How to Write a Short Article Under 500 Words


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 email. Put pizzazz into your title. Dare to be outrageous!

2. Create a snappy one to three-sentence introduction preceded by a hook. 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. It appeals to small business people, professionals, coaches, or consultants who have a book or service to sell. It appeals to Web site publishers and opt-in (no spam) ezine publishers who want free articles to attract new customers.

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-Six Sub Points
5. Write Two- Four Sentences for Each Paragraph
6. Create Four-Six Paragraphs from Each Heading
7. Revise Copy Looking for Ways to Tighten Your Article

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

Break down each paragraph into three 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.

6. Create Four to Six Paragraphs From Your Outline

All sub points must also support the thesis. Write concise, compelling paragraphs that explain and give 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.

7. 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.

For your conclusion, write only a sentence or two to either sum up or point out benefits. 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.

Judy Cullins 2004 All Rights Reserved.

Judy Cullins, 20-year Book and Internet Marketing Coach works with small business people who want to make a difference in people's lives, build their credibility and clients, and make a consistent life-long income. Author of 10 eBooks including "Write your eBook Fast," "How to Market your Business on the Internet," and "Create your Web Site With Marketing Pizzazz," she offers free help through her 2 monthly ezines, "The Book Coach Says..." and "Business Tip of the Month" at http://www.bookcoaching.com/opt-in.shtml and over 155 free articles. Email her at mailto:Judy@bookcoaching.com.

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