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Word Wise Blog: Content Writing Made Easy

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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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Dec 13, 2019

It's Not Too Late: Snag Year-End Gifts with an Online Appeal

A year-end online appeal is cheap and simple to send.

With December 31 as biggest electronic giving day of the year (according to some gurus), a year-end online appeal at the eleventh hour makes sense.

Leverage the year-end online rush when you create an email campaign (or short series) to send between Christmas and New Year’s Eve.

All you need is ...

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Dec 12, 2019

God & Me! 3: Devotional for Girls Ages 6-9 - iParenting Award Winner

When my editor asked me to write a book of fun children devotionals for girls ages 6-9, I saw a perfect opportunity to help young ladies understand that God is their friend.

They can get close to Jesus by using the special lessons Jesus taught His friends, the disciples. That’s why I build the devotionals around the Lord’s Prayer. Along the way, girls could discover...

Continue reading "God & Me! 3: Devotional for Girls Ages 6-9 - iParenting Award Winner"

Dec 11, 2019

Blog Post Length: How Long Should My Blog Post Be?

What is the ideal blog post length?

It’s a question that I hear in variations, like …

“How many words should I write per blog post?”

“How short is too short?” “

“How long is too long?”

Researchers who are immersed in blog data can give you all kinds of analytics about ...

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Dec 10, 2019

3 Simple Tips for Writing Better Web Pages

Think about how you read web pages. You’re usually looking for information, right?

Take this page, for instance. You’ve been promised three tips. Right about now, you’re scrolling down to skim for those three points. If they intrigue you, you’ll read more.

A good web writer considers how to help her reader get what she came for when she comes to a website. Here's how ...

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Dec 09, 2019

Identity Content: Tips for Writing Content that Explains Who You Are

Identity content explains who you are and what you do.

You know yourself. But do you explain who you are and what you do to others in a way they can grasp? No matter whether you’re a small to medium-sized business, an organization, or a sole proprietor, you want people to understand your work. It’s the essence of building your ”platform.” (Plus, it's an important step in writing a strategic plan.)

Here are tips for writing better content that explains who you are and what you do ...

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Dec 07, 2019

The Campaign: Have You Set a Specific Goal?

A client hired me to write a year-end campaign. “Last year we didn’t do so well,” he said. The gifts they had received did not even cover the campaign costs.

I saw the problem when I looked at the previous year’s appeal, which read ...

Continue reading "The Campaign: Have You Set a Specific Goal?"

Dec 06, 2019

Easy Do's and Don'ts for Writing Resumes

These resume writing tips are simple and easy to follow.

And that’s terrific news for most of us!

You don’t have to be a Pulitzer prize-winning writer to put together a well-organized, professional-looking resume.

But you do need to ...

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Dec 05, 2019

Just Take a Step: A Devotional Bible Study for the Busy and Overwhelmed

Just Take A Step is a devotional Bible study that has a very personal back story.

When I was invited to speak at a women’s retreat on the theme of walking with God, I had a long inner wrestling match. Yes, I ...

Continue reading "Just Take a Step: A Devotional Bible Study for the Busy and Overwhelmed"

Dec 04, 2019

Top 10 Mistakes to Avoid in Your Direct Mail Fundraising Letter

I’ve written hundreds of direct mail fundraising letters.

Avoid these 10 mistakes in your direct mail #fundraising letter with Word Wise at Nonprofit Copywriter #WritingTips #Copywriting0SaveOh, it’s so gratifying when those letters help my clients pull in plenty of gifts!

But I’ve made a lot of mistakes along the way, too.

Those mistakes meant lost opportunity and lower return for the ministries and organizations I serve.

That's why I wrote this list ...

Continue reading "Top 10 Mistakes to Avoid in Your Direct Mail Fundraising Letter"

Dec 03, 2019

Quick Business Plan Writing Tip

If I had known this one business plan writing tip before I got started writing, it would have saved me a lot of time. And the business plans I’d written back them would have been stronger and would have had more clarity.

The tip is this ...

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Dec 02, 2019

How to Write the Perfect Donor Thank You Letter

A donor thank you letter is the perfect opportunity to cultivate a relationship with a supporter and show she’s personally important to you. Send it immediately (within 72 hours of receiving a gift).

This is how to plan it with care and thought ...

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Dec 01, 2019

Extra Words: How to Cut Them Out (and Why You Should)

Get rid of extra words: it’s a guiding principle of good writing.

But which ones are extra?

“Examine every word you put on paper,” said American journalist and teacher William Zinsser (1922-2015) in his iconic nonfiction guide, On Writing Well.

Then determine whether or not ...

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Nov 30, 2019

The Word Picture: How Jesus Used 1-Sentence Stories

One thing that fascinates me about Jesus’s stories is that many are so short.

In fact, some are just one sentence long. They are quick word pictures.

For instance ...

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Nov 29, 2019

How to Write a Sidebar that Adds Value to an Article

A sidebar is a short article, set apart, that accompanies a longer article.

Editors love side bars because they add value to an article. Readers love side bars because they're skimmable and offer quick information. Side bars supplement the main piece with extra content that may not fit in the flow of the main article but may be helpful to the reader.

Side bars are also called “boxouts,” “call out boxes,” or “fillers.” (To be fair, a filler also known as a short-short standalone article.) Graphically, they appear on the side of the page or screen as a pullout or box ...

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Nov 28, 2019

What I Learned About Thank You Letters from a 5-Year-Old

We can learn a lot about writing thank you letters from kids.

The other day, my 5-year-old neighbor peeked through the bushes, saw me in the driveway, and popped over. She handed me a beautiful hand made card (see right.)

Did I mention that she recently had a birthday?

Continue reading "What I Learned About Thank You Letters from a 5-Year-Old"

Nov 27, 2019

12 Places to Look for Story Writing Ideas to Use in Your Content

Where can you find great story writing ideas for your content?

By “story ideas,” I mean any idea that you can develop as a full-length feature or that you can use as an illustration or example in articles, blog posts, web pages, appeal letters, sales letters, email campaigns, sermons – event grant applications.

Story writing ideas are ...

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Nov 26, 2019

10 Words With Staying Power

Buzz words are key phrases that are in vogue. They’re the words you hear bandied about and you think, “I like that!” or “I should use that word and then people will think I know what I’m talking about.”

Put another way, they're a trend in vocabulary. They’re like the latest fashion, except instead of wearing it, you say it. These tidbits of “insider lingo” are niche-specific. People begin using them in a particular subculture before they become part of the general vocabulary ...

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Nov 25, 2019

Why Should Readers Subscribe to Your Newsletter?

Three out of four organizations say they publish a nonprofit ezine or email newsletter at least monthly as a way of staying in touch with partners, donors, and prospects, according to our good friends at Nonprofit Marketing Trends.

Why should readers subscribe to yours?

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Nov 24, 2019

The Ask: Moses Used a Specific List. Shouldn't You?

Do you feel awkward when you write an ask? Sometimes, I do.

It helps me to look at The Ask from the giver’s point of view. For instance, when I’m invited to a wedding, I appreciate a bridal registry list. It shows me what the couple needs for their new home ...

Continue reading "The Ask: Moses Used a Specific List. Shouldn't You?"

Nov 23, 2019

Is It Easy for Readers and Prospects to Contact You?

Is it easy for readers or prospects to message you to get more information about your services and products?

Think about what John the Baptist had to do to get a message to Jesus.

John had been imprisoned for publicly criticizing Herod Antipas, the Roman ruler of Galilee.

He had been obedient to ...

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Nov 22, 2019

How to Write a Christmas Letter That People Want to Read

When my husband and I had children, I began to write a Christmas letter each year.

Until that point, I had sent handwritten Christmas cards with a short note. Yes, more than 100 of them every year.

I admit it: Christmas letters had just come into vogue and I didn’t like them because I thought they were too impersonal. But life had become busy and I wanted to keep in touch with far-flung family and acquaintances. Social media had not yet entered the picture. Writing a Christmas letter was a convenient solution ...

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Nov 21, 2019

Recipe Writing Tips to Use at the Holidays (and Any Time!)

Use these recipe writing tips as you write and share recipes on your blog, as a submission to a website, or with family and friends.

As always, it is best to write what you know. That’s why it’s helpful to have tried your recipe a few times (or more) to confirm ingredient amounts and best ways to prepare it. Plus, you’ll have extra tips you can share from your experience.

A clearly-written recipe has 4 parts ...

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Nov 20, 2019

Writing a Website: Write These 3 Pages First

Writing content for a website – particularly if it’s a new site – can be an overwhelming project.

Where should you start? What are the “must-have” pages?

Think about what YOU need to know when you land on a website.

The best place to start with writing content for a website is to write the first few pages that your reader needs the most and build from there. Write these 3 pages first ...

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Nov 19, 2019

4 Basic Letter Layouts

A letter writing format is a standard layout – a widely-accepted way to organize a letter. Business letters (including cover letters, appeal letters, acceptance letters, and resignation letters) follow one of these four basic formats ...

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Nov 18, 2019

Ask This ONE Question to Get Powerful Content in Interviews

Powerful content. Every article, blog, website, and promotion needs it. You can get it by asking ...

Continue reading "Ask This ONE Question to Get Powerful Content in Interviews"

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