If you are like me you are anxious to hit the publish button as soon as your carefully crafted post is finished. Last Sunday evening while my sons kept calling, “Hey mom, you coming? You’re missing the game.” I finished up a post. Now I know that Sunday evening during the Super Bowl isn’t a good time to publish a post so I started to ask myself, when is a good time? Other bloggers say that there isn’t a universal “right” answer to this question. My feeling is that for the most part the WHEN doesn’t matter.
That said here are a few points to consider before you hit the publish button to ensure that you publish when you can get people to pay attention to your post.
- If there is some big news item happening, such as the Super bowl or an Olympic Gold Medal hockey game, you should schedule your post for a later date/time.
- Avoid publishing on big holidays when web readership is down unless your post is holiday related.
- Maybe it doesn’t matter at all when you publish your post as long as you tweet strategically – If your post is about the latest buzz on the web then get it out there fast and promote it with twitter. If the post is sufficiently “buzz-worthy” then others may pick up the Retweets and Retweet again. If your post is not about the latest buzz and buzz is dominating the social media highway then you should wait till things quiet down before you tweet it.
I’ve read what has been said on this subject by bloggers who are much bigger than little ‘ol me; Lorelle on WordPress and Darren Rowse of ProBlogger. They are writing from a “big-time blogger” perspective. These larger blogs stick closely to a publishing schedule and their audience knows when the posts are due to arrive. They say that you should know your audience and focus on the time zone that represents them. Business blogs tend to publish in the morning EST. I’m not convinced that it matters. Faithful subscribers of the well-established blogs will read the post in their feed reader or email inbox when they are ready and pickup on posts they missed.
What about us little guys? For small-time bloggers that don’t have a RSS subscriber following, it doesn’t matter when we post. It is the social media mentions that will bring traffic to our posts. I’ve tried to watch how posts at different times of the day and different days of the week do, both in terms of traffic and reactions (comments/retweets/trackbacks). When doesn’t seem to matter as much as what the topic is; my SEO posts get more reactions then do my WordPress lessons.
What is my blogging goal? Am I blogging to get a loyal following and become a Social Media or WordPress Guru? Do I want a lot of comments and traffic? My blogging purpose is to provide a resource for my clients. I love it when a new client tells me they are choosing me because when they read my blog they feel I am knowledgeable about SEO. I want to be able to point my client to a WordPress post that answers their questions. Yes, I would like to build a reputation in my field but I’m happy to be serving my clients here in Toronto and not worry about who in the world is reading my blog.
Should I have a Blogging Schedule? Probably, but in reality I can’t maintain one. I’m not a full-time blogger and I don’t have a blogging team. I can only devote so much time to writing posts. Blogging isn’t what pays the bills around here. Often I’m blogging in response to a client’s question and I want to get the post up for them straight away so they can review what we’ve already discussed. I don’t want to just blog for blogging’s sake. I only post when I have something I feel is worth saying and I don’t want to put undo pressure on myself to meet arbitrary blogging deadlines. When I write a post and I don’t have a reason to publish it right away, I will schedule the post. I will choose a time for early morning and a couple of days away from my last post and I avoid weekends. In this way I might be teetering on the brink of a schedule. I agree that it is ideal to pick a regular time/day to post and to try to stick to the schedule if you can do it.
Why don’t I get more comments? For me I think the answer isn’t connected to when I post but who is my audience. My blog has a lot of posts that are for newbies. My audience isn’t the commenting kind. They are, for the most part, shy about using all these “New Media” tools and reluctant to add a comment; they haven’t yet learned about the benefits of commenting.
Grab your 5 minutes of fame and extend it: After you publish your post you want to promote it with social media. Tweet your post to your followers using http://bit.ly/ a url shortener service that also tracks the number of clicks your link receives. Some of your posts may also do well on social bookmarking sites like Digg or StumbleUpon. Add a comment on a related posts on another blog if by doing so you are adding value the discussion there and you can direct readers to your related post. Cross-promote your posts from within your own blog by internal linking and adding a related post plugin.
What do you think? Is there a “best” time for you to publish your posts?