I often wonder if I could be capitalizing on more traffic by getting readers to spend more time on my site and turning them into repeat visitors; if only I had the magic formula of the best time in which to make my posts go live. Over the years, I've come across various research that gave indicators of when to publish; I've read that Wednesday is a GREAT day for traffic, being rationalized that it isn't the start or end of the week, so people have more leisure time to indulge in their favorite blogs. But I've also seen Monday is a great day too! I've also read that during normal weekday working hours, i.e. 9-5pm, is the best time in general because most people do things other than work, such as read blogs, with the time frame of 10-11am being ideal.
I've tried to think of my habits for posting, as well as when I have time to read blogs, and tried to create balance within that, when possible, to correlate the posts to go live, pinged out via the newsletter, and automatically sent to the various social media outlets. I couldn't help but wonder if I was on the right path, so I spoke with a few fellow bloggers to garner some info and advice about what they do so that our IFB community can learn some tips, and possibly even find evidence for the best times/days/ to publish posts and send out newsletters.
Jamie Stone, Queen of the Quarter Life Crisis
“There are a few different schools of thought when it comes to post scheduling. I've tested out quite a few methods but I've noticed that my traffic is best when I schedule posts to go live around 1am PST. It's hard because I'm on the west coast and I do have a lot of east coast readers…I wouldn't want to post something at 9am my time, which would already be noon on the east coast!”
Tricia Lewis, Fashion Herald
“I used to schedule more regularly, but that was when my job was mainly working on the blog. With an expansion of work responsibilities, scheduling has fallen to the wayside. These days I post purely when I have time available, which is usually in the afternoons. I drop all and post immediately when there's retail news I want to cover…But I've often toyed with getting the blog on an early morning posting schedule, and your question has inspired me to test this. First thing I do in bed in the morning is browse my iPhone, and I catch up on some blogs, so this week I started scheduling a few posts before 7am.
We've tested some early morning publishing for our company newsletter, and although open rates weren't as high, the click-throughs were higher. I'm not sure how this will work for blog postings, so I'm curious to test different times. This also makes you assess what is more important for your blog and business: a more engaged customer being driven through your site by your newsletter/blog, or bigger open, “one-hit” numbers.
I'm also by nature a bit of a contrarian. If you tell me ‘studies show 9-11 am is the best time to post on your blog, I'm going to think Great, then I'll post at noon, or two, or four, because who's going to my little blog when everyone's posting content at the same time?!'”
McArthur Joseph, Daily Mister
“I feel like there this not an exact time that will guarantee visits from everybody. It's imperative to pinpoint your target audience and post at a time before they will consume the information. For example, are they reading: during their morning coffee, on lunch breaks, right after school lets out, or late at night during “winding down time?”
Sayeh Pezeshki, The Office Stylist
“I write posts usually early morning or at night (whenever I am most creative) and I make sure they are all scheduled to run before 10 AM PST. Most people on the west and east coast are reading blogs they follow or newsletters in the morning vs. later in the afternoon. I've seen posts that I've published in the late afternoon where it doesn't receive as many hits, tweets, pins or Facebook likes because not many people are reading at that point in the day. Its best to get in front of your audience when they are ready to read/re-tweet content instead of during the off chance they are still browsing on their computer. ”
Julia DiNardo (the author), Fashion Pulse Daily
And my two cents: I feel that like Tricia and McArthur, it's important to know your readers and when they are heading to your site; look at your analytics for some solid proof, and play around with different posting times to see if how it goes. I also get stuck in the rut of racing to get a post up before the scheduled time my newsletter goes out every day, just making it under the gun. Another option is to be candid with your readers– why not just ask them what time they like to go to your site? You can entice them with a sweet giveaway in order to secure answers, offer a guest post spot for those interested if they are willing to do a focus group with you about it etc. Ultimately, it is in their hands as to when they will read your posts, so we not make a personal connection and chat with them about it?