How much of a factor is timing when it comes to blogging?

The bulk of the traffic my site gets, or at least that my individual posts get directly, comes from social media sites. In fact, there’s a good chance that you’re reading this post because you clicked a link on Twitter or Facebook.

I’m using Twitterfeed to post links to new blog posts in my feed automatically, and those posts are copied over to my Facebook timeline through a separate application. Hundreds of people get hassled about my blog by these applications, and I don’t have to lift a finger. Frankly, I’d be worried about losing followers and friends alike if not for the fact that people like you are actually kind enough to click those links and read these posts on a regular basis.

So first of all, thank you! But second of all comes the question of when I should be posting certain things if I want to make sure that they’ll be read by the widest and/or most appropriate group of people.

If you’re following my feed, which of course I invite you to do, then your reader of choice is already maintaining a list of all my new posts, available whenever you want it. Likewise, if you’re just a casual visitor, then you’re going to read whatever I post whenever you want to read it.

But when you’re getting the bulk of your traffic through tweets and status updates, timing matters. Those links have a limited shelf life, and something I post when people are goofing off during their first few minutes at the office isn’t going to get nearly as much attention as something I post at two in the morning.

So what do you do? When do you post an item in order to make sure it’s going to get its due? How much thought do you really need to put into timing in the first place?

Speaking for myself, if something’s time sensitive, I’ll post it right away, no matter what time it is. There’s really no point in sitting on something you want to share – and on a potentially cynical level, there’s a lot to be said for being the first and easily linkable source of a piece of information that a lot of people want. Of course, there’s an awful lot more to be said for taking the time to make sure you’ve got your facts straight, but that’s another story.

If I’ve got something that isn’t time sensitive, but which I’d like a bunch of people to read, I’ll post it during business hours. Although I can’t yet prove it, I have a feeling that that’s when most of the people who follow me on Twitter are around and willing to click on a link to my blog.

For the record, that doesn’t necessarily mean I do the bulk of my blogging during business hours. Because I can time the publication of my blog posts, I can get a good idea at the office on a Tuesday, write it on Tuesday night, and set it to publish on Wednesday morning.

What are your thoughts on timing your posts? For that matter, when and how do you tend to read this blog? Do feel free to let me know.

Posted in Blogging

2 Responses to “How much of a factor is timing when it comes to blogging?”

  1. KJ says:

    Timing really does matter, and the analytics you get off things like links proves it. Putting something out after lunch on a Tuesday gets more views than dropping the same thing after midnight during the week. But timing is also about who you want reading. I find those early morning keeners around to read something posted at 9am sharp tend to be more likely to comment on your content. If you want cool nightowl types, post late. They’re awake to see it, and anything stands out given the hour – just don’t expect any interaction, they’re not in the mood and hardly as chipper as those 9am people.

  2. Matt says:

    Heh… So business hours are for hassling people about the news, and late nights are for hassling people about club nights and such? That sounds like a nice way to break it up, now that you mention it.