Style Guides: A Writer and Editor’s Best Friend

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Blog Series: Creating a Collective of Cohesive Content

April 25, 2011 
– A uniform look and style is essential when you’re developing a website or a blog to represent your business. What many professionals don’t realize is that style isn’t just an element of the website’s graphics and layout; it’s also something to be considered when writing your content.

A style guide can be a huge asset to developing the format and organization of your content
, allowing you to create a style of writing and article display that can match across all areas of your website. Not only can a style guide help you create visual uniformity, but a well developed guide can also help you achieve a uniform writing style.

Your style guide should focus on 2 main aspects: how your content looks and how your content reads.

The visual aspect of your style guide should set forth rules for how to handle the way your content appears. Things like:

  • when to use text styles (bolditalic, underlines, etc.);
  • when to use bullet lists;
  • line spacing;
  • text styles for different header types;
  • how to format hyperlinks, quotations, and references; and
  • guidelines for punctuation and formatting.

The other thing to consider is how your writing style affects how your content reads to your clients. Little things like how to hyphenate a phrase like “hit and run” or “hit-and-run” or if you capitalize “email” or “Email” can make a world of difference when they’re done the same way throughout all of your content.

It can be very annoying to readers to see something spelled or punctuated one way in a blog and then see it done another way in the corresponding article.
 Including this information in your style guide can help avoid this sloppy practice and create a uniform standard for all of your content.

A final benefit to note when using a style guide for developing your content is that it allows you to better manage multiple writers. When you have several people writing for your website (whether as a staff member or as a freelancer) utilizing a style guide allows them to all be on the same page when it comes to formatting and developing each piece of content.

At We Do Web Content we’re constantly reviewing and updating our style guide to make sure it follows the most up-to-date standards for both our clients’ needs and search engine optimizationsuccess. Since our company opened its doors we’ve gone through 15 versions of our own style guide which currently stands at a whopping 40 pages!

When your business is looking for quality, custom content for your website, newsletters, and social media look no further than We Do Web Content. Having unique content on your website is a great way to increase search engine rankings and boost your Internet marketing. For affordable, quality content exclusive to YOUR website, blog and clients, contact us today!  1-888-521-3880.