Top 3 Tips for Writing a Must-Read Article

Good writing is like a woman’s skirt: long enough to cover the topic and short enough to keep things interesting.

Okay, I know that’s probably not politically correct, but I don’t care. After all, it’s TRUE.
My years of writing experience have taught me that sometimes it takes 2,000 words to get your point across. Sometimes it only takes 100. No matter what, don’t use more words than necessary. That’s the secret to crafting a must-read article, blog post, or tweet on Twitter.

Sure, it’s easy to get wrapped up in wordy prose. That’s why you have to be willing to “kill your darlings.” Get rid of the flowery phrases that complicate the story. Delete the superfluous sentences that don’t add value to the piece.

To create concise writing that compels readers to stick with a piece from start to finish, follow these three tips:

1. Clarify your key point. Before you type that first word or put pen to paper, think through the most important message you want to convey. When you’re clear on this, you’ll save a lot of writing time–and many wasted words.

2. Cut the first paragraph. Too many writers use their first paragraph–or five–to “warm up” before they get to the point. In today’s hectic world, you’ll lose readers if your lead doesn’t grab their attention immediately. Put your best stuff right up front.

3. Control redundancy. Don’t say “at this point in time” when you can say “now.” Why write “despite the fact that…” when you can use “although?”

Bottom line for a must-read article? Write something that’s interesting. Then take out everything that’s not interesting.

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