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When to Publish Blog Posts – Timing Considerations

Posted By Darren Rowse 15th of September 2008 Featured Posts, Writing Content 0 Comments

Timing-Blog-PostsOver the last few weeks we’ve been looking at important times to pause in the writing and publishing of a post. Each of these stages in the development of a blog post can contribute to whether a post makes it big around the web or not. Today we’re considering the time that you publish your post.

Image by SunnyUK

What Time Should You Publish Your Blog Post? – Factors to Consider

As I chat with bloggers I find that there are a lot of different opinions on when the best time is to hit publish on a blog post. Some pay a lot of attention to it and have studied what works best with their audience, while others go with a hunch and still others don’t think it really matters at all and just publish posts as they finish them (I’d love to hear your thoughts in comments).

In my own experience and in talking to other bloggers I find that timing issues vary quite a bit from blog to blog depending upon its audience and topic.

Let me explore some of the potential issues to consider:

Weekends

The day of the week that you publish can have a big impact upon how many people read it. While RSS feeds might mean some of your readers will read posts published when they are away from their computer I find that posts that go live on weekends tend to get a lot less traction than weekday posts. The exception to this is of course for blogs with a topic that is weekend specific (sports or certain TV shows for example). The other advantage of weekends is that I find it can be easier to crack the front page on sites like Digg as there seems to be less competition.

Mid Week

If I have a very important post that I want to get as much attention as possible I generally will publish it on a Tuesday or Wednesday morning (my time). This gives a few days after the post is written for it to be found, linked to, bookmarked etc before the weekend arrives (and momentum stops) – but means that those in catchup mode after the weekend have a little more time to digest the post.

Public Holidays

I tend to avoid posting anything important on public holidays days as web readership is lower (I’m thinking mainly of US specific public holidays as that is where my main audience is located on my two blogs). Having said this – I do find that sometimes posts on public holidays can do quite well as some readers have more leisurely type time on their hands.

On DPS I find ‘reader questions’ type posts and posts that have a more ‘fun’ nature do well on both weekends and public holidays. The main exception to the ‘avoid public holidays’ rule is when you have a blog that relates to one of them. For example I know a recipe blogger whose biggest day of the year is Thanksgiving (they have a lot of Turkey cooking tips that do particularly well).

Times of Day

My main advice with thinking about the time of day to publish posts is to test what works with your audience. My own daily posting schedule is to have something new up on my blogs at about midnight my time (which is first thing in the business day in the USA) – I try to make this my main post for the day, something that is teaching focused if possible. This means that those scanning their RSS feeds when they get to work (I know you do it) have something fresh to read and ponder during the day. I then usually have a post that goes live in the afternoon (US time) – but this post is usually a ‘lighter’ newsy post.

The key is to know where your readers are situated and watch how posts at different times of the day (and days of the week) are interacted with (both in terms of traffic but also comments and incoming links).

What I find is that it works best to be a little preemptive with your readers. ie if you have a peak time that readers come to your blog time your posts just before this time so there’s something fresh for when they arrive.

Give Posts Room to Breathe

Another tip that I’d give with regards to timing is to think about the sequence of posts and how often they go live on your blog. I think about this on two main levels:

  • Giving Important posts Room to Breathe – got a post that you really want people to notice? If so, I’d advise that you post it not only at a good time of day, but that you don’t post anything after it for a while. If it’s a really important post you might even want to not post again for a day or two so that it remains at the top of your blog.
  • Topics and Variety – sometimes too many posts on a similar topic too quickly can have a negative impact upon readers. Try to mix up different types of posts.

Social Media Campaigns

One occasion that ‘timing’ can be particularly important is if you want to do some sort of a social media campaign with a post. For example, if you’re looking to have a post do well on Digg it can be important to have the post go live, have it submitted to Digg and for a Digg This button to go up on the post all very quickly. This means that as soon as it’s live and the initial rush of new visitors to the post have the opportunity to Digg it.

Some social media experts that I know also advise you to time these posts that you think will do well on social media sites for early to mid morning (US time) so that the most visitors on Digg can be involved in promoting the post for you (again, I’ve heard a variety of opinions on this).

Less Can Equal More = Except When it = Less

Posting frequency is one of those topics that I get asked about a lot and it’s a tough one to give an ‘definitive’ answer on because like many aspects of blogging, what works for some won’t work for others.

Instead of a long section on the ins and outs of posting frequency – let me point you at a post dedicated to exploring the issues at – What is the Ideal Post Frequency for a Blog?

Further Reading on Post Timing:

When Do You Publish Your Posts?

  • Do you give consideration to the timing of your blog posts?
  • If so – when do you publish them – and why?

I’m looking forward to hearing your experience on this topic.

Read the Full Series

This post is part of a series on how to craft blog posts. It will be all the more powerful if taken in context of the full series which looks at 10 points in the posting process to pause and put extra effort. Start reading this series here.

About Darren Rowse
Darren Rowse is the founder and editor of ProBlogger Blog Tips and Digital Photography School. Learn more about him here and connect with him on Twitter, Facebook, Google+ and LinkedIn.
  • I typically like to launch my posts around 7 am east coast time. Then if I write a 2nd post I’ll do it around 8 pm east coast time. Most of my traffic comes from organic search results so I’m not sure the time makes that much difference for my site.

  • I think even blogs have their own brands. Blog such as yours is now an established brand. People who have subscribed will read it, except for weekends of course when they are busy spending time with friends/family.

    But I am sure Darren they will read the post the following Monday.

    Unfortunately the story of not so popular blogs is different. People like us need to calculate every small step we take even if it’s the timing of posting a blog.

    You have “Been There Done That”. So relax, have a cup of coffee, write and post at your will.

  • I was just reading about this last week on some other blogs. I’ve been posting everyday since I started my blog at the end of July. But I started to feel that there were some disadvantages to this. For one, I didn’t feel that I could put out the quality every day that I might if I had a few off days during the week. Also, I found that there certainly are better times to post and that just putting something out day after day wasn’t always the best rout. Like you said, if you have a good post, the worst thing you can do is have it buried by new posts within a few days time.

    So this is my new schedule that I’m trying out:

    Posting Days: Monday-Tuesday-Wednesday-Friday

    Posting Time: Early morning USA Eastern time.

    I also think that if you bombard your readers with too much they will get overwhelmed and may even unsubscribe. Sometimes people just want a few really good posts to chew on each week and not be hit with something new each and every day.

    We’ll see how it goes.

  • It is obvious there is no one answer to the question of frequency of blog post. I read the headlines of my local paper first thing each morning, have been doing that for years. I call my carrier when it is late or not there.

    I open Darrens Problogger post as soon as it arrives. (It is one of three I read each day, because I usually learn something new or I gain a new perspective on a topic) When it does not arrive, I cannot remember the last time that happened, I wonder what is wrong.

    The obstacle for us new bloggers is getting from 0 to 60 or from the beginning to having faithful followers.

    Thanks for providing the insight.

    Glenn Seymour
    Raleigh NC.

  • Hmm, yeah interestingly enough I’ve been doing a lot of thinking about this sort of thing lately. For me, it seems that I get a lot more visitors throughout the day if I post between 11 am-2pm my time.

    I’m not entirely sure for the reasoning of that yet, but I’m up in Canada. Perhaps, it’s just a better time of day for the rest of the active web users out there.

    I guess, some more testing would be a good thing to do as well.

    Thanx Darren

    As always…enjoy your posts

    Davin

  • It’s really nice to get out of bed and have your post in my email box this morning, so maybe Monday mornings early are best! I try to post every day but something always comes up, but I do at least make sure I post 3 times a week. And you know, this is interesting and something you probably already know. I believe that people open email first before they start on any other projects on here. Not that I don’t love you to death because I do, but would I have stopped and gone over to ProBlogger to read your latest post? Seriously and I am a big fan, but where I do a lot of work on here, no, that wouldn’t have even occurred to me. Had I not signed up for your feed, I would have never “found the time” to get over to your blog; thus, your blog post did get read, I stopped long enough to comment and I learned something this morning. I believe feeds are one of the most important things a blog can have. Create great content such as what you do to get people to sign up and bingo bango, that’s the secret to a large readership.

  • Great post. I think about this practically every day. Regarding weekend posts, I tend to throw in lighter posts as my stats suggest that readership falls off significantly on those days.

    I try to schedule my posts at around midnight Eastern Time US. As I try (though not always) to get a few posts knocked out at a time, I schedule them for the next day, and so on.

    I see some traffic from outside the U.S. (UK and Australia mostly). Though there isn’t significant traffic early in the day, I take it on faith that getting it out first thing is the way to go.

  • I try to post early in the morning or later in the evening. My posts are meant for 15-25 year olds who use YouTube. This seems to be the peak surfing times for my demographic.

  • This is a great post. I have found on my entrepreneurial blog that it doesn’t matter loads when I post my article as long as I post one everyday (usually around the same time).
    I tend t post less important articles on the weekend (such as providing my readers links to other great articles) and I like to post my best articles mon, tues, wednesday.
    However, I am still testing this on my site and as the readership is growing (currently about 4,000 uniques per month) I can see more clearly what works and what doesn’t.

    I am a strong believer in publishing at the same time every day though. That way people will always know that there is a new post and they will have an opportunity to read it at the same time each and every day.

    You are right about the less = more except when it = less
    When starting a blog I think you should post at least once per day, but then when your blog is established (like zenhabits) you can post just once every 2 days or 3 days because the comments carry on the conversation. But when starting out you definately need to be posting every single day so readers can continually come back for new information (because you need to give them as many reasons as possible to return).

    I think giving important posts room to breathe is important to allow conversation in the comments section to go on, also joining in this conversation while your post is ‘breathing’ can bring even more traffic as users return and return to read the replies to their comments.

    All in all this is a great post Darren and something that needs even more research

  • This is where having a good analytics package such as Google Analytics or Woopra is vital, because you can see when you receive traffic and keep an eye on it.

    But having said that, I have to agree with your observations, Darren, about when to post. I’ve found them all to be true in my own experience.

    If a blogger is using WordPress, posts can be published at any time in the future by setting the date and time, which makes perfect timing a breeze.

  • I have been trying to post at varied times in the day. While I have noticed some differences in times, generally the posts have the most traction when posted before the workday starts.

    People walk into work and initially check their emails then head to my site and start forwarding links around to friends.

  • All our posts are published before 5am as this is the time Goofle Feedburner sends out the email to our suscribers. This way, everyone will have the post for the day first time in the morning, or at least as soon as they turn on their computers.

  • I’m still experimenting with post frequency, but I think the key point that you mentioned is that it “depends”. There’s no golden rule because every blog is different and has different types of readers. That’s why it’s important to get a good, accurate stat tracker and experiment until you find the best posting situation for your blog.

  • I’ve been playing with the best time of day to post over the last few months. I find (for my schedule) after dinner and everything has settled down is the best time for me to post. When I was trying to post first thing in the morning when I had more time constraints was more stressful. In the evening, the only thing I have to do after my post is sleep! Of course this plan would not be necessary if I had posts prepared ahead of time! I’ll work on that!

  • I give no consideration for timing at the moment. When it’s written it gets posted and left for a couple of days until I’ve written the next one. You might think it’s not an ideal way to start a new blog but I decided it was more important just to launch the blog and build it from there. The eternal tinkering with every aspect of blogging prior to launch would have meant delaying indefinitely

    I don’t disregard what you’re saying, you give fantastic advice, and I might not have started at all had it not been for your site and your book, but I’m just going to run with this approach for a while and see where I am then.

    Thanks. Dave

  • My post is the last thing I do before I fall to sleep, so it’s usually after Midnight. I just hit publish, and it’s already the next day. Then when I wake up, I answer all the comments.

  • I personally post everyday. I generally have a number of posts that I have written and schedule them in advance or leave them in draft mode until I am ready to publish. I have gotten into the habit of posting around midnight so that it is picked up by readers and arrives in inboxes.

    For the weekend I will post mostly light reading and generally short posts. Since traffic is slower this makes sense to me.

    Posts that I believe will have high impact I generally post mid-week.

  • I definitely give this a lot of thought. I don’t always publish much on weekends, although I do find time to write then, but I just save those posts for use during the week (and I like to give them some time to breathe before posting them). I like to publish early in the day, like 5 or 6 am, so that it can get spread through my networks while people are around!

  • I write for a few european based blogs and follow the above advice to a T. I’ve tested various times of the day, and find that if I digg something anywhere between quarter after nine, and ten thirty, I have the best chances of getting promoted. Just my $.02.

  • I tend to publish late at night (central time) simply because that’s when I have the time to write. Many of my readers are night owls, so it works for me.

  • Being a British blog with a mostly American audience has always made it difficult for me to judge what is the best time to send my posts out into the world… so I aim for just getting up time in America and hope that my tiny British audience are taking a tea break at the same time…

    Big thanks as usual Darren for clarifying something I frequently ponder.

  • nice post like usually ;)
    thanks for sharing the knowledge…
    in Indonesia, midday is also a good time to post blog…
    i get ton of visitor when i post in this time…
    Thanks Darren :)

  • I write my posts at night. I have a day job so can’t do posts during the day. I set posts for publish after midnight, Eastern Time so there’s a post, at least, every new day.

    I have a personal blog and my topics are random therefore constant flow to keep up isn’t there. I focus on posting original material – pieces, photos, videos – and try to balance them out throughout the week.

    I usually end up posting more during weekends because I am able to do more work. For me, the only Social Networking site I use regularly is Stumble Upon. I don’t do Digg.

    The timing doesn’t matter in my case, most of the time, because my readers get full content from my blog to their readers. Most of my posts are set to publish between 12 – 2 am (ET). That is more to keep me disciplined and post regularly.

    I don’t force myself, however, to post every night. I’ll skip days when I don’t feel it. Blogging should be fun, and not a chore.

  • Yes, I usually post this afternoon. Because most of the traffic I get from USA, that’s why I only publish at afternoon. I think, you should analyze where most of your reader come from before you post it.

    I’m sure Darren get more than 30% traffic from Asia, like Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, and Philipine. http://trends.google.com/websites?q=https://problogger.com&sa=N

    So what will you do? Will you only use one location aspect to determine the time to publish post?

  • For my mind mapping articles I have decided to post weekly on the Tuesday late morning (GMT). It works for me as blog is quite small at the moment. Posting on a Tuesday also gives my post time to get exposure during the day and for the upcoming week.

  • This is absolutely the best information I’ve read in regards to blogging in a long time! I’ve been thinking about this lately and wondering what others do and their thoughts on the subject.

    Thank you so much for this post.

  • I really don’t get this “when to post” thing. Does it really makes a difference if you publish a post on Sunday and nothing on Monday? I mean, people that use to read posts on Monday will read it on that day and people that find ’em on Sunday will read ’em on Sunday. What am I missing? Why do you say on Monday there will be more traction? Add the visit of Sunday and Monday and they will be the same as if you posted only on Monday…

  • I have a food blog, so I usually post one early morning may be around 6-7AM Central time and the other around 8-9pm central. But mostly i try not to post anything in between. I may need to do more analysis in this reg. Your post was really helpful.Thanks dude!

  • I have a food blog, so I usually post one early morning may be around 6-7AM Central time and the other around 8-9pm central. But mostly i try not to post anything in between. I may need to do more analysis in this reg. Your post was really helpful.Thanks buddy!

  • Neil

    Darren, thanks for the very timely post. This is something I was pondering on the train into work this morning. I’m in the research phase of planning my blog (I hope to launch it at the end of October) and have been giving some serious consideration to this topic.

    I think I’ll do as you suggest and try a few options, especially as it will be a fresh blog, and see what my results are.

  • Excellent post, Darren! I liked the weekend part the best, cause I’ve heard everyone nagging about how bad it is to post on weekends, and you finally came up with some positive aspects.

    The optimal post frequency also depends on how old is your blog, in my opinion. For example, if you have a fresh new blog, even 3-4 posts can’t hurt (I’m working on it :)), but when you have a blog like yours with a large readership, I don’t think it makes a really big difference even if you don’t post for a day or two, cause you already have a great number of a posts in the archives people can browse everytime (see: stevepavlina.com)

  • i post in the morning Pacific time (late morning Eastern time) Monday through Friday. I very rarely post on weekends unless there is something very newsworthy. Every once in a while I will post at an odd time…I have a number of non-US readers, so I like to throw a post in here or there for their time.

  • I try to publish around midnight. If I don’t get to writing until the morning, it takes about 2-3 hours for Google Reader to publish my post in the morning. I am still trying to work through the kinks of the entire publishing in reader process.

  • I don’t to know how much important timing is for making post. What I think is important making a post. If your blog is country specific then you can consider timing for post but if it is not then you don’t need to time the posting.

    If you are trying to make US visitors happy then what about the readers of other part of world like India, China, and Japan etc where working timings are different from USA?

    Important is making regular post which helps blog and there readers.

  • I have been wondering about this!

    I dont post on weekends or US holidays. Monday – Thursday are my typical days of the week. I’m going to start around midnight and see what happens.

  • I have recently just changed my posting schedule. My schedule had me posting once every 3 days. Well to many of those posts were falling on weekends/low traffic days, in order to get each post more exposure I have started posting M,W,F which increases the number of posts I make a month by 2 or 3 giving my site more new content and better exposure.

  • My best posting days as far as reader traffic are Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday. I post on Monday and Friday as well, but those posts are shorter and less involved.

    If I have a really important post, it will go up on Wednesday, and my Thursday and Friday posts will be shorter to give it “breathing space.”

    I try to have a mix of post subjects during the week: At least three absolutely on-topic (Anxiety Disorders), with the others being general mental-health topics.

    I tried posting on the weekends, but found that I had few readers then, so I only post Monday-Friday now.

    As for time of day, I like to post around 11 pm US Eastern time. That way it gets into the email Feedburner notification and the readers for the next morning.

    I have not noticed any particular time of day that is more active than others, but that is because I have no other way of measuring it besides sitting with Woopra all day long!

    Great article, as usual!

  • Sal

    I try to set my posts to auto publish at 6:00 AM that way they are posting while I am taking a shower, making breakfast, etc. Then, throughout the day I get to answer the comments and such.

  • Interesting article. I can definitely see where this technique combined with a few other blogging tips could really help a new blogger to gain and maintain an audience. Thanks for the tips!

  • Darren, Nice posts, ideally I like to keep the blog posts with time difference of 24 hours, timing of post probably don’t matter much.

  • I usually post twice a week. Monday mornings and either Wednesday or Thursday. I find this works the best for me.

  • till now i have no idea as to when to publish. I used to do it in one time in a week that too in fridays. anyways! now when Darren says it! i should follow

  • I think that it is necessary to consider, mainly, the segment of postage of each blog. In my case, whose blog is only gone back to the amateur art that myself does, the time for postage is directly related to my creation capacity.

  • I just didn’t cared the timings of my posts. I used to post at any time, even at early morning and midnight!
    But after reading this article, i think timing has a great role to play.
    Thanks Darren.

  • Totally agree with people here. The time doesn’t/shouldn’t matter for people like Darren. I usually clear my rss reader once a week and even if I skip the other posts I read Problogger definitely. That is the benefit of having a popular blog.

    People with less popular blogs like mine (hint hint guys … make it popular … subscribe ;) ) have to think about timing and stuff

  • I like to post Monday a.m. for my first post of the week. As for weekends, I have only to look at the feeds on my BlogLines to see that there’s not much going on.

  • W.T

    Great post. I’ve been reading your blog for a while and finally got around to starting my own. It’s a bit different than from what you see out there but it’s a start. This post is extremely helpful, especially for a beginner to start off with a successful few months.

  • I noticed a significant increase in traffic when I started posting a new post at 1am my time, which is 7am in the UK, for the same reasons. I then try to give each post ~4-5hrs as the ‘featured’ spot, before replacing it.

    Reviews, or posts that I expect to be good for Amazon or links or discussion, I put in the 9am timeslot, as that normally sits front and center until 1am the next day.

  • Denise

    As so often happens Darren with many of your posts, I found this particular one to be extremely helpful. As a newer blogger, I’m in the process of putting together a schedule, among a thousand other things that go along with getting a site up and running. Comments from others was also helpful in giving me more to consider.

  • I have never considered timing at all. I post, check, publish, check, edit if necessary and then save. The only time I have delayed publishing is if when posts are saved in draft mode.