Best day to publish a blog post

In this article I’ll be taking a look at my past history in order to determine what days do best for my publishing and when my readers generally tend to take the time out to read. You may wish to perform a simple piece of analysis yourself to understand your audience if you haven’t already!

The important question to answer is what is the best day to publish a blog post? It is an important question because you can base some strategy around your best publishing day to at least meet the basic requirement for a week. Whilst many experts claim that sometimes you should defy convention, there are some benefits to being consistent.

Days of the Week

A week is a linear concept, depending on where you draw the line between the start and the end.

A traditional 9-5 goes Monday to Friday with Saturday and Sunday as rest days. Not everyone fits this mould (flexible working and shifts to name just 2 scenarios). You also have to take into account varying time zones around the world. The time at which you publish may have no correlation to when people in other countries are awake or active.

How I have assembled the data

My data is put together from a series of information provided by Google Analytics. The base element of Analysis 1 takes data from the perspective of unfiltered data. Analysis 2 uses filtered data, filtered by viewing times of less than 30 seconds and not from Crawley (my home town). Analysis 3 is simply a date list of all weekdays that I have posted month per month.

Analysis 1: Mega days

At its most basic level, I’ve gone all the way to the beginning and recorded the number of visitors and pageviews for that day. I then dictate the best day of the week based on the best numbers. I’ve assigned this day as a “Mega” day to give it some ego.

Analysis 1: "Mega Days" - Good Tuesdays, Bad Fridays

Analysis 1: “Mega Days” – Good Tuesdays, Bad Fridays

As you can see above, Tuesday performs extraordinarily well whilst Friday performs incredibly poorly.

Analysis 2: Performing days

Zero Second Bounce is a topic I’ve covered a number of times. It is essentially what I class to be enough time to read an article and get something from it. Any views below 30 seconds are worthless because anything less than 30 seconds is not enough time to take anything away from what is shown.

an1nzsbbdtp

Days of the week displaying positive views (No Zero Second Bounce).

The chart above marks all the days that had a positive output . This is where quality is better than quantity. Tuesday is once again a very positive day. Monday, Friday and Saturday don’t provide as good results overall. I’ve highlighted Friday and Saturday in particular because they both produce poor results.

Analysis 3: Days that posts were published

The next thing to look at is when I have published posts (that have produced real views) and throw this into the mix. I always have to consider with an international audience that there is some lag involved with the actual reading of posts.

an1dopbdtp

“Day of Post” in the week.

The totals here are a bit more deceptive than for the other two forms of analysis because it appears that I have consistently posted on Wednesday but according to my analysis have had a poor return on time for those posts on Wednesdays.

Opening it up to the floor

I put this question out to the Google+ community to see how people responded.

When do you post

Kray‘s method works for a brand new blog, its good to have a few blades of grass under your feet when starting so as not to appear like you haven’t got much to say. I found having prepared posts harder at certain points during my study and work so I had to prepare posts on the fly and be a bit more flexible. Whilst off on my short study vacation I’ve got a good 6+ posts on the slate and have plenty of ideas at the moment but it doesn’t always work that way.

Johnnie Jazz has a slightly different frame of thought and not a bad one either, posting when you are done with you most recent piece is a good thing if you are post has a short shelf life. If you hold onto it too long you could miss the boat and it is much better to be working on the next piece of work rather than continuously agonising over what you push out of the door. I’m concerned over one particular post that is growing to epic proportions in my draft zone but is not seeing the light of viewers. I’m concerned that I don’t have the audience to make it a stand out winner and I would hate to launch it into empty space without better understanding how to part the waves to success Moses style.

Conclusion

When is the best day to publish a blog post? The answer for me is a Tuesday based on how most of the data lines up. My data also supports Wednesday as being an okay fall back if I miss my Tuesday deadline but Ideally earlier is better. Friday is my least likely day to get action, if my blog post wanted to figuratively get laid on a Friday it would have a long wait.

Some interesting experiments may include increasing my post frequency on days that I don’t normally post to see if this has an effect.

I am fairly convinced that Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday are the times that most people are open to new reading and their behaviour towards reading dies off towards the end of the week. Other forms of entertainment take over such as being sociable with family and friends or going out for a movie or restaurant. Speaking generally, Friday has a lot of competition, and I have to up my game to be spotted amongst the volume so for now Friday proves to be illusive.

End of Month Traffic Report: October 2013

I was looking for a Golden October and I think I may have found one. October has been a great month for me, I’ve seen the highest page views since the launch of the site and through continued efforts in the community I’ve been able grow a bit more in terms of my confidence and reach.

My September traffic report performed best for the month, appearing to be a successful page turner. I am happy to see that the numbers viewing this report have remained steady from month to month. I hope that you are able to take something away from the data and of course if you want to see more then please leave a comment and let me know!

A referral from Smart Passive Income effected my numbers dramatically this month with an Indian lady or gent viewing my content no less than 74 times over the span of two visits which had a massive impact on my stats. The 22nd October was a very good day in fact and I can identify that the visitor came from the city of Pune in India.

AplacecalledPune

Pune-tang

I feel a lot more confident and because my studies are at a pause I’m feeling much more upbeat about the site and my move forwards in blogging. I’ve tried to leverage a bit more of my network to try and drive traffic more effectively. I’m particularly pleased about the posts I wrote on Google recently even though they didn’t generate massive interest, I still feel they are good value posts.

traffic-jam-blur

End of Month Report

EoMTR GAF

This nomenclature is the norm from month to month. This is repeated for your benefit. I’ve termed an acronym to Google Analytics with my Actual Traffic Filter so as to save on some real estate for words below. This is displayed as GAF. GAF represents the truest figure based on what Google Analytics has recorded as a true page indent. The filter removes a phenomenon I’ve termed as ZSB or Zero Second Bounce where the visitor has made no page indent or 0 seconds on page.

Pageviews

  • WordPress Stats = 174 (last month 64) +110 inverse (171%) wowser!
  • GAF Stats = 128 (last month 44) +84 inverse (190%) wowser!

A glorious pageview increase this month. This was partly down to one particularly frantic day but also partly to a general increase in interested parties driven by a number of sources.

Visitors

  • WordPress Stats = 60 (last month 40) +20 inverse (50%) Yay !
  • GAF Stats =  15 (last month 10) +5 inverse (50%) Yay!

Up by 50%, excellent! Yes, it could be higher but I’ll take those figures over last month’s.

Average time on site

GAF = 508 seconds or 8 minutes 28 seconds (last month 1055 seconds or 17 minutes 35 seconds) -508 seconds or 9 minutes 7 seconds adverse (-51%)

A sharp drop back to traditional figures seen in June, July and August. Clearly September saw some better readers. I’m not overly concerned by this figure although I would like to see more visits averaging higher in future. I was aware that September had exceptional figures because I had received an after shock from a poor August and had put more effort in to raise the standards accordingly.

Demographics

WordPress Stats Demographics for last 30 days.

2013octdemog

2013 demographic information for October – Click to enlarge.

Traffic Source

I don’t get as deep a field of view from WordPress.com Stats although it does give a lot of good information on referrals and search terms. Direct is best supplied by Google Analytics.

2013octtrafficsource

Direct

GAF = 6 (last month 3) inverse +3

Referral

WordPress stats last 30 days shown below (30)

GAF = 8 (last month 7) inverse +1

A small change from last month. A move in the right direction.

Search

Search is performing better. I’ve had a favourable upswing in successful searches over the past month and for the first time Google+ referrals have been overtaken by search results. This could mean that I am either better at finding keyphrases that are easy to find and/or better at providing content that people take decent information away from.

Content

It never looks inspiring when I visit here and a large majority of visits were on pages rather than posts.

2013octcontent

October Content

As can be seen, the previous iteration of this traffic report performed well. It will be interesting to see what golden post may shine in November.

Conclusion

In conclusion, October has been golden. It has been uplifting to watch viewing numbers go up.

My site has remained fairly consistent over the month and I have kept the site unchanged in terms of the theme and the structure. I have been doing a lot more around the outskirts including keeping in with Google+ so as not to fall too far behind. I am still somewhat unhappy with the font style in the Twenty Thirteen theme and am soon contemplating a move away from it, for now, whilst I am able to concentrate on content I am keeping these changes to the bench for now.

I will be in search of more avenues to exploit in the continuing months. During November I shall be away from the 11th – 18th in sunny Barbados so there will be a week without content on interaction as I plan to have a relaxing technology break. I will still be working on my development journal during this time and hope to write out a number of post ideas during my time away but it will be nice to kick back.

I can’t rest on my laurels though. I need to work harder on the direction of this blog and work hard on understanding the type of content that I enjoy writing and which provides the best draw to the site. At present I agonise over the types of post that I generate and feel it could be a lot easier if I laser target my designation.

On another note, I hit 10 years service with the current company I work with, it was scary to think that I started the work I was doing in 2003 on the 28th October. I’m not sure that I will go another 10 unless my position improves with the organisation. For now I’m happy with my health and happiness.

Related Articles

How to create and add a Favicon to a WordPress Theme

I’m happy to bring you another technical post for WordPress which should cover most themes. This tutorial shows you step by step how to create and add a Favicon. For your info I am performing this from the view of Bluehost as my host service with the cPanel. If you don’t have a cPanel interface with your server all you need is your FTP access but chances are this tutorial is trivial to you.

What is a favicon? A favicon is that nice symbol that appears in the address bar.

What is a Favicon

The Blog Prefect Favicon

I opted to write this guide because the WordPress.org Codex and WPbeginner.com both provided a fairly comprehensive guide but, it didn’t quite go into the detail needed to get me to the end zone. If you have ever tried to do something from an incomplete guide you’ll know that you’ll run into a sticky wicket and the sweat will start rolling from your brow. Hopefully with this guide you can avoid that.

You will more than like start with a default Favicon supplied by your host or a blank favicon. Either way you should consider changing this to bolster your image.

FYI

Please note that two updates have been added to this article since it was originally published on the 28th October 2013. One is an advisory note for those using Bluehost. The other is a note on the new feature made available by the WordPress developers. These updates are highlighted in green.

The stages to victory:

  • Stage 0, Backup your header.php file in your theme or “child” theme
  • Stage 1, create a square image
  • Stage 2, convert your image to an icon file
  • Stage 3,  delete your old/default favicon file on the root of your website
  • Stage 4, upload your new favicon file to the root and to the main folder of your theme or “child” theme
  • Stage 5, amend your header.php code
  • Stage 6, clear your browser’s cache
  • Stage 7, bask in your technical glory

This is a straightforward change that doesn’t require you to do anything dangerous with the database so dive in!

Stage 0: The backup bit: Estimate, 3 minutes.

You are only required to edit one file (unless you have something weird going on with your theme), that file is header.php. You will need to go into the back-end of your site through the file manager (or FTP client) and download the header.php file from the theme (or child theme) root you are currently using. Keep this file in a safe place just in case the changes you make don’t work. If you need to replace the file simply upload and overwrite the non functional header.php with the backup. Simples.

Stage 1: The image bit: Estimate 10-20 minutes.

There are some important things to consider before creating your image. Firstly you need to be able to show your image in a tiny square, the dimensions are 16×16 pixels so what you may have had in mind for your Favicon may have to be rethought if it doesn’t look great. Play around a bit before you go ahead and change the file on the server.

Rules of thumb:

  • Make sure your image is clear.
  • Don’t use colours that blend, high contrast is better.
  • Make sure your image will compress okay into a symmetrical square (this may mean that you have to unlock the aspect ratio when resizing).
  • Remember that people are going to be seeing this image in the shortcut bar near the address bar and in the address bar, as well as the bookmarks.

With your square image, resize it to 16 x 16 pixels. Make sure you turn off the aspect ratio settings if your image isn’t a perfect square.

Save the file as .png and name it favicon.

Note: I did all of my image adjustments in Paint Shop Pro so you don’t have to have Photoshop to do this task.

Stage 2: The convert bit: Estimate, 1 minute.

Convert your image into an .ico file. Don’t worry, this isn’t as hard as it sounds. All you have to do is follow this link to Dynamic Drive Tools.

dynamic-drive-tools-favicon

A rather useful tool to convert. Also can convert desktop sized icons.

You can then download this .ico file to somewhere safe on your computer.

Stage 3: The delete bit: Estimate, 5 seconds.

This step might seem a bit odd but if you don’t do this your image won’t change from the default. I tried this a number of times without this step and it wasn’t working.

Go to your web root folder via the FTP manager and delete favicon.ico

Many hosts automatically default a favicon for you to either a blank page icon or their own icon. Bluehost, who I use, tend to default you to the Bluehost 9 squares favicon.

Stage 4: The upload bit: Estimate, 30 seconds.

Upload your new favicon.ico file into the web root and the theme/child-theme root. As noted in stage 3 above, an overwrite of the file isn’t enough in itself. You need to delete then replace.

Update 6th October 2015:

Please note that Bluehost runs into numerous difficulties if you try to straight upload Favicon.ico. To remedy this, rename the file you are going to upload to favicon1.ico then when the file has been successfully uploaded, rename it to favicon.ico in the file manager. I believe this is caused because Bluehost push a forced favicon.ico on your WordPress hosted site as a default and the system gets twitchy at you. If you experience this problem through a FTP client, let me know. I’d be intrigued to know. I expect that the same adjustment works in that instance.

Stage 5: The Code Bit: Estimate, 10 minutes.

Here comes the code bit. This is one line of code and your theme will decide what you do with this one line. Make a beverage of your preference before you begin, this may take a few minutes.

As a side note: I saw a two-line version at WPbeginner.com but this didn’t work for the Twenty Thirteen Theme.

You can either go through the dashboard editor in WordPress > Appearance > Editor or edit the file itself by downloading it and opening with notepad, wordpad or notepad++ (text editor on Mac). Hint: Use the dashboard editor, it is quicker.

You need to locate the head tag. If you’ve ever programmed in HTML then you’ll know that the head tag begins the same in PHP code with “<HEAD” .

Dependent on your theme and how complexly it has been constructed it may or may not already include a favicon link, don’t worry if it doesn’t because you are going to add it right now.

To check to see if you already have a line of code that does what you need press ctrl+f (on Windows) or cmd+f (on an Apple) and search for the word favicon. If you find this word you don’t have to make changes.

Paste the following code into your header.php in you theme/child-theme root. You will need to add the following line near the end of the head tag. (you can copy and past this text).

<link rel=”shortcut icon” href=”<?php echo get_stylesheet_directory_uri(); ?>/favicon.ico” />

Favicon code in header.php

The code inserted into the header.php file via WordPress’s inbuilt editor.

Save the changes when you are done. With this code from the WordPress.org Codex, note how it doesn’t reference the domain.

Update: 6th October 2015

This alternate code can be inserted into the header which directly targets your favicon.ico location. Useful if you have more than one domain as they tend to get confused.

<link rel=”shortcut icon” type=”image/x-icon” href=”http://yourdomainroot.com/favicon.ico” />

Stage 6: The cache cleared bit: Estimate, 10 seconds.

Clearing the cache is the kind of thing you do if you’ve been looking at porn on the internet so you should know how to do this. If you are virtuous then this will vary depending on your browser. Chrome has it in the settings option (the horizontal bars). Safari has it in Safari > Settings.

Stage 7: The check then victory pose bit: Estimate, 2 seconds.

Before you can bask in your technical glory you first need to check that the changes have occurred. You should now be seeing your new favicon appear in the address bar, bookmarks shortcut bar (if you have one) and against the bookmarks.

Time for some biscuits with that beverage? Ah, happy days.

As a final note; if you need to change your favicon again in future, you only need to perform steps 1-4 because the code bit is only needed if your theme didn’t reference the Favicon the first time out of the gate.

Update Circa 6th October 2015

I had a problem whereby because I have two domains hosted on the same account, I got all confused and ended up with my main site taking the wrong favicon entirely, just make sure that you save your favicon.ico to the right root location and theme. It can take a while for the favicon to show correctly around the houses.

Additionally, a few updates ago, WordPress now has added the feature to add your favicon from a much simpler place. You can add it from the following location in your wp-admin dashboard:-

appearances > theme options > general > favicon

appearances > theme options > general > favicon

If this tutorial doesn’t run smoothly for you, let me know in the comments below. Happy tweaking, Jackson….

Post Study Interim Blogging Reality Check – June to October 2013

 Four Months of Freedom

Freedom! I am free from the oppression of the Open University for this year until February 2014. Happy days! I completed my exam for module B201 on the 7th October with 20 minutes to spare and left fairly satisfied that I hadn’t dropped a huge clanger so fingers crossed when my results return in November time (approximately). In February I undertake B301 which is a much more demanding mandatory element of my honours degree. Groan.

I wanted to take stock at this time because it is a prime period to turn up the wick on my exploits. I have time free to pursue further tweaks, further content and further audiences.

Interim blogging reality check:

Blogging Reality Check

Jackson’s world is a brilliant place but unfortunately I have to live in the real world too.

My current WordPress theme.

  • I have gone through a change from Graphene to Twenty Thirteen as should be apparent.
  • I’m not entirely happy with Twenty Thirteen but have made some useful tweaks such as the new archive section which uses a plugin to provide a better view than the WordPress default.
  • I’ve had to disable the featured picture and remove the doubling up of the post title as this was driving me barmy.
  • I’ve had to disable pingback/trackbacks because ultimately these were causing issues and in so doing I’ve had to go back to the database and update the post records retrospectively.
  • I’ve been adjusting my authorship element but still am unable to indicate that I’ve written the posts but have actually figured out why (because I’ve posted all as the administrator).
  • The Snippets are showing properly now which I’m happy about.
  • There is no default author.php for the Twenty Thirteen theme.

Google+ Progress

As part of my goals for world domination I have expanded at a pace I am happy with on Google+. My circles now contain 641 which is a good number. There are of course a number who are in what I might class as the dross pile (the most diplomatic term I can assemble) and still a lot of people I haven’t been able to interact with. One of the downsides with Google+ is that whilst it does show those people who have interacted with you the most at the top of the circle there is no way to cattle prod those at the bottom.

Other Social Media

I’m sorry to say that both Facebook and Twitter now fall under the “Other” category because the amount of effort I put into them and the return in my investment of that time is not proportionate.

I’ve warmed to Facebook because at least it presents my posts neatly but Twitter bugs me. Twitter bugs me because I feel that a lot of what occurs there is of low value. I’ve always had this thought before I joined the social media platform and my fears were verified. Of course I am a bit like a monkey with a gun at the moment and my displeasure is more fuelled by not knowing how to do it well.

I am working on LinkedIn at this time and unfortunately I’m a filthy “no-face” until I get my image on there. I haven’t been on since I set it up which is kind of naughty. I’ll see how this goes.

The blog itself

I am much happier with how the blog now looks. I hope that any returning visitors view the site more positively than they have before. Because I seem to have very little feedback it is difficult to gauge how things are going and I know that part of my problem is that I don’t use my email (headboy) effectively with this site. I plan to do a whole lot more over the coming months but welcome comments on ideas and ways I can shape things.

My Mega Post

I have written a massive post. This is a truly massive article on a subject I’ve been very passionate about. I’ve been reluctant to release the article because I am well aware that my current readership will not engage with this article. What I need are gamers and the support for them on Google+ is weak so I need some strategy to deploy this bad boy. My SEO voodoo is weak also and I need to understand how I will get a better result so this post is currently stowed like the life jacket under an aircraft seat.

What would you suggest?

Current Sitrep

WordPress Stats:

  • 412 views, 154 visitors

Filtered for quality in Google Analytics where visitors have stayed longer than 30 seconds and don’t originate from Crawley, West Sussex, England.

  • 350 views, 81 visitors

Other Stats:

  • Visitor comments of good quality = 1
  • Best performing post to date = Analytic Cold Turkey: A month on
  • Best performing Social Media referrals = Google+
  • Best performing comment referrals on other sites = Tom Ewer’s Leaving Work Behind

In conclusion, things are moving along at a slow pace but I’m happy with the direction so expect more to come over the following four months!