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How to Write a Short Article
in Less than 500 Words

Judy Cullins, Guest Author

Online publishers, ezine subscribers, and Web visitors want short, useful information. Use this "500-Word Article Formula" to create trusting, confident, and lifelong clients and customers.

How to Write this Short Article:

1.  Create a benefit-driven title so people will open your e-mail. Allow pizzazz into your title. Dare to be outrageous!

2.  Create a snappy one to three-sentence introduction. Include what's in it for your audience. How will your article improve their lives or business?

3.  Know your article's purpose and specific audience and narrow your slant or focus just for them.

This article's audience includes business people who want to promote their product or service through a short article, as speakers or coaches, or consultants who have a new book to sell and want to attract new clients, and Web site publishers who want more visitors.

4.  Write an outline with four to six major points you want to make before you write.

My outline and headings for this article include the seven ways to write this article:

    1.  Write for Your Targeted Market.
    2.  Write an Outline First
    3.  Write Each Paragraph to Support Your Outline Headings
    4.  Write An Outline With Four to Six Sub Points
    5.  Write Four or Five Sentences for Each Paragraph
    6.  Create Four to Six Paragraphs for Each Heading of Outline
    7.  Revise Copy Looking for Ways to Tighten Your Article

Remember each sentence must support the thesis statement, that's one major benefit of how you will solve your reader's particular challenge or problem. In this one, I give you 7 solutions for writing a short article.

Break down each paragraph into four standard-length sentences (15-17 words each). For drama, write one or two shorter sentences. One paragraph contains around 100 words. Five paragraphs of five sentences of 20 or less words will equal close to 500 words.

5.  Create Four to Six Paragraphs From Your Outline

From your outline sub points that must also support the thesis, write a concise, compelling paragraph that explains and gives examples.

If you write over 100 words, tighten your copy. Leave out stories or analogies. Shorten examples. Cut redundant sentences, phrases, and words. Drop most "is" verb forms and "ands." They slow the copy and the reader down, a cardinal sin in writing. Bored readers will leave. Instead, use vital, action verbs and colorful nouns.

6.  Revise Looking for Ways to Tighten Your Article

  • Use bullets to clarify and shorten copy
  • Reduce or eliminate quotes and anecdotes.
  • Replace -ly adverbs and adjectives with picture or feeling power verbs and nouns.
  • Let go of superfluous words like "that,"
  • Use one or two-syllable words for readable, direct copy.

Write only a sentence or two to either sum up or point out the benefits of your information. When you write under 500-word-articles of about one page, Online publishers, Web Masters and potential clients will read them, pass them on, and eventually buy from you.


Copyright © - Judy Cullins. - Reprinted with permission. Judy is an author, publisher, and book coach. She helps writers manifest their book dreams. 24 clients published since 1999! "Write Your eBook or Other Short Book-Fast!" - Send an e-mail to The Book Coach Says... For 2 free eReports

  If you would like to talk one-on-one with Larry James about issues related to this article, you are invited to arrange for a private coaching session by telephone. Go to Author & Speaker Coaching for specific details and fees.

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