As a copywriter, the majority of web articles and blog posts you will write are between 350 – 500 words. But a variety of new technologies, and the ever-changing needs of a design agency, will require you to be able to put everything you want to say in smaller spaces. Here are some tips that can help you cut down the amount of words you use:
- Practice: If you use social networking platforms as Twitter, you are well aware of the 140 character limit. Instead of trying to bypass this limit (or get readers to click on the link without reading the full sentence), try to shorten what you have to say. You can do this by practicing – leave more post-it notes for your colleagues, scribble a note on your hand instead of setting a cell phone reminder, and so forth. Another tip for Twitter updates is to shorten your URL so that you have more space in the update bar (I use the bit.ly for this).
- Cut words that don’t matter: Excessive adverbs and prepositions only hog space. The shorter your headline or sentence, the more powerful it becomes, so remove any unnecessary clutter.
- Don’t paint a big picture: If you’re not writing headlines, but need to keep the article’s word count down to 100 words, start the article off by closing the article. Don’t create elaborate scenarios that (you hope) will be applicable to the reader or explain too much – start writing your closing arguments from the get-go.
- Don’t be too formal: A good way to shorten down an article is by writing in a conversational tone. If you are telling a story to your friend or colleague during a coffee break, you don’t include unnecessary or complex words. Write shorter articles by writing as if you are giving a short summary to a friend – this will not only give you more space, but it will also make your tone more inviting.
- Link to other articles: If you don’t have enough space to give all the details on your topic, link to other websites or news sources so that the reader can choose to click on the link and read the article if he or she requires more background on a subject.