Are you holding your content hostage?
Or your readers?
I was searching the web this morning for a specific plugin I’d used before but couldn’t remember the name of.
I came across a website with a demo of the plugin, but instead of being able to see the demo and page content, I was greeted by a greyed out screen with a box that said:
Sorry for the interruption
Please take a moment to share this post, Thank you very much.
(share buttons here)
Wait 60 seconds…
I didn’t wait. I did come back later to see if it was a one-time annoyance but no such luck. Every time I attempted to view the page the same pop up kept me from it.
Now, I have nothing against pop ups. I recommend their careful use. As long as I can click to get rid of one, and it’s not showing up on every single page load, I can live with it.
But gating access to your site and forcing me to wait a full minute before I can see anything if I don’t share it first is over the top. Here’s why…
I’m not that patient. Google is one click away and there are thousands of search results waiting to give me the information I’m looking for. I’d rather click back, search again, and find it elsewhere than sit and wait a full minute before I’m granted permission to view your content. Maybe it’s fantastic and 100% worth the wait, but how am I supposed to know that if I’m new to your site and am blocked from seeing it?
I love to share! If you follow me on Twitter you know this already. I share great content constantly. I share on Facebook, G+, StumbleUpon and other sites as well.
But I’m not going to share something from a source I’m not familiar with, and content I’ve never seen! What kind of respect is that showing to my followers, friends, and colleagues?
I need to SEE content before I’m willing to share it (or else I’d better know you very well and trust you–and that type of trust takes time to build). Simple as that.
Maybe you’ll get more shares with a strategy like this, but I bet you’ll also see a skyrocketing bounce rate (people who come to your site, get annoyed by the forced sharing, and just click away without sharing or viewing anything).
So, please consider whether holding your content hostage and forcing me to share it sight unseen is a good idea.
Do you really want those types of forced recommendations?
Or would you rather have honest-to-goodness fans sharing your information because they found it valuable and can giving a glowing endorsement of it to their own networks?
Me, I’ll take the real fans, please. Even if they’re fewer, in the long run they’re more than worth the effort that it takes to cultivate a relationship with them.
Photo Credit: pressmaster/StockFresh