May 16, 2024

How NOT to treat new readers

I found a new blog today that I thought had some really good content, but the site was running Popup Domination. Every time I tried to read a post the pop-over came up. I think I viewed three different post on this site, but stopped reading because of the pop-over. Personally I hate these pop-overs and don’t need more emails. I use RSS feeds to keep up to date on websites I enjoy.

So I left a comment about I enjoyed his site, pointed out another option for ads that make me money, then asked him to remove the pop-over and explained my reason. The responses I got shocked me. I’ve posted a screenshot of the comment thread below.

Take a read for yourself. Was I out of line? What do you think of the pop-overs? Is this a good way to respond to a new reader, even if you disagree with the comment?


I decided not to post the URL right now. I wanted to give myself a little time to think about this and see what others have to say. I’m open to hearing if I was out of line, I was just surprised how this guy responded by attacking me and my site.

Jason Benway

Christ follower, husband, father, IT geek, and Xbox gamer

View all posts by Jason Benway →

11 thoughts on “How NOT to treat new readers

  1. Most of us in the blogging community recognize the person you spoke to on Twitter as John Paul Aguiar, the Money/Blog/Social Dummy.

    You have no business trying to dictate to an accomplished blogger how he/she should run their site. period.

    I don’t like pop-up, opt-in requests either… but, I understand the concept and motivation behind it.

    And that’s my two cents.

    Jeffrey Baril – Source Blogger
    “Determined To Make You A Better Blogger!”

    1. I have no business to comment my opinion? When did blogs turn into the have and have nots?
      Just because John has a popular blog doesn’t mean my comments are any less valid or that he should treat commentors with disrespect.
      I may have come across little blunt with my dislike of pop-overs, but Johns reply was over the top.

      I can forgive and forget, but I’m just surprised at the naming calling.

  2. Hi Ben, I agree with the most important thing you said here I HATE POP-UP DOMINATION!! It’s the lamest plugin around and I even did a video to show how much I dislike it. Kristie from Kikolani included it in a post that she did on the topic

    But in all fairness, I’ve gone around in circles with other bloggers on this issue including Hesham, DragonBlogger and others and they absolutely love it and they are getting great results. In fact when I did the video I was worried that Hesham might be offended but he’s such a good friend that he just laughed at me (which is the exact reaction I wanted). Bottom line – the pop-up is so annoying that all you can do is laugh!!

    Personally I would be offended if you told me to remove something from site, rather than simply share your reasons for not liking it. We’re all on WordPress because we want control and your comment is almost like someone coming to your home for the first time and telling you to get rid of your furniture.

    John is a cool guy and a great blogger. Understand that for those who purchased it, the ROI on that plugin is far more important than losing one or two readers (I hate that I almost sound like I’m in favor of using it, but I have to “keep it real”)

    1. Ileane, thanks for the comment.
      Maybe I worded my dislike for pop-overs to bluntly, but I think John’s reply was a bit over the top for someone that is a pro blogger.
      I don’t feel my opinion is any less valid because my site is is small, I prefer it like that. I don’t try to blog for a living just for fun.
      I guess I’ll just have to either use RSS to read the sites that continue to use pop-overs or just not read them.

  3. I found this post via Twitter. I don’t know you Jason or the person in question. Upon viewing this I think perhaps it is just a matter of unclear communication, which created personal conflict between you both. Instead of telling him to remove the popup you should have perhaps just told him that as a new user you found the popup annoying. In all honesty, I would have been offended by your remark. However, I would have emailed you privately telling you how I felt.

    1. Agree and agree. You could have phrased your annoyance in a more subtle and respectful way. It is afterall his blog. But in your defense, he could have sent you a private message saying he was offended, etc. If he was terribly “upset” he could always delete your comment and send you a courtesy message explaining the action. That’s just me though.

  4. As someone who is personally dealing with some very stressful issues I have to just say that we ALL need to get along.
    We can catch each other in the wrong way but
    two wrongs don’t make a right.
    I see so many little petty issues bloggers have with each other and I am just as guilty it’s time to realize no one is perfect.
    I don’t like pop ups and don’t care what reason the blogger says for having it to me it’s like spitting in my face but I just make my choice to avoid blogs with them I don’t have to point out why they will figure it out when they have lost traffic.
    We all make choices and have to live with the results
    If I was the blogger and did that I would probably after reflection the next morning shoot you a tweet or whatever apologizing saying I was in a bad mood etc and let it go at that πŸ™‚
    I recently had some Blogging Community OWNER go around trying to talk smack then I thought of their reach and went back to bed πŸ™‚
    WE ALL need to cut each other some slack people are dealing with very real and hard issues and not just me but practically everyone, people work hard on their site but when you use auto tweets and pop ups you have to know your going to get some backlash ? No ?
    Both of you should give me 25 push ups and call it a day πŸ˜›

  5. It is funny that John would comment this when he is the biggest one who has developed an attitude for stabbing fellow blog owners in the back. He would rather compete than bridge together.

    Jason, I hope that John and you were able to work things out and perhaps you have been able to look at the situation from another perspective to see how the situation could have been handle differently. We all make mistakes. None of us are perfect.

  6. It sounds like you are getting your knickers in a twist over nothing particularly important.

    Perhaps you should get outside a little more often.

  7. If you can’t handle comments, better you close them! Some people want to become good blogger but don;t love community lol!

    Off-topic, I hate popup domination. Some webmasters add email optin form to force visitors to subscribe by email. The big-wide form sometime has no close buttons and helpless visitor may have no option but close entire page.

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