In the last two days I’ve been fortunate enough to have Lifehacker link to two posts (here and here) on my Digital Photography School blog. The results have been two wonderful days of traffic with not only links from Lifehacker but quite a few secondary links from other sites that flow on from such a prominent link.
One of the things I’ve been reflecting upon about the two link ups was the difference in impact between their two posts. The first one sent some very nice traffic but was about half as prolific as the second one.
While there are perhaps a couple of factors at play – the main one was the timing of the two posts.
The first post went up on Lifehacker in the middle of the life hacker day (they tend to post most of their posts during the daytime in the US). It wasn’t the first post of the day but it wasn’t the last either. After they posted it there were numerous other posts that went up to other sites on that day. The post with my link in it remained at the top of the Lifehacker home page for no more than an hour.
The second post went up as the last post for the day. This meant it was the most recent (and therefor first) post on lifehacker for around 10 hours.
While these were probably not the most highly trafficked hours on Lifehacker (who I assume has more readers during the daytime in the US) the traffic that resulted in the extended period at the top of their home page was significantly higher than on the first day when there was a quick initial spike in traffic but then a tapering off.
So what’s the application of this little observation?
Ultimately unless I manage to find a way to bribe the team at Lifehacker to link to me every night as their last post timing the links that others give you is something that is based pretty heavily upon luck.
However while timing the links that others give might be out of a blogger’s control the timing of posts on your own blog are well within your control and perhaps it’s worth considering what posts are left to sit for longer periods of time. I’ve never really given much thought to this myself but have talked to a couple of bloggers today who have and who use a couple of strategies:
1. One blogger told me that if he’s going to post posts with affiliate links in them that he saves them for the last ones of the day to maximize the length of time that the links appear at the top of his blog.
2. Another blogger told me that she is trying to impress another blogger or catch their attention (with a link in her post) that she often attempts to time her posts to maximize the traffic that she sends. She does this by either posting the post in peak viewing time or by making it the last post for the day.
Of course many bloggers also consider timing their posts in other ways – I know of quite a few who make sure a post goes up every morning just as the east coast of the US is waking up to maximize their exposure for the day (this is something I do from time to time myself).
Do you consider the timing of your posts? What factors do you consider and what strategies do you employ?