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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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Apr 24, 2019

Should You or Shouldn't You Write a Book? Use These Tips to Figure It Out

If you do a quick internet search you can find plenty of tips on writing a book. Courses on writing a book. Books on writing a book.

And these days, self-publishing makes it easy and affordable for anyone to become a published book author.

But should you write a book right now? The idea of ...

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Apr 23, 2019

How to Write a Response Device

A response device is a document that donors use when they send your organization a gift.

The most effective one is a separate insert in a fundraising package, newsletter or promotion (a tear-out requires more work from your prospect). Good response devices are ...

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Apr 22, 2019

Writing Courses: How to Choose One that's Right for You

Writing courses provide the opportunity to develop your writing skills. You can also take a course to learn how to write in a new genre.

No longer must you be enrolled in a college program to take a course in writing. Oodles of courses are available in a variety of venues and in an endless array of formats.

Assuming you have limited time and cannot take every course that comes your way, how do you know which ones to choose? Consider these 4 elements ...

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Apr 21, 2019

The Newsletter: A Great Way to Share Your BEST News

I could hear the team member’s frustration on the conference call as we discussed content for the upcoming newsletter. “But there’s a new staff member and some changes to the board of directors,” she said. “That’s the most important news we’ve got going on! We’ve got to lead with it in the newsletter.”

Her words rang in the beat of silence that followed. Then ...

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Apr 20, 2019

Queen Esther Used a "Postcard." Maybe You Should Try It, Too

It’s easy to dismiss a direct mail postcard as impersonal. Particularly these days, when social media marketing pushes us to engage readers.

But if you want to get a message out fast – or reinforce one you’ve already sent – then use postcards.

They are short. And they communicate a single message.

Queen Esther and her king’s right-hand man, Mordecai, used an ancient version of the direct mail postcard ...

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Apr 19, 2019

Getting Started Writing a Book: A Quick (and Free) Guide

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

This 28-page free guide takes you through eight steps you need to take to ...

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Apr 18, 2019

3 Reasons Ministries Hire Freelance Writers

Christian freelance writing jobs represent a significant hidden job market.

Thousands of churches, faith-based organizations, websites, and periodicals need regular content and promotional materials. The Christian niche represents a significant market. Freelancers with solid writing skills, a sound knowledge of scripture, and an understanding of biblical principles are very attractive to ministries.

Why do organizations hire freelancers?

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Apr 17, 2019

How To Write a Simple Marketing Postcard (and Why You Should Do So)

When you know how to write a simple marketing postcard, you can use the content for both print and online promotions.

Heads up: a marketing postcard is different from a postcard you send Grandma from the beach. And it’s different from a response device – an insert included in ...

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Apr 17, 2019

How to Write a Simple Marketing Postcard (and Why You Should)

When you know how to write a simple marketing postcard, you can use the content for both print and online promotions.

Heads up: a marketing postcard is different from a postcard you send Grandma from the beach. And it’s different from a response device – an insert included in a direct mail or fundraising packet which the reader uses to place an order, give a gift, or register for a follow up contact.

A marketing postcard is a direct marketing tool you use for ...

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Apr 16, 2019

How to Write a Call to Action: Have You Told Your Reader What to Do?

The Call To Action (CTA) is the point where you tell your reader what to do, whether it’s in your appeal letter, on your web page, in your email campaign, or on a response device.

It’s at the CTA when copywriters can get the gift or the new contact or the mention. (Or not.)

And why is that?

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Apr 15, 2019

Formal or Informal? How to Know What Kind of Letter to Write

Writing letters – and writing them well – is a mainstay in daily communication, both in your professional life and your personal life.

Copywriters and content writers write dozens of letters - but what kind of letter will work best for a specific situation? You can figure out whether your letter should be formal or informal when you look at why you're writing it in the first place ...

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Apr 14, 2019

Waste Not. Save Much.

Waste nothing: it's one of the most effective content writing tips ever.

Attorney-turned-freelance-writer Kelly James-Enger has perfected the practice. Part of her success as a freelancer, Kelly admits, is the discipline to not "write from scratch." Instead, she specializes writing for two specific niches ...

Continue reading "Waste Not. Save Much."

Apr 13, 2019

How to Position Your Content Writing Services

When I think of promoting my content writing services, I want to cower in a hole. An email I recently received from a reader confirmed that I am not alone in this.

“I am horrible at self-promotion, whether it’s a cover letter, a one-paragraph bio, or an annual self-review,” wrote Dave ...

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Apr 12, 2019

Prove It! Using Facts Is a Powerful Persuasive Writing Technique

Let’s say you’ve presented the problem to your reader and painted a picture with a compelling story or anecdote about your product or cause.

By this point, your reader’s heart is engaged. She is nodding along with you, thinking I cannot bear it that these girls are left on the streets of India to prostitute themselves for food. Yes, I want to do something about it, but …

It’s that “but” in her mind that you must address. If you don’t, then she won’t be persuaded ...

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Apr 11, 2019

A Fun Way to Celebrate Easter with Your Family, Friends

During the spring my daughter turned three, I looked for activities to help her learn about Easter. Within the 20-mile radius of my home, I found only two: she could meet the Easter Bunny at a local appliance store one Saturday afternoon, or she could hunt for eggs with 100 other frenzied kids at a county park on Easter Monday.

Why is that? I wondered ...

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Apr 10, 2019

Selling Your Freelance Services: 6 Things You Can Do Right Now

I put together this list of 6 writing tips for starting out as a freelancer for a very practical reason: to strike down the fear of selling your services.

This fear nearly debilitated me at the beginning of my writing journey. In fact, I still experience flare-ups. I had no idea where to begin to get clients …

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Apr 09, 2019

Email Writing Tip: How to Write Links to Get More Clicks

You write email campaigns not just to inform your readers, but to engage them and get them to respond. One of the easiest ways to engage a reader is to get them to click on a link you’ve placed strategically in your email content.

Your email’s click-through rate (CTR or “click rate”) measures the number of times readers click on your links and are redirected to another page.

Naturally, you’d like the redirected page to be ...

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Apr 08, 2019

5 Great Reasons to Write and Publish an Electronic Newsletter

In some cases, these electronic newsletter can even take the place of producing print newsletters. E-zines are a powerful way to build exposure.

An ezine, also called and electronic magazine or an online newsletter, is published at a regular interval, such as monthly, bi-weekly, or weekly, and is delivered by email to your nonprofit’s readers and subscribers ...

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Apr 07, 2019

8 Kinds of Illustrations to Use in Devotionals

All kinds of illustrations are used in devotionals.

A devotional illustration paints a picture in words, making a spiritual truth become concrete for the reader.

They’re effective because you use details: names, smells, feelings, tastes, sights, numbers, facts.

Jesus Christ was a master at using illustrations. His parables made a spiritual truth become concrete for listeners. Check out 8 kinds of illustrations he used and how he used them – so you can use them, too ...

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Apr 06, 2019

Positive Words Get 5 Times More Response Than Negative Words

Positive words (“I agree” and “good idea!”) are the ultimate power words – terms that arouse a reader’s feelings and move her to respond.

Studies bear this out.

Researchers Emily Heaphy (University of Michigan) and consultant Marcial Losada tested the effectiveness of 60 leadership teams. The significant factor between the most and least successful teams ...

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Apr 05, 2019

Finish Strong! How to Write a Conclusion

When you know how to write a conclusion for your article, letter, or blog post – or any content, for that matter – you finish strong and make your point. You also make it worthwhile for your reader to stick with you until the end.

It’s no secret that you need to write a strong opening to hook Joe Reader. When he gets interested, he proceeds to read or skim the body itself.

Less well-known is the secret of finishing strong ...

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Apr 04, 2019

A Handy Guideline for Writing Headlines and Subject Lines

The SELWAB formula is a self-check for writing leads for letters, but it applies to writing leads for articles, headlines, and emails, too.

It’s short for “Start Every Letter With A Benefit.”

And handy it is! Here's how to use it ...

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Apr 03, 2019

Writing Powerful Key Phrases Is Easy with This One Word

There’s one word that makes writing powerful key phrases easy.

It’s “easy.” And it’s one of my favorite power words.

Power words are terms that arouse a reader’s feelings and move her to act.

What kinds of feelings do you get when you read the word “easy”?

At first, you may think ...

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Apr 02, 2019

Understand the Two Types of Business Emails

When it comes to writing email tips, here's an important one: you can save a lot of time and aggravation when you understand the simple fact that all emails are not created equally.

Back in 1965, email was considered to be a novelty when the first email message was posted in a file from one user to another on the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s mainframe computer.

Times have changed! Today, email is a widely-accepted form of communication in business across niches.

I’m talking about both the one-on-one email you dash off to your cubicle partner along with automated emails that are constructed and loaded into an email list manager and scheduled to send ...

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Apr 01, 2019

6 Elements of a Successful Appeal Letter

This appeal letter writing format may appear too simple to be effective. It’s got just six elements.

Don’t be fooled. The formula may be uncomplicated, but it’s overwhelmingly successful in pulling gifts for all kinds of organizations. Here are the reasons it works ...

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