Put the Ball in Your Reader’s Court

I scanned a blog post a few moments ago. Time for research. But I immediately observed a pop up form requesting my name and email address. I closed out the pop up form. But another pop up form reminding me of something else popped up. Pop up #2. After closing the 2nd pop up form, yet another slider form moved in from the corners of the blog. I got fed up, close the blog and will never return. Why? The blogger did NOT put the ball in my court.

Here is where the blogger made an error…..

I Googled a search term: blogging tips.

After scanning page 1 I jumped ahead to page 6 to see what bloggers had to offer deeper into search rankings. One title looked interesting. The summary seemed helpful. I clicked through to the blog post. But immediately, the blogger made the critical error of taking the ball out of my court to seize the ball and put it in their court. Bad move.

I clicked through to the blog post solely to GET helpful blogging tips based on the blog post title and summary. All I wanted was to get helpful blogging tips. I wanted nothing more. My intent: get blogging tips based on an expectation I held, regarding the blog post title and summary on Google. The ball was in my court until…..after clicking through to the blog post…..the blogger made the error of putting the ball in their court by:

  • asking for my name and email address via the 1st pop up form (I wanted to GET blogging tips, not GIVE my name and email address…..plus you mentioned nothing about asking for my name and email address via your blog post title and summary on Google)
  • asking again for something else via the 2nd pop up (I never asked, you tried to get)
  • interrupting me again via the 3rd form consisting of a slider

Wise, detached, abundant bloggers give you what you want and never desperately try to get anything from you. Observe my blog:

Blogging From Paradise

Click through. See posts. See pages. See eBooks. See audio books. Nothing more. Nothing less. I do not try to get anything from you via:

  • pop-ups
  • sliders
  • anything focused on getting the split second you visit my blog, which would take the ball from your court and place the ball in my court

Give your readers the power of choice. Allow readers to choose to sign up for your blog via a sidebar opt-in form. Feel free to use pop-ups but know the moment you use this approach you stop giving them the power of choice by making the decision – and assumption – that the reader wants to sign up for your email list. Some do, some do not. Hey; everything depends on the intent behind your pop-ups, or, anything you do with your blog. But having enough posture, confidence and clarity to give readers full power makes you attractive in a world of thirsty, desperate and greedy bloggers.

Do what feels fun, freeing and relaxed to you. What feels better? Allowing readers to choose what to do on your blog? Or making decisions for readers by choosing or assuming, taking away their power of choice, taking the ball out of their blogging court? Bloggers feel good giving readers the freedom of choice. Bloggers do not feel good by taking away your reader’s power of choice; in most cases, at least.

Keep the ball in your reader’s court. Instill trust. Give readers power. Allow readers to decide. Let readers choose. Developing this level of posture, clarity and confidence requires a big-time “take it or leave it” approach to blogging, your content and your premium products and services.

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