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April 27, 2010

When Is the Best Time to Post a Blog?

A follower on Twitter asked me last week when I thought the best time of day his blog posts would capture the most readers. It’s an interesting question. Many people usually decide on a day to post but not necessarily a time. There are a few things to consider:

  1. Who are your readers? Are your readers at their computers throughout the day or are they out in the field? If, for example, you have a blog that appeals to tradespeople (plumbers, electricians, etc.), then publishing a new blog post at 2 p.m. might not be the best. Consider when they typically work and when they are most likely to be at their computers.
  2. Where are your readers? Do you blog about your small town or about national politics? If your readers are scattered around the country–or around the world–then remember that 4 p.m. in Los Angeles is 7 p.m. in New York and 1 a.m. in Paris.
  3. Does it matter? It’s common knowledge in sales that the best time to reach people at their desks is just before lunch (11:50 or so). So my guess would be that a good time to catch people’s attention would be between 11 a.m. and noon. But building your readership is less important than being consistent.

Stick to your scheduled day(s) of the week. If you’re writing about a topic that interests people, they’ll be more likely to return to your blog (or bookmark the page, or subscribe via email or rss feed). ¬†You’re building a readership, not trolling for readers on one specific day.

So if you miss the late morning online traffic, no worries. It’s 7:55 p.m. here in Boston. About twelve hours later than I’d prefer to post, but sometimes work gets in the way of your plans. I love it when that happens. It usually means I’m making money.

Now I’ll announce this new post on Twitter. Will publishing this in the evening hook me more readers? After all, I may be the only blog with fresh content at this hour. I’ll let you know when I check the visitor traffic tomorrow.

What time of day do you prefer to publish your blog?