Staying up late and finishing up that blog post for the day can be a great feeling- nothing like accomplishing everything on one’s daily list, including maintaining that pesky blog that requires regular updating. If you’re like me, you’ll often enough find inspiration and focus in the late-night hours. The mind expands and the tasks at hand whittle down until it’s only me and the blank page. Whether by discipline or inspiration, a blog post is soon enough generated.
But wait- are you posting your blog right after finishing it? Is there a “best” time to post your newest entry to maximize views and increase traffic? The momentum generated for each blog post can be maximized, ensuring it’s reaching the most people possible, if one bears in mind certain details about when people view, comment and spread the word.
According to Dan Zarrella, social media scientist at Hubspot (link: http://www.hubspot.com), the timing of your blog post is going to define the traffic results to your post. Beyond initial readers, however, you can use the timing of your blog post to generate return traffic via retweets and Facebook sharing. Zarrella generated an infographic to represent traffic to 170,000 blog posts. It allows you to examine what type of traffic (views, links, comments) occurs in highest frequency throughout the day.
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Throughout the week, late morning tends to be a consistent time slot for reading blogs- even on the weekend. This increase in views can be traced to the heavy commenting and linking that occur throughout the morning, with views fluctuating prior to the late-morning swell. Note how the strong linking activity in the morning is followed by strong commenting activity in the hours following. The late morning swell of views follows both of these high-frequency activities and time slots every day of the week.
This trend is supported by another Zarrella survey (link: http://www.problogger.net/archives/2010/12/06/whens-the-best-time-to-publish-blog-posts/), which indicates that up to 80% of responders read blogs in the morning. By 3-4PM, blog links are experiencing the highest level of retweets and Facebook sharing of the day.
So maybe the late night post is not such a bad idea- like a fresh, warm copy of the morning paper, it’s ready to be viewed by the daytime masses as soon as blog-viewing activity picks up in the AM.
Of course, it’s never enough to just post your newest entry. Tweets and Facebook sharing should occur early in the morning (schedule your tweets ahead of time using HootSuite or another social media tool to catch an extra few winks after your late-night blogging session) to instigate the first wave of views, which will, provided the content is compelling enough, trigger a second wave of late-morning views with the ensuing comment and linking activity.
Beyond the time of day, Zarrella also discovered that even though media and corporate blogs post regularly during the week, entries that are published on the weekend experience an increase of Facebook sharing activity, likely due to increased access to the site (aka, no Facebook access at work!). Saturday afternoon also wins at commenting- it’s the single most frequent time and day slot for people to review blogs and add their two cents.
Ultimately, as Zarrella points out, the best way to increase traffic to your blog goes beyond timing the occasional blog entry correctly- it involves remaining active and posting regularly. The most viewed blogs online post multiple times a day, and multiple days a week, creating an expectation of available content for the reader base to return to.
Since we can’t all quit our day jobs to blog full-time, however, and often relegate the duty to after-hours, timing a blog’s posts to adjust for general internet reading & sharing activity is a great strategy for increasing traffic to your blog. Most blogs allow one to schedule a blog entry to post at a specified time, and this feature, combined with well-timed tweets and Facebook links, can increase the profile of your blog significantly.
Ruth Cisneros is an Online Content Distribution Manager for PR Newswire. She’s a delinquent blogger and an avid Tweeter @RuthECisneros. Need content for your blog? Find out more about becoming a content distribution partner: http://www.prnewswire.com/content-partnership.html