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Word Wise Blog: Writing Tips for Busy People

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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Jun 22, 2018

Freelancing and Copywriting as a Job: Advantages and Disadvantages

“Copywriting as a job. What’s it like?” asked the high school girl as she interviewed me for a class project on careers.

This young lady excelled in her English classes … was an avid reader … loved to write … but she was afraid she would not be able to make a living as a writer or editor.

“Take a look all around you,” I told her, pointing out websites, social media sites, newspapers, magazines, reports, letters, and printed matter of all kinds. “Somebody has to write all of this. And they get paid to do it.”

Why couldn’t that somebody be her – or you?

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Jun 21, 2018

Persuasive Writing: The ONE Question You Must Master to Persuade

The one question that’s foremost in your reader's mind - and one you must answer in your content - is “What’s In It For Me?”

Be prepared to face this hard truth: your reader isn’t interested in your work. He’s interested only in what it can do for him.

The answer to that question is a bit trickier in ...

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Jun 20, 2018

40 Basic Copywriting Terms You Need to Know

If you do any kind of content writing, you need to be up to your stuff with this list. It's a simple glossary, arranged alphabetically, that defines basic copywriting terms in direct mail and nonprofit fundraising. This list can help you understand niche lingo … and even help you use it like a pro.

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Jun 19, 2018

5 Quick Copywriting Fixes to Make You Sound Professional

Complexity and insider lingo can muddle the waters in the written word. Clarity – not complexity – is key to sounding professional on paper.

No matter what your skill level, there are a few concrete steps to follow to make writing clearer and more focused. Try these quick fixes to focus your cover letters, emails, appeals, and web text.

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Jun 18, 2018

Top 10 Persuasive Copywriting Techniques

Persuasive copywriting techniques are specific methods you use to convince a reader, through what and how you write, to buy your product or give to your cause.

Disclaimer: there is no magic bullet to writing persuasively.

Having said that, persuasive copy uses certain elements over and over again – elements that have been proven to be convincing. These techniques are

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Jun 17, 2018

Business Plan Writing: 4 Quick Steps Make the Process Easier

Business plan writing can seem like an overwhelming undertaking. Yet the good news is this: you probably have a good part of your plan written already, and not even know it.

If your organization is new, you have likely thought through many of the elements needed for your business plan.

Putting your plan on paper is a valuable process that will ...

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Jun 16, 2018

The Word Count: It's a Good Reason to Quit Babbling

For the longest time, I mistakenly believed that editors posted submission word count limits solely to ration space.

And that’s part of it. With a nod to their advertisers and page count, editors must be ever-cognizant of column inches.

But the internet and free domains and no-cost blog platforms mean that these days ...

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Jun 15, 2018

Freebie: Zamzar Converts Your Files from One Format to Another

Zamzar is a handy web application that allows you to convert a file from one format to another … online and for free.

This nifty bit of software lets you load files in document, image, video, e-book, compressed, and even CAD formats – whether from your computer or a URL.

Then you choose the format you want the file converted to. (At last count, the software supports more than 1,000 conversion types so you have plenty of options.)

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Jun 14, 2018

The Anatomy of a Strong Email Campaign

Studies say speed daters have less than 30 seconds to make a good first impression and “connect” with a potential dating partner.

But 30 seconds is an eternity compared to the newest email marketing statistics.

With email, you’ve got 2 seconds to make a good impression.

Yep. Two measly seconds ...

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Jun 13, 2018

EBook Writing Tips: How Long Should Your eBook Be?

Book word count is one of the first questions to ask when you’re considering writing an eBook.

How long should your eBook be?

Short answer: it depends ...

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Jun 12, 2018

Web Writing and Print Writing: What's the Difference?

Web writing and writing for print are two different mediums.

Copywriting for print leads to a tangible piece, produced on paper. Online writing, on the other hand, is delivered to a computer screen, tablet, or mobile device.

But the most significant difference is the what readers need. To be effective, you need to know what a web reader needs and what a print reader needs ... and how to structure your writing accordingly.

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Jun 11, 2018

Writing eBooks: Frequently Asked Questions

An eBook is an “electronic book.”

When it comes to writing eBooks, there are many advantages for a writer: creative freedom, faster time to publication, a global market, higher royalty share, and low risk. You can write an eBook to establish your expertise, write one about a topic you love, or use an eBook as a free giveaway.

It may surprise you (as it did me!) that eBooks ...

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Jun 10, 2018

5 Tips Writing Objectives: Be S.M.A.R.T. About It

5 important tips for writing objectives: herein lies one of the great tips on writing – specifically, for writing grants, writing business plans, and strategic planning – that I wish I’d known when I first started out.

It ain’t a bad list of tips to have on hand just in general, either, when you're trying to write with clarity.

Just for the record, you can use these 5 tips when writing any kind of objective statement ...

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Jun 09, 2018

The Direct Mail Letter: Copywriting Basics (Not Gimmicks) Are Persuasive

Dejected didn’t even begin to describe how I felt.

I’d just completed a 10-month course in copywriting basics and had invested hours in my final project: a direct mail letter.

My score was 71 out of 100.

And it was accompanied by a confusing feedback report ...

Continue reading "The Direct Mail Letter: Copywriting Basics (Not Gimmicks) Are Persuasive"

Jun 08, 2018

Free Grants Listing

Here’s a terrific free grants listing that helps remove one of the most tedious steps in applying for grants: finding them.

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Jun 07, 2018

5 Magic Words That Can Open the Door for Your Cause

These 5 magic words can open doors and get readers to support your cause:

“Here’s how you can help.”

These five words empower your readers to take action. Some copywriters refer to them as the Ask or the Call to Action. These words work because ...

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Jun 06, 2018

Make Your Point Obvious with these Practical Copywriting Tips

Writers know a handful of basic construction tools - copywriting tricks - that ANYONE can learn to use to help a point stick out.

Naturally, your point must contain be a compelling benefit (like finding a good deal, helping a child in need, or inspiring confidence in writing skills).

But you’re about to learn some tricks of the trade …

… simple techniques anyone can master to help underscore your point.

These practical, constructive tools help make your point obvious to the reader. So obvious that it’s hard to miss.

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Jun 05, 2018

Email and Ezine Terms that Content Writers Need to Know

These days, email and ezine terms are sprinkled throughout most of what you read about communications.

This simple glossary, arranged alphabetically, helps you get up to speed with the jargon associated with using email as part of your marketing mix, including sending email campaigns and ezines.

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Jun 05, 2018

Write Better Descriptions When You Ditch These 2 Words

You can write better descriptions by eliminating just two words from your content and your copy: really and very.

Why ditch these two words? After all, they’re really simple and very easy to use.

Yep. And why is that?

Because really and very are a crutch … a lazy man’s way to ...

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Jun 05, 2018

Business Plan Writing Tips to Make the Process Easy and Quick

Business plan writing can seem like an overwhelming undertaking. Yet the good news is this: you probably have a good part of your plan written already, and not even know it.

That's why I break the process into chunks and then attack one chunk at a time to make it more manageable ...

Continue reading "Business Plan Writing Tips to Make the Process Easy and Quick"

Jun 04, 2018

Freebie: Marketing Grader Shows You How Your Sites are Doing Online

Want to know how you’re doing online … what to do better … and how to do it?

Of course you do.

Marketing Grader is a free tool that analyzes your online marketing efforts – your website, blog, social media sites.

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Jun 03, 2018

Give Me Excellence, Not Perfection

Don't you love to see "excellence" listed as one of an organization's core values?

Me, too.

On the other hand, when I see an organization conduct its ministry half-way or half-heartedly, I must confess I hesitate to engage ...

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Jun 02, 2018

The Back End: What I Learned about Website Copy from a Pro

It was time to load the website copy I’d written for a client. I was on my first conference call with a website developer who was training me to navigate the back end of the new website.

And I was nervous. Posts versus pages … categories and tags and keywords … featured images, menus, widgets …. I’d written plenty of website content for clients but loading it in the back end was new to me.

I had plenty of reasons to fear technology. I didn’t use a computer until I was ...

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Jun 01, 2018

Checklist of Grant Application Attachments

As you write your first few proposals you may be surprised at the number of grant application attachments you need to include.

If you have these documents on hand, you'll save hours of scrambling and frustration.

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May 31, 2018

Use the "You Test" on Your Content for More Persuasive Writing

The “You Test” is an easy and practical self-check you can use for more persuasive writing in your appeal letters, newsletters, web pages, email campaigns, blog posts, response devices, landing pages – pretty much any project.

The test checks your content to see how well it adheres to a top copywriting rule when writing to persuade – the You Rule.

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