Not long after most bloggers launch their first post, this question will inevitably arise: when is the best time to publish a blog post? The answers to this deceptively complex question may surprise you.
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Where is my audience?
To figure out where your audience is coming from you can check out your stats in the section called Site Stats in your WordPress dashboard. Inside Site Stats is a list called Referrers, which will tell you where (and how many) readers are coming from that source.
Why is this important to know? Because if your readers are primarily coming from a social media platform such as Facebook then you can use those referrer sites to your advantage and pinpoint what best times of day and night are to post new content.
How do I figure out when the most traffic is coming to my blog?
If you are seeing a surge in readers coming from Facebook, particularly if you have a fan page for your blog and are actively posting links to your work on that page then you can use Facebook Insights to determine traffic times to your Facebook page. This is important to know because you can schedule which blog posts you will share on your Facebook Page based on best (or worst) traffic times.
Here is what the traffic for one particular blog fan page on Facebook looks like on a typical week:
Google Analytics is probably the most accurate way to measure traffic times on a blog. By plugging in Google Analytics you can create customized reports that will tell you everything from audience demographic to page view counts to best and worst traffic times to your blog.
How do I harness my best traffic times to boost my readership?
Once you can see when traffic is hitting your blog at its highest rate you can then determine what kind of content is best to post and at what time. For example, if you are posting once a week then you should be able to identify which day has the most traffic and then which part of that day sees the largest spike in audience numbers – that is when you want to publish a blog post.
If most of your traffic is from your Facebook page then you use the Facebook Insights tool to best determine when the most eyes are watching your content then you schedule your blog posts to be shared on your Facebook page during those times.
The advantage to using multiple tools and strategies for measuring audience numbers is that you can craft as simple or as complex a posting schedule as you wish based on what you believe your readers want to see. Luring heavier traffic to your blog will take time, but if you put in the effort to understand your audience habits then you can craft a system that will ultimately grow your blog to meet your audience goals.
If you have a blog idea then please don’t be shy! We want to hear about it. You can contact us on our pitch page here. If you don’t know how to pitch then don’t worry, we have you covered with this blog post that gives you some great tips. And if you have any questions feel free to swing by our Facebook page, Twitter page, or leave us a question or comment below.