This post is based on episode 130 of the ProBlogger podcast.
When I started blogging (back in 2005, when RSS feeds were really big), I paid a lot of attention to when I published my posts because it seemed to affect how many people saw them.
These days their visibility seems to be affected more by the timing of my social media posts and emails than of the posts themselves. Still, here are a few things you might want to consider in terms of when you should be publishing your posts.
What the Studies Show
Lots of studies have been done over the years about the best time of day to publish posts. But the results aren’t consistent, probably because blogs (and their audiences) vary so much.
If you’re interested, here are the results from some of those studies:
- When Is The Best Time Of The Day To Blog?, Jason Keath, Social Fresh
- Why Content Goes Viral: What Analyzing 100 Million Articles Taught Us, Noah Kagan, BuzzSumo (point #10 on the list deals with the best day to publish content)
- The Best Time to Publish a Blog Post to Maximize Business Results, Rebecca Lee White, TrackMaven
The problem with studies is a lot of different factors affect the results, such as when you share your post on social media.
And then there’s the issue of your audience.
For instance, one parenting blogger I know finds 9am on Mondays a great time to publish because her readers often show up once they’ve got the kids off to school
But for a sports blogger that’s the worst time to publish. He much prefers publishing on Saturday mornings – just before the games are played.
And that’s why most studies fall short. They rarely take your topic into account.
Figuring Out When to Publish YOUR Blog Posts
When figuring out the best time to publish posts on your blog, you should:
- Work out where your readers live. If they’re in Australia, you’ll time things very differently than if they’re in Europe.
- Look at your analytics. Google Analytics and Facebook’s Page Insights should give you an idea of when your readers are online.
My audience (50% from America and 50% from the rest of the world) is around from about 7am EST until 3pm EST, peaking at 10am EST. So we normally publish our posts at 7am EST (around midnight Australian time), which is when my audience starts coming online .
Consider the Type of Content You’re Publishing
Over on Digital Photography School we often publish discussion-type posts and challenges where we give readers some homework. Often we’ll ask them to take a photo on a particular theme or using a particular technique.
We typically publish these posts on the weekends because at weekends people tend to leave more (and longer) comments.
If you want to publish this type of post, you might post them in the early evening when people are at home, or at the weekend.
You might also want to think about whether you’re writing short pieces or longer, instructional posts. We tend to publish “meatier” pieces early in the week, and anything that’s inspirational or funny at the end of the week when people are looking for some light relief.
If we’re launching a new ebook or course, we aim to publish the first post about it on a Monday (US time) because:
- Mondays are when we tend to get a lot of traffic
- it gives us four more days to promote that post and drive traffic to it.
For us, the weekend typically sees a bit of a lull in traffic.
Consider the Timing of Your Emails and Social Media Too
I mentioned earlier that when you publish your posts isn’t as important as when you promote them.
On ProBlogger we typically send emails early in the week – Monday (US) / Tuesday (Australia) – to get our posts in front of people when they’re looking for meaty content.
But on Digital Photography school we typically publish our newsletter on Thursday morning (US) / Thursday night (Australia). Our readers take most of their photos on weekends, so we call our newsletter “Photography Tips for the Weekend”.
Try sending your emails out at different times and see what best suits your audience. Look at when people are opening them and clicking the links.
We run our social media posts around the clock because both ProBlogger and DPS have a global audience. A post goes out on Twitter every hour to an hour and a half.
On Facebook, particularly on the DPS Facebook page, we publish seven or eight posts a day. One typically goes out every three or four hours, with some extras during the US daytime.
Be Regular and Consistent With Your Posts
Finally, I’m a big believer in being consistent with the timing of your posts. People take notice of when you publish – even if you don’t tell them you’ll be publishing at a specific time.
With our podcast, we used to publish new episodes every Monday and Thursday morning (US time). We never announced it, but that was our schedule. When our posts were delayed because iTunes wasn’t updating them, I’d start getting emails asking where the podcast was.
By being consistent about when you publish your posts, you’ll make it easier for readers to read your blog as a natural part of their week.
When do you publish your blog posts? Do you just hit “publish” when they’re ready, or do you publish them on certain days or at specific times? I’d love to hear your feedback on this in the comments.
Tool Recommendation: CoSchedule is a blogging tool that can manage your social media messaging, blog post publication and editorial calendar – all from within WordPress. We love using CoSchedule for ProBlogger. If you’re interested in learning more, here’s a podcast I recorded on how we use Coschedule: “How to Crush Content Planning and Promotion with One Powerful Tool“.
Image credit: Kevin Ku