Maintaining an effective company blog is one of the most time-intensive tasks on a content marketer’s slate. According to joint reports from the Content Marketing Institute and MarketingProfs, 72% of B2C marketers and 76% of B2B marketers use blogs as a part of their overall content marketing strategy.
However, the same studies found that both B2B and B2C marketers report “lack of time,” “producing the kind of content that engages,” and producing enough content” as the top challenges they face.
From idea-generation through execution, blogging requires a huge investment of time and energy, and many content marketers struggle to regularly produce content without sacrificing quality. Because content creation comes with such a large up-front investment of resources, it is incredibly important to publish blog posts at the most opportune times to maximize their social reach.
At TrackMaven, we are all too familiar with these issues, both as marketers ourselves, and from listening to the pain points our customers face. We use our own blog as a medium to address our customers’ FAQs, share proactive marketing insights, and share the quirks of our company culture, but we see varied social interaction depending on the time of publication.
So, we went to work to find out if there really is a best time to publish a blog post. We analyzed 4,618 blogs and their combined grand total of 1,167,426 posts for trends in posting schedule and corresponding engagement. Here are a few of the key takeaways from our analysis of blogging trends.
Weekends Are Ripe For Blog Post Engagement
Our analysis showed that there is a major separation between when blogs are published and when readers have time to digest them. As the graph below shows, blog posting frequency drops off sharply on weekends. Overall, 87% of blog posts are published during the work week. Posting frequency [GREEN] is also roughly the same throughout the work week, ranging from a low of 15.9% on Fridays to 18% on Tuesdays and Wednesdays. Posting frequency on the weekends, however, drops to a low of 6.3% on Saturdays, and only 6.8% on Sundays.
Our analysis of the distribution of social shares per blog post [BLUE] by day of week, however, shows the opposite trend. While posts published on weekends only account for a combined 13.1% of posts by frequency, they received 32.6% of all social shares for the data set. Saturdays are especially appealing for content marketers to experiment with publishing blog posts; while only 6.3% of posts are published on Saturdays, they received 18% of total social shares for the week.
High Competition During Work Hours
Our analysis also showed that content marketers are treating content distribution as a day job. Just take a look at the graph below, which shows the distribution of blog posts in our data set by the time of day EST.
Overall, we can see that majority posts are published between 9am and 6pm EST. The most blogs are published between 11am-12pm EST specifically, accounting for 6.53% of all posts. We can also see a secondary peak in posting frequency between 12-1am EST, most likely due to the auto-publication of posts at the start of the next business day. Our analysis of blog post engagement by time of day, however, again showed the inverse trend.
Leisure Hours Are Prime For Engagement
While most blogs posts are published during work hours, social shares were highest for posts published between 9pm-midnight EST. There is even a secondary peak in engagement between 4-6am EST, marking the start of the European business day.
So while content marketing and distribution might be your day job, keep in mind that your audience is also likely to have a day job of their own. While the best time to publish your blog posts can only be found through structured experimentation, consider that weekends and leisure hours have less content competition, and offer ample time for readers to absorb, reflect on, and share the content that resonates with them most. After all, even the best content can benefit from a strategic posting schedule to maximize social lift.
Want more blog posting strategies? Download our Colossal Content Marketing Report for more data on blog headlines, blogging frequency, and social shares by channel.