A Lesson Learned About Blogging

Over the weekend, I finally had time to go through the Kissmetrics data about the ideal time to post something on a blog.  (NOTE:  You can click on the link above if you want to look at the data yourself.  Maybe you’ll have better luck with it than I did.)

According to the Kissmetric data, the average blog receives the most traffic as follows:

Day of the Week:  Monday 

Time of Day:  11 A.M.

Aha!  I’ve finally uncovered the magical posting time, I thought gleefully.  I should post my latest story at this time.  They’ll come to me in droves.  Woo-hoo!

So, I did.  And what were the results, you ask?

NOTHING.  ABSOLUTELY NOTHING.  JUST MORE CRICKETS CHIRPING.

Hours later, when I was able to jump back on-line, I was horrified to realize that I had just sent my story out into the blogosphere to die a horrible death.  It was gruesome.  In four hours, I received only one view from a nice lady who probably took pity on me.  (You know who you are….Thank you!)

I’ve never only received one view on a post.  Even on my very first post, when I didn’t understand the importance of tagging for key words, I received more than one view.  So, while I don’t claim that this story was the most spectacular thing in the universe, I do think it warranted more than one lonely view from a nice lady.

After picking myself off the floor and scrambling to recover the body of my poor little story from the WordPress feed, I tried to figure out where I went wrong.  I noticed that my story was crushed under the weight of hundreds of other posts.  It was so far downstream in the feed that even after scrolling for ten minutes, I still couldn’t find it on my screen.  I had to use special means to extract it.

Here are my thoughts on what may have gone wrong.  I hope you other bloggers can save yourself from the same utter humiliation and despair:

CONTENT TYPE

Most of the blog content that I’ve encountered falls into one of two categories:  educational or entertainmentSome blogs are admittedly a fantastic hybrid of the two, but I’m trying to make things simple right now.  Let’s just assume for the sake of this discussion that most blog posts fall into one of these two categories.

The story I posted earlier this morning would definitely fall under the “entertainment” category.  I wasn’t trying to teach or inform my readers.  It wasn’t a news story or an essay on how to be a better writer (or blogger).  It was a story about a bridesmaid who had fallen in love with a groomsman.  Some people may argue that studying other authors helps them to improve their writing and that’s great.  But I’m not a Pulitzer Prize winning author.  I don’t claim to possess an ability to teach through my storytelling.  I just wanted to entertain my readers with this story’s content.  So I’m sticking to my guns and calling my stories entertainment.

I would consider this essay about blogging “educational” content since this information may actually help out another blogger.

POSTING TIME

Let’s talk about the demographics of blog readers.  I don’t have data to support this, but please hear me out on my thoughts.  I think certain groups of people visit blogs at certain times of the day.  For example, let’s call people in the office “Enterprise Users” and people at home “Leisure Users.”  (NOTE:  The two groups of users may actually contain the same people.  For example, John would be considered an enterprise user while he’s at the office.  But once he’s at home, John becomes a leisure user.)

Let’s assume that these two groups of people search for two different types of content.  Obviously, there may be some overlap, but to keep it simple, let’s keep the two types of content searches separate.  I know that when I used to work for a Fortune 500 company, I wasn’t allowed to visit entertainment websites.  I could only search for content on professional sites.  Under this assumption, when John is at work, he will only visit a blog if he’s searching for content that will help him out in his profession.  In other words, educational content.  If his company has a more lenient policy, John may get to visit entertainment blogs during his breaks.

When John goes home, he may have a hobby.  Maybe he’s a writer or a photographer.  During the evening, he may go on-line and visit an educational blog about his hobby.  Or he may visit an entertainment blog to get the latest dirt on the next Kardashian train wreck.

LESSON LEARNED:  MATCH CONTENT TYPE WITH THE APPROPRIATE POSTING TIME

The bottom line is that it is important to align your content type with the appropriate time of day.  I think that my mistake was posting “entertainment” content during the time of day when most people are searching for “educational” content.  It was at 11 A.M. on a Monday morning.  People are trying to catch up after being away from the office during the weekend.  Even at lunch time, there may not be much time for perusing “entertainment” content.

So, what are your thoughts?  Have you discovered the magical posting hour for your content?  I think I’m going to try re-blogging my story again in the evening.  I hope to target as many “leisure” users as I can.  Hopefully, I’ll hear more than crickets chirping this time, so stay tuned….  I’ll keep sharing what I learn from my mistakes.  Happy Blogging!

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7 thoughts on “A Lesson Learned About Blogging

  1. brittneysahin says:

    So, interestingly enough – I posted this morning as well (because I read that it was the best time to publish)- Never had I posted at this time before. Almost radio silence. So, I am not buying into the data anymore 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • T.D. Donley says:

      I know, right???? I’m at a complete loss on how this data could be so far off….. They must be talking about corporate blogs. I’m going back to posting stories in the evening. Obviously their data doesn’t apply to my blog! What do you think you’re going to do?

      Liked by 1 person

  2. T.D. Donley says:

    Reblogged this on A Writing Mama's Journal and commented:

    I just wanted to give everyone an update on this article. My WordPress analytics show that my best time for viewing activity is 10 P.M. on a Tuesday. There has definitely been an increase in views and comments since I started posting in the evening – like, after 8 P.M. So keep that in mind when you post the content on your sites!!!

    Like

  3. Have you seen Chris? says:

    The most successful strategy I’ve found is to post a link to one of my blog posts in the comments of another who is getting a lot of readers and comments. This has worked well for topical posts, not sure how it might work on stories. I read the article, offer my personal comment, then provide link with something like “here are more of
    my thoughts.” For instance I’m trying to decide of I should keep my blog a secret here are some thoughts: https://lookingforchris69.wordpress.com/2015/07/28/update-who-knows-about-your-blog-am-i-cheating-on-my-wife/

    See how easy that is?

    Liked by 1 person

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