Yesterday, I talked about the fact that you don’t really need to be a planner to be successful at blogging. Schedules? Totally optional. But… If I was going to make one caveat or amendment to that line of thinking it would be in regard to weekend posting.

The title might’ve already given away the conclusion here a little.

But yes… This is an exquisite sort of pain that I still afflict upon myself on occasion. Even though I know better from past experience it’s a bad idea, I still can’t help myself. When I finish writing a post, I want it published ASAP!

Overall, I’m not too worried about the best time to publish. (Although if you’re curious: The best time is typically to align to the morning of either the US or UK, depending on where most of your readers are. For most of us — even those blogging from the UK, this will mean the US morning. So if in doubt, start there.)

Weekends though, I’ve found to be significantly worse than any other time.

Specifically, this is true for posts you care about and want engagement on.

By which I mean posts you put particular effort into, be it research, by inserting real emotion into, or even simply going to pains to make a nice layout — hold those for another day. If the weekends are all you have to write — don’t despair; that’s fine! You can write whenever you have the opportunity and publish later, or even use the scheduled post feature.

You’ll give yourself the best possible chance of the engagement you’re after if you do.

Other types of content though can work just fine published in the weekend. Although I’m sure there are more, here are two examples:

  • If the post is mostly for yourself anyway
    Which honestly, particularly if you’re starting out, is a good mindset to have about all your posts. It’s going to take a little time to really get going with regular readers. If you launch out of the gate expecting conversation on everything that matters to you — I won’t lie, this way lies madness. … Or at least the increased likelihood of an abandoned blog, gone before its prime.

    For me, my journal posts still fit this category. They’re mostly for me. One of my major motivations for blogging is to keep record of my own time as a gamer. And I think that somewhat internalised motivation (as opposed to say, ‘All the clicks!!!1!’) is what has made the difference in my longevity with this blog vs. my earlier attempts.
  • If it’s content people will refer to regardless
    An example of this here would be the Humble Choice posts. People will refer to these for months after the fact regardless of when I post them. I suspect Belghast and team’s AggroChat gets views week around (at least) as well, being a podcast sitting in a different content cadence to the posts of the blog.

    I would still caution to expect lower engagement with these types of posts, even if views are coming in. Certainly in the case of the Humble Choice posts at least, it’s a very dry transaction of information for view and that’s it — then they’re gone into the nether again.

This has certainly been my experience in any case.

I’m pretty curious to hear if anyone else has an opposing viewpoint, though.


This was posted during Blaugust 2021, the annual blogging event hosted by Belghast. Blaugust is an event aiming to welcome new blogger blood into the fold and revitalise those who’ve been at it a little longer.

The Blaugust Discord is still available to join in, year-round!


Naithin

Gamer, reader, writer, husband and father of two boys. Former WoW and Gaming blogger, making a return to the fold to share my love of all things looty.

9 Comments

MagiWasTaken · August 11, 2021 at 9:04 am

Personally, I haven’t really been paying too much attention to the day I’m posting things on. Since I’m scheduling posts for the next day to go live around 9 AM CEST, that’s been going quite well. Apparently, Thursdays are best for me in terms of stats, so I may consider publishing reviews on those days more often, but overall I don’t think that one should worry too much about the day. I mean, sure, it’s different for every blog… but for me personally, it doesn’t really matter too much on which day I post… Maybe because of me posting daily.
What day is best for you btw according to your WordPress stats? :)

    Naithin · August 11, 2021 at 11:50 am

    Wednesday for me, with 16% of views occurring there. My Wednesday is ahead of rest of world though, so probably the better understood answer would be ‘Tuesday’.

    If you’re publishing every day I’m surprised you don’t see more of a variance in post performance actually. At least on the engagement side (Likes, comments, etc) if not actually in views.

    I think I’m going to need to see what I can do about extracting post publish time and engagement stats from the blog and doing a part two of this with more data. :)

    Of course even as I type that, and thinking about how difficult WP makes it to put all this data together, I’m already tired. xD

    Still.. I’m curious enough that it might happen. xD

WCRobinson · August 11, 2021 at 9:37 am

Well it’s good that in past months I have mainly posted on weekends then XD I definitely mainly post for myself and to have my own journal of opinions, but equally I have found lots of posts have done quite well on weekends even when I did not expect it. I have a feeling some of it is that eventually if you stick to a schedule (which for me is one post a week, usually Sat/Sun) then people start to visit on those days, which may naturally boost stats on those days.

    Naithin · August 11, 2021 at 11:54 am

    I’d be curious if you did some AB-testing, with similar styled and perceived value content on say, a Wednesday morning vs. a Saturday or Sunday morning.

    But I did have some thoughts around the fact that less regular content (i.e., a post a week) would see less of a weekend impact than more regular content, because it doesn’t get overwritten in recency before people get a chance to look and respond.

    My posting varies a fair bit, but I would say it’s probably fair to say I average 2-3 posts a week and certainly anything posted in the weekend performs less well (on an engagement perspective, at least) than anything posted during the week.

    Largely because, it seems, most people who read blogs do so at work. xD This is very much not my experience, I typically catch-up after work or, yes, on the weekend.

    But it seems this places me in the minority. lol

      WCRobinson · August 12, 2021 at 9:26 am

      Haha yeah I tend to read out of work hours myself. I have had that thought actually about whether if I posted more then other posts wouldn’t get the same time to marinade, as attention would naturally be drawn away from them. I was posting much more often before I found a new job, and it was the need to keep myself on a reasonable schedule that led to me doing this once-a-week thing. When I was posting several times a week it was definitely much more all over the place whether a post would get much traffic, whilst now it is a less frequent but probably more consistent level.

Asmiroth · August 11, 2021 at 9:58 am

I’m just too busy on weekend to do much engagement, so this applies to me for sure. Scheduled posts ROCK

    Naithin · August 11, 2021 at 11:54 am

    Indeed, every Blaugust I remember just how much I appreciate the scheduled post feature. xD

    I only tend to use it while posting daily, so I can write today for tomorrow.

bhagpuss · August 11, 2021 at 9:02 pm

This is an interesting one. I think all the points in the post are valid. Weekends do see less traffic, there’s no doubt about that. If you care about visibility then the weekend is good to avoid. On the other hand, there’s the whole concept of blogging as a fun thing to be considered.

I suspect that if you’re the kind of person for whom scheduling, planning and organizing are fun things, arranging not to post on the weekends will be very comfortable and non-problematic. If you’re more the spontaneous sort, who likes to bang out posts as and when the mood takes you, however, trying to hit certain optimal windows to maximize response is going to feel quite uncomfortable and not much fun at all.

Then there’s the issue of reactive blogging. If some news story breaks over the weekend and you want to give your thoughts on it or even just pass it on to your readers or if you see something another blogger has posted and want to bounce off it, do you really want to wait until Monday? By then several other bloggers on your patch may have chimed in or the story may have moved on and by the time you come out with your post on Monday or Tuesday it will look like an afterthought.

It also depends on things like your available time for blogging. Personally, I blog on the days I don’t work. As I near retirement and reduce my hours, there are more days when I don’t work than when I do, and of course the pandemic and other health-related factors have allowed me to post very frequently these last couple of years. Going back a while, though, weekends were my main block of free time and blogging was what one of the things I most wanted to do at the weekend.

I could, of course, have then held those posts back until later in the week, but that would have felt very unsatisfying for me. I would rather get them out there and let them sit in the open than keep them back, hidden out of sight. I’ve always worked on the principle that if people want to read the posts they can go back and read them. I do frequently mention posts from the last few days and link back to them so there are opportunities for people who missed things to catch up. If they’re not interested, that’s fine. I’ll have something new up soon enough.

And that’s another factor. It does depend how much you blog. If you only aim to write one or two posts a week then to use Saturday and Sunday for them would seem a little self-defeating (although you could pick up a specific audience of weekenders doing that, I guess, which might be fun). If you’re going to be posting most days, though, I’m not at all sure it’s going to mater in the overall scheme of things if some of those posts are on weekends.

As always, it’s going to come down to what exactly you want to get out of blogging. If it’s traffic and numbers then yes, weekends are non-optimal. If you just get a buzz out of hitting publish and seeing your finished work out there in the world, though, it’s going to depend a lot on how much you enjoy delayed gratification. Although thinking about it, I generally get huge pleasure from deferred gratification…

I might need to think about why it doesn’t work for me in this specific context.

    Naithin · August 11, 2021 at 10:05 pm

    It’s an odd dynamic to be sure. Like you- I far prefer to just hit publish when I’m done writing — metrics be damned.

    Typically speaking, there are no regrets to this approach. But occasionally, every once in a while, there is a post I’d particularly like to talk about — that I’d like people to engage with me on. These ones in particular, I do regret letting fly if they happen to occur on the weekend.

    Not because of the stats so much, but on the missed opportunity for further discussion around it. I’d be lying if I said stats weren’t a factor for me at all but they’re also certainly not a big factor, otherwise I’d be scheduling and optimising everything and ick to that. xD

    Otherwise though — agree with what you’re saying here. Particularly if you’re covering news, or bouncing off another blogger; these are all perfectly good reasons to go ASAP rather than waiting.

    I do schedule during Blaugust, but only because writing for the day every day would quickly make the pressure of it outweigh the joy. Writing today for tomorrow though keeps that pressure at bay. If I do get behind, I still have a full 24 hours to catch up — and that helps a great deal.

    I mention this now because the next post coming talks way more to the actual metrics that demonstrate the weekend effect. It was an interesting project to work through, although WP certainly didn’t want to make it easy. xD

    Not sure what I’m going to post this weekend yet though… ;)

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