Free Social Media Webinar

Today Outskirts Press is holding a free webinar on Social Media. Based upon the number of sign-ups, this is a very popular topic. The webinar is live and will be conducted by Elise, the point person heading up our author support division. In the webinar, Elise covers opportunities for authors that are presented by Facebook, Linked-In, Twitter, and YouTube. She uses two fictitious examples of writers (one, an author of a non-fiction book and the other, an author of a poetry book) and how they can use these social media channels to better promote their book and build their own author platforms.

This webinar is a complement to one of our services, the Author Platform Set-up Through Social Media, which is a convenient way for an author (published with us or not) to kick-start their social media marketing efforts…


Blog statistics

Up until April of this year, I was blogging approximately once every 3-4 days (usually 4). Then after attending a webinar on social media, I began posting shorter pieces multiple times a day through April.  Did that result in greater traffic to my blog, as the “social scientist” suggested it would? Let’s look…

This image is taken from the WordPress Site Stats page which tracks the total number of unique visitors to my blog on a monthly basis, since I started it in January 2010.  You can see the natural climb, along with specific “jumps” which I can contribute to certain tactics, which I will discuss tomorrow.   The last bar graph represents April.  Is it higher than March? No.  Will I be continuing to post 3 blogs a day?  No.

Now I am going to try something else through May, and then we’ll compare the stats again.  This new tactic involves shorter postings (like the social scientist’s suggestion) but rather than multiple times per day, I will post each of the shorter postings three days in a row…

What is the “blogerati”

Since 75% of America’s population resides in the Eastern and Central times zones, you might think 9am Eastern time would be the perfect time to post. But that’s actually a little late. Why?

Because by then, all the blogger’s you’re hoping will link to your content have already committed to other sources or blogs for the day.  You see, there are many bloggers who have a daily commitment to blog about something…. they’re being paid to do it in one way or another, or perhaps they’re even doing it for free.  But, in any event, they ALSO know what I’m saying here — that blogs are best posted in the morning.   

So, many of them scan certain sources (namely other blogs in their industry) for ideas or stories.  So if your blog comes out BEFORE all those other bloggers (the coined term for these people is “blogerati”  – like “paparazzi” for bloggers), then your blog stands a better chance of being the source some of those bloggers use for THEIR blogs.  And that is how links are generated to your blog, and how your blog grows its audience.

So you want to make sure your first blog of the day is early enough to capture the attention of the blogerati, perhaps between the hours of 4-7am Eastern Time.  That also gives the entire day for your content to propagate through the search engines while it is still the most relevant (newest).

Then, if you are following some of this advice I’ve shared over the past week or so, your second and third posting of the day can target other time zones or audiences with the same strategic considerations…

Best time to blog post

Earlier we revealed that the “best time to blog post” was in the morning.  “The morning?” you might ask. What time zone is THAT?  Well, it depends upon the market you’re trying to reach.  Since I’m American and company Outskirts Press is based in America, my primary target for this audience is American.  Sure, we publish books by authors around the world, but when it comes to a specific social marketing tactic, it is best to target one primary market as well as you can.

For America, that means you should blog according to the Eastern time zone.  Nearly 50% of America’s population resides in the Eastern Time Zone, and in fact, over 75% of the population resides in either the Eastern or Central Time Zone.  Fortunately, and perhaps even coincidentally,  a New Yorker’s 9am is often the same as a Chicagoan’s 8am.

But both those times are a little too late to post your first posting of the day.  I’ll discuss “why” later today…

Best time to blog

In the recent past postings we have discussed the best way to blog (multiple postings per day, and why), and the best days to post (depends upon the goals for your blog), so now let’s discuss the “best time to blog.”

On a side note, did you know that if you repeat the title of your blog posting within the body of your posting surrounded by quotation marks you increase the chances of Google or Yahoo “scoring” your blog higher for that keyword term or phrase?

It becomes weighted even higher if you also link it somewhere… so, that’s just a little extra thing to consider today as we discuss the “best time to blog.”  (Although it’s better if the link actually goes somewhere relevant, but I didn’t have time to do that for this little example).

I don’t think I’m revealing anything shocking when I suggest the best time to blog is in the morning. But I’ll discuss WHY that is, and provide additional insight to that concept later today….  For instance, the “morning” for who, or where?  The world is big, and round, and the internet is worldwide. One man’s morning is another man’s night…

Blogging Advice

Ahh.. and there’s the proper spelling, because even though “blogging advise” is the second Google Search Suggestion, “blogging advice” is the first.  And this further supports one of the pieces of advice I am sharing about blogging that I learned at a recent webinar: that multiple postings throughout the day allow you to title blog headlines differently, which thereby increases your chances of matching a common or popular keyword or phrase. 

Yes, it’s true that “content is king” but the jewel in the crown is the content in the headline of the blog. The “weight” Google or Yahoo gives keywords appearing in titles of blog postings far exceeds the value content receives in the body of postings.

And that’s not even the advice I was planning to share with this post. This is:  We’ve discussed posting multiple times per day, and we’ve discussed on what days it is best to post.  Now let’s talk about the best times to post.   According to statistics compiled by “social media scientists” the best time to post is in the morning.  Well, that’s okay if you’re only posting one a day, but what about the second and third postings?  This is my third posting of the day and it is going “live” in the afternoon (or evening, depending upon your point of view and what part of the world you are on).

So, ultimately, the “time” you schedule for your posts depends upon the time zone you want to target… and we’ll talk about that next time.

Blogging Advice for Writers

Another piece of advice I learned from this “Social Media Scientist” is that you should blog on specific days of the week according to what you hope to accomplish with your blog. For instance, if you are trying to generate comments, blogging on the weekends is shown to be statistically better since people have more time to comment, and there is less competition for their time.

On the other hand, if you are trying to generate click-thrus, blogging during the weekdays is better because people are more pressed for time, given their own responsibilities, and are therefore more likely to click-thru on a link you have in your post than comment on your blog.

Well, that’s a no-brainer for this blog, since I’ve already discussed the logistic reasons why I don’t have “commenting” enabled.  But for your own blog, the goal may be different…

Social Media Scientist

So rather than writing one long posting on the days on which I post, now I will — hopefully — post 2-3 somewhat shorter postings all on the same subject.   I say “hopefully” because there’s a chance this concept is more than I can chew; I already lack the time to devote to this blog the amount of time I do already.

According to Dan Zarrella, the “social media scientist” who was recommending this, the reason this is more successful is that the majority of blogs are only posted to once a day — if that.  Statistically few blogs are posted to more than once a day, and any time you do something “different” than the majority, you give yourself a competitive advantage.

He was probably summarizing a more complicated idea, so I will attempt to enhance that idea a  little bit with an example as it pertains specifically to this blog.  Every time this blog is updated, my account on HootSuite is programmed to automatically update our Outskirts Press Twitter feed with the subject of the post, a link to the post, and relevant hash tags.

Therefore, by only posting once a day, our company’s Twitter account is only updated with my posting once, unless I manually retweet it — which I admit I should do, but simply lack the time. More on that later.

But, by breaking a larger posting into smaller posts throughout the day, each posting receives its own Twitter tweet, thereby multiplying the potential exposure for the blog by three.

That’s just once example of the benefit. I’ll discuss more soon…

Social Media Energy

I learned in the recent webinar I attended that the “energy” of social media is dependent upon the time of day, and the day of the week.  One graphic in particular that was shared during the webinar demonstrated that blogs that are updated more frequently than once a day are many times more likely to be read, shared, and subscribed to. 

I’ve already discussed the fact that I “squeeze” this blogging effort into an already-overloaded schedule, so while I was listening to this “social scientist” tell me I had to blog MORE each day, my immediate reaction was, “Yeah, right!”  But then it occurred to me that I could post approximately the same amount of content, but I could also accommodate this “multiple-postings-per-day-directive” by  “splitting it up” through-out the day.

So… that’s what I’m going to try to do, at least for a while, and we’ll see how it works.

Social Media Marketing

Starting in April I will attempt to follow some “social media scientist” advice I received from a webinar I attended recently.  The webinar was held by Dan Zarrella in which he discussed the science of timing as it relates to social media marketing, blogging, and emailing.   Over the next few posts I’ll share the advice and employ it with this blog.

The first change starting in April is the timing of the posts.  Up until now, I was scheduling these posts to go live in the afternoons. The main reason for this was to keep from “bumping” into the release times for the Outskirts Press blog postings, which usually go live in the mornings.    Why did I care?  Because our Twitter account tweets automatically when either blog is updated, and we attempt to spread those tweets throughout the day — as best as we can, at any rate. I’ve discussed the logistic difficulty of that in the past.

But many of those concepts have changed now, and I’ll discuss that next time…