Photo courtesy cnmark on Flickr.com.
Why does the timing of a blog post depend on various or different factors? The best results of your blog post will depend on your definition of success. What is your goal for the blog post? Why are you writing this article, this content, and posting it on your web site’s blog? If you haven’t already, you first need to determine why you’re posting this blog post. I realize that there really is a chance that you are blogging just because you want to blog, but nowadays I would say that about only 3 percent of blogs actually contain blog posts just because someone “wanted to blog”. That leaves about 97 percent of us who have another goal: to gain more traffic and visitors to our web sites (or our blogs), and ultimately convert those visitors somehow. You want to convert your blog’s visitors into:
– buyers of your product or service
– regular readers of your blog
After all, that’s logical. You want to reach out to as many people as you can ultimately interact with them somehow. You want to reach out to people who have not heard of you or your company before. But when is the best time to post a blog post so that you get the maximum benefit of posting that blog post? Again, it really depends on your ultimate goal and the actual content of the blog post.
Breaking News – You do not have to be a “news agency” to post “breaking news” on your blog. If there is a news item in your industry that is important and people will talk about it, then immediately post it on your blog. Make a blog post about it and then, if necessary, go back and edit it again (and even more than once) if necessary. I cannot tell you how many times I have benefited (right here with this blog) from posting something that was newsworthy that people in my industry care about. By posting quickly and getting the word out (by using social media sites), others will notice and they will link to your blog post. Your blog post will rank well in the search engines (hopefully), and people will Tweet about it, Share it on Facebook, and even write blog posts about the topic and link to your blog post. The best time to post about breaking news is immediately. Do not wait until you have written a “perfect article” about the subject, it will be too late. For breaking news in your industry, there is no “best time” except for “5 minutes ago”.
One additional benefit for posting breaking news quickly is that your blog post could show up in areas like Google Trends, which will bring traffic to your web site both directly from Google Trends but also from the search engine itself: you could rank well for a highly searched-for keyword phrase.
Company Announcements – When you make official company announcements, you first need to coordinate them with your PR (public relations) agency. Usually the best time to make an official blog post is right before your press release goes out. I would say that you would want to post it a few minutes or even a few hours (or up to an hour) before your press release is distributed. Why? Most likely you will want to make sure that your blog posts coincides with the press release, and then when people see the press release and then look for the announcement in a search engine you’ll want your blog post indexed. Make sure that you post the blog post before you make the press announcement so that other web sites, when looking for information to link out to, they will find your blog post. Bloggers and media outlets don’t tend to like to link out to press releases unless that’s the only reference out there: and most likely, if they’re writing about the company announcement, someone else will: so make sure that your own blog has information about the topic. That way there is a good chance that others will link to your blog post.
As for a “best day of the week” and “best time” for company announcements, I would tend to follow your PR firm’s lead: usually they are done first thing Monday morning or even Tuesday or Wednesday morning. Friday is generally [b]not[/b] a good day for press. However, if you are looking for another advantage, and you’re rather small, holidays or weekends or even Fridays might be better because they are typically “slow news days”. So, you may want to take that into consideration.
How To Type and Informational Blog posts – If you have a general “informational” or “how to” type of blog post, then most likely you will want to post it around 10:00am or “first thing” in the morning, generally on a Tuesday or Wednesday. In the case of a “how to” type of blog post, it is better to post it in the middle of the week (people are still going through emails first thing Monday morning and not “sharing” stuff on the social networking sites yet). So, for a “how to” type or general “informational” type of blog post, posting it when people are most likely to read it or come across it is the best time. When you make a blog post, I recommend immediately sharing it with others on as many social bookmarking and social networking web sites as you can. If you are able to do that (or have someone do it for you), then you are at an advantage: the search engines generally will pick up your blog post fairly quickly and rank it well: and when it ranks well there is a good chance that others looking for similar content will link to it or share it with others when they see it.
Also, if your blog posts mentions a company (or your company) by name in the title or prominently in the blost post, the blog post may end up ranking well for that company name: and it will show up in the “recent blog posts” area on Google Finance. You may receive additional traffic to your blog post (and maybe some more links) if you show up in Google Finance.
So, the best time to post “how to” and informational blog posts is going to be mid-week, during the day.
When not to post a blog post?
There are several times, if you will, when you should not post a blog post. I generally recommend promoting your blog post (in some way), like tweeting on Twitter about it. Tell your Twitter followers that you just posted a blog post. Hopefully by now you’ve linked your social media accounts together, like linking your Twitter, Friendfeed, Facebook, blog feed, and other accounts together. If you are not in a position to immediately help promote your blog post once it’s posted (start promoting it with 4 hours), then I wouldn’t make a blog post and then go home for the weekend.
If you have an important company announcement, then I would not post it over the weekend or on a Friday or even at the close of the business day. Unless, of course, you have some sort of need to wait until the stock market closes or some other company financial reason.
There are good times to make a blog post and then there are bad times to make a blog post. I have literally posted thousands of blog posts over the past several years and, by trial and error, I’ve learned that you should not write a great blog post and then post it on a Friday afternoon. No one will be around to read it and start helping you spread the word about it. And, nowadays, writing the blog post is only half the battle. To be successful, you have to promote it.