Timing is everything when it comes to marketing.
When is the right time to publish on Facebook? How long will a reader spend on your page? At what time will your Instagram posts get the best engagement? When is the best time to publish a blog post for best results?
Publish a blog post and share social updates at the right time and life is great: the blog post will attract lots of readers and generate masses of overall blog traffic, affiliate links are clicked on and purchased through, email signups are collected, and there are social media shares a’plenty.
Share it all at the wrong time, on the other hand, and you’ve got yourself a big ol’ heap of … well, nothing. No social shares. Zero comments. Seriously disappointing reader numbers. It’ll feel like all of your hard work was for literally nothing. (And we’ve all been there!)
But is there really a right or wrong time to publish a blog post, or does it all come down to luck? … ?
I’m going to say a couple of things that a lot of people are going to find super controversial:
There’s no such thing as a generic ‘best time’ to publish a new blog post.
*insert horrified face here*
There might not even be such a thing as a ‘best time’ to publish at all.
*cue gasps of shock and disbelief*
I can feel the evil glare of content marketers burning a hole into my head right now, but just hear me out before you choose to join in with them. I promise I actually have some evidence to back up my astonishing claim.
More than that, I’m going to show you how you can work out the absolute best time to publish new blog posts … specifically tailored for you, your blog, and your audience.
What is the purpose of the blog post?
Take a look at the next blog post you plan to publish: what’s the point of it?
Are you trying to make money from affiliate sales? Is it an opinion-based piece that you just had to type out? Perhaps it’s a sponsored post, working with a brand that you absolutely adore?
Why does any of that even matter?
Well, it turns out, it does matter — and it’s all down to common sense stuff, really.
Affiliate-based blog posts
Let’s imagine you’ve created a long, in-depth, listicle-based blog post, with affiliate links to lots of different products that you’re talking about. When do you think it makes sense to publish that blog post? In the middle of the month? At the end of the month?
Don’t you think that it would make more sense to publish the post around the time that most people get paid so that your affiliate links are more inviting and everyone’s feeling slightly happier about spending their hard-earned cash?
According to an Intuit QuickBooks survey of more than 1,000 US employees, the most common day to get paid was Friday (53% of people).
44% of people were paid every other week, too.
If *I* were a blogger with a US-based reader base and I was publishing a blog post designed to make money with affiliate links, I would definitely publish (and social-share) that post on a Friday in the hope that more people would click and make purchases through the links.
Sponsored blog posts
Now let’s look at sponsored posts: you’re going to want to publish those at a time when they’re almost guaranteed to get the best engagement, not just in terms of traffic but also in terms of link clicks, comments, shares on social media, etc.
Fun fact: According to SproutSocial, the best times to publish [blog post promo] content on Instagram for high levels of engagement globally are Friday at 10am-12pm and Wednesday at 11am.
The more engagement you generate, the more beneficial and successful your collaboration is likely to be with a brand. In turn, higher engagement also means the opportunity to charge higher prices for collaborations, and the opening of doors to bigger and better collaborations in the future.
This means finding out the times at which your blog gets the most engagement, particularly on social media.
Opinion-based blog posts
An opinion piece is likely to get read in the evenings, when someone has time to sit down, properly consume it, and nod along in agreement. Or, y’know, not agree with it.
Unless it’s an event or time-specific opinion piece, you can likely post opinion pieces at any point throughout the week/month. I’ve personally found that they do quite well on Thursdays, Fridays, and over the weekend when I’ve shared post links on social media.
Learn from the experts …
… but adapt the information. What I mean by that is: use the information you read on this page, and on other sites, but apply it to your specific situation.
Best time to publish blog posts for social shares (according to TrackMaven)
According to a TrackMaven report, the best time to publish blog posts for the highest number of social media shares (specifically) is in the afternoon and evening. Blog posts that were published at around 3pm [Eastern Standard Time] and into early evening were the most successful in terms of sharing on Facebook, Twitter, etc.
But that’s Eastern Standard Time, which is 4 hours behind GMT. If you are a UK-based blogger, there are two ways of using and adapting this information:
1 – The same afternoon/evening period is likely to be successful in the UK as well as in the USA.
That afternoon/evening period is when most people will be getting home from a hard day at work, cooking dinner and browsing Facebook as they do, and relaxing in the evening.
Life slows down a little, and there’s more time to spend on the more enjoyable things in life: watching videos, reading blog posts, doing a spot of online shopping or gaming, or whatever else it is that people like to do online.
2 – If you have readers on both sides of the water, you have TWO potential best times to publish blog posts.
I’m the owner of a UK-based blog that gets the majority of its traffic from US audiences.
43.2% of readers are in the US, 31.1% of readers are in the UK, 6.2% of readers are in India, and the remaining 19.5% of readers are spread out over Canada, Australia, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, South Africa, Romania, and other countries (figures are averages).
If I publish blog posts and share social media posts at UK-popular times, I’m actually only targeting 31.1% of my reader base when I do so.
If I publish them at US-popular times, on the other hand, I’ll be targeting 43.2% of my reader base.
The solution is simple: publish the blog post at peak UK times, and then use social media to re-promote the post later on, at peak US times. I could retweet my earlier “NEW BLOG POST” tweet, post a new image to my Instagram feed/Stories video to promote it, or share the link to the blog post on Facebook (/share the original “NEW BLOG POST” update).
And YES, it is perfectly okay to retweet your own tweets, or reshare your own social media content.
It’s also perfectly okay to delete social media updates that don’t perform well, re-publishing them at different, hopefully engagement-generating times. You’ll actually increase your engagement rate overall by doing this; the low-performance updates are deleted so they don’t ‘bring down’ the high-performance ones.
Best day to publish blog posts for social shares (according to OkDork and BuzzSumo)
Tuesday is the best day to publish your blog posts to get the most social media shares out of it, according to a OKDork and BuzzSumo study that scrutinised the share counts of more than 100 million articles over one eight-month period.
Tuesday is also the best day to post and share for Facebook engagement, and for Twitter engagement.
Monday was the best day for Pinterest, though.
Consistency is always key
It can’t be said enough: consistency is key when it comes to blogging.
If you’re going to focus on ONE thing when it comes to blogging and blog promotion, make it to publish blog posts and post on social media as consistently as you can. Publishing two new blog posts per month, every month is better than posting six in one month and then nothing at all for six months.
Many bloggers have had great success with a strict and consistent publishing scheduling: publishing every Friday at 9am, without fail, for example. Consistency is often linked to reliability; when you come across as a consistent and reliable source, readers and followers are going to be more likely to trust you.
How many blogs per week? The experts have their say …
According to HubSpot, the number of times per week or month you should blog will depend on the size of your blog, and also what you want to get out of it.
To boost organic traffic (from search engines, for example), you should publish 3 to 4 brand new posts per week, each of them fully optimised for search engines.
Larger blogs, on the other hand, will need to publish more frequently than that: 4 to 5 posts per week, but a mixture of brand new and updated posts.
Things change if you just want to increase awareness of your brand or blog, though. In that case, both smaller and larger blogs can get away with posting new (or updated) content less frequently — a couple of times per week.
99 Firms states that companies who publish 16 or more blog posts per month get 3.5 times the amount of traffic than companies who only publish 4 or fewer.
That falls in line with the previous HubSpot study: 16 blog posts or month is equal to a new or updated post every other day, or 3 to 4 posts per week.
How many times per week are bloggers actually blogging, though? Well, according to an Orbit Media study, most bloggers (24%) publish ‘weekly’, with 23% saying they publish several times per month.
67% of bloggers in the same study reported best or strong results when they published daily blogs, however.
It’s about finding balance and a publishing schedule that works for you. If you can’t commit to daily posts, opt for a less frequent, but still consistent schedule. (Consistency is key, remember?)
SEO and best times to publish blog posts: Is there a link?
What is the first thing you do once you’ve published a brand new post on your blog?
You head right on over to whatever social networks you use to promote your blog post, to share the link, or to make sure that the automatic publication of a Tweet/Facebook update/whatever has successfully worked, right? (Because you know how much WordPress loves to play around and *not* work the way you want it to, from time to time.)
Immediate social sharing of a new blog post is smart. According to Impact BND, it can take anywhere from a couple of days to several months for Google to index anything new you publish on your blog, and there are what seems like one-thousand-and-one different factors that determine how fast or slow the process moves. These include how much traffic you already get, how old your blog is, how many other websites link to your blog, what domain or site authority your blog can boast of, and many other things besides.
It can take anywhere from a couple of days to several months for Google to index anything new you publish on your blog.
If you’re waiting for search engines to bring in traffic to a new post, you might be waiting for rather a long time. But by posting your new blog post links on social media, you can draw in traffic immediately.
It’s not so much when you publish the blog post itself that’s important, but rather when you publish the promotional content for the blog post — on Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram, etc.
Remember that popular times are also busy times
The problem with following the good advice of everyone else (like the various ‘best times to publish’ stats and facts you’ve seen today) is that you’ll often get lost in the crowd by doing so.
Yes, it’s a good idea to post when everyone is online, but everyone else will be doing the same thing. There’s a chance your content will get overlooked in the middle of social media peak traffic times, no matter how damn fabulous it is.
A 2017 TrackMaven report suggested that Sunday was the best day to publish a blog post. Fewer blog posts were published on Sundays, but blog posts that were published generated a higher number of social shares.
Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday had the lowest social share counts.
The same study also suggested that Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday were the most popular days for bloggers to publish, and that 10am was the most popular time.
Publish and promote at popular times, by all means, but also publish and promote at some of the less-popular times/days, too. (Like, on a Sunday.) By experimenting with different times, you can get a better feel of what works for you and your blog specifically.
Publishing a blog post is just one part of a much larger journey when it comes to bringing in the readers. Without letting your readers know about it, using an email newsletter or social media share, there’s a chance that absolutely no one will read it right away — but that’s only because potential readers have no way of finding it.
By incorporating social media shares into your publishing journey, traffic will be boosted almost immediately. It is social media sharing that you should focus your attention on — the time you share the news of your new blog post with your readers, followers, and the rest of the world; the way you word your post to attract readers; and what media you’ll attach to the post to make sure it yields the best results.
But, as the experts say, the best time to publish a blog post is:
- Tuesday afternoon/evening — for social shares.
- Friday afternoon/evening (and/or typical local paydays) — for affiliate link clicks and purchases.
- Sunday — for less competition.
- Evenings and weekends — for non-time-specific opinion/longer pieces.