In October and November of 2010, I wrote a series of posts called How to Have a Successful Blog. Thanks to my recent post about the book and web advertising, I figured now was a perfect time to take a second look at the old posts and maybe see if I think differently now (and/or if I have any more insights to offer). For today's addition, let's look at the first post in my series: When Is the Best Time to Publish Your Blog Entry?
In the original post, I had full data from a "24 Packs in 24 Hours" that I did. Unfortunately, I didn't think to keep similar data handy for the "24 Packs in 24 Hours" that I happened to hold about a week ago (dumb me)! Since I don't have nice data, let's look at the visitor data for today (as in, today being the day I'm writing this post - Friday, April 20).
As you can see, my blog readership seems to arrive in waves (more on that in a second). The wee morning hours (midnight - 2:00 AM EST) garner a few visits, then virtually nothing from 3:00 AM until 7:00 AM. Once 8:00 hits, visitors start rolling in culminating with a small peak right before noon. The afternoon sees some steady traffic, but once dinner hits the visitors seems to increase substantially. It should be noted that the screen shot was captured at 11:05 PM EST so that 1 visitor for the 11:00 PM hour is entirely misleading! It should also be noted (and this is more important), that I had posts scheduled to go live at 8:30 AM, 12:30 PM, and 6:00 PM. I actually expected a bigger spike at each of those corresponding hours - but there is definitely something to be said for new posts bringing in blog traffic! Finally, if I were wiser I wouldn't have chosen a Friday as my day to gauge blog traffic. I'm guessing a lot of people ignore the blogs on a Friday evening (obviously not me, at least not tonight as I'm blogging away getting ready for Sunday's posts)!
According to the research I conducted the first time around, it appeared the best time to publish a post was around dinner time, with either lunch or midnight taking the second best slot. Looking at the above graph, it's hard to argue with the dinner time argument - but I've had pretty good luck with early morning (8:30 AM EST) posts as well - though I'm guessing my west coast readers often miss them (sorry guys and gals)!
On a personal note, I'm happy to see that now my Friday blog numbers (which are usually the worst day of the week) match my Tuesday blog numbers of a year and a half ago. I wouldn't keep the blog going if it weren't for all my readers (and blog traders)! I know I post a lot of group break stuff - but I promise to try and do other stuff on the blog as well!
I plan to take a look at some of the other topics that I covered back in the day - both because I think it's interesting to see what has (or hasn't) changed, but also because a lot of you probably never saw my older posts!
As always, any ideas or suggestions? Let me know!