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When is the Best Time and Day to Publish a Blog Post

Articles about blogging tipsI’ve just updated my article, “When is the Best Time and Day to Post on Your Blog?” Originally published in June of 2006, once a year I update the post, continuing to evaluate when is the best time and day of the week to publish a post on your blog, helping you make your own decisions compared to my experiences and conclusions.

My conclusions then still right true today:

1. It isn’t about when you post, it’s about when the most people visit your blog. You want new content released before they arrive.

2. There are two levels of “traffic” to consider when examining best times and days: 1) blog reading traffic and 2) comments. They could be the same or they could be different.

3. Understanding when is the best time of day to post, you can better time the release of new material.

4. Understanding which day of the week your traffic levels will be the highest helps you target the release of your most “powerful or poignant” content.

5. Societal and cultural calendars impact traffic levels associated with the work days and time habits of your specific audience. In the US, Monday is the first work day of the week, but in some countries, it’s Sunday. Some countries take long breaks in the middle of their day, like a siesta, which may mean more or less traffic depending upon the society’s Internet habits during that break. Other regions start work very early in the morning and close early. Others get moving and active around 9 or 10 in the morning but stay open until 9 or 10 at night. If you write for a specific society, culture, or community, learn the ebbs and flows of their schedules and preferences their online time and habits.

6. Traffic spikes due to listing on Digg, Slashdot, Wired, or other popular traffic-driving sites or social bookmarking services don’t count. They skew everything.

When people ask me in workshops and speaking events on blogging about when they should publish their blog posts, they aren’t really asking when to publish. They are asking:

  • How often should I publish on my blog?
  • What time of day should I publish to get the most readers?
  • What day of the week should I publish to be seen by the most people?
  • What time and day should I publish in order to get the most traffic?
  • What time and day should I publish to get the most comments?

The answers to these questions are different, depending on your end bloggy goals.

How Often Should I Publish on My Blog?

The answer most tell you is to publish when you have content. I agree. When you have something valuable to say, it’s the time to publish – sort of.

I believe in not rushing to the publishing gate every time I have something to say. I like to mull it over, process my thoughts, and gather them together into some sort of well thought out coherency. My readers are looking for information, but many are also looking for insights into how this all works, not just what and why. They want to know how to do it better. Unless I can figure out how to do it better, I’m wasting their time and mine.

You should publish when you have something of quality to share with your readers, and you should publish on a fairly regular basis. This covers you for most of the SEO and PageRank issues, proving you have consistency and perseverance with your blog, but it also shows your readers you are committed to your blog. How often is a matter of perspective and need.

For some, publishing every day is important, for others, many times in a day. If you have that much to say, then say it. Take care not to burn your readers out with feed fatigue, publishing too much information in a short time.

If you only need to publish one or two posts a week, then do so. Just keep publishing fairly consistent and don’t publish just to publish. Publish when you have something of value to share.

There is a more important issue at hand when it comes to determining how often you should publish on your blog. How have you trained your readers?

We Train Our Readers to Perform for Us and Them

Every Tuesday evening, fans of Liz Strauss line up on her blog for Tuesday Open Comment Night where the readers give their all to the blog conversation through the comment box. For about three years, Liz has trained her readers to be there on her blog for conversation and fun. She’s had some really good giggles, too, like The Mic is On: We’re Talking Turkeys, Aliens Leave Behind the Link Leak Virus, Link Leak Virus Attack and a New Record Is Set!, The Mic Is on in Search of Pirates!, The Mic Is on at the Neighborhood Hangout, and The Mic in ON in Tuscany!

Every Wednesday (or Thursday) you will find me in panic mode, gathering up all the WordPress news and information I can find and publishing it for the . People depend upon that, including many WordPress podcasters, to help them learn more about what WordPress is doing and what to expect in the near future. It’s a round up of WordPress news, events, Plugins, Themes, and tips.

If you publish every day at the same or similar time, people expect it. If you miss a few days, people get worried. Some resort to email and comments asking if you are okay. You missed your due date.

We train our readers to show up. Your show up time is different from mine, so the stats I report on in “When is the Best Time and Day to Post on Your Blog?” will be different from yours. If you train them, they will come, so be ready for their arrival.

What Time of Day Should I Publish to Get The Most Readers?

This is a confusing question. Are you publishing to get the most readers who would be regularly visiting your blog at a specific time, or publishing to encourage new readers?

If you are publishing to serve the most regular readers at a specific time, then publish one to three hours before your highest readership levels, which is when the most people are on your blog.

On one blog of mine, most of my readers show up by 9AM EST (USA). The stats stay fairly high until about 5PM EST and then fall off. On another, they show up the most about noon EST, peak at 6PM EST and then rise again about 10PM EST, then drop off immediately.

To serve the most readers on my blog, I’d want that day’s blog content to be published before the group arrives, a few hours before, so it is waiting for them when they arrive. It doesn’t matter when, it’s just there for their visit, like having dinner ready when the guests arrive rather than cooking it while they are there.

In order to maximize the traffic you do have with a return on the investment of that traffic – in other words, encourage them to recommend your post to others, thus attracting new readers and visitors to your blog, the post must be there when the regular readers arrive. From there, it must be something worth recommending. Your readers should take it from there.

What Day of the Week Should I Publish to be Seen by The Most People?

Sidebar Blog CalendarThe same holds true for the previous question of what time of day should you publish to get the most visibility. You publish on the day you generally get the most traffic.

For most of my blogs, the heavy traffic numbers begin Sunday night and continue through Wednesday, falling off about Wednesday afternoon and descending down until Sunday night to repeat. Some don’t start the trend until Monday morning, falling off on Thursday, but that covers the regular high traffic averages.

When evaluating your traffic across the week, you need to look at the traffic from a macro rather than micro perspective.

If you are looking at a single week, it won’t help you evaluate the averages, since some posts will pull in more traffic than others due to their content not the time nor day of the week they are published. Holidays, trends, weather, seasons, disasters – a lot of outside influences can confuse your statistics. When you look at the months across time, you will begin to see the week day averages dip and peak to establish which days of the week are your most heavily visited days.

What Time and Day Should I Publish In Order to Get The Most Traffic?

Like the previous questions, the answer is: it depends.

It depends upon what your goals are. If your goals are to get the most attention to your blog post because you feel it is an important issue that many will respond to and want to share with others, then publish at a time and day before your readers show up, so it’s waiting for them.

If you want to publish in order to increase your blog’s traffic, you need to publish not only before the most traffic arrives, but before the most vocal of your traffic arrives.

To time high quality, “recommendable” content, post content that should get you a good return on links and trackbacks, thus increasing its visibility, you want to publish on a day of the week when you have the most readers, but also the most readers who are likely to blog and have big mouths across the social media networks.

2008 example in November of high traffic on Monday and Tuesdays of each week, and less the rest of the week.

In my ongoing series on Exploring Social Media on the , I write about how to reach out to others and network using new online social media tools, but nothing works better to spread the word than telling those who have the ability to spread the word. Time your posts accordingly and you’ll get good coverage and attention to your blog content.

With the ease of the future post feature, allowing you to publish your blog posts when you want and have time to generate them, then releasing them on a schedule you control, it’s easier than ever to write a great post, schedule it for Monday, and then spend three days promoting it across the social media networks in anticipation of it’s publishing time and date. This encourages attention and traffic so your audience is waiting for it when it comes out the publishing door, much like the wait for the early morning newspapers after the launch of a Broadway production, eager to get the first editions.

There is a lot that goes into making a blog post effective for traffic and visibility that has little to do with the average ebb and flow of your web traffic. However, understanding the best time and day of the week to publish, you can take advantage of the currents to maximize the return.

What Time and Day Should I Publish to Get The Most Comments?

Comments are different from reader visits. Your regular readers arrive when it is convenient to them, and may or may not influence the number of comments you get at any one time. I’ve had blog posts get ten thousand hits a day with nary a comment, while others get 50 visits and 20 comments.

Liz Strauss Comment CounterI’ve had blog posts I was sure would get tons of comments and got two. I’ve also had blog posts that I knew didn’t deserve comments because there was nothing to say other than “Good job. Thanks.” Yet, they got dozens of comments. It’s a hard metric to figure out and plan for and each blog is unique in respect to content and comment results.

In general, gets the most comments early in the week with few by the end of the week. That holds true for the and other blogs I work with, except those that that encourage content-drive comments. Then the comment rate is in direct proportion to the number and content of posts. The more the posts require comments, the more likely they are to get them, irrespective of when they were published.

If you train your readers to comment, especially on regularly scheduled blog posts that encourage comments, then that is the time you will get the most blog interaction, irrespective of traffic.

What Are Your Answers to When Should You Publish on Your Blog?

I can only speak for my stats and experiences, but what about you. With access to improved stats programs and WordPress Plugins like WordPress.com Stats, Google Analytics, and , we have many ways of measuring our blog’s visits and readership and testing the waters to determine when is the best time and day to publish.

What have you learned? Do your numbers match mine? What works best for you and your blog?

UPDATE 2010: When’s the Best Time to Publish Blog Posts? on ProBlogger by HubSpot’s social media scientist, Dan Zarrella, looks at more reliable statistics to help answer the question. The new research looks at modern social media communication and marketing distribution to drive traffic and other data. For the most part, blog reading stats match my own ongoing research. While traffic can arrive at any time, especially when inspired by social media marketing strategies, but when you boil it down to return readers, publish your content before your readers show up, ready to read, whenever that is.

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Copyright Lorelle VanFossen, the author of Blogging Tips, What Bloggers Won't Tell You About Blogging.

32 Comments

  1. Posted December 3, 2008 at 5:52 pm | Permalink

    I just publish posts whenever I feel like it and the post is ready, and don’t worry about it-it’s more spontaneous that way.

    Granted, my blog is not a super high volume one but even if it was, I would still just post ‘whenever’ since really, there is not any one ideal time of day or day of the week so why bother?

  2. Posted December 3, 2008 at 11:52 pm | Permalink

    As for me, I publish posts as soon as they appear, regardless of time of day. Although noticed that the biggest comments are written the morning to 10.00 in lunchtime 11.00-13.00 and after 19.00.

  3. Posted December 5, 2008 at 6:53 pm | Permalink

    I’m new at blogging so I haven’t had a chance to notice a difference when a post makes it to my website. Are there any considerations to how many posts per day? Do search engines discount people that post too much? Thanks for the info and I’ll try to keep this in mind!

    • Posted December 5, 2008 at 11:14 pm | Permalink

      Consistency is rewarded by search engines, but so far, nothing I’ve seen penalizes a site for publishing too much, unless they publish in a spam fashion such as 100 to 2000 posts a day. That’s just out of proportion and reality.

  4. Posted December 5, 2008 at 11:38 pm | Permalink

    I publish on a schedule on all three of my blogs. The two highest traffic ones get three posts a week, the blogging one (linked to in my name) gets two posts a week. I could probably post more, especially while I’m trying to build traffic, but I strongly subscribe to the theory of ‘less posting for better content’. Other than that, I agree that training your readers is quite important- if they know that you only publish three times a week, then it’s not a disappointment that you don’t publish more often.

    I’d rather have something valuable to contribute to the conversation, and publish less often, than add to the junk out there floating around on the blogosphere.

  5. Posted December 6, 2008 at 8:11 am | Permalink

    Hey I have been looking for this kind of post for long time. You know what, I met the same thing before as you. It’s really great for you to share the experience. Thanks!

  6. Posted December 8, 2008 at 2:17 pm | Permalink

    Often a post is event-driven, and you want to get it out as soon after the event as possible. A WP.com-oriented example: when I saw the post announcing blavatars, I was confused, realized why, and wanted to post asap in case my explanation helped others. Avatars, Blavatars, and Gravatars.

  7. Posted December 15, 2008 at 2:11 am | Permalink

    Lorelle,

    I’ve recently been reading your blog and was inspired to write a post today. I think your readership may find it interesting as it’s a different perspective on blogging. You can read the post at 153 Reasons Why Blogging Isn’t For You. Let me know what you think.

  8. sososher
    Posted January 16, 2009 at 9:25 am | Permalink

    Hi Lorelle,

    Very interesting post, thanks.
    Oh and where/how did you get that cool signature showing the pen?

  9. Keith Davis
    Posted June 25, 2010 at 11:19 am | Permalink

    Hi Lorelle
    No simple answer about best day to publish but lots to think about.
    I might go for Sunday… no big deal if I get it wrong because I only publish about once a month.
    Thanks for an interesting read.

  10. jaco223
    Posted July 23, 2010 at 4:25 pm | Permalink

    Lorelle

    I try to publish middle of the week, and again Sunday evenings. Not an esy task to tell when the best time is …

    Continued Success Lorelle …!

  11. Posted July 24, 2010 at 2:56 pm | Permalink

    I would think that the best time to publish on a blog is on the weekend. When your work week is over and hopefully you’ll have time to get your thoughts together and then publish them.

  12. James
    Posted July 28, 2010 at 12:40 am | Permalink

    There is no concrete answer on when is the best day to post. everyday is a good day to post a blog, just make sure it is relevant and the title and content are compelling.

    • Posted July 28, 2010 at 9:49 am | Permalink

      @James: This is not true. If you do your research, per the article’s suggestion, you will see the numbers speaking for themselves. IF your goal is to have fresh content there when your visitors arrive. If you are writing timeless content, they can arrive at any time on any post and this is unimportant. If you are in the business of news, then this data is critical.

  13. Greg
    Posted August 5, 2010 at 11:02 pm | Permalink

    Publish when you feel good. Do it while you can..
    Have a great day.

  14. Miguel Guedes de Sousa
    Posted August 6, 2010 at 7:34 am | Permalink

    I completely agree about this that’s why I believe that a good site analytics tool is also important because with good site analytics,bloggers and site admins will know the behavior of the site traffic.

  15. آگهی رایگان
    Posted August 19, 2010 at 5:46 am | Permalink

    I just publish posts whenever I feel like it and the post is ready, and don’t worry about it-it’s more spontaneous that way.

    Granted, my blog is not a super high volume one but even if it was, I would still just post ‘whenever’ since really, there is not any one ideal time of day or day of the week so why bother?

  16. Posted August 19, 2010 at 5:48 am | Permalink

    Hi Lorelle,
    Thank u for this usable post

    Have a great day.

  17. Cabaran
    Posted August 20, 2010 at 6:24 pm | Permalink

    Do I need to track the incoming traffic to my blog to do implement this? How long do you think I should watch my traffic before I can applied it?

    My blog is quite new and have small visitor daily, can it be applied in my situation?

    • Posted August 21, 2010 at 5:09 pm | Permalink

      LOL! Yeah, you need to track your traffic stats in order to test this for your site. Doesn’t matter the size of your site. When the most people show up, you want posts on the site waiting for them.

  18. Posted August 31, 2010 at 12:31 pm | Permalink

    this is very informational just like when a moving company moves your house people prefer to be viewing/moving in the morning because later in the day people do not have the time necessary to view anything they are just busy taking care of their own business!

  19. Kris Dupont
    Posted September 15, 2010 at 4:54 am | Permalink

    I didn’t really realize until today that the timing plays a good role in publishing a blog. Great article!

  20. JS
    Posted September 23, 2010 at 5:28 am | Permalink

    I was just blasting my posts as soon as I finished writing them. It make sense to set a time to publish them, especially if you are publishing more than one blog posts everyday.

  21. Alex
    Posted October 5, 2010 at 10:27 am | Permalink

    Hey! Very informational post! I read it and agree, I bet you worked a lot on it too. Now here’s the bad part: I’ll still only publish Thursdays to Sundays. Why? I got used to it that way since I have Thursdays, Saturdays and Sundays free, and I’m just too lazy to change that, most of us are.
    However, since I hate seeing good advice go to waste, I’ll try to put it into practice. Must fight…the…laziness….

  22. maagzuur
    Posted April 19, 2011 at 6:31 pm | Permalink

    Great read! I mostly make a post in middle of the week. And my commitment is to post at least twice a week, not always happening though :-)

  23. Posted May 21, 2011 at 11:01 am | Permalink

    Hi, I personally never thought that blogging time was so important, through this article I learned new things and I got new ideas, really seems to me a very informative article and I’ll take it into account.

    thanks.

  24. Edward Tomilloso
    Posted June 4, 2011 at 5:31 pm | Permalink

    A dependable mentor of mine that is pretty fluent in Search Engine Optimizing (SEO) once told me to set all post to 4am. This has been the standard if you really want Google to pick up your post right away first thing in the morning. I have been able to track that I have had people search terms on Google and find my site because of that.

    One more thing that I have done is carried around a green notebook specifically for blog topics! This way, I can take time in my week to write all of them then have them scheduled to go out weeks, even months, out.

    Thanks for this very relevant topic!

    • Posted June 4, 2011 at 10:39 pm | Permalink

      Great tips. Having a notebook or some method of keeping notes is excellent. I have long promoted using the future post feature, an excellent way to make your blog work for you not you for your blog.

      However it always saddens me when people publish for Google and not for their readers. While visitors may find your site through search engines, my return readers have my highest priorities.

  25. Dietas Adelgazar
    Posted September 20, 2011 at 11:22 am | Permalink

    Yes, I personally never thought that blogging time was so important, through this article I learned new things and I got new ideas, really seems to me a very informative article and I’ll take it into account.

  26. Posted December 4, 2011 at 5:20 am | Permalink

    Very good article. Thank you very mutch Lorelle
    Cheers

  27. آگهی
    Posted July 23, 2013 at 7:28 pm | Permalink

    I like to post early in the morning to catch some of the readers before they get busy with work. I also notice that most people visit my site early int he morning 7-10AM and then around noon.


22 Trackbacks/Pingbacks

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  15. [...] I started thinking about what to write this morning. I’d done some reading yesterday about the best time to publish a post. I gave it some thought, and decided to blog about [...]

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