Are You Throwing Away Readers by Posting at the Wrong Time?
Sooner or later it happens to everyone. You knock yourself out putting together a blog post worthy of a Pulitzer Prize, you post it to your blog and … crickets. This was supposed to be the post that pushed your blog into the major leagues. It was supposed to go viral. Everyone would applaud and throw rose petals at your feet. But … nothing. Barely a trickle of traffic. What happened to all of your loyal followers? They’re still out there. You probably just posted at the wrong time.
Yes, even in Cyberspace, timing is everything. While there’s no precise “perfect” time to publish a blog post, there are some guidelines you can use to help narrow it down.
Avoid posting on Saturday and Sunday: You might think the Internet would be busy, like a shopping mall, on Saturday and Sunday. Most people are off work those two days so you expect them to be catching up online with friends and family and maybe playing a few games or shopping. In reality, those are the two slowest days for the Internet because people are catching up with friends and family – offline. They’re shopping at brick and mortar malls – not online.
Avoid Friday, too: Yes, people are at work on Friday and a lot of people work in front of a computer. However, Friday is the day that most people use to clear off their desk, taking care of all those little tasks they’ve been putting off all week. They also use Friday to get organized for the next week. And, when possible, they get out the door for an early start to the weekend – so the last thing they’re going to do is waste time online.
Monday is Better: On Monday, Internet traffic starts picking back up. People are back at their desks or, for those who work from home, the kids are back and school and the chaos of the weekend has subsided. On Monday people start checking their email to see what came in over the weekend. If they’re subscribed to your feed and you publish on Monday morning, you’ll be at the top of their inbox. Keep in mind though that a lot of people use Monday as a meeting day or a day to get organized for the week ahead.
Tuesday is the Best: Early Tuesday morning is typically the best time to publish a blog post if you really want it to be seen. Everybody’s back to work, they’ve caught up with all their emails and organized their calendar for the week, and Tuesday is just a typical day. Now they have time to check out their favorite blogs or see what popped up in their feed readers.
Of course, all of the guidelines go out the window if you blogging in a niche, like gaming or dating, where people actually spend their weekends online because they’re too busy during the week.
There’s also something to be said about your posting regularity and you level of engagement. If you regularly publish a post at 10 p.m. five nights a week, eventually your repeat readers are going to catch on. Break that posting schedule though and skip a few days and you’ll notice a significant drop in traffic.
One way to gauge the best time to post to your blog is to look at your analytics to see when your traffic peaks occur. And if you know you have a killer post ready to publish, hold off for a day. Instead, publish a post to notify your followers that there’s something really great coming up and you don’t want them to miss it.