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Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Best Blog Entry Posting Times ?- Pt 3 of Avoiding a Downturn in Blog Traffic, Ad Clicks and Revenue

(If you have not read the intro to this mini-series of entries, please do so.)

Factor 3: Time of day that entries are posted.

I've noticed that regardless of which blog I am posting to, if I post at least one post late at night, say between midnight and 1 am (EST, -0500 time zone), and at least one other post the next morning or afternoon (preferably more several times), my pageviews for that blog and that calendar day seems higher than for other days. However, if I post two or even three posts the next morning/ afternoon/ evening (but on the same calendar day), I do not get a proportionately higher pageview count.

I can only guess at the reason for this. I've tested this theory at different times this year, and on different blogs, and it seems to hold. The reasoning might be that, as I am in a Western time zone, posting at midnight might capture those people in Europe or Asia who are doing their morning blog-surfing rituals. These people may not be surfing at home, after work. (While this is changing, disposable income per person in Asian countries tends to be far lower than for European countries or Canada and the United States. Readers from Asian countries may simply not have access to the Internet at home.)

Moral of the story: Find your "sweet spot" time slot by experimenting. Start by dividing the day up into 4 slots of 3 hours. Post to each time slot regularly, if possible, and track your visitors for each page. (These stats will be skewed for your blog's home page, as it's hard to tell what a visitor came for - unless they used a search engine.)

Ideally, you should divide up the day into slots of 1 or 2 hours in length and test each slot. I'll save you some time. If you are in EST (Eastern Standard Time, zone -0500) in North America, there's almost no benefit to posting anything between 2 am and 5 am. I'm usually asleep between 5 am and 9-10 am, so I have no stats for that period. I have found that posting between 10-11 am does generate some traffic for late afternoon and evening. (This is partially due to scheduling of search engine spiders. Anyone who uses RSS or visits my blog regularly sees posts earlier.)

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