Friday, July 18, 2008

Calling All Bloggers - When Do You Post?

Tēnā koutou katoa - Greetings to you all
When To Post

I’ve been blogging for a couple of months now. It’s still very new to me. I’ve looked at all the blurb. Read Sue Water's posts on the 'blog theme'.
Learnt about designing good blog headers. I've read about finding images for posts and understood all that about copyright. Learnt about Technorati. I've sorted out my comment settings. Set up my RSS feed and got my comment tracker working.

I've scoured the blogosphere for sites on what makes a good blog. Found out how to write good posts and how to improve those and become more effective at writing them.

I even set up and started using Google Analytics. That was a bit of an eye-opener. At least it was when I eventually learnt the basics
and got it to work!

One thing escapes me though, and I know this should seem a bit obvious. But I’ve never come across any advice on when to post.

But if you think about it, there is probably an optimum time to publish. There seems to be optimums for everything else. Perhaps there is some strategy behind publishing at just the right moment. Maybe the phases of the Moon have something to do with success.

I’ve noticed, for instance, that some reputable bloggers post two or more posts on the same day. I often wonder. . . is there some strategy behind this practice? Or have they just been saving them up to impress other bloggers by publishing three posts on different topics, all at once? Apparently Isaac Newton wrote his famous Principia and sat on it for twenty year before he published. Maybe he knew something about the strategy of publishing at the right time – who knows?


I usually publish a post when I’ve written the draft, edited it a few times and checked it in Preview. Though that doesn’t show me everything I want to see, at least it tells me something about where on the screen the text and images will appear. It also saves me having a fit if I post and then discover some awful faux pas has just hit the fan.

Okay, I’ve just finished writing my draft on this wonderful idea I had for a post – done all the checking and everything, including checking all the sites in my RSS and done a bit of searching elsewhere to see who’s posted a post on the same topic.

But . . .

. . . when do you post?

6 comments:

christytucker said...

I think the biggest thing is being relatively consistent with whatever schedule works for you. My guess is that the time you post really isn't going to have much effect one way or the other unless you have really high traffic. I tend to post in the evening, but that mostly has to do with my work schedule. I'll manage and reply to comments during the day, but I usually save my blogging for after work.

Posting multiple times a day is important for the highest echelon of bloggers because that's what their audience is looking for. Within the edublogging community, it seems more likely that posting too frequently will make people unsubscribe. Yes, we want a regular stream of fresh content, but we get overwhelmed by too much of it.

I do know that I'm better off posting during the week than on the weekends if I'm looking for traffic. My traffic always goes down on weekends, and I think if I post on a Saturday it sometimes gets lost in everyone's Monday morning catch-up time. So the day matters to me, but not so much the time. With an international audience, evening for me is morning for some readers anyway.

Have you seen any difference in your stats if you post at different times of the day? If there is an optimal time, it's going to be the best time for your particular blog with your specific audience. What does Google Analytics tell you?

Sue Waters said...

Christy's correct the top problogger's post most days of the week and often several times a day because it helps build up their audience.

Edublogger readers are different; probably because our readers time is more limited. I know of only one Edublogger who gets away with posting several times a day and that is Larry Ferlazzo. Most of our readers are happier if we post a few times a week i.e. 2-3 times but provide good content. I know of readers in the edublogger community who unsubscribe if a blogger posts to frequently.

The Edublogger has high site visits per day so is useful for indicating which days of the week are better than other days. Saturday and Sundays as Christy points out are low traffic days. She also makes a valid point as to why you mightn't post on a weekend (but remember Monday in US which is our largest audience is Tuesday here).

My reality is Saturday/Sunday is good days for me to write a post - so that is just how it has to be. But whatever you do -- don't post several posts on the same day. Always best to set up your posts to post over several days -- mmmm can you post date your posts in blogger to publish a couple of days later?

Glad my posts have been helping you. PS I may have rambled :)

Blogger In Middle-earth said...

Tēnā korua Christy and Sue!

Thank you both for your input here - I appreciate it, a lot.

Interesting that you mention about posting too frequently putting some people off. This I find fascinating!

Is it the calibre (not quality) of the content? Why does the edublog reader prefer to have less not more? After all I'd expect most edublog readers are teachers. They HAVE the reading skills to read and understand, so it seems nothing to do with their capacity to read and assimilate.

OR, is it to do with the limited time they have to DO the reading and assimilating?

Sue, you spoke of post-dating. I haven't found anything that indicates I can do this in Blogger - but I would just put it in draft and publish it when I think it should go live. I started writing my latest post No Barriers to Elearning on Thursday last week and finished it on Saturday. I didn't publish it till Tuesday as I had a few things to check AND I had a post already finished in draft that I put up on Friday. I'd also taken note of what you said, Sue, about NOT publishing more than one on the same day - for me that's easy advice to follow. So that post sat in draft for 3 days before publishing on the Tuesday after a few minor tinkerings.

I frequently do this as I like time to reflect on what I've written before I post. Often I will change a post round quite a bit after a day has past, so I wouldn't want to post it earlier becuase of that. I might even have played around with it in Word some days before I paste it into draft, so some of my posts could be quite rancid before publishing :-(

BUT, maybe that's not the best way to write a post - who knows? I've read many good posts lately that have a reasonable helping of typos and other formatting glitches - these don't detract from the quality of what's put across in the posts and certainly don't necessarily stop people from commenting.

At the moment I wouldn't have the confidence to do that. So maybe I need a paradigm shift in my thinking? Or a new brain perhaps? I've been thinking about that last bit lately :-)

Ka kite

christytucker said...

When I've heard comments about people posting too much, it's usually a matter of how much time they want to spend reading. Sometimes people figure that the best of the frequent blogs will be picked up by other bloggers, so they count on the blogosphere to filter it.

I think there's also a matter of the idea of a fixed amount of time for reading blogs. If you decide that you want to spend, say, only 30 minutes a day catching up on feeds, how much of that 30 minutes are you willing to devote to a single author? Would you rather read a lot from one person or sample a bit from many?

Check out Will Richardson's post about how many posts per week is too much for him.

Ken Stewart said...

Ken, you have stumbled into the struggle most bloggers have. Christy hits it best I believe in her comments.

I am not wildly successful, but my persistence is paying off in growing my readership.

1) Build compelling content and know who your audience is.
2) Post as much as you can without burning yourself out. Being consistent is important.
3) Writing more thoughtful pieces often takes longer. Seed in smaller posts that people can digest and are meaningful to them. From there they may come back for your more thoughtful dinner after sampling your wonderful appetizers.

These are all things I have been told, and all things I am working at refining my skill in. To date, they work - but I have no magic bullet either ;-)

Blogger In Middle-earth said...

Tēnā koutou Hello all

What wonderful advice Ken!

I like something I can understand (don't we all?) and that's information that I get meaning from. You, Christy & Sue and Britt Watwood on an earlier related post have all given me so much great help on topics that I found quite nebulous yet I kept thinking about them. Thank you all!

Knowing who my audience is? Hmmm. That's a curly one though - I'll work on it:-)

"Seed in smaller pieces." I could do that too. That's really given me something to think about.

I need to think!

Ka kite