Peter DeHaan’s Blogs

This blog, “The Musings of Peter DeHaan,” is my original blog.

I started it on January 1, 2008.

Although, I’ve been consistently blogging since then, I’ve not posted too much on this blog lately, but have been blogging on my other blogs. You can read my posts on:

My main blog, Spiritually Speaking, where I post new content throughout the week.

On Saturdays, I blog about writing on Byline and on Wednesdays, I blog about book publishing at Peter DeHaan Publishing.

Of course, I still occasionally blog here when I have something to share that doesn’t fit the other blogs.

I look forward to seeing you on my other blogs!

By the Numbers

Being a numbers guy, I want to share some stats about this blog:

3 years, 1 month: the amount time I’ve been blogging
457: the number of posts
123,300: the number of words written (enough for a decent sized book)
1,272: average number of posts viewed per week (the most was 2,954)
14,718: the number of views of my top read post

Some things I’ve observed:

  • Posts receive most of their traffic within a week of being posted, but some are still being read a year or two later.
  • Most traffic is not a result of followers, subscribers, or newsfeeds, but of search engines.
  • Of traffic in a given week, most is not for recent posts but older posts.
  • Despite all of the traffic, the Google ad to the right generates only a few pennies of income a month. (Google ads are worthwhile on my Websites, but they’ve been a bust on my blogs.)
  • Soon after this blog was setup, I turned off the “track back” feature. Aside from never fully grasping it’s purpose, I was receiving thousands of spam track backs for every legitimate one.
  • Recently, I also turned off the comment section. The ratio of spam comments to real comments has escalated, now being at over 100 to one.

Going Forward

Regular readers of this blog (thank you, one and all) have noticed a decided decrease in posting frequency over the past six months. While Musings will remain alive and active, infrequency will become the new norm.

When I started Musings over three years ago, it was to provide a creative outlet, connect with others via the written word, and learn about the art of blogging. By design, Musings had no theme, other than to share the musing of my mind at that moment. While it was not a stream-of-conscience spew (that would be narcissistic and boring), it did bounce all over the place. No one would connect with all my topics, such as family, computers, nature, movies, politics, business, sports, weather, and even blogging about blogging.

Realizing the need to blog around a theme and for me to focus on areas of interest, I have begun to specialize. The result is that, going forward, I will primarily be blogging at:

I encourage you to pick the ones that interest you and follow me there, as well as occasional future posts here.

Thank you!

A New Blog: From the Publisher’s Desk

This blog, the “Musings of Peter DeHaan,” is about nothing, but covers everything. It is essentially a sharing of my stream of conscience. While this blog will continue unabated, I have started another blog, one with a stated purpose and goal.

It is a business blog, called “From the Publishers Desk,” and shares my tips and commentary about advertising and marketing. If this topic is of interest, I encourage you to check it out. Just like this blog, you can sign up to be notified via email of new posts or subscribe to a list feed.

[In 2013, the name of the blog changed to “The Book Blog,” and the focus became book publishing. All old posts were saved in the archive section.]

I’ve Been a Tad Busy Lately

This is my first post in December. You may be wondering what has happened to me — well, at least some people have. The short answer is that I have been really busy.

It all started Thanksgiving weekend. Feeling that I needed an extended break from work, I determined to take a 4-day weekend. When I returned to work the Monday after, I immediately realized the folly of that decision. Not only was I behind from the long weekend, but I also neglected a major task that was due the prior Wednesday. So, I was way behind.

Then a friend came over to do some painting for me. Normally, I do the painting, but it was a big project that wasn’t getting done. Our house has a “great room” (a large open space that encompasses the kitchen, living room, and eating area). Connected to that is the hallway, the foyer, and the dining room (which we’ve never dined in — we have some desks and computers there). With all this connected space, once you start painting, you need to keep on going; there is no good place to stop. Even though someone else was doing the painting, my task was to move things out of the way and make it ready to be painted — which took much longer than anticipated.

On top of that were more appointments than usual — and my birthday to celebrate. (The celebration started the Saturday before and extended to the Friday after — and there may still be more to do.)

All that to say, there wasn’t any time to blog.

Even though those things all ended a week ago, I am still trying to get caught up. If things go well today, I may be able to take the weekend off — I just hope it doesn’t bite me Monday morning!

Blog Readership Improves, So Do Investments

This is not going to be a regular occurrence — I promise — but I was again shocked when I checked my blog readership for the past week.  (You may recall that the prior weeks’ numbers hit record highs and I pondered aloud if increased blog readership had causality with renewed optimism for our economic future).

This week, five of my seven blogs/newsfeeds posted all time record highs, with the total for all seven surging 32% past last week’s record — and double the average for the past two years.  This blog led the charge with a record 1,150 readers for the week.  (Tell that to my bride who wondered if anyone besides family would read this blog.)

At the same time, it is interesting to note that I received my retirement account statement last week, which showed a nice increase for the first time in many months.

I’ll let you decide if there is a connection, but regardless, I am excited about both!

Does a Surge in Blog Readership Signal Better Times Ahead?

In addition to this blog, there are six others (newsfeeds and whatnot) that I update, four on a somewhat regular basis.

Each Monday I peak at the readership stats of the prior week.  (It would more practical to monitor this monthly, but the stats program is readily conducive to weekly tracking).

I do this for a couple of reasons.  One is to make sure that my entries are being read (they are).  Another is to gauge the relative popularity of various topics and musings.  Using weekly traffic stats to ascertain topic interest, however, is only somewhat helpful, as there is a long life of viability for any given entry.  It is common for any particular posting to be frequently read weeks and even months after it’s initial appearance.  Nevertheless, strong numbers for a given week are an encouraging discovery.

Blog readership does have seasonal fluctuations as patrons are seemingly distracted by holidays, vacations, and apparently bad economic news.  If this is the case, there is much to celebrate as my blog traffic has been trending up for since the middle of January, taking a sharp increase last week.

In fact, four of my seven blogs set all time record highs in readership last week, with the combined total smashing the old record by 31% to reach 3,348 readers for the week!

Though it’s tempting to attribute this spike to compelling content and witty writing, I’d prefer to suggest that blog readership is a microcosm of the economy and consumer confidence.

If that is the case, then better times are fast approaching.

(read more on this)

Is Blog Readership a Microcosm of Overall Activity?

I enjoy math and like working with numbers.  It is therefore not surprising that I track weekly blog readership.

The week prior to the US Presidential election, I noticed that the reading of my blog dropped 25%.  At first I assumed this was because too many of my musings were about the election; perhaps people were sick of politics and were skipping my blog.  Then I noticed that the drop-off occurred across the board in all of my seven blogs, even though political content only appeared in one of them.

The week of the election, there was a slight increase in viewers, but still well below pre-election levels.

Last week, readership completely rebounded for all seven blogs, even setting a new record for the week.

I don’t know if blog reading is a microcosm of societal activity in general, but it would seem that the election fervor and furor was such that it kept 25% of the people from doing what they normally do.

If that is true, then things must the getting back to normal!

That’s a Lot of Blogging

I’ve been officially blogging now for 8 months, 19 days.  During that time, I have made 180 entries in this blog, totaling 51,620 words — the size of a small book!

Although I enjoy blogging, finding the ideal time to write has not been easy.  Initially, I wrote in the evening, after my workday was done.  This kept blogging from encroaching on vocation, but was also the time at which my writing prowess is at its lowest.  In addition to that, I found that if I blogged just before bedtime, I had difficulty shutting my mind off and falling asleep.  Next, I tried ending my workday with a blog, but then didn’t work either as I was pushing to finish my workday with a flourish, which bogged down my blogging focus.  Most recently, I tried to write right after a shortened lunch, but again work distractions abounded.

Actually, my best time to write is first thing in the morning; I’ve known that all along.  However, if I blog then, I’m not doing the writing for which I actually earn a living, but the kind that is merely fun.  So my dilemma of when to blog continues.

I also intended to write about three blogs a week, but with so many ideas bouncing around my brain, the desire to write has triumphed, producing five or more entries a week.  So, to maintain a sustainable and manageable plan, I’m going to (try to) cut back to three times a week, while attempting to set aside mid afternoons for blogging.

On top of this, I have started other blogs.

That’s a lot of blogging!