When it comes to the science of blog timing, the main thing people think about is when to publish a blog post. That is, of course, very important when it comes to blogging, but it’s not the only timing consideration you need to make.
With business blogging, you also have to think about the timing of:
- How often you publish blog posts
- When to promote them
- How long to keep up with community engagement
- When you can repurpose your content
In today’s post, we will be covering those specific blog timing issues and how to find the right timing for your blog content.
How Often to Post
The first timing question that arises when planning a content strategy for a business blog is how often to post. If you’re in social media and you follow blogs like Mashable, it’s easy to be immediately overwhelmed by the thought that you have to post multiple times daily. Most businesses will find it challenging to post even once weekly, let alone once daily.
The thing to remember is that your business doesn’t have to be a news organization – it is a product or service provider. Your customers will probably be happier that you are spending time developing your latest product and answering their questions over just pumping out content.
When it comes to determining the frequency at which you should publish blog posts, you can always start by taking a look at your competitor’s blogs. If you’re a small business, make sure you are looking at other small businesses in your industry, as opposed to medium to large businesses that may have more of a content budget than yours. You might find that in your industry, one post a week will do whereas other industries may need a couple of posts per week.
You should also look at your business’ blogging goals. Typically, blogs that publish often (daily or more) are looking to gain a massive amount of consistent traffic. But a successful business blog doesn’t have to have a huge amount of traffic – it just needs to attract traffic that is likely to convert. Hence, it’s not about frequency, but content. Take the time to:
- Define your target audience / potential customers.
- Think about the types of topics your target audience would be interested in.
- Write posts on those topics.
- Keyword optimize your posts (especially the titles) so your target audience can find them in search.
- Add a call to action at the end of each post to encourage your audience to subscribe to your mailing list or check out your products / services.
If you follow the above tips when it comes to your blog content, posting at least once a week should give you great results.
When to Publish Posts
Check out this awesome infographic covering the timing of post publishing. All times are listed in EST unless otherwise noted.
With any blog or industry, it boils down to being aware of where your target audience is located. If your business only targets people living in California, then you will want to publish your post during prime time West Coast hours. If your business targets people on the East Coast, then obviously prime your blog for East Coast hours.
For the most part, it’s about your goals (comments, social shares, links, subscribers, etc.) and experimenting to find the best times to achieve those goals. Try publishing at different times (right at midnight, early in the morning, for an East Coast morning audience vs. a West Coast morning audience, etc.) and measure your results. If your goal is to get a lot of mailing list subscribers, and you notice that posting at midnight helps you achieve that goal, then that is your best publishing time.
When to Share Posts on Social Media
The next timing issue that arises when it comes to publishing blog posts is when to share them on social networks. Fortunately with Twitter, you can actually share your new blog post more than once by varying the timing and the title of your post. But with other networks like Facebook, Google+, and others, you can only share once.
Again, this comes back to knowing your target audience and, of course, experimentation. Start by aiming for prime time hours for your target audience’s location. Then play around, posting at different times, and measuring the results. You can measure your results using a few different apps and platforms.
Measuring Tweet Performance with Buffer
Buffer offers a simple Analytics dashboard that can help you determine what time is best for tweets by showing you the retweet, click, exposure, mentions, and favorites generated by tweets you have shared at a particular time during the day.
Measuring Update Performance with Insights
If you go to your Facebook page’s Insights, you can see a section for Page Posts on the Overview screen. Here, you can hover over the dates of your status updates and see what times you posted them, then compare the times to the reach, engaged users, and other stats relating to that post.
Measuring Popularity with the Google+ Timestamp
Since Google+ doesn’t offer Analytics (yet), your best bet to see which posts were most successful on your Google+ feed is to simply hover over the date you published them, look at the time, and then look at the number of shares, +1′s, and comments. On the upside, you can take this same approach on your competitor’s Google+ profiles & pages to see when their most popular publishing time is and schedule yours accordingly to target similar audiences.
How Long to Respond to Comments
The next timing issue when it comes to blogging has to do with your community engagement, specifically blog comments. If you don’t get blog comments that often, then replying to them should be a piece of cake. But what if you get dozens of comments per post? Depending on how often you publish posts, you could be dealing with lots of comments on a daily basis. Hence, you might want to consider putting a time limit on responding to comment unless someone has a specific question.
Also, you may want to consider potentially closing blog comments. There are pros and cons of doing this. The pros of closing comments after a specific time period such as 30 to 60 days after the post is published is that you reduce the number of comments to respond to on a daily basis. It will also reduce the amount of comments you need to moderate and the amount of blog comment spam you receive.
The con of closing blog comments is that you might miss out on responses from readers who arrive to your post through search or other sites that link to your content. Those readers might get a bit frustrated when they can’t respond or ask questions about your content as well. So it really boils down to how much time your business has to devote to community management vs. creating fresh new content.
When to Repurpose Your Blog Posts
Last, but not least, you will need to consider when you can successfully repurpose your blog’s content. For example, some businesses will publish a series of blog posts, then compile that series into a free eBook used to incentivize new subscribers to a mailing list. Another example is businesses that take their blog content and recreate it in the form of podcasts or video.
The best part about repurposing is that you can do it anytime without hurting your blog content. As a matter of fact, the sooner you repurpose it, the better your audience’s response will be because they are already interested in the repurposed content’s topics thanks to your blog posts. The only thing you have to watch out for is digging too far back into your archives and repurposing out-of-date content without updating it first!
When it comes to timing and your blog, you’ll always discover the best posting frequency, times of day to publish, times to share, length of engagement, and opportunity to repurpose if you follow the following tips.
- Research your competitors to see how they are successfully timing their blog posts and promotion.
- Set goals for your blog – do you want your posts to receive lots of traffic, comments, social shares, or lead generation subscriptions?
- Experiment with different posting frequency, publishing times, and promotion times then measure your results to see which timing is best to achieve your goals.
About the Author: Kristi Hines is a freelance writer, professional blogger, and social media enthusiast. Her blog Kikolani focuses on blog marketing for personal, professional, and business bloggers. You can follow her on Google+, Twitter, and Facebook.