When Should I Post – AKA 9:34 AM – 30 Day Blogging Challenge

Hey, quick intentional tangent. Are my pictures showing up with a pink hue over them? Everything looks fine in draft mode but wanted to check something on my blog and went to the actual version. Most of the pictures, especially the feature picture, were all pinked out. Could someone comment please and let me know if you see the same thing. Better yet, if you see the same thing, do you have any ideas on how to fix that?

We’ve talked a little about frequency of posting. To summarize, your blog posting frequency should be in line with the expectations of your target reader, i.e. your intended reader. A political blog or what’s in the news type blog could easily be updated daily or even multiple times a day. A reader who is expecting you to bring them the news or, at least, offer your unique perspective on the news, will not feel like they are being spammed with frequent posts. You can talk about Moscow Mitch in the morning and Sleepy Joe Biden in the afternoon…….I took a swipe at both sides, so don’t get excited. This isn’t a political blog and I’m not taking sides……..here. On the other hand, if you are blogging about top things to do in your town of 3000 people…….you probably need a little gap time in between posts.

See the source image

But the question comes up of what is the best time to post on your blog or what is the best time to post on social media. To a certain degree, you need to understand your target customer a bit and the niche that you are trying to fill. Posting about how service X can really save your business money on the weekend, probably won’t get the traction is would than if you posted it during business hours. On the other hand, if the businesses you are trying to reach our more typically side gig type business (MLM, Uber driver, etc.), you may do better posting on the weekend. A hangover cure post is more interesting on a Sunday than on a Wednesday……for those of us no longer in our twenties.

Generally speaking, most blogs get better traction when they are posted on a Tuesday or a Wednesday. Usually, Monday is reserved for catching up on personal emails, work emails, hearing about co-worker’s weekends etc. Something posted on a Thursday or Friday may get a few early readers but then people tend to get caught up in their weekend. By the time they are back to reading blogs, your blog has fallen down in priority as other people are posting as well.

The best time of day is between 9:30 AM and 11:30 AM east coast time. I know I follow the habit of getting up in the morning, checking my emails and doing what I must get down. Then a bit later in the morning, I will check out if there is anything interesting posted. I may not check again that day. That, multiplied by a few hundred million, tends to make that mid-morning post more successful than a post posted later in the day. Keep in mind too that 9:30 AM on the east coast is 6:30 AM on the west coast. This range to times does try to target the best time on average across the nation. Local blogs may want to adjust accordingly.

See the source image

Many blogging platforms have a tool that allows you to schedule a post. You can schedule, not only time of day, but also days or weeks ahead. This is a great feature if you aren’t going to be able to dedicate time for your blog and you know it in advance. You can write a number of posts and schedule them to launch at the appropriate times. Say, you want to maximize your blog traffic using the rules of thumb above, then you can write a number of posts and schedule them to launch on Wednesday and Thursday at 9:34 AM for weeks in advance. I’m just about done with this post but it is only 8:10 AM eastern……I just scheduled it for 9:34!

See the source image

Now, I have my blog set up to automatically feed into my Facebook page and my LinkedIn page when I post. That may not be the best scenario for generating blog traffic though. Sproutsocial, Elizabeth Arens wrote a great summary on best time to post on social media. I’ll summarize her post here but if you are interested in this topic, you may want to go give it a read. I won’t be offended.

In sum, each social media platform tends to draw a different population of people and, even if someone is on two different social media platforms – as many of us are – we engage in the platforms differently. Additionally, content ages differently on different platforms. For example, I’m connected to 800 or 900 people on LinkedIn. Even so, people post or engage with posts on LinkedIn as such a slow rate that new post could stay near the top of my page for a day. I don’t really use Facebook much but many people do……and when they do, they tend to engage with a lot of posts all at once. If you have something pop up on Facebook for me, if I don’t see it within the hour, it will likely be a few pages down already.

Therefore, to maximize blog traffic drawn to your site through social media, you may want to disconnect the automated post to social media and time each one differently. For example, Facebook Engagement is highest between 9 AM and 3 PM. But look at how that changes from day to day. Post any time during mid-day on Wednesday and you are good. If you are posting on Friday though, do it before lunch or forget about it.

Facebook global engagement

LinkedIn, because it is (almost) entirely work focused, has a different pattern. It is still skewed towards the morning but you can still be pretty impactful by aiming for the after lunch crowd.

times to post for linkedin

I think the subject matter of your post also will affect engagement here too. For example, a lot of the morning traffic are sales people checking out their targets for the day while the after lunch and the 7 PM crowd may be more people looking for a new job. Nothing says “get me out of here” than meeting an old friend for lunch who is happy with their job, except maybe going out with work friends and realizing that they are all looking to leave.

Update for blogging challenge: Day 21 and blog post 8. So I haven’t been successful at driving the blog traffic I had hoped. I’ve only been able to generate less than 200 unique visitors so far this month. At my current rate, I’m going to end up with around 250 to 300 visitors this month. My blog traffic is averaging around 15 a day but a significant portion of that is from SEM (Search Engine Marketing), i.e. my Google Adwords spend. Yesterday, for example, I did only get 11 unique visitors and 9 of them were from Adwords. Somehow they don’t feel the same to me. It is like I didn’t earn them. I also didn’t get as many likes or shares as I’m averaging on days without the Adwords. Were I intending this to be a money making blog, I probably would continue with advertising for a while……longer if I could prove the people the ad brought in were buying/subscribing/etc.

Overall, I’m pleased. I think I’ll work more on the website over this semester and, assuming that I am teaching the same course in the spring, I’ll launch this as a semester long project in the spring. What do you think? Leave a comment and let me know.

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