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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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Aug 23, 2019

How to Write a Blog: Tips for Choosing a Blog Type

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 ...

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Aug 22, 2019

5 Quick Copywriting Fixes to Make You Sound Professional

Let’s be clear: quick copywriting fixes don’t take the place of good writing.

Some writers are overwhelmed by intimidation. Others are pumped by the desire to impress. It can be tempting to believe that fancy words and niche lingo will do the trick to make them sound professional.

Wrongo! Naturally, it helps to ...

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Aug 21, 2019

Why You Should Write an eBook: 5 Reasons to Consider It

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 what they help you to avoid, which is ...

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Aug 20, 2019

Tips for Writing a PS 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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Aug 19, 2019

A Simple Year-End Appeal Timeline to Help You Get It All Done

A simple year-end appeal timeline can help you stay on schedule in communicating with partners and prospects and asking them for gifts at year end.

This is particularly important as the calendar turns over from August to September, and then creeps closer to December. About 40% individual gifts are given to nonprofits during the last quarter of the calendar year...

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Aug 18, 2019

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

“Word count: 1,000 – 1,200 words or less.”

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 ...

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Aug 17, 2019

Punctuation Inflation: The Struggle Is Real

When you check blogs, email, social media sites, and texts today, take note when you see an exclamation mark.

Prediction: you’ll count more than a handful.

It’s part of current “Punctuation Inflation” trend in which ...

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Aug 16, 2019

Freelance Writing Jobs for Beginners: Getting 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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Aug 15, 2019

Repurposing Content: Get 21 Pieces of Content from One

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 ...

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Aug 14, 2019

The 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 ...

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Aug 13, 2019

Point of View Explained

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.)

Write from a POV by paying attention to the pronouns you use...

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Aug 12, 2019

Online Writing: What Makes It Unique

Online writing is any kind of text that you read on a digital device – on a computer, tablet, or smartphone. It’s also called digital writing.

Writing online can take different formats – websites, blogs, sales pages, social media posts, eBooks – even text messages.

But good digital writing is not a simple cut-and-paste job from print matter into the back end of a web page or onto a social media post ...

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Aug 11, 2019

The Direct Mail Letter: Why Copywriting Basics are So 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.

You write well, said the instructor, but you haven’t persuaded me.

He went on to say ...

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Aug 10, 2019

Does Your Prospect Know She Needs a Freelance Writer?

Do prospects know how they can benefit from a freelance copywriter? Many times, no. And it’s your job to tell them.

Let’s take a look at an example.

There are at least 1.5 million nonprofits in the U.S. About 66.3% of them are considered to be “grassroots” organizations with annual budgets of less than $1 million.

That means there are small 994,500+ organizations operating solely with essential staff. Remember, these numbers apply to just one ...

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Aug 09, 2019

Getting Started Writing a Book

Leaders, pastors, entrepreneurs, writers, and those who want to be writers:

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

Use this free, e-book writing guide...

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Aug 08, 2019

How To Plan Your Website Content Writing: A Simple Writing Tutorial

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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Aug 07, 2019

Prospecting: How To Write a Sales Letter That Sells Your Services

Prospects find out about your writing services from referrals, from your website, from social media, from your newsletter …

A letter helps you cut through the noise and speak directly to the person that will hire you. You can follow up your letter with email, direct messaging, and a phone call.

But you need to write it first. Here are tips and a template to follow to write your prospecting letter ...

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Aug 06, 2019

How to Write a Job Description

Why write a job description for positions in your business, nonprofit, or ministry?

Simple: you want to get things done.

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 ...

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Aug 05, 2019

17 Ways to Write Headlines so Readers Keep Reading

A headline is text that introduces the subject matter of the piece. It can take different forms. A headline is known as a title (above an article), a subject line (for an e-mail), a banner (on a newsletter), teaser (on an outer envelope), a Johnson box (on a direct mail letter), or even a caption (below a photo) ...

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Aug 04, 2019

The Back End: What I Learned From Loading Website Copy with 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 ...

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Aug 03, 2019

The Expert: Gamaliel (Who?) Is a Perfect Example of Social Proof

An expert is an authority or specialist in a particular field, whether it’s a geriatric upper extremities orthopedic surgeon or a teenager who has reached the highest level of a video game.

The expert’s comments are powerful social proof to use in persuasive writing because he knows the topic thoroughly, knows the issues associated with the topic, and has earned respect from others in the field.

One such expert was ...

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Aug 02, 2019

The Power of "Because": What Makes This Word so Persuasive

The power of because: this seemingly innocuous word is the poster child for persuasive writing.

You may mistakenly think that “because” is forceful or pushy. Or it is too simple to make much of a difference. Not so!

The word “because” is so powerful for one simple reason. It explains ...

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Aug 01, 2019

Fundraising Ask Secrets: How to Propel Readers to Respond

There’s no way to dance around the "fundraising ask" in an effective fundraising appeal.

You must ask readers to relinquish their hard-earned dollars to your cause in a way that makes them thrilled to do so.

First, in terms of technique, the fundraising ask always includes some important elements ...

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Jul 31, 2019

Social Proof: It's a Powerful Persuasive Copywriting Technique

Social proof is feedback from real people about your product or service. It is a powerful tool in your persuasive copywriting arsenal because people like to know what other people think. Readers adjust their behavior according to what other people are doing and saying.

Each of us face dozens – even hundreds – of decisions every day. It’s natural to wonder how others react in similar situations. Not that I rely 100% on social proof when I make a decision. I’m sure you don’t, either. But it sure is helpful to read about other people’s experiences, isn’t it?

A bit of pyschology applies here ...

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Jul 30, 2019

What Kind of Outline to Use for Your Writing Project

You’re ready to write an outline: you have gathered ideas, processed them, and have determined the main point for your piece.

Now what?

No matter which kind of content you write – article, blog post, web page, email campaign, e-book, speech, other – you need to organize your material into a logical order.

Perhaps you’re...

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