Close
Close

Blogging Rhythms 3 – Daily Rhythms

This Blogging Rhythms post should be a little shorter than the others (famous last words) as it’s focused upon a shorter rhythm – one of just 24 hours, the day.

Each of us have our own daily rhythms, times for waking up, eating, bathing, relaxing etc. Blogs often have up and down times during their day also.

For most of my blogs the most active times (in terms of traffic) tends to be while I sleep here in Australia and when Europe and the US are up and about (and surfing the web). This is of course a little different for my blogs on Aussie domains which have a nice busy time during the Aussie morning period when both Australia is awake and the US are having their early evenings.

So the question I’ve heard many bloggers ask is should such daily cycles impact the way they approach their blogging or should they just blog on regardless of who is up and surfing the web when?

My theory is that it’s worth considering when you post – but that it’s not worth getting obsessed by it.

My approach tends to vary from blog to blog. Let me unpack it a little:

Loyal Readers Blogs – a number of my blogs have a readership that is largely made up of repeat readers who check into them either from bookmarks or via RSS. They like what I write and check in regularly to see what I’m up to (some of them daily, others even more often). ProBlogger.net is one of these blogs. As a result of this regular repeat readership I tend to think about my daily posting schedule and tend to spread my posts out throughout the day. There are a number of reasons for this:

1. I don’t want to overwhelm my readers with information. Some days on this blog I write as many as 10 or so posts – if these were to all go up on the site within a few hours readers would not be likely to read each post in much detail. Spreading them out over 24 hours seems to give each post room to be spotted, read and digested in its own right.

2. Such an approach also increases repeat visits to the blog – especially by those who follow it via RSS. I often notice that the hours after a post tend to have significantly higher traffic levels than periods of inactivity. Sometimes comments are left within minutes of posting (and its not just a fluke because it’s always the same people!). Of course it’s not just RSS readers who come to a blog numerous times in a day when you post frequently. Once you get a reputation for it others will get into the habbit of multiple visits in a day.

The exception I make to spreading stories out on these blogs is for ‘breaking news’ stories. My approach when a story is hot is to post it ASAP as timeliness of posting can mean the difference to being linked to by others and not.

The way I spread my posts out on these blogs is a combination of blogging at different times in the day (I tend to do a batch f posts in the mornings, another in the afternoon and another before bed) and using the ‘advance posting’ feature of WordPress (which allows you to post something but not have it go live onto your site until the time you nominate). I try to time these advance posts to go live during peak traffic times (or just before them).

Search Engine Traffic Blogs – I tend not to worry quite so much about spreading posts out on blogs that get the majority of traffic from search engines. On these blogs I have less loyal readers monitoring the blogs via RSS and therefor just post to them as the news comes to hand. This might mean I post on some of these blogs numerous times within and hour and then not again for 24 hours. Whilst I could spread such posts out I actually believe this could work against the blog as breaking news stories would be ‘old news’ by the time they went live onto the blogs.

So that’s my theory – what is your approach to blogging on a daily level? Do you spread out your posts, advance post or just post as news comes in? What impact does that have?

About Darren Rowse

Darren Rowse is the founder and editor of ProBlogger Blog Tips and Digital Photography School. Learn more about him here and connect with him on Twitter, Facebook, Google+ and LinkedIn.

Problogger.net runs on the Genesis Framework

Genesis Framework

The Genesis Framework empowers you to quickly and easily build incredible websites with WordPress. Genesis provides the secure and search-engine-optimized foundation that takes WordPress to places you never thought it could go.

Check out the incredible features and the selection of designs. It's that simple - start using Genesis now!

Comments

  1. I tend to average around 5 posts per week on my blog, but I often write posts in batches, sometimes a week’s worth in one day. Then I set the blogging software to make my posts go live at various times during the week. This allows me to do my blog writing at my personal peak times while setting posts to appear during visitors’ peak times.

  2. Neil Camp says:

    When I am posting, I try to post an article first thing in the morning, right after I get home from work, then roght before I go to bed. I would post throughout the day if my job allowed internet access. But, I do think about what I want to write during the down times.

  3. Matt says:

    I think that this topic is probably of more concern to those who are blogging full time for a living. Having only two blogs myself that I hope will someday make some money, but mostly I blog for fun. Which means that my rhythm is that I blog whenever my other bits of life allow.

    Potentially, for thos who are new, like I am, we could learn to choose beginning topics that are more likely to be found by search engine than to rely on the loyal reader, since it sounds like that kind would probably work best for the casual blogger who isn’t able to post throughout the day.

  4. IO ERROR says:

    Darren, this is probably a fine time to mention your blog’s RSS timestamps seem to be far off into the future. The trouble seems to be:

    <pubDate>Wed, 27 Jul 2005 09:40:35 +0000</pubDate>

    This may create an inconvenience for many of your loyal readers as the feeds carry the wrong timestamps. I think there’s a WordPress setting that fixes this…

  5. Kidino says:

    Maybe because Darren is FAR OFF in the east … where he gets the sunlight first … Me in Kuala Lumpur, maybe second after him …

  6. Darren Rowse says:

    thanks IO Error – Kidino is right. Australia is 10 hours ahead of GMT time which may seem way ahead to many of you who are west of us.

  7. Yzabel says:


    My own posting tends to be done on European evening prime-time, because it’s when I’ve finished work and can write more freely… all that simply. However, it’s not rare, when I write entries about topics that aren’t “latest news” and don’t demand to be posted quickly, that I write drafts whenever I have the time, or set the timestamp to later in the day so that it doesn’t get posted at an odd hour such as 7 am (yes, I’m an early riser). The fact that I normally post once or twice a day at the most, for the moment, also frees me from considerations about not swamping my readers.

    I guess my blogging habits are still a little too young (or not “pro”enough) for me to really think of posting at the “right times”, but now that you’ve mentioned it, it probably can’t harm in any case to pay more attention to such rythms.

  8. My old journalistic habits kick in when I’m blogging, so I hit the presses as soon as the idea is down on silicon. This means one burst of energy in the morning : 8 – 10 am UK time; another in mid-afternoon to reflect the oncoming traffic from the States, and another late evening when Australia is waking up and East-coast Americans are coming home from the office. Strange to say, I don’t have much contact with UK bloggers ~ I can think of half a dozen at most.

  9. Lei says:

    I write my genetics and public health posts whenever I find the time with an active toddler demanding my attention. My goal is to write about 2-3 posts a day (based on what you’ve recommended); one goes live in the morning, one at lunch, and one in the evening (GMT +7). I probably won’t time them for the U.S. timezone simply because if they go live when I’m not awake, I won’t have a chance to catch any typos or make minor re-writes before too many people see them.

  10. Cary says:

    When I started blogging I really expected to be doing most of my posting during the day, but for some reason I seem to have developed more of an inclination to blog at night. While this doesn’t coincide with when my fellow Americans are sitting at their computers, like John said above, I tend to just hit the publish button and send my posts one their way, no matter what time of day. Since most of my posts have a long shelf-life (ie, should be relevant for a decent amount of time,) and aren’t particularly time sensitive, it’s not something I’ve really thought much about.

    I’ll have to give this some thought…and that’s exactly what I love about ProBlogger. It always gets me thinking :)

  11. As I post all day long I kind of expected to get traffic a few hours after each post, but mostly it’s US traffic reaching a peak in the late afternoon but strangely, another peak around 10/11pm. Since I post to my other blogs at the same time, similar traffic is found there too.

  12. Cary says:

    Hey English Guy, I get a similar boost in traffic in what is the late evening for me (California Time.) I’ve kind of assumed it was all those prolific Aussie bloggers ; )

  13. Ahhh you know that could be it – the Californians. Because 10/11 would be 7/8 their time, just relaxing after dinner. I didn’t think of that! I guess like a lot of people I tend to think of the country I’m in having one time zone.

  14. Like you, Darren, I post newsworthy stuff straight away and ‘evergreen’ stuff on a schedule.

    For my One Stop Under blog (http://www.OneStopUnder.com), I often link to things like home pages of professional photographers, online tutorials, interesting articles, etc. I’ve currently got those queued up to appear every couple of days for the next month or so. Maybe once a week I go looking for new items, and add them to the end of the queue. If I find something seasonal (e.g. something related to Christmas, Easter, Thanksgiving, etc) I’ll post it with an appropriate date that could be as much as 12 months away.

    I write about newsworthy stuff every day or two, and that fills in the gaps between the evergreen posts. If I can’t blog for a week, it’s not a major problem as I’ll still have content coming online every few days and the blog stays fairly fresh. This pattern seems to work well so far.