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?