one running on your website or it is bad for the business?

http://www.flickr.com/photos/48004031@N06/

How will pop-ups affect my readers?

In general and simple terms, a pop-up can be so damn annoying and it can make you leave that website and never return again. There are many people who are totally against this kind of promotion or way of getting more subscribers. That’s why you need to be very, very careful if you decide to implement such a feature on your website.

Did you see the movie about Facebook creation, “The Social Network”? In the movie, there’s a moment when Facebook Co-Founder Eduard Saverin makes known his intentions of monetizing the website, when they had around 75,000 members. Mark was reluctant towards Eduard’s proposal because he believed in his own creation and didn’t want to besmirch it with some advertising. It would have been like “leaving the party at 11″. The same goes with the pop-ups. What’s your stand on your product?

There are many possible options of developing your online readership and a pop-up form can be an useful tool, if it is properly used. So, before making or buying, you should be able to know the answer to the following questions:

1.  Are you giving out real advice and real value for others to add to their own lives?

I have a pop-up, as you have noticed already. But it appears only once in 10 days, so you may want to apply the same time frame. Some products suggest that you should use 7 days, but I think it’s too early. Don’t set it to 20 days though, as there will be readers that will not visit your website (sad but true) after some days. So, if you want to use that pop-up, you have to be absolutely sure that your readers will not take it as an aggressivily sign and they will not back up. They must feel you’re not trying to put your claws on them (even if this is true…) but rather to feel that you are their friend and you’re trying to build a community around your life experience and the advices you can provide them with.

2.  Are your products and information that good that your readers will not be affected by a pop-up?

People hate ads. Even if advertising is the soul of the commerce, we still don’t like it; but we do like the feeling when we make a little cash out of it. A pop-up is already a form of “in house” advertising. You try to convert an unique visitor into a permanent visitor. So you should be really careful with how “agressive” your form is, and what exactly is the “call” you want to put forward. Don’t “spam” people with message after their subscription has occurred. Two or three mails with a link to your best posts should do better if you want to keep your “reputation” clean.

3. Do you care about your readers?

The majority of those who use pop-up forms are not (yet) people with a very big readership so they use them to get there. How long are you going to use the pop-ups? Will you stop if you’ll have at least 5000 subscribers or you’ll see it as a good sign and keep on going? In time, you will learn that each and every reader you have is very important, so eventually you will have to stop using pop-ups, as it is being perceived by a category of people as an intrusive form of selling out your skills. Of course, there are exceptions. You must know what your target is, in matters of numbers. That’s how Google succeeded – simple, clean and ad-free (until they reached their goals).

Efficient use of pop-up forms

I’m a big fan of clean blogging or, at least, blogging with care. You may seem a banner on the website, but that’s just a help I’m giving out. I tend to avoid advertising (especially advertising networks) as much as possible, because that’s not what I want for my online authority to express. The main purpose of a blog can be either to monetize it or just to express yourself. I think that you can make a pretty nice mix out of that only if you know how to glue those things together with passion.

Providing value and wisdom is a great way to get appreciation and enhance your online reputation. It may take a while, so patience is also needed. Don’t rush and buy whatever you can so that your blog could be as famous as it gets. Focus more on what can you deliver, on what are your abilities and only after that – think about converting this into a business model. You can’t start marketing something that is not yet definite. Building a blog isn’t an easy task but destroying it is a kid’s play. Ask yourself – “how serious I am about blogging?”, “what’s the ultimate purpose?”. Great achievements come often after insistent questions.

Where does the pop-up come in? How can it build your blog castle? Here are the “bricks” you need to use in your construction process:

1.  Make a name for yourself and then pop-up your blog!

What exactly does “a name” mean? Can it be counted in number of visitors or in what? For me, my name and my reputation is what I want it to be. If I feel that my previous articles contain enough knowledge and are a big value plus for all those who read them, then I can boldly say – I’ve built a name for myself! Of course, that is for each to decide when exactly they feel that they’ve built a name and that they can start using a little more agressive methods. For me, it was the moment when I got more than 130 comments for an article.

2.  Stop being obsessed with subscribers!

I realized this thing just 4 years ago, after 3 years of an excruciating blogging experience with 5 articles/week. The problem was that I was being too obsessed with making a name for myself and becoming a blogger that everybody will praise and follow its advices. Then I realized that I’m taking the wrong stand. So, I changed my “business model” and decided that I will sell my blog once it will have enough traffic, content and monetizing power. When I sold it, I had more than 5000 daily visits. Do you think someone asked for the number of subscribers? But, that’s my personal example, it can or can’t work with you. However, the big lesson that I took was that if you are more relaxed and not so damn obsessed, there are much more chance that you will succeed. You have to flow with the river and stay motivated.

3.  Be honest, concise and ATTRACTIVE

You can write an eBook and use it as method of getting more readers, but you have to be scrupulous when doing so. Are you being honest? Is your writing completely original or you’re just making a remake after ProBlogger? You must put in your real view, your real feedback and real insight of what you know and what you can do. For example, I’ve written a short eBook about how you can improve your learning by 100% (subscribe and get it :D ). In the whole process of its creation, I managed to be honest and concise, as my main fields of interests are blogging advices and self-improvement techniques. So, I considered that what a blogger needs the most is the power to learn and understand things, thus I created a product that could attract possible readers. Don’t exaggerate and promise things that you can’t deliver.

I am not going to recommend you any specific pop-up products, because I don’t want to influence you. But, if you’re not a novice in the business, you should already know what are the most popular ones. I can tell you for sure that there’s no pop-up to meet both the demands of the blogger and the visitors. There will always be something more to ask for.

So far, my personal experience with pop-ups has been a good one; I can tell that by looking at my bounce rate level, which still is somewhere under 1%, which is actually awesome. This is a proof that if you put in real regard on what you’re doing and you’re really motivated and inspired in what you’re doing, there’s just no other way than success!

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