6 Ways to Prevent Visitors From Sharing Your Website

Tired of getting traffic to your website?  Frustrated when you see your URL or name pop up on Facebook or Twitter?

Never fear!  I can solve this problem for you!

Here’s how to make sure it’s difficult for people to share your website.

After all, if they want to share it they should have to work hard to do that, since we’ve all got extra time on our hands.

1.  Don’t Give Them Anything to Share

Make sure that your best content is either hard to find or nowhere to be found on your website.  If there’s nothing worth sharing, no one will share.  Now you don’t even need to read the other 5 tips!  :)

Bonus suggestion: Don’t create things that people want to share — like free ebooks, tip lists, brainstorming ideas, or anything helpful in general.  Because we need to stay focused on ourselves and not our readers.

2.  Avoid Those Annoying Share Buttons

No share buttons.  None.  Don’t use any of the plugins like ShareBar, TweetMeme, Sociable, SexyBookmarks, FBLikeButton, ShareThis, or AddtoAny.

3.  Don’t Invite Readers to Share Your Content

The power of suggestion can be a great strategy so be sure never to invite your visitors to share your content.  And don’t tell them not too, either, since some might be susceptible to reverse psychology.

4.  Pretend No One Shares Via Email Anymore

Everyone’s on Facebook and no one uses email anymore — it’s so 2000.  So don’t even consider offering options that let users email your content to their friends, like RSS subscribe by email (because it’s easy to forward a great post if you’ve already got it in your email box), or email to a friend buttons in SexyBookmarks.

5.  No Reprinting or Licensing Info On Your Site

It would be terrible if someone wanted to take your blog post and reprint it with credit to you on their own site!!  So make sure you don’t create a “Free Articles” page or offer a license like Creative Commons attribution on your blog.

6.  Never Share Your Own Content on Social Networks

It’s too easy to re-tweet a tweet someone else has posted, hit like on someone’s Facebook status, or click thumbs up on a stumbled page.  Don’t put your content out there like that!

Besides, someone might think you’re tooting your own horn.  And that could be the end of the world, right?

Now you’re ready!

With these tips you’re well on your way to keep your content in prision on your own website where it will stay, happily alone and unshared.  Success!

P.S.  If you actually WANT people to share your content just click the links inside each of these backwards tips to find out how to implement the opposite and encourage your readers to share.

Photo Credit: hotblack at morguefile


  1. says

    Hi Michelle,

    LOL – totally creative. I guess I have more implementing to do tomorrow because these tips are great!

    As always thanks!

  2. Alexis Neely says

    This post rocks! There are so many of these things I am NOT doing on my site right now. I’m going to get my web dude on it right away and will link to you with mas gracias when I do. Perhaps you’ll share my post! Thanks for this.

    • says

      Thanks so much, Alexis, and I’d love to share it. I know I’ve gotten a lot of inspiration and support out of your blog over the year or two I’ve been subscribed so I’m thrilled to be able to help you in return.

  3. says

    You’ve definitely tickled MY funny bone, Michelle! What a fabulous idea for a post and a super savvy way to make a point. Laughed my way down the page! And you already know how much I admire someone with a sense of humor (so few people have one, ya know). :)

    • says

      Thanks Roz. I’m glad ComLuv picked up that post in your siggy. Read it the other day (yesterday maybe? This head cold is messing with my sense of time.) and it’s a fab overview of things to consider.

  4. says

    Ha! That’s so great.

    I think I might make a video that uses your article as an example! I will, of course, provide a link to the article in the description of the video, and I always tell people what site I’m on in the first place :)

    This change from the “ivory tower of information” to the transparency model is a challenging one for some businesses to make. There’s a lot of fear! I personally have taken a strong lesson from the Abraham Hicks publishing company who pay no mind to people taking their ideas and making their own businesses on it… they just keep pumping out seminar after seminar after seminar and effectively flood the market.

    Keep producing, and the ones who try to steal off of you to make money simply can’t keep up. They’re leeching off of a whole bunch of targets and usually have no solid strategy anyway… just flickering lights to turn our attention from while we do the real work of production! :)

    Take care, thanks again for the great post :)

    Jill Lampi
    Winnipeg Social Media Strategist
    Jill Lampi – TheWebGrrl recently posted… Join The Winnipeg Freelancers Social Media Project!My Profile

    • says

      Yep, it’s easy to worry too much about some things that are beyond our control — and we can make better plays if we just use it to our advantage (create better stuff, build partnerships, etc).

      If you do a video I’d love to see it! :)

  5. says

    Creative and fun…it made me lighten up a bit but also hit on great reminders of how we get in our own way…kind of like assuming that someone knows what we’re thinking. All these tips are really just about developing strong social media communication skills, just like interpersonal communication techniques…very cool!

    • says

      Definitely. It’s easy to forget that we’re the only ones in our own brains so sometimes we’ve got to say these things out loud, like, “Please feel free to share this!” :)

  6. says

    Another great post, I have a long list of your posts bookmarked and give them to my lovely partner who keeps my blog running smooth, he thinks you’re pretty cool too!
    PS think I’ll forward it to him right now :)

  7. says

    Reverse psychology, eh. Sounds like a winner of an idea. The concept may actually work. After all, what happens when you tell your teenager DON’T DO…? They do exactally what you told them to not do. The same principle holds true with most anyone. No one, I mean no one likes being told what to do. It’s like, “I’ll show you.” Clever thinking. I need to be a rule breaker, like you with my blog.

    Thanks for sharing. I loved it!


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