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Weekend Blogging Strategy

As a blogger I have a love hate relationship with weekends.

Less Work – On one hand they are great because the number of stories breaking on weekends drop (PR companies tend to make their announcements on weekdays and Journalists seem to favor them too for big stories) which means there is less work to do (meaning I get to relax and go to the football without worrying about missing a scoop).

Less Traffic – Of course on the other hand traffic levels go down on weekends as a result of less people sitting in front of their computers all day (and perhaps as a result of less posting there is less RSS traffic). This lack of traffic generally means a lower income level for the day (although some bloggers report that CTR goes up on weekends as people are in less of a rush and are more likely to explore links on your blog, including ads).

Of course I’m generalizing here (I know of some blogs who have their biggest traffic on weekends – sports blogs tend to do well for example) but in general the above trends are true.

The question that I’m sometimes asked by bloggers is what they should do about the traffic slumps on weekends? Some bloggers even get quite worked up about it and I’ve heard all kinds of strategies and opinions on the topic. Here’s a few that cover the spectrum of approaches to weekends:

  1. Forget about blogging and get a life - the thinking is that if your readers are not coming to your blog that you should go with that pattern and join them. Relax, rejuvenate and enjoy your weekend.
  2. Advance Post - some bloggers write a few extra posts during the week which they save for the weekends and set them to go off throughout it so that their blog is being updated while they relax.
  3. Catchup Time – some bloggers use the weekend to catch up on all the stories that they missed during the week as a result of busyness. They themselves have more time for blogging and use it as an opportunity to clear their news aggregators.
  4. Blog LE (light edition) – some bloggers only post ‘newsy’ or ‘light’ posts on the weekend to keep their blog ticking over. They never post original content as it’s less likely to be read and save any announcement posts or serious posts for weekdays.
  5. Save Biggest stories for the weekend - on the flip side of the Blog LE approach are bloggers who save their biggest stories for the weekend in the hope of keeping their stats up

I personally don’t have a real strategy for the weekends (at different times I’ve probably done some combination of all of the above). I tend to blog less (we do a lot socially on the weekend) and go with the flow. I tend not to post as much and I tend not to post announcements or posts that I think might get a lot of attention on the weekend – but if a story breaks i wouldn’t hold it back until Monday.

Being in Australia the weekend is little odd also as we’re quite a few hours ahead of the rest of the world. Saturday is Friday elsewhere and when we go back to work on a Monday here it’s Sunday for many of you. As a result I tend to hold some posts back until Tuesday.

The other thing that I do on weekends if I find myself with some spare time for blogging is use it to write longer posts or series which I save up for the week ahead. I find that I’m in a different head space on the weekend and sometimes this leads me to be a little more creative than normal.

What’s your weekend blogging strategy?

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.

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Comments

  1. Joe says:

    Hey Darren,

    How’d I get to be first… must be the weekend.

    I usually just do the LE version. I do pre-write posts, but with Blogger I can’t pre-set them to go off, so I spend about an hour in the morning publishing and pinging and responding to email.

    Then I have time for #1

    Joe

  2. Andy Merrett says:

    My weekends tend to include:

    Scheduling non-time-specific posts for the following week
    Writing or thinking about longer posts
    Brainstorming new ideas, reviewing current projects
    Getting away from the computer and maintaining an offline life!

    It’s quite refreshing that many blogs don’t expect to publish at the weekend – it means I don’t feel I have to compete by doing the same.

    Timings being in London are quite interesting as I can be 5-8 hours ‘ahead’ of the US and yet ‘behind’ Eastern Europe, Asia and Australia. I know every time zone has it’s advantages and disadvantages but as a blogger, and network owner with an international base of writers east and west of me, it feels like quite an advantageous position.

  3. Lyman says:

    I haven’t had one… but this is some good food for thought. Since I’m still pretty new at making this a professional venture, and my day job schedule includes weekends, I’ve always been in the “whatever feels right” or “whenever I can get it done” mindset. Thanks for the food for thought.

  4. PBlogger says:

    Well I normally don’t have much of a life. The only day I really take off is Sundays and that is basically in the monring as I find myself back online Sunday evenings.

    My sales drop on my business blog DRAMATICALLY on the weekends. Usually Friday and Saturday. Sundays are ok but Monday through Thursday are my busy days where I post maybe 4 or 5 times.

    On Saturday I will do one… maybe two if I find some good content to write about. But usually it is one long commentary. Sundays I usually do the same thing. “Sunday Reads” I call it…. and maybe post 6 or 7 links to offsite content that people may enjoy reading on a Sunday. So as traffic slows so do I, knowing Monday will bring something more.

  5. I usually go for the hybrid approach. Weekdays I set myself a rigid timetable of posts on the blogs that are ad-supported, with lesser schedules for those that aren’t. At the weekend, I drop all that and go with the flow. If an irresistible ideas strikes on Saturday afternoon, I’ll blog it. If not, no worry, let it slide.

  6. Razib Ahmed says:

    Yes, weekends (especially Saturday) are quite frustrating in terms of hits. For example, today I have just 40% of hits of yesterday (Friday).Everyone needs a rest. So, too we- the bloggers.

  7. What I do is write most, if not all, of my posts in advance for the next week. With a full time job and other activities going on during the week, I don’t have much time to blog on the weekdays, though being an office humor blog most of my readers check it out on weekdays.

    As such I take the weekend to set up advanced posts for the weekdays ahead. I usually only actually post one or two posts on the weekend while storing up 15-20 for the upcoming week.

    I’m not sure if this hurts me much since I do a lot of posts on humorous news, so my news is generally a few days behind. Since it isn’t “hard hitting” and “breaking” news, I figure my readers aren’t looking for up to date news on a specific topic, rather they are looking for some entertaining news to pass some time at work.

  8. I forgot to mention that my girlfriend works on weekends so that frees up a lot of time for blogging :)

  9. Jane says:

    I would think most people look at blogs on the weekend because it is their free time.

  10. Tim says:

    I’m none of the above. M-F are content days. I use weekends for backing up all of my sites and databases, performing any necessary server maintenance/upgrades, implementing new layout tweaks, and processing statistics for the past seven days.

    I also typically use it to drop feeds in my RSS reader that don’t interest me anymore and to seek out new sources. Basically I use the weekends to do all those things that revolve around blogging that don’t involve actually writing content.

  11. Nick says:

    If I think of something interesting to blog about on the weekend, and I feel like doing it, and I have the time to do it, or if I’m just really bored, I’ll go ahead and post on a weekend. But for me, the blogging week is Monday through Friday.

  12. My business blog I slow down a bit on the weekends but still try to post. If I can’t on Sunday… no sweat…

    Personal blogs I skip the weekends. Mostly a once a day post monday through friday.

  13. Cary says:

    Life’s too short to post on weekends!

    Actually, I take the weekend off, but on Sunday nights I write one post for each of my blogs (to pre-post for early Monday morning,) plus one extra post for each blog (to stockpile for when I take vacations!)

    Works quite well :)

  14. Yandel says:

    Well on weekends i really take the time off to spend with family beacuse i don’t want to spend every single day on my computer, it’s not good.

  15. JAMINUSA says:

    My weekend blogging strategy is my only strategy. I write posts for the upcoming weekend. I don’t have time to write a whole lot during the week, mainly because I work a full time job, am a single dad raising two boys on my own, and I have to help them do homework, get baths, play with them , spend time with them.

    Their mother is not in the picture at all so I am a pretty busy fella through the week. On weekends, I have to stay up at late at night or I have to send them outside for while.

  16. Martin says:

    i think it depends a lot on your niche and genre – at my blog is the weekend best in whole week with most visitors. so i blog usually more than during the week, because i have also usually more time to write new posts…

  17. lulu says:

    Entertaining post, I think if you have worked hard blogging all week, you should take the weekend to enjoy and relax, but if you didn’t work hard, then you better do over-time :-)

  18. Markus Merz says:

    “Catch up time” is my strategy every two weeks. I go through all my notes taken lately and try to figure out what small stories I missed and who of my potential ad clients needs an email note about subjects published. I also try to take care of the pictures taken lately and what to do with it. Another thing is the technical maintenance; I try out new things and do some in depth research about features I might want to integrate into my site(s). What I want to do more in the future is to develop drafts and to produce “advance posts” …

  19. Franck says:

    I don’t have a weekend stategy yet, I am blogging like any other day for now. May be I will change that in the future.

  20. chase says:

    I still like to blog on the weekends!

  21. fmsra says:

    Thanks for the tips, Darren.

    No wonder, my hits are so low, I tend to post on a Saturday-when I am free, or on Mondays, when I am frustrated. Yes, I do notice that Saturdays are the days where it is really low traffic.

    Perhaps you could consider writing a piece on what is the best time to post? Which day, and whether it is day time or night time? We will all benefit from your experience.

    Cheers

  22. Mrs Money says:

    Hi, Darren!

    I really enjoy your tips ;) Congrats!

    I head a brazilian branch of a professional blog and I’ve also started my own blog Virtual Entrepreneur. For both blogs I catch up on posts during the weekend too and I’m still posting good stories aswell, one on Saturday and another on Sunday against the 5 I post from M-F. That helps the stats not to drop down while most simply don’t post or post light articles. But it all depends on the weather. If it’s sunny outside, who wants to sit in front of the PC the whole day? lol Get yourself out and inspiration will come :)

    Cheers from Brazil!

  23. Doug Kenline says:

    How can I remove the borders from my text only Google Adsense ads?

    I think I read somewhere that the ads pull better if they blend into your blog and are not set out by borders and different back ground color, no?

    What pulls better, text only ads, or text only and image ads combo?

    I’ll try to do a little bit of research myself but I thought I’d just drop this note here and see if anybody here might be able to help me as well.

    Thanks.

    Doug Kenline
    Atlanta, Georgia USA

  24. Doug,
    This question is off topic, but here’s the answer. Blended ads are the most effective. You should set the ad background and borders to match the color of your blog’s background, and also match the link color and text color to that of your blog. From my experience, text only ads are the most effective if they are targetted. If you would like to discuss the issue further, feel free to email me.

  25. shane says:

    WOw im out of the box on this one, i almost always only post on weekends its almost the only time i have to post. Nice insight though. Maybe i aughta change that huh.
    make money blogging online

  26. My weekends are usually a mix of your prescribed notions.

    Saturday’s I like to prepare (and publish if they’re ready) some of my ‘big’ posts – in the midst of Saturday morning soccer for my 10 year old – while Sundays is definitely a day of rest.

    When I first started I would try and post every day but found I wasn’t being very creative. Having a day off without even turning the computer on refuels my capacity to focus and be as creative as I possibly can be.

  27. gary says:

    having a full time job & three kids, i don’t have a lot of spare time for me on the weekends. that said, i still have more “me” time than during the week. during the week, i typically write 1 or 2 posts a day in my primary blog. on the weekends i may write anywhere from one to 3 posts a day, but they are usually something fun or a response to something i’ve seen on tv. as traffic grows & i move closer to actually making money, i plan on spending more time writing during the week.

  28. J Baker says:

    Hi Darren,
    I try to post every day, weekends included. I realize that my stats are down on the weekend, but it’s that number of people that return faithfully, day in day out, to read my posts and I feel guilty if I don’t take the time out to put something up there for them. Since I’m posting about one small area, it isn’t easy to come up with something interesting every day and since I don’t follow protocol with my feed, it’s doubly difficult. I use my web site rather than a template so I have to write copy for my feed, copy format to over to the web site, add pictures and change the picture of the day on yet another web page, and upload all three as well as the new images in their respective files on my server. So it ain’t easy sweetheart! But I still do it every day because my region is suffering pretty badly right now and needs all the help it can get.
    By the way, have a great weekend!
    J

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