Categorize Your Content to Create Guidelines

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Blog Series: Writing Your Own Style Guide

May 23, 2011 
– Writing a style guide from scratch can be a daunting task, so it’s best to split things up before really beginning your work. You’ll need to consider each type of content as a separate section for your style guide.

When you look at the common types of content on a website you’ll notice that each type has a distinct style. This is a great starting point for writing your first style guide. Most websites will be dealing with at least 2 main types of content: blogs and articles.

No matter how many categories of content you have, you should identify each one and determine the specific needs to make that content optimized for reading. You should start by identifying the basic elements that should be kept constant between all types of content. Typically you want to stay consistent with your font style and size, text colors, and use of effects (bolditalic, etc.).

Creating a consistent base can allow you to keep your content looking uniform throughout your site while still allowing unique formatting features for certain categories of content.
For example, you may have the sub-headers of your articles in dark red, bold font, but not want to use sub-headers in your blogs. This is a difference between content category formatting that needs to be noted in your style guide.

Remember that a style guide is there to maintain a uniform look to your content no matter which category it falls into. By investing time into developing a consistent format to your content it makes it easier for readers to read through your information and become convinced that you’re an expert in your industry. This converts readers to clients.

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