Last Updated on by Michael Brockbank
Getting on a publishing schedule can do wonders to improve traffic and engagement on your blog. It’s among the best methods for gaining momentum towards a successful website. And today, I’ll dive into the nuts and bolts of scheduling.
I can say from first-hand experience that maintaining a good flow of content vastly improves your chances of success.
Why Set Up a Publishing Schedule?
Although you can have a bit of success by publishing blog posts as you write them, there is something to be said about having a specific schedule. Especially if you don’t plan to write every single day.
And while it’s true that the majority of your visitor traffic will come from Google search, a schedule benefits those results.
Good for Return Visitors
First of all, getting some of your fans on a specific schedule is greatly beneficial for return visits. It lets people know exactly when to expect a new piece of published content.
It’s like how television stations have certain programming at specific times in the day. When I was growing up, my family could rely on Cheers being on at 6 pm.
If you install something for push notifications, it can make an even greater impact as people are notified at exact times when a post goes live.
It’s a similar effect when blogging or even when pushing out YouTube videos.
Good for Google’s Algorithms
Google isn’t forthcoming as to what affects the algorithm. That’s because people could then find a way to game the system. However, I can say that being on a publishing schedule has affected my site in many ways.
In my experience, a blogging schedule affects:
- The visibility of the site as a whole in search results.
- The average position of articles when someone looks for the topic.
- How quickly blog posts are indexed by Google.
- The overall amount of traffic the site experiences any given month.
Granted, these aren’t guaranteed from one site to another. But after tracking several aspects over a period of the past several years, the numbers show just how much of a difference having a publishing routine has made.
And this isn’t just from my own blogs. I see it on my client’s sites as well.
Keeps the Blog Active
If you want to keep people coming back for more content, they need to rely on a site’s activity. If your blog looks stagnant, it promotes a lack of trust that you’ll publish more at a later date.
Activity also keeps the Google search algorithm crawling your site at regular intervals.
Keeps You Motivated and On Task
Perhaps the biggest benefit of setting up schedules is how it can help you stay motivated and creating content.
I found that by “winging it,” I was far less likely to write a new post. In fact, it would be weeks if not months before I published another piece of content.
Sticking to a specific schedule has helped me stay productive, consistent, and more successful overall.
How to Determine Your Publishing Schedule
When setting up your own schedule for publishing blog posts, there are a few things you need to consider.
1. Know How Much Content You Can Produce
First of all, how much content are you regularly going to be able to produce? It doesn’t make sense to set a schedule to publish every day if you’re not capable of sustaining the routine.
For example, I know that I can at least get three blog posts published on WriterSanctuary each week. And since July of 2020, I’ve done a decent job at maintaining that flow.
Here I am, six months later, and the site has broken its traffic record for the second month in a row thanks to a publishing schedule.
Be honest with yourself about how much content you can create. And keep in mind that having several methods for generating topic ideas can keep you productive.
2. Know What Your Target Audience Wants to Read
What kind of content does your target audience want from your website? Because it’s these people who will help drive your blog forward.
You can find this kind of information in Google Analytics or if you use Jetpack and WordPress.com. Personally, I use both as a way to get an accurate read on who wants to read what.
Don’t only look for articles with the highest traffic. Also, consider how much time people are spending on your pages and the bounce rate of your posts.
When you write for search intent for your audience, you can create engaging content people will want to spend their time reading.
3. Find the Best Time to Publish Articles
Remember what I said about television stations knowing when to show certain shows? This is done by knowing when specific audiences are going to pay attention.
The same effects are often achieved for both blogs and YouTube channels. Knowing when subscribers and followers are the most active can help you connect with the audience.
In some instances, I’ll use Google Analytics to see when people are visiting the website. Using a color-coded report, you can see when traffic picks up on the site.
Then, you can set up a schedule that resonates with those users.
You can also run a few visitor surveys to get a sampling of when people want to read your content. And never underestimate the value of an email subscriber list.
4. Set Articles to Publish in Advance
Once you have a plan in place for a publishing schedule, all you need to do is set them to go live. If you use WordPress web hosting, this is actually quite easy.
Then, I’ll set each blog post to publish on specific days. For WriterSanctuary, this is every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday at 10:30 am. That’s when the blog is the most active with visitors.
It’s my goal to show them a new article when readers are the most active. It increases the likelihood of a return visit. Especially if someone subscribed to the push notifications.
You’ll more than likely have a much different publishing schedule. This depends greatly on your specific audience. For instance, ColoradoPlays.com gets most of its traffic after 6 pm.
Why Not Just Publish Posts as You Write Them?
Although there’s really nothing wrong with publishing posts as you write them, it may not be the most effective means. This is because part of maintaining that schedule is training Google to crawl your pages.
Not to mention that you don’t give followers and subscribers a reliable time to consume content.
As I mentioned earlier, keeping a schedule also keeps me on task. It’s all about delivering that sense of urgency to keep up with the content.
When you’re working from home, you need to find ways to keep yourself accountable. And having that set publishing schedule can go a long way to helping you maintain a good flow of content.
Can You Add More Content Throughout the Week?
Once you have a schedule set in stone, there’s nothing wrong with adding more throughout the week. It’s kind of like bonus content. You’ll already train Google’s algorithm to crawl your site thanks to the timely updates.
The only real issue is the possibility of not connecting with your specific audience. If your visitors are expecting a post at 10:30 am on a Monday, they might not read the 2:34 pm post on a Tuesday.
In my experience, though, adding a post in the middle of the schedule has resulted in gaining a few more subscribers to the push notifications.
So, the short answer to this is, “it really depends on your audience and with whom you’re trying to connect.”
How Often You Publish Is All About Your Audience
In the grand scheme of things, any creator is trying to impress an audience. And it’s those individuals who will play a major role in when and how often you should create content.
Give them what they want to read, when they want it. You may find your blog heading into greater possibilities as time marches on.
- Days from Breaking Annual Traffic Record, How Did I Do It? - December 1, 2023
- What is Reedsy Discovery and Will it Help Publish Your Book? - November 9, 2023
- Are You a Pantser or a Plotter (Planner)? Does it Really Matter? - October 27, 2023