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Word Wise Blog: Content Writing Made Easy

Write more. Save time.

Word Wise is for busy people who want to write more (or need to), but don't have a lot of time.

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Nov 23, 2020

Donor Acknowledgement: A Fancy Way of Saying "Thank You"

Donor acknowledgement letters are a fancy term development professionals use to describe “thank you letters.” But don’t be put off by the lingo. Mama was right. Always say “Thank you.”

Many nonprofits, bloggers, and small businesses fail to take this important step in an effective, consistent way ...

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Nov 22, 2020

3 Kinds of Short Stories Used By the Master Storyteller

Short stories are a way to illustrate a point in your content writing. Jesus was a master at this.

By using short stories – parables – Jesus was able to paint word pictures that appeal to our senses and reveal a spiritual lesson at the same time.

His parables boil down to three main types ...

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Nov 21, 2020

The Writing Life: Get Ready to Reveal Yourself

“One of the things I know about writing is this: spend it all, shoot it, play it, lose it, all, right away, every time,” says Pulitzer Prize-winning author Annie Dillard in her memoir, The Writing Life (1989). “Do not hoard what seems good for a later place in the book or for another book; give it, give it all, give it now.”

Annie’s sentiment points out a hidden truth in the writing life: the temptation to hold back.

Which is easier – to reveal your deepest thoughts or to conceal them out of fear?

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Nov 20, 2020

3 Appeal Letter Formulas that Pull Gifts

Do copywriting formulas help you write an effective appeal letter?

On the surface, a formulaic approach may seem counterintuitive to telling the story of your organization in a unique voice. Yet what may be disguised as a mechanical tactic can actually provide a proven framework to make your case …

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Nov 19, 2020

Freelance Writing Jobs for Beginners: How to Get Started

Snagging freelance writing jobs for beginners is a multi-step process.

But don’t be overwhelmed and don’t get discouraged. There is a need for freelance writers in nonprofits, ministries, and small businesses. You can take one step at a time to help meet that need ...

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Nov 18, 2020

Is Writing a Blog Worth It?

Is writing a blog worth it? You can start a blog for less than the price of a cup of coffee. But is it worth your time? Before you jump in, you want to consider the return on the investment of your precious minutes.

This is an especially pertinent question if you’re an entrepreneur, small biz owner, or freelancer. As you get started, you may ...

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Nov 17, 2020

How to Write a Job Description

Good job descriptions are especially helpful for smaller organizations because staff, volunteers, and boards wear so many hats. By putting down a job description on paper, you’re forced to think through who is going to do it and when they’re going to do it.

Defining roles eliminates confusion and inertia and creates momentum. Job descriptions also cultivate ...

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Nov 16, 2020

Why You Should Write an eBook

An eBook is an “electronic book.”

Why should you write an eBook? Because they’re everywhere – and with good reason.

eBooks are a remarkably efficient and flexible way to get your message out to readers and build your readership.

What’s particularly encouraging is ...

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Nov 15, 2020

Why Do Readers Opt In?

Why do you opt into a mailing list?

Years ago, when I first started writing, my mentors encouraged me to launch an online newsletter – a type of formatted group email, they explained.

I balked. Sending mass emails felt impersonal. I didn’t like the idea of ...

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Nov 14, 2020

The Writer’s Platform: Build It With Just 2 Key Components

A writer’s platform is a forum that you use to connect with your specific set of readers.

“Publishers and agents seek writers with credentials and authority,” says editor Jane Friedman. “They are visible to their target audience as an expert, thought leader, or professional.”

But before you throw your hands up in despair ...

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Nov 13, 2020

Getting Started Writing a Book: A Free, 28-Page Guide

You’re getting started writing a book. What do you want to know?

Use this free, e-book writing guide, Write Your Book Now: A Step-By-Step Guide to Writing a Book and Getting It to Publication to get started and answer all your first questions.

This 28-page guide takes you through ...

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Nov 12, 2020

5 Most Common Blog Post Types and How to Write Them

As you learn about how to write a blog and get started posting for yourself, you look for ideas by studying articles that explain different kinds of blog posts.

(“Posts” are entries onto your blog – your “web log” – which appear in reverse chronological order.)

There are many choices. Seriously – do a quick online search for “types of blog posts.” You’ll see articles that list large numbers of types of blog posts with names like, “72 Best Kinds of Blog Posts” or “54 Kinds of Blog Posts That Get the Most Traffic"...

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Nov 11, 2020

7 Brainstorming Techniques for Writers

Advertising executive Alex F. Osborn was the first to invent formal brainstorming techniques. He became frustrated by his team’s ability to generate creative ideas for their campaigns.

He launched group creativity sessions that allowed team members to suggest spontaneous new ideas without criticism. Participants “used the brain to storm a problem,” and dubbed their gatherings as “brainstorming sessions.”

That was in ...

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Nov 10, 2020

Tips for Writing a P.S. With Punch

Should you include a PS (a postscript) as part of your project – and if so, how should you write it?

Way back when people wrote letters without access to Wite Out, erasers, or the Delete key, a postscript was a handy way to add a piece of news or a tidbit at the bottom of the letter without rewriting the whole thing. The origins of the Latin name post scriptum, meaning “written after,” explain it all.

Fast forward to today when ...

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Nov 09, 2020

Point of View Explained for Content Writers and Copywriters

Point of View (POV) is the position you take as a writer while you narrate your content. It’s your lens, like a camera.

You explain the events or information from your view (first person), directly to another individual (second person), or as an observer (third person) ...

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Nov 08, 2020

Search Engines Are a Writer's Long-Term Friends

My first informational website, www.tomatodirt.com, taught me why content writing is not a quick fix but works for the long game.

After painstaking topic and keyword research, I built the first ten pages of the website.

Each week, I added a page. After six months, I eased into ...

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Nov 07, 2020

How to Move From Being a Generalist to a Specialist

A specialist focuses on writing in a particular niche or two, either in an industry or in a writing genre.

A generalist, on the other hand, writes on multiple topics and in several genres.

While a generalist is rarely bored, she ...

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Nov 06, 2020

How To Get 21 Pieces of Content From One Project

For a writer, repurposing content is the ultimate recycling program.

You start with one piece of content (such as your monthly or quarterly newsletter) and adapt it to fit different delivery platforms and formats (such as your blog, social media, appeal letters, email campaigns, and website.)

Repurposing your content seems so simple that you may feel...

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Nov 05, 2020

Exclamation Point?! When In Doubt, Leave It Out

The exclamation point is a punctuation mark used at the end of a sentence. It emphasizes strong emotions, particularly excitement, surprise, sarcasm, or enthusiasm.

It’s shorthand that says, “I’m excited!”

Like other punctuation, an exclamation mark is intended to help readers grasp the meaning of your sentence. But these days, it’s overused ...

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Nov 04, 2020

5 Writing Tips for Bloggers in a Time Crunch

I find it easy to share writing tips for bloggers about getting started with blogging … types of blog posts to create … blog post length.

But blogging week after week can take its toll when a writing deadline looms or a vacation is just around the corner or the kids are going to be home for a break.

I detest time pressure. I want to keep my commitment to my readers by ...

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Nov 03, 2020

The Un-Santa Book: 110 Ways to Have a Fun, Meaningful Christmas

The Un-Santa Book was inspired by my children.

When my husband and I became parents, noticed that plenty of people talked with our children about Christmas.

“When are you going to see Santa?”“Have you been a good girl?”"What are you going to ask for?"

I didn't mind people talking with my kids, yet I felt the need to be purposeful about ...

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Nov 02, 2020

How to Plan Your Website Content Writing

The prospect of website content writing may seem overwhelming, especially if you’re starting a website from scratch or overhauling a current one.

What may be confusing you is not so much writing individual pages themselves, but how to figure out what pages to include and how to organize all the material.

Use this simple P-L-A-N ...

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Nov 01, 2020

Letter Writing Tips from the World's Most Famous Letter Writer

As I studied how to write a letter, I decided to go to the best source I could think of for letter writing tips: Paul of Tarsus.

He wrote 13 letters that are published in the best-selling book of all time – the Bible ...

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Oct 31, 2020

The Persuasive Writer: No Manipulation Required

A persuasive writer uses a variety of techniques to prove, sway, influence, convert, assure, or win over the reader to a point of view.

Writers of faith are told to be persuasive. Jesus Himself told us to make disciples of all nations (Matthew 28:19).

But when I think of being a persuasive writer, I get uncomfortable...

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Oct 30, 2020

5 Kinds of Articles to Use in Your Newsletters

What kinds of articles should you include in your newsletter?

A newsletter is written to an “in-house” audience and addresses a specific topic. That’s a whole lot different than newspaper articles, which are written for a larger, more general audience.

Knowing the difference has distinct advantages. As a staff writer or freelancer, you’ll be called upon to ...

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