Timing & Frequency of Blog Posts, Facebook Shares, and Tweets

Perhaps I should become a Problogger reader, because this post a friend of mine shared with me is pretty much pure dynamite: When’s the Best Time to Publish Blog Posts?

In this post Dan Zarella comes to a few conclusions which I will simply summarize:

  • The greatest amount of re-tweet activity occurs around 4pm EST each day. This is, perhaps the best time for you to tweet your new posts.
  • Articles get shared more on Facebook when published on Saturdays and Sundays — this is probably because many workplaces have Facebook blocked.
  • Articles tend to get shared more on Facebook when published around 9AM. (So publish at 9am, and tweet at 4pm.)

And his last point… which I think struck a a little closer to home (based on my own tests) and seemingly over-shadowed the rest in terms of things to tuck away and make a rule of thumb:

  • Frequency of publishing posts seems to be the largest predictor of blogging success.

Read up on my own experiment involving posting frequency at: 61 posts in 61 days.

1 Post A Day for 61 Days = SEO Awesomeness

I’ve had a blog (not referring to this one) that’s been floating around for years. I’ve backlinked it previously to some degree, and it’s had a steady flow of traffic probably floating around 80 visitors a day for several years. Up until recently I had neglected it, mostly because I didn’t have time for it.

But recently I’ve taken to updating it again. Instead of necessarily posting very large articles, I mostly took snippets from interesting articles I had read, shove them in a blockquote, throw a “via” link on the end, and maybe a few sentences of commentary.

61 Days. 61 Posts.

Nothing big, but I basically went from posting virtually nothing on the blog and letting it coast off of it’s own steam, to suddenly a flurry of virtually daily blog posts since October 2nd. Today is December 4th, and since October 2nd I’ve posted approximately 61 short blog posts. Incidentally, it’s been 61 days (unless I miss counted). The fact that the numbers come out at exactly 1 blog post per day is simply a strange, cool coincidence that occurred entirely by accident.

In the several months prior to this 61 days I posted roughly once per month, and in the middle of the 61 day period I bumped a single, spun article out to a mass article distribution service for backlinks.

Results: A 35.86% Traffic Jump

The results are in. Basically, I compared the last week’s worth of traffic — starting at December 4th backward — (a total of 846 visits) to the traffic that was flowing in during the week prior to the beginning of the blog binge (a total of 608 visits). That’s a 35.86% increase.

It’s important to note that this traffic is traffic *exclusively* from search engines. On Google Analytics that report can be accessed via Traffic Sources > Search Engines. The reason I used this report, obviously, as opposed to the general traffic is it removes other variables like the absence or presence of a few facebook share visits. The only thing I’m interested in is what the *search engine* effects were from this result. Not unrelated viral traffic.

One of the other really cool elements of this experiment is ultimately I was really only taking a previous behavior I had — obsessively social bookmarking — and instead channeling that same energy into simply publishing it on my blog instead of delicious. So we’re not talking a lot of extra energy here: I’d definitely put this in the behavioral hack department.

Article Marketing Increases Speed of Google Indexing

Whenever I start doing search engine optimization work on any new website I try my best to get a few different forms of analytics setup (such as Google Analytics, and the awesome KPMRS) and start making good notes early on. This can help me refine and narrow down what techniques yield the most quickly.

Today I checked on a website I had started a drip distribution of spun articles on ~24 days ago and was surprised at the robustness of the results. Not so much that the website is pulling heavy traffic — it’s not. More so that the articles so rapidly helped the site go from getting virtually zero traffic from search engines, to at least getting some minor traffic. The graph really shows the difference! See below:

Useful SEO Tools and Links

Just starting a post to compile useful tools, with a short description of why they’re useful. Most of these were compiled by going on a huge stumbleupon spree using very specific tags (in this case “seo”). I would say this experiment was very successful, and I’ll be using StumbleUpon in this manner in the future.

Scripts, WordPress Plugins, Firefox Plugins, etc.

  • “Link Building Pro” (seox.com) – A javascript for automatically inserting a source link  with keyword rich anchor text to the clipboard if someone copies ANYTHING from your page. Good for SEO, and encourages people to list you as a source. Discovered from the SEO tag on stumbleupon.
  • Cross-linker – WordPress plugin that may no longer be functional, worth a shot however. Turns all instances of a phrase throughout a blog as a link to a pre-defined URL.
  • wp db backup – A plugin that automatically backs up a wordpress database.
  • Breadcrumb NavXT – A wordpress plugin that adds some nifty navigation/link hierarchy thats useful for SEO and usability.
  • Intense Debate – A wordpress plugin that alters the commenting system, allows comment email subscription, reply by email, and comment threading. Increases reader  engagement. View the features page here.
  • Digg Digg – A wordpress plugin that immediately inserts all the share/bookmarking buttons on your posts and pages, and allows custom formatting options. Very useful. Not restricted to digg as name might imply.
  • Better Google Analytics Firefox Plugin – Will take a snap shot of a report and export it to google docs.
  • Firefox addon to turn off google personalized search.
  • Seoaddons.com – A long list of firefox addons, cms mods, and other SEO-related goodies. My personal favorite found from here was a firefox addon called KGen which shows you the keyword composition of pages you’re viewing so you can scope  out the competition.
  • Google chrome plugins for SEO

Informational Articles

Keyword Analysis

  • Spyfu.com – Keyword that gives approximate traffic to website/keywords, and adwords price range for hits. Pretty cool.
  • Google Alerts – A useful tool that allows you to setup emails watching for keywords. Sets up an RSS feed for your use OR sends you daily/weekly emails. Can use advanced google search operators (big key to success there).
  • Nichebot.com – A pay membership service that helps with appropriate keyword targetting.
  • Keyword Discovery (Trellian) – Another membership site, similar to wordtracker or nichebot, but surprisingly expensive. $200/month.
  • Google Keyword Research ToolGives approximate amount of monthly trafic, as well as average cost per click rate. In order to see the CPC information click the “Choose columns to display” drop down, and click show all.
  • Google Trends – Information on  keywords that are hot right now.

Video Sites

  • blip.tv – Video hosting website. Allows clickable links to be placed within  the videos.

Useful Pay Services