1Point’s Guide to Winning Blogs : Chapter 1 – Timing

My research shows that people will tolerate Dali's melting watches, but they LOVE fat cats (Image from fatcatart.ru)
My research shows that people will tolerate Dali’s melting watches, but they LOVE fat cats (Image from fatcatart.ru)

There’s an old joke.  A man is interviewing Poland’s greatest comedian.

He asks, “What is the secret to being Poland’s grea-”

Before he can finish asking the question, the comedian emphatically says, “Timing!”

(If you’re Polish and you’re offended, please feel free to revise the joke, substituting Croatia for Poland and dental hygenist for comedian – it won’t be nearly as funny, but we’ll have spared your tender feelings at the expense of those annoying Croatian mouth workers)

There’s a good deal of truth to the thought behind the joke.  Not the Polish part, but the timing aspect.  Timing is critical, and not just for telling jokes.  Timing may also play a key role in getting blog hits.

I’ve repeatedly promised myself that I’m going to look into figuring out the best time to post things to actually get people to look at them.  Up till now, the extent of my research has been to have more than 3 people visible on Facebook chat before posting my link there.

My problem is that when I finally finish polishing the turds I call posts, I just can’t help myself and have to hit the “Publish” button.  It doesn’t matter if it’s 2 A.M. or the night before Ramadan, I’ve got to get that gem out for everyone to see.

If he doesn't turn things around this semester, he could be a D list celeb by June (Altered image from dr-phil-blog.newsok.com
If he doesn’t turn things around this semester, he could be a D list celeb by June (Altered image from dr-phil-blog.newsok.com)

Sometimes I have a additional fear that the topicality of my post is waning, and I need to hit “Publish” as quickly as possibly before Dr. Phil is no longer a B grade celebrity and my post loses what little relevance it might have once had.

My timing also took a hit when the movers and shakers at WordPress decided to ignore daylight savings time.  I was used to my posts having all the way up to 8 PM Eastern time to collect hits, then suddenly the end of the reading day became 7.  As if it weren’t depressing enough to face total darkness by 4:27 in the afternoon, now I’ve got one less hour to collect hits on my Tori Spelling blog posts (Please do not waste your time explaining that I have an extra hour in the morning – everyone knows that particular hour is only good for beauty sleep).

Here then, are my unscientific findings on the best timing for posting blogs.

Morning, noon or night?

Due!  You toally got OJ all over my peacoat! WTF?!  (Image from cosbysweaters.com)
Dude! You totally got OJ all over my peacoat! WTF?! (Image from cosbysweaters.com)

Many writers feel that morning is the best posting time.  They post as early in the day as is practical, keeping in mind the importance of getting to work on time and the aforementioned beauty sleep.  They hope for big numbers of reader hits from the breakfast crowd.  After all, few things are more satisfying than having a commenter exclaim that they laughed so hard that orange juice spewed out of their nose and all over their Cap’n Crunch.  While the morning post is tempting, the reality is that many readers have the eye function of 1 day-old kittens at this time of the day.  Recent scientific studies have shown that a large percentage of American employees don’t actually wake up until just before their lunch breaks.

Love this bathroom, even on "Casual Fridays"
Love this bathroom, even on “Casual Fridays” (Image from flickrhivemind.com)

Other bloggers will swear by the mid-day post.  For the purposes of my study, I’ve defined “mid-day” as anywhere from the time my morning fish oil capsule stops repeating on me and the hour of my afternoon visit to the 3rd floor men’s room over by human resources.  I swear, hardly anyone knows about that bathroom.  It’s always clean and my magazine is usually right where I left it.  I’d appreciate if we could keep the location of this tidy little oasis a secret – so mum’s the word, OK?  As for timing, mid-day is a big mistake for posting – people are at work and/or chasing small children around – focusing on a 900 word blog about which reality star annoys you is more than likely going to have limited appeal.

Behold -The Meatloaf Martini !  Always remember to crust the rim of the glass with onion-toasted breadcrumbs for that special flair! (Image from eclecticrecipes.com)
Behold -The Meatloaf Martini ! Always remember to crust the rim of the glass with onion-toasted breadcrumbs for that special flair! (Image from eclecticrecipes.com)

Finally, there are the night owls of the blogging world.  These writers post in the evening, certain in their convictions that a belly full of meatloaf and martinis when they publish will guarantee success.  These authors should make sure to take their sweet time so that they don’t hit that button before 7 PM Eastern, because once that witching hour comes, the slate is cleared and new hits go into the next day’s hopper.  Waiting too long after 7 is also a mistake, as many readers will turn off their laptops in the coming hours in desperate attempts at spending “quality time” with spouses and if necessary, children.  A little attention to timing on the part of these readers can help avoid the children altogether, but the spouse may resent their having read blogs during both bath and homework times.  Clearly evening posting is fraught with pitfalls and risks and should be avoided.

I Don’t Like Mondays

The savvy blog writer may also wish to pay close attention to which day of the week it is when they publish a post.  Might the content of a given post have an impact on where in the week it should appear?  For instance, one could imagine that a post about the diminished mental capacity of one’s boss would find a welcoming audience on a Monday.  This is not necessarily correct.  In fact, a recent informal poll indicates that people are annoyed with the incompetence of bosses and coworkers pretty much every day.

Most people define the weekends as a time for rest and recharging the batteries.  With this in mind, it’s critical to consider that reading your blog might not fit into some readers’ definitions of leisure time.  They may resent having to “sound out” erudite, ostentatious words from your post on a day when they’d planned to lay around in their jammies until sometime after their noon naps.

Summary

After minutes of painstaking research, I’m able to conclude that it does not matter a lick at what hour or day of the week you post a blog.  Those fickle readers will read it when and if they feel like it.  As often as not, they’ll leave it hanging on the vine to wither and die.  Feel free to hit the publish button any time you choose – you can be confident that it won’t make any difference.  While timing may be important in comedy and cooking, bloggers can feel free to disregard it, unless they run the risk of being late for work.

Be sure to tune in next time, when I tackle another topic in the quest for blog supremacy.

Take my advice at your own peril.  I'm not smart enough to avoid putting a picture of my bald head in a post with a picture of Dr. Phil's balds head in it!
Take my advice at your own peril. I’m not smart enough to avoid putting a picture of my bald head in a post with a picture of Dr. Phil’s bald head in it!

About the Author:  1pointpersective is a blogger who’s been scribbling his tired musings about life on WordPress for 9 months or so.  He would be the first to tell you that he doesn’t know crap about writing or blog success.  Truth be told, he only writes blog posts to kill time while he waits to win the lottery or face the zombie apocalypse, whichever comes first. 

R.I.P. Skippy! We miss you!!

Let me start this with a disclaimer.  While many people close to me know I’m not the world’s biggest pet lover, I understand that even the most cynical among us get attached to our pets.  When they pass away (see I didn’t say “die” – I’m sensitive that way), we miss them and mourn them like they were members of the family – because they were (kind of like that odd, flatulent aunt who sleeps on the floor in the sun and sniffs at herself).

Okay, that’s out of the way.

Just outside of the frame on the left, the Yeti was coming. Too fast, too hungry, too sad.

I re-activated my Facebook account to try to build my blog readership.  Self-serving, I know, but it’s Facebook – not the Little Sisters of the Poor.  In truth, the account was never deactivated, it will be active forever.  You can’t kill a Facebook account, believe me, I’ve tried.

I found the world of Facebook to be chugging right along without me.  When I suddenly reappeared on the site after more than a year away, there was no fanfare of trumpets or any such big deal.  Many of the same people who were posting what they had for breakfast or other such trivial blathering, were right there where I’d left them.  They were gloating about having just eaten the best bowl of steaming oatmeal known to man (Allow me to take a brief moment to “Like” Jimmy’s Diner in Newark, Delaware, home of the famous Bottomless Bowl of the World’s Best Oatmeal).

While I know I can’t change the way people use FB, I’ll be damned if I’m not going to make fun of some of the nonsense I see on there.

Today I went on and found the usual suspects, playing games and yakking about their grand kids, their breakfasts, their spiritual journeys and their grand kids’ breakfasts and/or spiritual journeys.  One post I saw caught my eye.  A friend of a friend (who wasn’t actually my friend), had posted something.  The adage about “any friend of so-and-so is a friend of mine” doesn’t apply to online friends in my humble opinion.  This person’s being a friend of a friend makes it permissible for me to find fault with how they live their FB lives, without actually insulting them, since they don’t know me.

Got it?

Not so??

Well, deal with it, because I’m doing it anyway.

Where was I?

This person posted that they missed their dog, who had passed away a year ago today.  They wrote something along the lines of “R.I.P. Skippy! We miss you!”.  I won’t bore you with a lengthy philosophical discussion about the canine afterlife.  Suffice to say that, as a hopeless romantic, I can only hope that doggie heaven is filled with rolling meadows, unlimited tennis balls and no shortage of decomposing possums to roll around in.  Come to think of it, I may have just stumbled upon what possum hell is like.  Further discussion of possum hell will have to wait for another post.

One thing I know with an egotistically high degree of certainty is this; even in doggie heaven, dogs can’t read.  Even if they could read, they would have a hard time getting the computer to go to Facebook – paws just don’t work that way.  I know this is getting increasingly far-fetched – yuk yuk!  Even if they could read, get onto Facebook and follow their former masters without technically friending them, why the hell would they?  I thought doggie heaven was filled with old slippers to gnaw on and various unlimited butts to sniff.  If Skippy has the option to be chasing squirrels and Buicks with Old Yeller and Rin Tin Tin, why in the world would you want him tied to a computer following you on Facebook?!  Your poor, deceased Schnauzer-mix is finally off the leash and running wild in doggie heaven and you’re tethering him to the laptop like the rest of us?!  You cruel bastard!

It doesn’t help your case that Skippy knows you went out and got that new puppy 3 months after he went onto the big kennel in the sky.  Did you think he’d see your R.I.P. note from doggie heaven and not see those cute puppy snap-shots you posted a few months back?  A Labra-doodle?!  Seriously?!  Skippy is barely cold and you went out and got that bitch?!

I hope you’re happy with yourself.  It’s people like you who are causing a huge upswing in dog-related poltergeists in this world and the afterworld.  Poor Skippy, he’s spinning in his grave out behind the garage right now. Rest in peace, my ass!