Close
Close

When to Publish Blog Posts – Timing Considerations

Timing-Blog-PostsOver the last few weeks we’ve been looking at important times to pause in the writing and publishing of a post. Each of these stages in the development of a blog post can contribute to whether a post makes it big around the web or not. Today we’re considering the time that you publish your post.

Image by SunnyUK

What Time Should You Publish Your Blog Post? – Factors to Consider

As I chat with bloggers I find that there are a lot of different opinions on when the best time is to hit publish on a blog post. Some pay a lot of attention to it and have studied what works best with their audience, while others go with a hunch and still others don’t think it really matters at all and just publish posts as they finish them (I’d love to hear your thoughts in comments).

In my own experience and in talking to other bloggers I find that timing issues vary quite a bit from blog to blog depending upon its audience and topic.

Let me explore some of the potential issues to consider:

Weekends

The day of the week that you publish can have a big impact upon how many people read it. While RSS feeds might mean some of your readers will read posts published when they are away from their computer I find that posts that go live on weekends tend to get a lot less traction than weekday posts. The exception to this is of course for blogs with a topic that is weekend specific (sports or certain TV shows for example). The other advantage of weekends is that I find it can be easier to crack the front page on sites like Digg as there seems to be less competition.

Mid Week

If I have a very important post that I want to get as much attention as possible I generally will publish it on a Tuesday or Wednesday morning (my time). This gives a few days after the post is written for it to be found, linked to, bookmarked etc before the weekend arrives (and momentum stops) – but means that those in catchup mode after the weekend have a little more time to digest the post.

Public Holidays

I tend to avoid posting anything important on public holidays days as web readership is lower (I’m thinking mainly of US specific public holidays as that is where my main audience is located on my two blogs). Having said this – I do find that sometimes posts on public holidays can do quite well as some readers have more leisurely type time on their hands.

On DPS I find ‘reader questions’ type posts and posts that have a more ‘fun’ nature do well on both weekends and public holidays. The main exception to the ‘avoid public holidays’ rule is when you have a blog that relates to one of them. For example I know a recipe blogger whose biggest day of the year is Thanksgiving (they have a lot of Turkey cooking tips that do particularly well).

Times of Day

My main advice with thinking about the time of day to publish posts is to test what works with your audience. My own daily posting schedule is to have something new up on my blogs at about midnight my time (which is first thing in the business day in the USA) – I try to make this my main post for the day, something that is teaching focused if possible. This means that those scanning their RSS feeds when they get to work (I know you do it) have something fresh to read and ponder during the day. I then usually have a post that goes live in the afternoon (US time) – but this post is usually a ‘lighter’ newsy post.

The key is to know where your readers are situated and watch how posts at different times of the day (and days of the week) are interacted with (both in terms of traffic but also comments and incoming links).

What I find is that it works best to be a little preemptive with your readers. ie if you have a peak time that readers come to your blog time your posts just before this time so there’s something fresh for when they arrive.

Give Posts Room to Breathe

Another tip that I’d give with regards to timing is to think about the sequence of posts and how often they go live on your blog. I think about this on two main levels:

  • Giving Important posts Room to Breathe – got a post that you really want people to notice? If so, I’d advise that you post it not only at a good time of day, but that you don’t post anything after it for a while. If it’s a really important post you might even want to not post again for a day or two so that it remains at the top of your blog.
  • Topics and Variety - sometimes too many posts on a similar topic too quickly can have a negative impact upon readers. Try to mix up different types of posts.

Social Media Campaigns

One occasion that ‘timing’ can be particularly important is if you want to do some sort of a social media campaign with a post. For example, if you’re looking to have a post do well on Digg it can be important to have the post go live, have it submitted to Digg and for a Digg This button to go up on the post all very quickly. This means that as soon as it’s live and the initial rush of new visitors to the post have the opportunity to Digg it.

Some social media experts that I know also advise you to time these posts that you think will do well on social media sites for early to mid morning (US time) so that the most visitors on Digg can be involved in promoting the post for you (again, I’ve heard a variety of opinions on this).

Less Can Equal More = Except When it = Less

Posting frequency is one of those topics that I get asked about a lot and it’s a tough one to give an ‘definitive’ answer on because like many aspects of blogging, what works for some won’t work for others.

Instead of a long section on the ins and outs of posting frequency – let me point you at a post dedicated to exploring the issues at – What is the Ideal Post Frequency for a Blog?

Further Reading on Post Timing:

When Do You Publish Your Posts?

  • Do you give consideration to the timing of your blog posts?
  • If so – when do you publish them – and why?

I’m looking forward to hearing your experience on this topic.

Read the Full Series

This post is part of a series on how to craft blog posts. It will be all the more powerful if taken in context of the full series which looks at 10 points in the posting process to pause and put extra effort. Start reading this series here.

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. Jess says:

    most of my readers are from the us too…I’m not sure why it turned out that way. I now have a world times site bookmarked so I can check what time it is in the us. I have tried out posting at different times. I have found that Sunday night is one of my most popular viewing times.

  2. Paul says:

    As they’re written, with the caveats that I tend not to publish more than one per weekend and try not to publish a new one immediately after I’ve just published something thats meaty (ie not a short newsy post). If I write three in one day I’ll schedule them over three days unless they’re time sensitive.

    I don’t care too much about times of day because I don’t write linkbait, and I figure quality content will do well in social media regardless of whether you hit a peak Digg period. Besides, who wants to be lost in the rush of peak hours?

  3. Michael Kwamena-Poh says:

    Darren,

    Another great post; a few comments from a slighty different perspective since my blog is not up and running yet.

    However, I have read several of your posts and have observed an interesting characteristic about blogging; it is this: in a sense there is no observable STANDARD or FORMAT to most things blogging.

    Yes blogging can be said to have a FORMAT or ORDER to it and yet at the same time no two blogs or bloggers are exaclty the same even if they deal with or write about the same topic seek to cater to the same audience.

    In your blog (above) you identify several factors which should be considered BEFORE blogs are posted. Some of these are as follows. Please note they are not in any particular order;

    Period: that is weekends, day of week and time of day

    Topic: the content or subject matter of the blog post

    Audience: the target audience for which the blog and blog-post is intended

    Weight: ascribed to the subject matter and or significance of the post

    Room to Breath: posting frequency and timing of posts to give readers time to absorb great posts. And also ensuring that great posts are not followed immediately by posts of lesser import which obliterate or devalue the critical ones

    Social Media: post marketing or advertising outlet type such as Digg where it is considered advisable to post at certain periods to ensure maximum ‘push-out’ from visitors to Digg

    It is obvious that I have simply re-iterated your points; however this is to prove my premise that there is no standard way or manner as to when to publish posts. In short there is not a correct answer to your question – as you indirectly acknowledge in this post and others.

    What will work – again you allude to this – is knowing your audience and having an understandng and grasp of all the factors you mention above which inform the decision as to ‘when to publish blog posts’.

    This is all great stuff for me – a newbie to blogging since it makes clear the point that there is no single way to blog and or post blogs.

    However, the salutary point in all this is this; anyone who considers blogging as a serious career pursuit should have a thorough grasp of the fundamentals of blogging and then identify those which best suit the individual, his /her topic and most importantly, his/her audience.

  4. dinu says:

    I am experimenting with this :)

  5. J.D. Meier says:

    I like your point about testing it. There’s so many variables that at the end of the day, results have the final say.

  6. BG says:

    I’m always trying to post in the morning of the German audience, and mostly during the week (because readership is very low at the weekends). One posting/weekday is optimum, I think, because that way you never really drop out of RSS readers.

  7. Hamdani Amin says:

    I had post similar post at my blog last Saturday based on my own observation for my blog. My observation on my blog, had tell meWhere does my reader camo from?when to post in term of what time of my reader will read my postmaximum post I can do in one daywhat day I should use social media marketing

    You can read my post here.

  8. Hamdani Amin says:

    I had post similar post at my blog last Saturday based on my own observation for my blog. My observation on my blog, had tell me among other thing where does my reader camo from, when to post in term of what time of my reader will read my post, maximum post I can do in one day (should I post two or three post?) and what day I should use social media marketing.

    You can read my post here.

    I use most of the time Awstat, Google Analytic and StatCounter.

  9. Milo says:

    Weekdays, weekends, holidays, etc. are all the same as long as you are consistent.

    You may find that posting on weekends get less traction, probably for a blog as big as problogger with huge readership.

    But for smaller blogs, weekends is usually the time they get more readers, since there is lesser competition. Those people surfing during weekends may be doing it on a regular basis and thus finding your blog being updated during this time actually builds loyal readers. Huge blogs don’t get updated during weekends and it is the time for smaller blogs to build readership.

  10. As a new blogger and a good representative of my target audience, I don’t post more than twice a week. I used to frequent a blog that was updated daily, but comments on posts from previous day’s posts weren’t welcomed. That fast pace turned me off as a reader, so I didn’t want to do that to my own readers.

  11. This is so true, weekend traffic always dips for my readership and by tuesday has picked up greatly…by saturday it’s back down. I find tuesday-thursday are best days to post.

  12. Darren, This has me thinking quit a bit. On my blog http://www.stumbleforward.com I currently release my content around noon because this is the first chance I get to look at it. I have been considering releasing my articles in the early morning hours to give those that check there RSS in the mornings a chance to see my articles.
    However I also have another problem. I have been blogging for nearly a month and have been releasing one article a day, 5 days a week. This may not seem like much but I have a full time job trying to run a part time business. Along with spending time with my family and liezure time it can be hard to find extra time to get things done. I’m spending time on my lunch hour just to get post together so I could have them ready for the next day. Recently I have felt some of my content has suffered because it feels as if I’m just trying to beat a deadline. So as a result, so my content doesn’t suffer I have decide to put out 3 great pillar articles a week so I can focus on bringing in more quality content.
    Do you think this is a good idea or do you think it would be better to produce more content? What would you do?
    I am interested to hear what your thoughts are.

  13. My posting schedule is constrained by my work and family schedule. I usually post late in the evening (US west coast time) which means new posts are up in the morning.

    I do think that different audiences are reading at different times, depending on their lifestyles. so it’s worth paying attention to your particular niche and readers.

  14. Valerie says:

    Hi Darren,

    This post really gave me something to think about. My blog is only a few months old and I am still learning. But I never gave any consideration to the time I post. I just write, edit, let it sit for an hour or so, re-read and if all is well, I post.

    So what I need to do is start paying attention to when people are reading my blog. I don’t have much traffic yet so it is probably not an issue, but I think I should get into the habit of checking the timing so when I do have a lot of readers (I’m thinking positive) I can track their reading habits.

    Thanks! :)

  15. DoctorWill says:

    This was a great article, in part because it made me rethink the reasons for posting when I do (and in the end, I’m good with what I’m doing…for now, anyway). I live on the East Coast of the US and I set mine to publish at 3am. That way, it’s got the correct date for any reader in the lower 48 (sorry, Alaska and Hawaii), it’s ready for viewing as soon as people get to work, and, since a good chunk of my readers are in Southeast Asia, it gets out there in the middle of their afternoon before they leave the office. So far, so good.

  16. Timing posts is like day trading stocks. I prefer to think of my blog as a long-term investment.

    If my posts are so uncompelling that a few hours’ time will make or break them, then maybe I’ve got bigger problems to address?

  17. I have tried a few different times, but have found that posting early in the morning (Melbourne time) is most effective. From reading other bloggers in my demographic (parents), a lot seem to go through their readers/check out blogs in the morning.

  18. Scary Mommy says:

    I’ve found posting around 11 pm EST is the best way for me to get comments. Most of my readers seem to be West Coasters, so I guess that works for them. It’s easiest for me to post right before bed, so it’s a win-win.

  19. Victory1 says:

    I bought your ProBlogger book Secrets for Blogging Your Way to a Six-Figure Income. I am still digesting the material however, I have learned consistency is crucial. I experimented with a blog in the past, posting everyday and found I had a few readers. Problem was I burned out. I took your advice, from your book, and wrote blogs scheduling publishing.

    It might be best for some to start daily to have a quick build on your blog and then ask your readers if they prefer daily or weekly reports. I think we need to ask our readers what they want and need so we can fill their needs. The results include more readers, faithful readers and more links to our blog in our reader’s emails (word of mouth promotion). Just my thoughts and Darren & Chris, great book.

  20. I try and post daily, but don’t kill myself if I can’t. I get much more activity in the morning–especially from the east coast–so I try and have my post up my midnight my time. That way, if night owls are up, they can comment and if east coasters check my blog first thing, they have something new to look at.

    I haven’t tried letting an important post sit, but I did notice that my comments increased on one specific post simply because I went on vacation, wasn’t aware I wouldn’t have internet or computer access, and therefore, didn’t have guest posts lined up. In other words… I accidentally got lucky and had the highest amount of comments in my history.

  21. Andre says:

    The hyperlocal gets several posts a day, but we try to put the important ones up at 10 a.m. and between 1 – 2 p.m. We almost never post during the weekend, just because a lot of folks are no where near their computers around here (especially during American college football season).

  22. Fascinating topic. I try to post a few times per week, usually at the start of the U.S. business day. This has more to do with the organization of my day than a quest for maximum traffic, but it seems to work well. I usually see a little surge in traffic in the late afternoon (EST) hours; I’m not sure what to attribute that to.

    As suggested in Darren’s original post, I find that pickup by other bloggers often takes 2-3 days. There’s a lot of random behavior there, though. Overall, I try to create good posts and release them when they are done… I’ll delay a post for a day if I think it needs more work. Quality (at least as I define it!) trumps timing every time.

    Roger

  23. press says:

    Timing considerations you need to take when publishing a new blog post.

  24. I was recently asked what it takes to become a writer. Three things, I answered: first, one must cultivate incompetence at almost every other form of profitable work. This must be accompanied, second, by a haughty contempt for all the forms of work that one has established one cannot do. To these two must be joined, third, the nuttiness to believe that other people can be made to care about your opinions and views and be charmed by the way you state them. Incompetence, contempt, lunacy ? once you have these in place, you are set to go.JosephEpsteinJoseph Epstein

  25. I find that posting articles early in the day Mon-Wed give the best results (for the reasons already mentioned here).

    Also, if you post early in the day on those days, you have a full 24hrs of prime time to promote your article on Digg, so if the article does gain traction, it has the best chance of being well positioned in Digg.

  26. Saurabh says:

    I try to post at least 5 times a week. I used to write without timing considerations, and I came to know that I am not producing quality content. I posted 10 times a week. But the quality wasn’t good.

    So now after reading your post, I will write only 5 times a week in the noon to produce some quality content.

  27. JR Griggs says:

    Trying my first timed post set for Monday morning. It is tough because as a new blogger I am eager to get each post out there as fast as possible.

    Did a search on post timing and who would’ve guess Problogger is top of the search list! lol Eventually I will just go here every time.

  28. I set my posts to publish between 6 and 7 am EST. Most of my readers are in the US, so that means the first time they check my blog that day there’s something new.

  29. clickeran says:

    I generally post by 10am(IST)
    GMT+5:30=IST

  30. Anand says:

    Ya! if we post at the early morning then the readers will think it as a new post and they will show more interest in reading the news.. So i will update the post dates regularly.. :-)

  31. Philip Nowak says:

    Darren,

    Great information! I personally have noticed that I get no traction to my blog or my twitter account during the weekends. For this reason, I like to post a few less important blog posts or pictures on the weekend to allow my audience a chance to relax.

    I did notice, however, that I get an explosion of activity on Monday morning as people tend to still be in weekend mode when they come into work. I post my more meaningful content in the morning around 6am so that the early birds can enjoy my blog with their coffee or catch up on it when they arrive at work.

    There is also a lull in blog/twitter traffic between 4pm and 8pm as most people are commuting home or eating dinner. I use this time to catch up on email responses and/or twitter @replies. As a result of my activity and relationship building, I see a spike in blog traffic/twitter follow alerts after 8pm.

    -Philip Nowak
    @philipnowak

  32. Roberto says:

    I think that sometimes it is very important to publish in certain dates, for example, christmas, easter, summer… For my niche, cooking, it is very important and in these cases I can double the daily traffic to my site.

    Roberto Peralta