Wednesday, July 4, 2007

Grammar and Promotion: Ponderings

I've been reading blogs that cover somewhat obscure grammatical points, of late. One that got me thinking was AnnaLisa Michalski's post The Creeping Overuse of Up at Be Your Own Editor.

The reason it caught my eye was that I'm re-reading the Harry Potter books and I immediately thought of Ms. Rowling when I read the piece. “Washing up” does seems to have become a common activity, even if it doesn't involve any “upping”. While she can tell a ripping yarn, at times her grammar is, well, lacking in technical perfection.

There you'll also find Lisa's post about her adverbial pet peeve. While the site is directed toward fiction writers, many of the editing tips apply to non-fiction as well. A well-constructed sentence is useful (and admirable) whatever the context!

I've had a disgustingly productive writing week, with a total of four Squidoo lenses, four Helium articles, and a new one submitted to Associated Content. I've concentrated so much on posting here and on networking that it feels great to write something that doesn't have “I” or “me” in every other sentence.

I am curious to see if the articles I've posted on my lenses enjoy an increase in traffic. Several of the Helium articles listed on Squidoo have earned a penny or two overnight. If only there were a way to tell from where that traffic was coming. Of course, I am at the mercy of Associated Content to update page views whenever they get around to it. Who knows where any of those clicks come from, either. At least the stats I can view for my blog tell me how people got here!

It is difficult to promote when you don't know what method works. That's why stats are useful, even if it is too easy to obsess over them at the expense of your content. It's better to focus on what works than to waste your time trying to get attention in the wrong places. You won't find readers who will continue to visit by pasting yourself all over the wrong places. Stats at places like mybloglog and blogflux an help you figure out which ones those are.