This is a common question I see in a lot of blogging groups. Everyone is looking at what everyone is doing what’s best for them. However, this approach is not always the best method.
This is because you’re looking at what other people are doing and not what you should be doing.
Here are the things you should be looking at to figure out what time you should be posting your blog posts.
1. Look at your analytics
When figuring out the best time to post, you need to look at your own data. This is because every blog is different – with different target niches and an audience that may be very different from yours.
You can do this by checking out the Audience tab on Google Analytics. If you look into their geographical location, you may be able to figure out where most of your readers are and when you’re awake.
Here’s a screenshot of the countries list from one of another website I maintain. This one is targetted at web developers and the main source of traffic lives in the United States and India.
However, here is another screenshot of a different website that I also maintain. The countries listed here are is very different and this is because the website is an eCommerce site that’s targetted at New Zealanders.
The audience tab can tell you a lot about your readers and where they live matters. This means that if you live in a different timezone, perhaps its best to schedule it at a time that makes sense to your audience.
Their age and profession can also help you figure out the best time to post. This information is based on your targetted niche and you can most likely make judgments based on your knowledge of their work patterns.
For example, a blog targetted at moms would often peak around really early or a bit later after dinner or when the kids have gone to bed. A blog that has work-related tutorials may do well during the 9 to 5 hours, and not so much after that when everyone has gone home.
2. Look at your email list open rates
The time you send out your emails to your list can also help you figure out when everyone is online. There are the initial spikes when the email is first sent out. But sometimes, you can also get a bump in the open rates if you check the time.
Here is an example of time bumps based on a newsletter email I sent out via MailChimp.
It’s good to experiment with sending out times to figure out what works best for you. Every email list will have different results and patterns.
But don’t just look at the time – look at days of the week as well. I write a lot about programming and code. The best publishing days are generally Mondays, with traffic dying off during the weekends.
You also need to account for timezones as well. For example, I live in New Zealand, which means that we’re always a day ahead of everyone. My Tuesday is equivalent to most people’s Mondays.
3. Look at your social media engagement rates
Sometimes it doesn’t matter what time you post your content – rather, it’s more to do with what time you send out the word to your followers that you’ve got new content.
Looking at your social media analytics may help shed some light on when is the best time to post – or make a public announcement about something.
The best engagement time and day are often linked to your readers’ day-to-day routines and behaviors.
The time you start driving traffic to your blog is when you’ll often get a spike in the analytics console. However, if you experiment on posting time – or post consistently enough to figure out when everyone is on – you can focus on making new blog post announcements at the right hour and time of day.
How you present your social posts will also impact on the click-through rate.
The point is, you need to experiment in order to figure out when is the best time to capture your followers’ and readers’ attention. For example, if the best time is around 5 to 6 pm, then you can bank on your readers find your content when they’re traveling home from work.
Or perhaps the best engagement happens right before 8 am – before they have to leave the house for work or school.
Social media is cheap to post on. The life of a social post often doesn’t last that long, so it’s good to experiment and post often in order to gain the data you need.
4. Or…just don’t worry about the posting time at all
The optimum time for posting a blog post may be any time that suits you. What’s more important about the time and day you post is your consistency in posting.
This is because a particular reader may only come to your website once a week – and when they do come, they’re expecting new content.
If you can’t deliver on a consistent basis, you’re going to lose that reader as their timeframe for coming back lengthens with each return.
This is because they’ve landed on your blog and see that nothing’s changed. They’re going to take longer to come back, until they forget and don’t come back at all.
You need to keep up a posting frequency that is maintainable for you but also not too far away from the last post you made.
A good number is at least once a week. Three times a week is a good rate if you want to dramatically grow your blog organically.
Overall, don’t worry about too much on the time and day – just make sure that you have something to post and do it consistently.
It’s good to have a schedule that works for you. While it’s nice to have that spike in Analytics, you also need to deliver frequently enough for your blog to stick in the minds of your readers and followers.