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The best time of the day to publish a post

The best time of the day to publish a post

A popular question among serious bloggers is “When is the best time to publish a post?”. Lorelle had previously touched on this topic, but she concluded that there can be no definitive answer.

I believe that you should keep things as simple as possible, and as such, in my opinion, the best time to publish posts are early in the morning.

Of course, this also depends on the timezone in which the majority of your readers are from; you want to try and publish a post in the morning of when your readers in the most earliest timezone wake up. This means that if you have a large Australian following on your blog, and you were from the United States, then you’d publish a post a lot earlier to synchronize with their morning.

Chances are, though, that the majority of your readers are American, and therefore, you should try and synchronize your publishing schedule with the EST timezone (-5 GMT), since this is the eastern-most timezone of the US (and it’s where places such as New York City are located).

My general rule of thumb is if I have a post that is not time-sensitive, meaning I can post it now, or a year from now, and it is still relevant to my audience, then I will aim to make one post a day.

So, if I already made a post today, then I would save a new post for tomorrow, instead of posting it immediately. I would change the timestamp of the post before publishing it so that it automatically posts the next day at a certain time; you use the ‘Post Timestamp’ box in the Write panel of the WordPress admin to do this.

I typically time my posts to be published in the hour of 6:00 am, because this is the crack of dawn, and if I used anything earlier, I would look like a lunatic for making so many posts at three in the morning.

For time-sensitive posts, such as one that is news-breaking, I would post it immediately for obvious reasons.

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I built up this habit for myself because I used to write posts really late at night, and that would have been the worst time in the day to publish a post.

So, I’m curious to know, when do you publish your posts? I’m guessing that most people just hit the Publish button whenever they are done a post, but with the way I outlined above, it only takes an extra few seconds to achieve maximal results.

Gary King is a professional freelance web developer, primarily using Ruby on Rails and PHP to create cool new websites. When he’s not trying to take over the world one blog at a time, you can find him mulling over his thoughts at King Gary.

View Comments (18)
  • I try to publish my posts at around 7AM. I live in Kuwait and that’s +3GMT. Most of my readers live in the middle east so it’s not a huge timelag but I do have readers from the US and UK as well so I do try to post later in the day for them.

  • I try and post at least 3 times per day. The first at 10AM the second at 12PM and the third at 2PM if I post breaking news I post it immediately. Any other post for that day will be at 4PM or 6PM.

  • I live in Norway, and write my blog in Norwegian. Naturally, my audience is a small one. :) I have noticed that if I post after 12 am, I lose a good deal of my readers coming from the Norwegian communities. Therefore, I try to post at least one a day a few hours before lunch. If I write the post in the evening, I often post it in the morning, using timestamp of course.

  • I try my best to update my blog at 8am of US time. I live in Malaysia(GMT +8) or 8pm night time in my place.

    I do this because most of my readers are from US and I hope to post my article for them to read through out the day.

  • I published most of my posts on 5:30am in the morning.I guess that maybe the time the baidu spider comes.

  • Actually, I think my conclusion was to publish before your readers would be most likely to read, so your blog post is there waiting for them. :) Then blog on the days that most match your readers’ schedule.

    In the time since I wrote that post, I’ve found my personal research substantiated. If you have an international audience, Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday are the most popular blog reading days, in general, and Monday and Tuesday are the best for comments, and Saturday is another boon as people catch up on reading but rarely comment.

    I’ve found that I’m most likely to a have a really popular blog post if I post it on a Monday or Tuesday than during the rest of the week, if the post is worth of being popular. If it is and I post it later in the week, it tends to get noticed on Monday.

    This always had me wondering if the first thing people do when they arrive at work is hit the blogs. :D

  • I use to publish around 4 am – 5 am, but I ended up receiving messages from people telling me not to stay up so late since I’m known to be up at that time, and I’m trying to change my sleeping schedule! So I eventually just shifted to 6 am to please everyone :)

  • Wait. You mean people actually paid attention to the minute your blog post released? HA! That’s funny! :D

    Mine release about 3-4AM PST and I’ve never had anyone notice the actual time I posted. I work with future posts constantly, and no matter if I’m on the east coast or west coast, or parts in between, that time works for me, having my post waiting there when people come in to work or wake up in the morning.

    Of course, for the most part, I write timeless content so when its posted isn’t as important as when the most traffic visits it.

    With future posts, I can sleep whenever I need to. :D

  • Except that I don’t post two posts a day if the other one is not breaking news….
    I don’t care. Site stats says that visitors come regularily during the day (that might be closely connected to the fact that they are from five continents) so there is not much point to aim at anybody’s morning.

  • Two things ..

    1) In google talk, I was chatting with a friend and the question came up. The person mentioned that she only posts at noon, because that’s what her sitemeter statistics told her that this was the time of day that had the most readers. I told her that was hogwash, and try posting only at 7pm for 5 days. Naturally, she found out that most of the readers of her blog were coming at 7pm.

    2) I do tons of pre-postings, and I find that morning posts are the worst ones, especially mondays – for same reasons mentioned above. People are more in a hurry, and have more feeds to read and tend to scan entries and headlines, or just outright click on them to ‘clear’ or ‘mark as read’. It is for this reason, that when I post more than one post in a day, I spread them out by 4 hours (or every 6 hours or every 8 hours, etc). The first one is more likely to be skipped over or scanned. But, when the second post comes – (and the reader remembers that it was cleared earlier) it sticks out more in the crowd. For instance, in Bloglines .. you can read them forever! By the time you get down to the bottom of the pile, you can go up to the top and with the automatic refreshing, there’s already new stuff.

    With all the blogs that I have that I do post on (at least 30+) .. I think I have come to the conclusion that it makes absolutely NO DIFFERENCE in the time of day that you post on a blog – but I will suggest that you pick a time and stick to it. EG if you tend to post at 3am – always post at 3am so the readers can get in a routine when to expect your posts. That’s i.m.h.o. of course. The readers who read other blogs at 9am will still find the post in their Bloglines or Google Reader.

  • I haven’t been blogging very long and I have been wondering about this very topic. I did find Lorelle’s post about this and did some research into my own stats. Normally I post every day between 8 and 9 (CST) in the morning. The bulk of my traffic seems to be coming in at around 9 PM. Wed and Thursdays are, by far, my biggest traffic days. I guess I would agree with the comment that HART made. “Pick a time and stick to it.” People form a pattern when they read your posts and if you deviate from YOUR pattern, your subscriber base may suffer.

  • Well, I have recently started doing one post per day on average and I usually set them to post around 07.00 GMT. If that is a good time or not I don’t quite know but I’ll see if it makes any difference for a while.

  • We generally publish our posts at 6am EST. To keep to that deadline, we schedule our posts.

    Most of our traffic starts coming in midday. And we usually get direct traffic to a post within 2-4 hours of publishing it.

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