What makes some content popular? Timeliness is certainly a factor. Good content often taps into a newsworthy trend, a mood, a need or a desire.
You can see it in action on Google News every day as hundreds of websites cover breaking news, sport, entertainment, politics, technology and culture.
The downside? News has a short shelf-life and breaking news is an art that’s hard to master.
Timing is everything
Sometimes what you write can strike a chord with readers. You can try to control this element. But sometimes it’s down to luck rather than judgement.
Something you write today might not be an instant hit when you publish it. But who’s to say that it won’t be tomorrow? Or next week? Or next month? You can’t always expect instant results.
Being timely can also mean getting into a publishing rhythm that defines how people see and visit your site. The advantage of posting consistently (i.e. every day, or every Tuesday and Wednesday) is that your audience knows when to expect new content from you. They’ll often ‘tune in’ to your website as a result.
Think about when your target audience is likely to be online. This is likely to depend on the topic you’re involved in. On a technology blog we’ve been involved with, the traffic regularly rises from Sunday to a peak on Wednesday before sliding back down on Thursday, Friday and Saturday.
The downside? If you don’t stick to a posting schedule, your readers can end up disappointed.
Another advantage of regular, timely posting is that search engines note the activity. It’s often said that Google loves fresh content and it’s better to post to a natural schedule than upload new content in one big chunk.
When you have an idea for a post, write it. Even half-write it. By filing it away in a folder for later you run the risk of losing touch with what made you enthusiastic about it in the first place.