Parse.ly Bites: Work, play, read. What stories have your colleagues’ attention?

Parse.ly Bites takes a look into what everyone is reading when they're working, and when they're not. / Nicole Honeywill, Jakob Owens via Unsplash

Welcome to Parse.ly Bites, a regular series created in partnership with online analytics platformParse.ly, to help media companies to understand how to better engage and build their audiences. The latest entry looks at what readers want. This time, we're taking a closer look at readers, by taking a look at what they read when they're on (and off) the clock.

One way to look into what readers want is by looking into what people like you or your colleagues read on a daily basis. What do they scroll through as they get through their own 9-to-5s, and how can you learn from that?

Well, during the work week, expect much of the content your teammates read to be in the technology and business sectors. Guess a lot of us want to see what Mark, Jack, and Elon might say or do next.

But on weekends? Health and fitness, as well as political news, receive a spike of all the thumbs that scroll through such content every Saturday and Sunday.

Let’s take a dive deeper into these trends and help you tune into the news your coworkers choose.

It’s all about business in the work day

If you’re someone who’s laptop is attached to their hip for the day, chances are you’re going to find yourself deep into business news — probably to resist the urge to dive into anything more risque. About 4% more people check out stories on corporate America during the day than the average for all content. For tech news, that number becomes 7% higher than the average.

There’s an interesting rabbit hole effect that happens when you backlink to more tech and business stories on your site: people are more likely to read more stories if you make the links available to them. So if you have a loyal following that trusts the stories you publish, your most current piece will get views, but related articles that you remember to add in will also benefit.

And based on the charts above, that often times is more effective at building a base of readers than through search alone.

But when it's playtime, expect a whole different readership

To be fair, most publications decide to post business news during the week, and viewers tend to pick up news from outside interests more readily when they’re off the clock. One of the highest rates of content that gets read during Saturdays and Sundays is of the health and fitness variety, which tends to see a bump in mobile readership to 9% more than the average for all content.

Because much of the content tends to be visual — plucking out the perfect superfood image, or striking the right form in your workout explainer — you’re most likely to gain viewership through social platforms, so emphasize your key visuals there. Also, your word choice is also key as search engines still serve as a primary way that potential readers can find wellness-related content.

Do not overlook that the fitness enthusiasts have lives outside of the spin class, so catering to their identities and lifestyles once they’ve stepped out of the gym is also important. A Flipboard study on millennial readers revealed that they may read hard news, but they’re most likely to share what appeals to them as individuals. If your health or self-care articles are the ones you find on Facebook feeds the most, it’s typically the norm more than the exception.

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