On Twitter this morning, gubernatorial aide Will Mortenson kicked off a discussion (drawing in national bloggers Tyler Cowen and Ezra Klein) about blogging on weekends:
Cowen, who writes the economics blog Marginal Revolution, was intrigued by Mortenson’s lament:
Why does the NYT put out an especially large edition on Sundays, and most bloggers do the opposite?FT + WSJ are Saturdays, same question.
And Klein, who writes the Washington Post’s Wonkblog, wondered about the chicken-or-egg effect:
@tylercowen Related Q: Sundays actually are most-read day for papers. Not for blogs. Is that cause or effect of sparse blogging?
My traffic numbers at Political Smokeout reflect this. My weekend hit counts are far lower than what I get on weekdays. But often I don’t blog on weekends. This is a blog I maintain for work, alone without any partners or assistants. While I do sometimes post on weekends, when news breaks, often on Saturdays and Sundays I take a break and do other things. (This is the opposite of the situation for someone who blogs as a hobby — weekends may be when they have time to blog, and so may draw a concentration of posts.)
My median posts-per-day over the past two months are:
- Mondays: 2
- Tuesdays: 6
- Wednesdays: 5.5
- Thursdays: 5.5
- Fridays: 4
- Saturdays: 1
- Sundays: 0
That’s not quite an apples-to-apples comparison. Mondays and Fridays are lower than usual because the Legislature follows a four-day work-week, so some Mondays and Fridays have basically been weekends for me, while others have been normal workdays. Nonetheless, you can see the picture.
Here’s how my average site visits (not pageviews, which are higher) stack up for each day of the week:
- Mondays: 492.5
- Tuesdays: 780.7
- Wednesdays: 710.7
- Thursdays: 618
- Fridays: 549
- Saturdays: 274.375
- Sundays: 172.8
You can see how that generally follows the arc of the posts-per-day — Tuesdays through Thursdays have the most traffic, Mondays and Fridays a little lower, then Saturdays much lower and Sundays lower than that.
But some Saturdays — like yesterday — I make several posts, covering news. Then there are other weekdays where for whatever reason I don’t post anything. My numbers for the past two months, posts-per-day vs. page visits:
There’s a pretty linear trend there — the more I post, the more visitors I have. Not surprising. But it also could be missing data — how do relatively busy weekend days compare to weekdays with equivalent posting?
The dataset here is somewhat limited — in my timeframe since Jan. 2, I haven’t made more than three posts on any weekend day.
Things also look a little more dramatic because I only have one weekday with three posts, which accounts for the jump there. If you just take the midpoint between the two and four figures, you get 430 visits for three-post weekdays, which is just a bit over the weekend average.
With that in mind, what we have here is slightly higher traffic on weekdays compared to weekends, the number of posts aside. It’s not dramatically higher, though. From this I’d guess that if I were to post five, seven or 10 times on a given weekend, I’d get reasonably high viewership.
So with all that said, I’ll turn it over to readers. Do you read Political Smokeout on weekends? Weekdays only? How interested would you be in additional content on weekends, versus me saving that content to post on Monday when people are at work?