It’s three AM. Do you know where your daily post is today?
Rolling out of bed at 8:00 or 9:00 AM, downing your cup of morning coffee and thinking about what your post might be for the day is not going to help you get the most readers. In fact, if you do not have your post up before 8:00 AM, you’ve lost half your traffic for the day. Let me explain.
In the labor intensive traditional print newsroom, the reporters come in at 2 or 3 in the afternoon, have a meeting with their editor to decide the on stories to be worked on, do research, attend meetings and start working on their stories. Incredibly, and most of you do not know this, they may also have their eye on a television to keep track of the news stories cycling in news stream. By 10:00 PM if the reporters make the deadline, everything is written, the pages set up, and the whole thing is sent electronically to make the plates for the presses. If everything goes well, (and many days it does not) then your daily newspaper rolls off the presses before 1:00 AM. After some time spent in what is called the mailroom, the papers are inserted, bundled and sent off to their ultimate destination to arrive at your door early morning. This is the origin of the modern news day and for the first half of the last century it was the only game in town. Enter television and the advent of the instant news stream. Over the next two decades, the six o’clock and 11 o’clock news were expanded to more frequent offerings as broadcasting companies were faced with filling an expanding broadcast schedule with cost effective content. News broadcast inventors like Don Hewitt brought television news from staid “talking head” formats to dynamic presentations. By the seventies, news shows were on a constant cycle of morning, noon, evening and late night shows. Following in the footsteps of the morning newspaper delivery, the morning news became the kick-off of the daily cycle as reporters followed the development of a story through out the day. If there are no new developments viewer interest wanes and the story dies.
Whether we like it or not, the four generations alive today have been fed at the teat of this news cycle. It is a part of our daily lives and it what we expect. By the time we are off to work we’ve digested the first parts of the daily news feed. We don’t have time during the day to absorb anything else. Regardless of whether or not you have the best content in the world just if you haven’t posted early in the morning you missed the readership boat for the day.
The moral of this post is that while blogging allows you the luxury of posting whenever you like, if you want to build your readership, you will have your post up at the beginning of the day to capture the greatest number of readers.
Photo published under a Creative Commons License from Flickr.