When is the best time to publish posts on my blog?
This is actually a fairly easy question to answer, you just need to look at the numbers. The best time to post on your blog is when the most number of people are going to be around to read it.
Obviously the habits of your readers will depend upon your demographic and niche; a blog based on being a young parent will be busy at different times of the day to a blog about hacking. Here is a rough guide to what you can expect from a fairly typical site.
Looking at Seopher.com
I've taken this month as my sample (November 1st - 25th) which constitutes a reported 70,227 pages served. To work out the best time/day to publish, I just need to aggregate this information into the right format.
What day of the week should I post?
This is the most important one to consider; a person's mentality changes throughout the week, so you'll see more traffic on some days than others. I've taken the logs from Seopher.com and charted them by day:
What we're seeing is the number of pages served on each day throughout the week. The weekend is famously less busy than weekdays for blogs so I'd recommend against writing then. Mondays tend to show an increase as users get back to work and check out what's new on the Internet. Tuesday slows down and then Wednesday to Friday picks up as apathy sets in.
So there is your answer - Wednesday to Friday are your best hopes. Unless you post on a daily basis, in which case this next graph is useful for you:
What time of day should I post?
This is an important factor for those who publish on a daily basis rather than a weekly. Different hours of the day have differing levels of popularity - surprisingly posting when 90% of the US is in bed is a bad idea. True, the Internet is always on and active - because when it's night where you are, it's day somewhere else. But most blogs tend to cater for a US audience and this one is no different.
Here is the same concept; pages against the hour they were served:
So as you can see, the early hours are much quieter than during core business hours. Between 23:00 and 04:00 the number of pages served dropped to around 2,100. However, this figure increases dramatically once people are awake for their working day.
Rather inexplicably the most pages are served at 07:00, I would have expected the most to be served between 12:00 and 13:00 (the average lunchtime) or maybe between 09:00 and 10:00. Rule of thumb here dicates that publishing your content sometime before midday would make sense, to ensure the working world can read it on their lunch break.
The rule of thumb set by email marketers
Whenever doing email marketing, the rule of thumb is to have your email campaign land on Wednesday afternoon for maximum impact. This way you're hitting the tide just right; users are at their most receptive on this day - they're not pre-occupied with wasting time before the weekend starts nor are they trying to catch up at the start of the week. Wednesday 11:00 - 14:00 is typically the best time for email marketing, so I'd imagine it's not a bad idea to publish your latest content at a similar time.
The graphs for Seopher.com seem to back up this statement.
So there you go, just have a look at your statistics (using Google Analytics, AWstats, Mint or whatever else you might use) and collate your own to see when your visitors are visiting; that way you can publish at a time that's ideal for your demographic.
I appreciate the irony that I published this on a Tuesday.
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