When I sit down to write a blog post, I often do this at a time when other people are sat in front of the TV or sleeping. I choose this time as I can write without any distractions. If I was to hit publish to make the post live at this time, sending the usual notifications to social media sites to announce that a new post is available, the chances of my post being read would be very small.
WordPress has a great feature that allows you to publish your post at a time to suit you and your readers. I am based in the UK so I would publish my post in the morning around 10am. If you were in the United States, 10 am GMT would result in most people missing the notificatio as they would be sleeping. Yes, they may stumble across it later, but that would be leaving it to chance. So having the ability to schedule the post for an optimum time and help drive the greatest amount of traffic can be a great addition to your blog.
Let me show you how to schedule your post in WordPress using a very simple process.
1. Write your post.
The first step is like any other post you would write. You would start by creating your content, add your images, then checking your copy, spellings, etc. I would then preview the post before the next step, to ensure that the post is ready to be published. There is nothing worse than having a post go live and noticing a glaring mistake many hours later.
2. Schedule the post.
On the left of the WordPress post editor there is a box named publish. In this box, next to the publish immediately text is a link to edit the time. When this is clicked a set of drop downs will reveal allowing you to choose a date and time to publish the post. Choose your time, then click ok. You should now notice that the publish button will change to schedule. When the post is saved, WordPress will then publish the post at the date and time specified. If you have this set to send a post to a social media site such as Twitter or Facebook, then this will be done at the same time as publishing the post.
3. Sit back and wait.
Now here is the nervous part, which is ensuring that the post is made live at the correct time. I would make sure for the first time you use this feature, is that the post is actually published at the correct time. This feature relies on a part of WordPress called WP-Cron, which is a WordPress method of scheduling behind the scenes. There are many tasks that use this, such as checking for updates. The reason that I suggest that you check the post has been published at the correct time, is that I have known certain security plugins or server setups to stop WP-Cron working as it should. So it is proactive to check now, rather than finding out that a scheduled post has not gone, many hours later when your readers are patiently waiting for a new post.
I hope that you find this tutorial useful, and that it will get your posting schedule in a regular order. I have favourite blogs that I read constantly, and as I get more familiar with them I get familiar with the posting schedules, so know when to expect a new post to be published. By scheduling your posts at the same time on the same days, you can create a good method to encourage your readers to revisit your site and also target promotions at a time when your visitors are on the site.
Let me know in the comments if you find this post useful or if you have any tips to add.