You spend hour or even days working on the perfect blog post. When it's finally done you want to publish it at a time that will get the most attention.
But when is that?
Figuring out the best time to publish a blog post is something every blogger must face. Your audience, niche, and even seasonal events all influence your optimal publishing window. If you aren’t careful, you might be hurting the chance for your post to get an initial surge of traffic just because you’re off by a few hours.
The Best Blog Posting Time
In my opinion, the best time to publish a blog post is early Monday morning. This is based on nothing more than my gut and years of experience.
Here's the thing. Most readers aren't checking your home page every day looking for new content. Your followers are subscribed to your email list or following you on social media. So your timing for email blasts and social media posts is probably more important than when your article goes live on your site.
That said, plenty of other marketing agencies and bloggers have tried to uncover the perfect posting time. According to numerous sources, there is some method to the madness.
For example, data from Kissmetrics states that Monday is the best day to post a new blog article. Additionally, 11 AM seems to be a traffic spike, and most blog posts are read during the morning. This is also in-line with suggestions “social timing” suggestions from Neil Patel, a renowned SEO and blogging expert.
In a way, this makes sense. People get busy during the weekend, and Monday is often a chance to catch up on some reading and to get back on track. They get settled in at work and then decide to catch up on their favorite blogs.
However, take this data with a grain of salt.
After all, a study from Backlink.io found that there isn’t a best day of the week to publish, and that “social shares are distributed evenly among posts published on different days of the week.” In reality, the day you publish doesn’t matter unless you personally notice that publishing on a specific day yields more traffic than others.
That’s truly the key here: you need to learn more about how your audience responds over time and make decisions based on data, not feelings or suggestions.
And keep in mind, if your traffic spikes on Monday at 11am that doesn't mean you should post at exactly 11. It means you should have a new post up BY 11, not AT 11.
Other Tips for When to Publish Blog Articles
Alright, so if there isn’t a best day to publish blog posts, what should you be doing differently for your publishing schedule?
Once again, there’s no cookie-cutter answer. However, here are some factors worth considering as you begin to test different publishing times to find what works best.
1. Time Zones
The easiest way to get more traffic with a new blog post is to publish it when your readership is actually awake and ready to read. This might sound intuitive, but be honest: have you taken a deep-dive into your Google Analytics data to see where your most active readers live?
If you write for a North American audience, you should ideally publish content so every time zone has a chance to read your new post. If you have a global audience, this isn’t feasible. However, you can use email marketing providers like ConvertKit, MailerLite, or MailChimp to send your latest posts to readers based on their time zones.
As long as you promote your post to readers when they’re theoretically awake, this is an easy way to increase how well a new blog post performs.
2. Consider Readership Habits
If you run a single-niche blog, you should have a decent idea about who your typical reader is. Additionally, the type of audience you’re writing for has a massive impact on the best time to publish a blog post.
Here are a few examples of different audiences you might write for and how you can alter your publishing schedule:
- W-2 workers. Consider publishing after dinner or in the late morning so full-time employees can take a break to read your content.
- Stay at home moms. Schedule posts around a mid-day nap break for the kids or in the late evening.
- Business owners. Try publishing on early weekend mornings.
You get the idea. Picture your target reader and think about when they’re actually available to read your latest content.
3. Factor in Traffic Competition
Another strategy you can use when scheduling blog posts is to consider traffic competition and how it relates to publishing.
Typically, the internet is busiest in the few hours before the workday, during lunch, and shortly after the workday ends. As it gets later in the day, internet traffic steadily falls off as people begin going to bed. Weekend traffic is often lower as well, especially with nice weather and people spending more time outside.
However, since other bloggers and publications try to publish blog posts at the right time, competition and peak internet usage go hand-in-hand. So, while you have the potential to reach more people during peak times, you also face greater competition.
In contrast, publishing posts at less ideal times might actually get you more readers since you’re theoretically competing with less content. This isn’t a perfect science, but it’s worth keeping in mind.
Start out by publishing new blog posts during peak internet times and see how readers respond. If you can’t gain traction, consider altering your publishing schedule to less busy periods of internet usage.
4. Work Around Events and Holidays
This is a simple tip for finding when to publish blog posts, but it works.
If you publish a post during a major event your readership is interested in, think about changing your posting time. This could be something major, like the Superbowl, or something less intuitive like the release of a new episode for a relevant show.
Similarly, avoid publishing blog posts during major holidays unless your content is incredibly relevant.
5. Consider Social Media Trends
One thing you should do after publishing a blog post is promote your post on social media. However, like publishing a blog post, there’s also ideal times for sharing your content.
According to Sprout Social, here are the best times to post on different social media platforms:
- Facebook: Wednesday at 11AM and from 1-2PM.
- Instagram: Wednesday and Friday around 11AM.
- Twitter: Wednesday and Friday at 9AM.
Again, your niche can impact these times, but try to schedule social media content to appear on people’s feeds at the most optimal time. Ideally, you can set up post scheduling with tools like Buffer or Tailwind to ensure your content gets posted at peak times.
However, like everything else in this list, you should also test what works best for your following.
Related: 5 Things to do After You Hit Publish
My Ideal Posting Schedule
I've run the publishing schedule for many sites, both big and small. Here is the posting schedule I use on all of them.
First off, I always set the article to publish at 5am. The reason for this is that traffic usually starts to pick up around 6 am and I want the content available for those early risers.
Also, it's highly unlikely that any social media posts are going out before 5am and the last thing you want is to be promoting an article that isn't live yet. So my 5am posting time will avoid that issue.
What days of the week I post on is determined by how many times per week that particular site publishes. If they only post once, I will schedule that article on Monday.
So a blog that posts once a week will have a new article live on the site every Monday at 5am.
Here's a chart of what days I post depending on how many articles are going out that week.
|# of posts per week||Monday||Tuesday||Wednesday||Thursday||Friday|
What About the Weekends? I skip them. I also skip any major holidays. Traffic on the internet in general is lighter on holidays and weekends and I just don't want to post on those days. It feels like a waste.
What if the site publishes more than five times per week? If the site publishes more than five times per week then I will double up on posts following the same schedule. So the sixth article would go on Mondays, the seventh on Wednesdays, and so on.
If I'm doubling up, I will post the second article of the day in the afternoon. Say noon or 1pm.
How to Decide Which Post Goes Live on What Day
Now that I have my posting schedule I need to fill it up. How do I decide which article goes on which day?
I work my way from Monday down to Friday. The best stuff goes on Monday — this is the highly educational stuff or anything that took a lot of work to produce. If you can only see one article for the whole week, this is the one.
Then down from there, Tuesday would be the next best and so on until Friday. Friday is usually something that is heavy affiliate related or a more personal fluff piece.
If you just need someplace to start you are welcome to use my system but you should also do your own testing.
How to Test the Best Posting Times
The key takeaway for finding the best time to publish a blog post is that you need to test what works for you and crunch some data.
The question is: what’s the easiest way to actually track all of this information?
Each social media platform will have its own analytics you can dig into. Check these regularly and make notes of any patterns.
On your site, the easiest way to do this is to use Google Analytics. You should already have Google Analytics set up for your blog to let you track how readers engage with your content. Setting up Google Analytics is fairly simple. In fact, WordPress plugins like Insert Headers and Footers make connecting Google Analytics to your blog a piece of cake.
Once you have Google Analytics setup, you can begin diving into your traffic with the Channels tab under All Traffic. Apply the day of the week filter as a secondary dimension to get a breakdown of which days are the best for your blog:
This is an easy way to see what channels perform best for your blog on certain days. If you want more granularity, checkout the Overview report under your Audience tab and filter for hourly traffic:
You can adjust your date range to include several times you’ve published. This is a great way to dig into specific hours to see if publishing a blog post resulted in a surge in traffic.
Don't Worry About this Too Much
While you want to use every advantage you can find to grow your site, you don't need to stress about it too much.
Evergreen content will drive traffic for years to come. A fully mature site gets most of its traffic from older posts. It makes no difference what time an article was posted after a day or two.
So, yes, pay attention but don't let it distract you from the real way to grow your site — awesome content.
In other words, don't spend so much time chasing analytics that you don't have time to actually write. Good content will get traffic no matter what time it goes live.
If you’ve finished reading this and are still stressed about finding the best time to publish a blog post, take a deep breath!
At the end of the day, your content quality and how you use SEO are what matter most for driving traffic. After all, if you don’t write compelling content that matches reader intent, no one will stick around on your website in the first place.
However, you should still give every piece of content the best chance to succeed. Start by digging into your Google Analytics data and begin testing different publishing ideas. It might take a few weeks or months to find what works, but the effort is certainly worth it in the long run.