12 Steps to Writing a Good Devotion for Internet Readers

1. Pray--Writing is important ministry. 2. Edit--Rewriting is often more important than writing!

* Make sure your content is well arranged and understandable. * Make sure your grammar and punctuation are correct.

"I'm not a very good writer, but I'm an excellent rewriter." James A. Michener

"I rewrote the ending of 'Farewell to Arms' 39 times before I was satisfied."- Ernest Hemingway

3. Don't preach.

Sermons and Bible studies have their place, but they are not devotions.

4. Know your audience.

If you are writing for an interdenominational or non-denominational site, don\'t promote denominational or doctrinal differences.

5. Keep it short and sweet!

* People rarely read long articles on the internet. * 400 words or less is usually best.

6. Choose your Scripture reference carefully.

* If there are two good verses, but one is harder to understand, use the easiest. * Keep it simple so it will be readable and memorable--don't try to cross reference every verse that applies. Sometimes less is more!

7. Include a story--a personal or historic application.

This is what sets a devotion apart from a Bible study or article.  A devotion applies God's principles to real life involving real people and real situations.

8. Make your introduction interesting.

* The best way to attract readers is with an interesting introduction. * This can't be stressed enough!

9. Get rid of extra words --"wordiness" weakens writing.

"Omit needless words. Vigorous writing is concise. A sentence should contain no unnecessary words, a paragraph no unnecessary sentences, for the same reason that a drawing should have no unnecessary lines and a machine no unnecessary parts." --William Strunk, Jr.

10. Avoid passive voice. If you aren't sure what it is, look it up on the internet.

11. Be humble: say "we" not "you" (e.g. "We need to draw closer to God.")

A good devotion is "peer encouragement." You've learned something you want to share, but you are still a learner.

12. Make one point, not multiple points!

You can always write another devotion.

Author Bio:

Gail has been married over 40 years to her best friend. She has two married children and seven grandchildren. She manages and edits WOW, Writing on the Word, a devotional site that accepts submissions. She also writes Bible Love Notes, which features one-minute (yes! 60 second) devotions for busy women.