Link to this page

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.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------

Feb 23, 2018

5 Parts of a Resume

The basic parts of a resume outlined here are a tool you can use to understand how resumes are constructed. This list will also help you gather your personal data, organize it, and present it effectively in a professional resume.

Every resume is unique … because each person and his experiences are unique. As such, there is no magic formula to presenting your information.

Having said that, most resumes incorporate the standard components listed here. Which ones you use and how you use them depend on a number of factors, such as ...

Continue reading "5 Parts of a Resume"

Feb 22, 2018

How to Write a Business Email Step-By-Step

When you know how to write an email well, you can save time and get more business done with your employees, clients, vendors, and partners.

I’m not talking about writing an email to your spouse about a rental for next summer’s vacation (an informal, personal email.) Nor am I referring to writing an email newsletter (an e-zine to your organization’s partners and supporters with stories and announcements) – although these tips can apply to these kinds of emails, too.

Rather I’m referring how to write an email that is part of your day-to-day operations in your business and your work.

Continue reading "How to Write a Business Email Step-By-Step"

Feb 21, 2018

The 4 Ps of Persuasive Writing and How to Use Them

Authors, business writers, bloggers, pastors - each one uses persuasive writing to convince a reader to understand a point of view.

The 4 Ps is a series of four writing tasks that you complete in your copy or your content as a way to persuade your reader to understand your point of view. Each task begins with the letter p: Promise, Picture, Proof, Push.

Like other writing formulas, this one provides a helpful outline to follow. And like other good formulas, the 4 Ps is proven to work. It offers a simple framework to follow to achieve an end result.

In this case, the end result is persuasion.

That's why this particular formula is especially useful when …

Continue reading "The 4 Ps of Persuasive Writing and How to Use Them"

Feb 21, 2018

Use the 4 P's to Write Persuasively

The 4 P's is a series of four writing tasks that you complete in your copy or your content as a way to persuade your reader to understand your point of view. Each task begins with the letter p:

1. Promise

2. Picture

3. Proof

4. Push

Like other writing formulas, this one provides a helpful outline to follow. And like other good formulas, the 4 Ps is proven to work. It offers a simple framework to follow to achieve an end result.

In this case, the end result is persuasion.

Continue reading "Use the 4 P's to Write Persuasively"

Feb 20, 2018

Your Elevator Speech: Explain What You Do In 30 Seconds or Less

A perfect example of an elevator speech is offered in one of the final scenes of the 1988 Academy Award-winning film, Working Girl. Wall Street secretary Tess McGill (played by Melanie Griffith) has thirty seconds in an elevator to explain to an investment bank CEO how she conceived a lucrative deal for his firm.

Tess describes her acquisition idea so clearly and simply that the CEO gives her an executive job on the spot – and fires her boss for stealing the concept from her.

In the same way, your “elevator speech” is a brief, concise explanation of what you do, presented in about the time it takes an elevator to go from the bottom floor to the top. Always be on the lookout for ...

Continue reading "Your Elevator Speech: Explain What You Do In 30 Seconds or Less"

Feb 19, 2018

Letter Writing Tip: Try This Opening Line

Letter writing tip: use the opening line you’re afraid of.

“I’m writing to you today because …”

We writers push back from using this opening line in letters. Isn’t the wording overused? Won’t the reader consider this approach too ordinary or trite? Isn’t persuasive writing purposely vague rather than direct, as suggested by this line?

No. No. And no.

Do your own unscientific poll like this ...

Continue reading "Letter Writing Tip: Try This Opening Line"

Feb 18, 2018

Quick Inspiration from Other Copywriters

"Make it simple. Make it memorable. Make it inviting to look at. Make it fun to read."Leo Burnett, (1891-1971), American advertising executive.

Sometimes just a quick piece of inspiration can help you get through a dry spell. See these tips from other writers and copywriters who have been there.

Continue reading "Quick Inspiration from Other Copywriters"

Feb 17, 2018

What a Book Manuscript Taught Me About Writer's Panic

I opened the envelope and stared in disbelief. It was a book contract!

After I jigged and boogied my happy dance, I read the fine print. The manuscript deadline was in less than 4 months.

What?!?

I was a new writer. It had been less than a year since my first article was published - one that clocked in at just 1,000 words and had taken me weeks to write. Added to my inexperience were the responsibilities of a husband, two young children and a full-time job, and I did what any writer (young or experienced) would do.

I panicked. There was no way I could ...

Continue reading "What a Book Manuscript Taught Me About Writer's Panic"

Feb 16, 2018

The Best Source for Images for Your Blog or Newsletter

Where are the best places get images for newsletters from your nonprofit?

You. Your clients. Your projects. Your work.

Think about it: which would impact you most: a touched-up image of a child holding a neat, clipped lamb… or a gritty photo of a young boy and his strong though shaggy flock of goats set against the backdrop of a dirt-poor village?

Don’t worry if your images “not perfect.” Readers want the real deal. Where at all possible, give it to them. Stock images work well if ...

Continue reading "The Best Source for Images for Your Blog or Newsletter"

Feb 16, 2018

Betcha Didn't Know This 3-Letter Word Is a Persuasive Powerhouse

The word "now" is simple. But its effect is powerful.

You can use it in articles, on envelope teasers, in fundraising appeals, on response devices … in any document where you want to propel your reader into action.

What’s more, the word now seems so inconsequential that your reader might not recognize that you’re pressing him.

These 5 tips can show you how.

Continue reading "Betcha Didn't Know This 3-Letter Word Is a Persuasive Powerhouse"

Feb 15, 2018

Point of View Explained for Copywriters and Content Writers

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

In fiction, you use one point of view at a time.

But copywriting and content writing are a conversation, not a lecture. That’s why a combination of all 3 POVs, with a special emphasis on first and second person POVs, work best ...

Continue reading "Point of View Explained for Copywriters and Content Writers"

Feb 15, 2018

Quick Writing Tip: Start a Sentence With a Subject

Start a sentence with the subject. Reason? You want your writing to be easy to read.

Clean writing is easier to read than cluttered writing. And my guess is that like me, you want to make it easy for your readers to read what you write.

Your reader can get bogged down with wordy baggage at the beginning of the sentence. Do her a favor. Eliminate it or move it to later in the sentence.

Instead of writing this …

Continue reading "Quick Writing Tip: Start a Sentence With a Subject"

Feb 14, 2018

5 Quick Steps for Writing A Listicle

List + Article = Listicle (prounced list-ick-kuhl, like “popsicle.”)

It’s a catchall phrase for any article in list form.

Listicles are popular for lots of reasons: they are fun to read, easy to write, offer practical or unusual information, and are sharable – which is especially important online.

Plus, they are versatile. You can write these ...

Continue reading "5 Quick Steps for Writing A Listicle"

Feb 13, 2018

5 Most Common Types of Blog Posts for Freelancers, Bloggers, Writers

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.

There are so many choices that it can be overwhelming.

But here is a simple writing tip: all of those different kinds of blog posts can be distilled down to just a few types, which we'll describe in this post.

Continue reading "5 Most Common Types of Blog Posts for Freelancers, Bloggers, Writers"

Feb 12, 2018

Use This 5-Point Checklist When You Write Headlines

This simple 5-point checklist is a useful tool you can use as you write a headline (to keep yourself on track) and again after you write it (as a check-up for your newly-minted headline.)

The checklist works well for blog post titles, article headings, email subject lines, web page meta titles, subheads, image captions … pretty much any kind of headline.

Continue reading "Use This 5-Point Checklist When You Write Headlines"

Feb 11, 2018

Writing a Takeaway: Keep It Simple

Writing a takeaway is the most practical step in devotional writing.

The devotional’s takeaway, also called the “application,“ is the third element in the 3-part structure.

The takeaway gives the reader something to “do” – an action step she can take in order to apply the devotional point. Here are two writing tips: keep it simple and focus on one ...

Continue reading "Writing a Takeaway: Keep It Simple"

Feb 10, 2018

The Interview: an Online Devotional for Writers

I had finally connected by phone with the girl I was to interview for a nonprofit agency newsletter article. And I was on a tight timeline.

After a few perfunctory niceties, I jumped ahead. "Can you tell me what happened to make you reach out for help?" I asked.

I paused and waited for the young teenage mom on the other end of the line to answer. Meanwhile, I ...

Continue reading "The Interview: an Online Devotional for Writers"

Feb 09, 2018

When You Know How to Write a Story for Content, You Up Your Writing Game

“Let me illustrate …”

When you know how to write a story, you up your writing game. I’m not talking about writing a novel, short story, or other form of fiction, but rather storytelling in content and copy. It's standard operating procedure to use a story as a hook ...

Continue reading "When You Know How to Write a Story for Content, You Up Your Writing Game"

Feb 08, 2018

4 Writing Styles and When To Use Each One

I admit it: when I first started writing, the idea of different writing styles not only confused me but intimidated me.

“I’m barely learning the craft,” I thought to myself. From where I sat, I could not envision developing my own style.

Then I learned that there are two ways to look at styles.

1. A writer’s style: an individual writer’s tone and manner sometimes called the “writer’s voice.” There are as many individual styles as there are writers.

2. Writing styles: different kinds of writing that fulfill different purposes. All writing falls into one of four types: expository, descriptive, persuasive, and narrative. Each of these four types has a specific purpose.

This is helpful information. Once I came to understand and master the basics of each type of writing style, I could save time and write better. You can too ...

Continue reading "4 Writing Styles and When To Use Each One"

Feb 07, 2018

20 Interview Questions that Guarantee a Compelling Story

Good interview questions are not a mining expedition, but rather a conversation with a caring friend. People like telling their story, especially if you show empathy with them. When you ask and then listen, you build trust.

It’s the person behind the facts that makes a compelling story.

So when you ask interview questions that dig deeper, you’ll go beyond the facts to reveal personal struggle, conflict and victory.These kinds of real-life stories are a powerful tool.

Try these interview questions to help the storyteller reveal the heart and soul behind the tale.

Continue reading "20 Interview Questions that Guarantee a Compelling Story"

Feb 06, 2018

Don't Be Afraid of Self-Editing!

Self-editing is an important skill to learn in order to be a good writer. But lots of us quake in our boots (or shake at our keyboards) at the idea of editing our own work.

The fact is that editing your writing isn’t all that mysterious.

Here’s a simple way to look at it: editing is the process of revising a piece of writing so it is ready to be published. There are two "pillars of editing" ...

Continue reading "Don't Be Afraid of Self-Editing!"

Feb 05, 2018

3 Tips for Getting Stories from Clients for Features

“How do I go about getting stories from clients? I understand that stories are powerful and that I need to use them whenever I can.

But sometimes, a small business owner or a nonprofit provide very little information or examples (even when I ask the right questions).”

For the record, I've run into this problem more than once.

The good news is there are a few ways you can get around it.

Continue reading "3 Tips for Getting Stories from Clients for Features"

Feb 04, 2018

Tips and Inspiration about Creativity for Writers

“To get a great idea, come up with lots of them.” So said American businessman and inventor Thomas Edison (1847-1931).

Sometimes just a quick piece of inspiration can help you get through a dry spell. See these tips from other creatives who have been there.

Continue reading "Tips and Inspiration about Creativity for Writers"

Feb 03, 2018

Which Resume Writing Format is Right for You?

These days, job seekers choose from three main types of resume writing formats to showcase their qualifications and apply for job openings: chronological, functional and combination.

Human resource professionals report that 99% of all resumes fall into one of these top categories. While there are other formats, most are variations of these three.

Each of the resume writing formats is appropriate in a different situation or for a different person. Even the same job seeker often builds a different resume in a different format when applying for a particular job.

In other words, no two resumes are exactly alike. One size does not fit all.

Which of the 3 resume writing formats should you choose?

Continue reading "Which Resume Writing Format is Right for You?"

Feb 02, 2018

Simple Persuasive Writing Tip: Ask This One Little Question

“Write about benefits, not features.” You hear this persuasive writing tip all the time. But what does it mean?

When you think of emphasizing benefits – showing advantages – and writing to persuade in the same sentence, you may feel like me and squirm with the thought of sounding like a used-car salesman. So you can slip easily into the default of writing about features – facts and information.

Try a different approach. Ask this one simple question to figure out the benefits (over features) ...

Continue reading "Simple Persuasive Writing Tip: Ask This One Little Question"

New! Comments

Have your say about what you just read! Leave me a comment in the box below.
Powered by SBI! Learn more here.

Search This Site


Share This Page



Get Free Writing Tips

Stop Wasting Time!

Grab your exclusive FREE guide, "5 Simple Writing Tips You Can Put to Use in 10 Minutes or Less"

XML RSSSubscribe To This Site
  • XML RSS
  • follow us in feedly
  • Add to My Yahoo!