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.

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

Dec 15, 2018

The Strategic Plan: Write It Down, Get More Done

A strategic plan is written outline that maps where you are now, where you are going, and how you will get there.

Organizations both large and small create a strategic plan each year, as do high-capacity individuals. The most effective check and tweak their strategic plans quarterly.

Stop a sec and answer this question honestly: do you have a written strategic plan? That is, not one in your head but one with ...

Continue reading "The Strategic Plan: Write It Down, Get More Done"

Dec 14, 2018

Top 10 Nonprofit Website Tips

You may be tempted to shrug off the need for nonprofit website basics because “everybody knows how to navigate online.”

Or any kind of website basics, for that matter - whether you are a small business, solopreneur, or executive director.

Or you may think the opposite is true – that you’ve got to “keep up with the Joneses” on your site with cutting edge graphics, while ignoring fundamental must-haves ...

Continue reading "Top 10 Nonprofit Website Tips"

Dec 13, 2018

God & Me! 3: Fun, Interactive Devotionals for Preteen Girls

My editor asked me to write a book of fun devotionals for girls at just the right time in my life.

My daughter had only recently emerged from her preteen years. I had seen her struggles in learning to know God and could tell she wanted to please God. She wanted to live His way. Yet she was making friends her own age, pulled between own uncertainties and her desire to be accepted by her peers.

Honestly, aren’t we all?

In writing this book I saw a fantastic opportunity to speak truth into the lives of preteen girls ...

Continue reading "God & Me! 3: Fun, Interactive Devotionals for Preteen Girls"

Dec 12, 2018

Business Plan vs. Strategic Planning: What's the Difference?

Strategic planning is a process that organizations use to help them grow. An effective strategic plan articulates where your nonprofit is now, where you want to go (and why), and how you’re going to get there.

Why have a strategic plan? Planning makes good business sense. When you don’t do it, you set yourself up for frustration and even failure. As businessman and consultant Harvey MacKay (b. 1932) said, “If you fail to plan, you plan to fail" ...

Continue reading "Business Plan vs. Strategic Planning: What's the Difference?"

Dec 11, 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"

Dec 10, 2018

Storytelling Tips: Getting Stories from Clients

A Word Wise reader wrote in with this question:

“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 "Storytelling Tips: Getting Stories from Clients"

Dec 09, 2018

Where to Look for Ideas for Devotionals

Ideas for devotionals can come from any incident, person, situation, comment, example, anecdote, quote, statistic, fact, mannerism, activity, happening … anything that grabs your attention.

“Ideas are all around you.” I heard that statement a lot when I first started writing. It both encouraged me and intimidated me.

It encouraged me because it was comforting. If ideas are all around everyone, that means ideas are all around me, too. But I was intimidated.

Just because ideas were all around me did not mean that I could capture them ...

Continue reading "Where to Look for Ideas for Devotionals"

Dec 08, 2018

The Reminder: It's Smart to Write an Email to Remind Readers to Respond

Why write an email to your readers solely for the purpose of prompting them to take action, especially after you’ve sent them an invitation or an appeal?

Because they want reminders.

Two leading factors influence readers to take action, according to a survey from software fundraising company Classy ...

Continue reading "The Reminder: It's Smart to Write an Email to Remind Readers to Respond"

Dec 07, 2018

Email Etiquette Quiz: True or False?

How is your email etiquette? Manners count … even online.

More business communications are conducted electronically every day and every week. Even if you’re an old hand at using electronic mail, a review never hurts. You may even sharpen your netiquette skills.

Take this quiz to check your email know-how.

Continue reading "Email Etiquette Quiz: True or False?"

Dec 06, 2018

Quick Writing Tip: Start a Sentence With a Subject. Here's Why ...

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 ...

Continue reading "Quick Writing Tip: Start a Sentence With a Subject. Here's Why ..."

Dec 05, 2018

Use a Year-End Online Appeal: 6 Simple Writing Tips

A year-end online appeal is cheap and simple to send.

With December 31 as biggest electronic giving day of the year (according to some gurus), a year-end online appeal at the eleventh hour makes sense.

You can leverage the year-end online rush when you create an email campaign (or short series) to send between Christmas and New Year’s Eve. All you need is ...

Continue reading "Use a Year-End Online Appeal: 6 Simple Writing Tips"

Dec 04, 2018

Persuasive Writing Tip: Just Ask a Simple 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 ...

Continue reading "Persuasive Writing Tip: Just Ask a Simple Question"

Dec 03, 2018

Email Campaigns: They're Worth The Work. Here's Why.

Email campaigns and other nonprofit emails are a powerful tool in getting the word out about your cause and your needs.

Case in point: in the days following Hurricane Katrina, my email inbox was flooded with messages from dozens of nonprofit organizations. Each campaign explained how their nonprofit set up shelters or distributed water, food, and supplies to victims. I read stories of heroic rescues. Charities requested emergency support.

Like me, supporters across the nation were inundated with powerful Katrina messages. Soon nonprofit organizations nationwide reported record giving. More than half came from online donations ...

Continue reading "Email Campaigns: They're Worth The Work. Here's Why."

Dec 02, 2018

Copywriting Wisdom: Make It Simple, Memorable, Fun to Read ...

"Make it simple. Make it memorable. Make it inviting to look at. Make it fun to read."Leo Burnett, (1891-1971), American advertising executive known for emphasizing simplicity and product benefits ...

And more inspiring wisdom about copywriting from the masters.

Continue reading "Copywriting Wisdom: Make It Simple, Memorable, Fun to Read ..."

Dec 01, 2018

Writing a Powerful Call To Action: Motivating or Manipulative?

Tapping into emotions is the key to writing a powerful ask.

“Emotions are the fire of human motivation,” says top copywriter Gary Bencivenga. “They’re the combustible force that secretly drives most decisions to buy.”

But is it manipulative for the Christian writer to tap into emotions in order to motivate a reader to take action?

Continue reading "Writing a Powerful Call To Action: Motivating or Manipulative?"

Nov 30, 2018

3 Different Resume Formats: Which Should You Use?

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 ...

Continue reading "3 Different Resume Formats: Which Should You Use?"

Nov 29, 2018

Gift Idea - God & Me 3! Award-Winning Children's Devotional for Girls Ages 6-9

When my editor asked me to write a book of fun children devotionals for girls ages 6-9, I saw a perfect opportunity to help young ladies understand that God is their friend.

They can get close to Jesus by using the special lessons Jesus taught His friends, the disciples. That’s why I build the devotionals around the ...

Continue reading "Gift Idea - God & Me 3! Award-Winning Children's Devotional for Girls Ages 6-9"

Nov 28, 2018

12 Templates for Writing Benefits

These 12 tips for writing winning Asks follow a simple fill-in-the-blank format you can use to write an important part of a call to action: the benefits of your product, service, or cause.

They’re helpful because they give you a model to use to explain benefits to your reader.

Continue reading "12 Templates for Writing Benefits"

Nov 27, 2018

On Giving Tuesday, Here's How to Write the Perfect Thank You Letter

Today is Giving Tuesday, the national day of giving.

If you're on the receiving end of gifts, do you know how to write the perfect thank you letter?

Plan yours with care and thought, making sure it accomplishes these 3 things ...

Continue reading "On Giving Tuesday, Here's How to Write the Perfect Thank You Letter"

Nov 26, 2018

"Don't Miss The Story!" 3 Tips for Collecting and Using Anecdotes

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

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

You have to trudge through all kinds of phone calls and dead ends to find an exciting anecdote to include as the centerpiece ...

Continue reading ""Don't Miss The Story!" 3 Tips for Collecting and Using Anecdotes"

Nov 25, 2018

Practical Tips for Using Illustrations in Devotionals

Here are some practical writing tips for using illustrations in devotionals.

Using Illustrations: FAQs

Q. What is a devotional illustration?The illustration is one of three parts of a devotional: scripture, illustration, and takeaway. It is the devotional’s main body, sandwiched in between the scripture and the takeaway.

Q. What does it do?The illustration connects the devo’s spiritual truth – its point – to a real-life situation. It does the “heavy lifting” in the devotional ...

Continue reading "Practical Tips for Using Illustrations in Devotionals"

Nov 24, 2018

Persuasive Writing Tip: How to Target Benefits over Features

“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. Just ask a simple question ...

Continue reading "Persuasive Writing Tip: How to Target Benefits over Features"

Nov 24, 2018

An Easy (an Fun) Way to Catalog Your Family History

I don’t write many personal letters anymore, even though I did during my childhood and young adult years. These days I send emails, texts, thank you notes, and an annual Christmas letter.

When Christmas letters became popular, I turned up my nose at them. I thought they were too impersonal.

But life as a working mom and wife with two children became busy ...

Continue reading "An Easy (an Fun) Way to Catalog Your Family History"

Nov 23, 2018

Quick Persuasive Writing Tip: Just Ask This ONE 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: just ask a simple question ...

Continue reading "Quick Persuasive Writing Tip: Just Ask This ONE Question"

Nov 22, 2018

What I Learned about Writing Thank You Letters from a 5-Year-Old

We can learn a lot about writing thank you letters from kids.

The other day, my 5-year-old neighbor peeked through the bushes, saw me in the driveway, and popped over. She handed me a beautiful hand made card.

Did I mention that she recently had a birthday?

On the front of the card ...

Continue reading "What I Learned about Writing Thank You Letters from a 5-Year-Old"

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!