Best Time to Publish Blog Posts? Sunday at 2:37 p.m. [Proof]

Filed in Blogging, MY BEST POSTS by Matt McGee on November 29, 2012 11 Comments

clock-watch-timeOne of those “this is the best time to publish blog posts” articles (an old one) was making the rounds on Twitter today, and I couldn’t resist the urge to throw cold water on the concept.

As I’ve said before, I think the whole concept is a load of crap.

It turns out that, just last week, I published one of the most popular articles I’ve ever written.

On a Sunday.

At 2:37 p.m. Pacific time.

No one in their right mind would ever suggest that Sunday afternoons are the perfect time to publish. In fact, some of the charts that the experts use to tell when you should post articles actually show that Sunday is the worst day!

But it sure worked for me. Have a look…

The Article That’s Killing It Right Now

This one: Why A Website Is More Important Than Facebook & Twitter

That was published on November 18 (a Sunday) at 2:37 pm PT.

Here are some of the stats for that article, as of 3:15 pm today:

Traffic

  • Most popular page on the blog for all of November — more page views than the home page, even.
  • Time on page of 4:12 is significantly higher than site average of 2:57 (for November).
  • Fourth-most popular page on the blog over past two months — that includes all of my archives.
  • In just 11 days, it’s become the 25th most-popular page on the entire blog for all of 2012. The whole year!

Social/Comments

  • Tied for the most comments of any article I’ve published in 2012.
  • More tweets than any other article I’ve published in 2012. (As best I can tell.)
  • Most Facebook likes/shares of anything published this year (as best I can tell).
  • Second-most Google+ shares of anything published this year (as best I can tell).

(Pssst: Is there a tool that lists all your content and charts how well each URL has performed socially? I had to manually look at my top articles to see which ones had the most tweets, shares, etc.)

I don’t do any lead-gen or conversion goals on this blog; my metrics are all traffic-related, not financial. And that article is absolutely killing it just nine days after being posted. On a Sunday at 2:37 p.m. So that’s clearly the best time to publish blog posts. (wink, wink)

Bottom Line

Sarcasm aside… as I’ve said before, there’s no “best time” to publish blog posts or post on Twitter, Facebook, Google+, etc.

What matters is when is your audience online? And, more important than the time is the quality of your post.

So, stop worrying about trying to nail the perfect time to publish. It doesn’t exist.

(Stock image via Shutterstock.com. Used under license.)

Comments (11)

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  1. Mickey says:

    I agree completely. The exception would be for massive corporations, where they can say “60,000 people will get the message at 8:07, and 130,000 will get it at 11:30″. For the rest of us, viral spreading is more luck than anything, and simply posting good content ANY TIME will do the job.

  2. I would suggest it is not only when is your audience online but when are they actually listening?

    Many of the tools these days simply measure when someone is tweeting for instance. That someone is talking, tweeting, or commenting tells me nothing about when they are reading. Ironically that maybe stats that conventional analytics, tied back to connections with social identities could actually help us understand.

  3. Mark Walters says:

    Considering lots of people believe in the whole “best time to publish” thing, it might actually be best to not publish posts at those times, as yours might get lost among them. Quality posts will always attract attention, so the time of publishing isn’t really important. I just publish when an article an is done – keeping it nice and simple.

  4. Ha ha, love it! My takeaway is that the best day to publish great content is any day, even weekends. So maybe that leaves the weekdays as best days to publish not-so-great content. ;)

  5. I totally notice the same! Haven’t dug into my numbers but I do notice that our social media is also more active on Sunday afternoons. Of course, everyone is right that any quality post at any time is good – but I wonder what it is about Sunday afternoons that have got us all a buzz.

  6. Aj Singh says:

    Lol I love the conclusion

  7. Samantha says:

    Good insight! When posting content during “the best times” posts can become lost in the clutter. Instead of focusing on the best times to post, marketers and experts need to understand when their audience is most receptive to content and move accordingly. However, some difficulty can arise if your target audience’s optimal time is heavily trafficked with competitors or noise. But smart marketers have to create a comprehensive strategy to cut through the traffic to reach their consumers wherever and whenever they’re lurking.

  8. Matt McGee says:

    Thanks for all the comments, everyone, and for understanding the overall point I’m trying to make. :-) I saw a few tweets and G+ shares where people seem to think I’m seriously suggesting 2:37 pm on Sundays is when everyone I should post. Whoops! Maybe I didn’t make my sarcasm clear enough, or maybe they’re being sarcastic and I missed it.

    Anyway, just promise me that you’ll all know better the next time someone tries to sell some perfect time to post articles, or status updates, or whatever. :-)

  9. Whooops! I’ll admit I read the title, skimmed the shorter sentences and totally thought you meant Sundays, literally. Man – I feel silly now. lol! I have noticed something to sundays, hence your article attracted my eye. On second read this article is even better. I promise I understand the point now and believe me, I post when the article is done. Mostly because I took too long to write it in the first place. ;)

  10. Great title that caught my eye. Obviously great content is most important and I agree it doesn’t matter when it is published per se – but it does matter when you promote it on the social networks.

  11. Hi Matt,
    I think that your willingness to express a strong opinion in “Why a Website Is More Important than Facebook and Twitter” got people excited. In the veterinary sphere, an article by Jed Schaible titled, “Why Veterinarians Shouldn’t Be Allowed to Blog” got similar buzz going. I tried to springboard from his success by writing, “Should Small Business Owners Be Allowed to Blog? Some Say No.” Of course I didn’t get the draw you do, Matt, but it did manage to get some comments!

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