When I first planned this article, it was supposed to be a one-off piece (meaning one article published one time). However, the finished outline ended up being over 4000 words. I guess I didn’t realize how much time and effort I put into creating and keeping my posting schedule. So, realizing this fact, I decided to break this topic into three posts. One will publish today, one on Wednesday, and one on Thursday. I encourage you to read all three posts in the series, because each one builds upon the others to reveal my complete system for scheduling my blog posts.
The Best Days To Post
I reverse-engineered more than a dozen successful blogs that followed this criteria
- They publish at least three articles per week
- They have at least 10,000 followers
- Their average post was 1,000 words or more
- Their articles routinely rank on page one of Google
If you read last week’s series on How To Think Like A Publisher and the week before’s Why Your Competitors Are Killing You Online, you know that I recommend publishing at least three times per week. Of blogs that I researched, all of them published at least this much and half of them published daily. And, since nearly all of them published on the same days each week, you at least know what you’re up against.
Let me start by saying that every day is a good day to post if you post every day. If you don’t plan to post daily, then there is definitely a hierarchy. Here is my best advice for the best days to post.
Monday is probably the best day to post anything. People are just getting back into the office and looking to get things back in gear. They are catching up on their email and professional social media – LinkedIn especially. If they manage their own websites, they’ll be looking for ideas and content (see 10 Reasons To Create (Not Curate) Your Website Content) and you could be just the thing they need. If they have any semblance of balance in their lives, they’ve been away from the “ping” of constant connection for a couple of days and their ready to see what’s new. If they’re connectivity junkies, they never left and they’ll be glad to consume your content along with everything else that comes through their smart phones and tablets. Anyway, you should always have a good solid post ready for Monday.
If Monday is the best day for posting, Tuesday is one of the worst. Unless you post daily, skip this one. They heard from you yesterday, but they also heard from everyone else – their supervisor, their team members, their clients, their vendors, etc. Today your readers are shouldering a week’s worth of requirements and expectations. In short, it’s a day for busting tail – not reading articles over coffee. If you post daily, don’t deliver anything new or heavy and, whatever you do, don’t make an offer. Whatever you say is likely to get filed in the inbox or even deleted, so post accordingly.
Wednesday is the third best day to post. It’s hump day and everyone is a little spent from hustling all day yesterday. Today, they’re looking for something inspiring or humorous to get them over the mid-week hump. Posts that are heavy on images (or even just images) are a good bet. Video does well on Wednesday as long as it’s easy to consume. Go for messages that are entertaining and informative (see 3 Keys to Killer Content). Sometimes you can educate on Wednesday as long as you get to the point and don’t fill your post with a lot of fluff.
Next to Monday, Thursday is the the best day for posting. It’s been a while since your readers have heard from you, so they won’t feel overwhelmed. This is another nose to the grindstone kind of day, but moods are lighter because, unlike Tuesday, there’s more week behind them than ahead. The weekend is in sight, but not yet a distraction. Thursday can be a good day to educate and give your people something helpful they can use to get those items off the “To Do” list before Friday.
Friday is better than Tuesday, but not by much. Again, if you don’t post daily, I recommend skipping it. Friday is a day for wrapping up, not taking in. People have weekend on the brain and they want to get that desk cleared off by quitting time. Moods are positive, especially if it’s pay day and thoughts are on the two days ahead. Anything you send is likely to get lost in the noise. If you post daily, try something simple that’s high in entertainment value. Informative and educational posts won’t get read today, but a video that’s funny might, and it may even get shared.
If your content is largely social in nature or you have an especially large following on Facebook and Pinterest, weekend posts may help. Also if you have an event going on, staying active on twitter can boost engagement. I don’t recommend posting new content to your actual blog, though. Very few folks are going to take time over their weekend to read a 1000 word blog post regardless of how informative, entertaining, or educational it is. Weekend publishing should be confined to social media. Try a weekly wrap-up where you review the content you published last week, but do it in bullet points or video to make it easily consumable.
OK, so here are my recommendations for posting schedules. When choosing one, remember these two things:
1) Choose the schedule that most benefits your readers. True helpfulness never involves thinking about yourself. If your stuff is worth reading and, ultimately paying for, it must focus on the customer. Assuming that you’re following the rules of quantity and quality (in other words creating tons of epic stuff), your schedule is your key to consistency. And consistency is essential for developing reader loyalty.
2) Choose the schedule you’re most likely to keep. The good news is that consistency brings reader loyalty. The challenge is that consistency brings reader loyalty. The people who look to you for help will expect to find you at the same bat-time on the same bat-channel. The worst mistake you can make is disappointing your readers.
- Once a Week – If you’re only going to post once a week, do it on Monday. Also adjust your expectations for growth, because it will take a lot longer than if you posted more often.
- Twice a Week – If you’re going to post twice a week, do it on Monday and Thursday with the deeper, more intricate content on Monday. Let Thursday be your lighter, fun post day. Also make your offers on Thursday.
- Three Times a Week – If you’re up for posting three times a week, do it on Monday, Wednesday, and Thursday. This is what I consider the minimum schedule required for steady and immediate growth.
- Four Times a Week – Four times a week is a recipe for diminishing returns. There’s little to no benefit in choosing it over three posts weekly. If you going to post more than three times a week, just suck it up and go to daily posting.
- Daily – Post at the same time in the same places every day. Don’t skip unless you have a good reason and you’ve informed your audience ahead of time like when you take vacation. Write a series of “Panic Posts” about general subjects in your field that you can pull from in a pinch. You can also create a “best of” collection throughout the year to use while you’re on vacation. Just make a category in WordPress called “Best Of” and place your best posts in it. Then, when it’s time to be gone simply replace the normal Blog link in your menu with the title of the category. When you return, just put the normal blog link back in your main navigation menu and continue on from there.
- Weekends – Unless your readers are especially active on the weekends for some reason, you’re wasting time and content. Social Media, however, can sometimes be beneficial. If you have a particularly dedicated Facebook or Pinterest following, you can include some extra posts on the weekends. You can publish some wrap up “Week in Review” content in case they missed something during the work week. This can be helpful if you publish daily as people won’t always have time to read every post. The other thing that can come in handy over the weekend is Twitter, especially if you are hosting an event of some sort and need to let people know where and when things are happening. If there’s one thing I’ve learned about Twitter Junkies, it’s that they never shut off and they simply cannot resist the “ping”.
So there you go. Hopefully, I’ve given you some food for thought as you choose your posting schedule for the first time or reevaluate it again. Part 2 of this series will publish on Wednesday. That’s where I tell you all about my favorite tools for creating and maintaining your posting schedule. The best part is that they’re all FREE. Also, I’ll show you how to organize your posts for the next 12 months in a way that will provide awesome value to your readers, grow your subscriber list, and help you make some money.
What’s been your experience with posting schedules? How do you do it? Share a comment and let’s talk about it.