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Word Wise Blog: Content Writing Made Easy

Award-winning writer Kathy Widenhouse has helped hundreds of nonprofits and writers produce successful content and has gained 600K+ views for her writing tutorials. She is the author of 9 books. See more of Kathy’s content here.

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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.


Apr 19, 2024

How to identify your target reader

Identifying your target audience BEFORE you write allows you to create powerful, relevant content.

That's because you can target what they need, what they ...

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Apr 18, 2024

Which writing format should you use for your letter?

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 four basic formats.

#1: Block format ...

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Apr 17, 2024

Writing a book? Ask these 2 questions FIRST

Writing a book is just a series of small bits of words, strung together. To write a book, simply break down the whole into smaller parts. Then complete each small part, one at a time.

When you break the process into smaller steps, writing a book can be a reality. One step is manageable. Do a few steps and soon, you’ll be on your way.

But the very first step is to ...

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Apr 16, 2024

5 non-writing skills every writer needs

If you’re a freelance writer or blogger (or want to be one), keep working on your writing skills. But learn a few non-writing skills, too.

I’m not talking about research, interviewing, or self-editing. I consider those to be part of the writing process...

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Apr 15, 2024

3 tips for writing better web pages

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...

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Apr 14, 2024

Do you use too many exclamation marks?!

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 exclamation marks are used several times in one blog post or even ...

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Apr 13, 2024

Want to persuade? Use the basics

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

He went on to say that the content of my main point was not the issue, but rather simple fundamental mechanics, such as …

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Apr 12, 2024

Use this simple tool to plan and track your content

What did you publish last week? Last month? And what do you have in your content pipeline?

I created this content calendar template when I couldn’t find one that was simple. I use it every week...

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Apr 11, 2024

What is content writing?

Good content writing drives your communications.

But what exactly is “content”? You hear that word used a lot, whether you’re a business owner, leader, staffer – and even more so if you’re a writer.

When I first started writing, the term “content” puzzled me. Was it a particular style of writing? Or maybe it was certain kinds of writing projects. Every definition I looked up confused me more...

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Apr 10, 2024

Write great headlines with one simple formula

Every writer wants – no, needs – to write great headlines.

Headlines are the gateway to your content.

Perhaps you’ve heard the 80/20 headline rule: 80% of the people who read your headline will not click or read the content that follows. Just 20% will open up your masterpiece.

Even the most insightful content won’t engage readers if you can’t pull them in and get them to read the piece in the first place.

So ask yourself this question: what kind of headline moves you to click and read the content that follows …

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Apr 09, 2024

Do you have a system for collecting stories for your content?

Using anecdotes breathes life into your content. Readers are energized when they hear how your organization makes a difference in the lives of the people you serve.

But you know what happens when the deadline for your next article or newsletter looms ...

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Apr 08, 2024

Swap out these 7 words for clearer writing

Whether you’re a brand new writer or an old pro, be on the lookout for specific, overused writing words in your content.

These words are vague and nondescript. It’s tempting to use them because they’re an easy “out.”

But they weaken your content. As you re-write, exchange them for different writing words that are vivid, colorful, imaginative, or even graphic.

Weak writing words fall into one of three categories...

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Apr 07, 2024

Watch your word count ... and acquire more followers

“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.

That's part of it, but not the sole reason we writers need to tighten our language ...

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Apr 06, 2024

Help prospects know they need your writing services

Do prospects know how they can benefit from a freelance copywriter? Many times, no.

And it’s your job to tell them. Do so, and you can uncover loads of freelancing assignments ...

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Apr 05, 2024

How to test your idea for a book before you start writing

You’ve got a book idea. You’re gung-ho to get writing. But should you proceed?

Before you invest time and energy in writing your book, you want to know you’ve got a solid book concept – and an audience that is eager to nab your book and read it from cover to cover...

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Apr 04, 2024

6 tips for writing good copy for your book jacket

When I wrote my first book, I needed tips for writing good copy for the book jacket.

That's the blurb on the back of the book.

It’s a step that’s easy to overlook. But it’s uber-important, especially if you’re self-publishing.

Think about how you choose books to read. You look at ...

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Apr 03, 2024

27 content ideas. Have you tried these yet?

Readers don’t want to hear from you only when you want to sell them.

Content-rich communications in your newsletters, email, letters, blog, brochures, posts, and website appeal to followers – four out of five, in fact. A recent Penn State study showed that ...

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Apr 02, 2024

29 kinds of articles you can write

"I don't know what to write!"

Yes, you do! Articles celebrate successes or offer helpful information. They can and should be fun, energizing, and inspiring to read!

There are dozens of article ideas to use to tell the story of ...

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Apr 01, 2024

Top writing tip (simple)

Good writers are packagers. They work really hard to produce an effective, clean piece.

However, simplicity comes naturally to very few. Good writers are either born that way (hardly any) or learn how to get that way (most)...

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Mar 31, 2024

The lesson of niche lingo

The conductor glared at me. “Make sure the minim is held its full length – not the length of a crotchet,” he yelled.

Huh? My blank stare communicated confusion. I spoke English, but I had no idea what the maestro was telling me...

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Mar 30, 2024

Use this vehicle to meet your readers where they are

In the Bible, God used all kinds of vehicles to speak to people where they lived, worked, and operated.

For instance, God spoke to Moses in a burning bush on the side of a mountain. “Take off your sandals. You’re standing on holy ground,” He said when giving orders to the prince-turned-shepherd to lead the Hebrews out of slavery (Exodus 3) ...

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Mar 29, 2024

By Kathy Widenhouse: Fun, helpful book for girls ages 6-9

An iParenting Media Award winner!

Help a young girl you know grow in her faith with this award-winning devotional: God & Me! 3 (ages 6-9)...

She can know who God is and what it means to be His friend using this fully-illustrated, fun set of devotionals that help her know God better.

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Mar 28, 2024

19 resources for writers (free or low-cost)

I am always on the lookout for good writing resources, particularly those recommended by people I trust. (And if the resource is free or low-cost … well, that’s even better.)

That's why I created this Resources page ...

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Mar 27, 2024

The 2 main ways to build your writing biz

I was well into adulthood — and enjoying a career as an employed classical musician — when I learned that people make a living at freelance writing.

I didn’t know such a thing was possible. Everybody writes, I reasoned — whether it’s a social media post showing off the keys to your new home or a thank you note to Grandma.

But people who made a living from their words were eith ...

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Mar 26, 2024

Top tip for writing a cover letter

A cover letter’s job is to get the reader to take one more step.

When you look at writing a cover letter in that way, it can help simplify matters.

That is particularly the case when you’re told that a cover letter is a sales letter and the thought of writing a sales letter is daunting...

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