Your content style is more than just cleverly arranged words and punctuation points. Style is all-encompassing and covers all of the white space, aesthetic, and vibe of the content. Some sites have style, while other sites, unfortunately, let their style get stuck back in the 2000s when flash was still fine and fancy. Today you need a content style guide for a few reasons and here’s how to get started with one for your client or company.
Benefits of a Content Style Guide
Hire five different content writers and find out fast how you truly need a content style guide. This keeps everyone on the same content page and ensures fewer revisions and total rewrites. Plus, you can rest easier knowing your content creators have the framework to do the job you want satisfactorily.
There are many elements that will give you the content style guide girth:
- Brand voice
- Point of view
- Jargon for your customer base
- Content formats
- Content types
- Branded terms
- Copyrighted/trademarked names
- Formatting guidelines
- Photo/image guidelines
- Video guidelines
- Visual design elements
- Header use
- Logo placement
You also want to have a word list that features a list of all of the applicable or well-twisted phrases that you need to focus on for your overall content. This might be words or SEO that content writers use verbatim or simply as inspiration for their content creation. The Urban Outfitters style guide features a single page layout with block print text in various colors to both signify style and word preference.
Additional elements to consider based on your audience include:
- Translated content in other languages
- LGBTQ friendly content
- Accessibility and content, i.e., readers who have low vision
- Social media content
- Email content
In addition, you will most likely have sub-content that comes from one-off marketing campaigns. This includes holiday and seasonal marketing that has its own marketing message. This content will be similar but not the main thread of your overall message.
Sample Style Guides to Study
A few super cool examples of already existing content style manuals, check out these:
- National Geographic Style Manual
- Spotify Partner Brand Guidelines
- BuzzFeed Style Guide
- Urban Outfitters Brand Book
- University of North Carolina University Branding and Identity Guidelines
- MailChimp Content Style Guide
Check out how different each of these style guides is based on the specific message of the company or organization. The style guide for Urban Outfitters is completely unique to the style guide for UNC. Choose a company or brand most like your own to start with finding your own style guide style.
Get Your Content Style Off to the Right Start Today
Want to learn more about creating and sticking with a style guide for your content? Here at WriterAccess, we create everything from content to content strategy. See what we can do for your content creation goals whether you are buying or selling content.
“Welcome. I’m the Whispering Wordsmith of the Woods, An Old Man Willow type cunning the lit forest, Disrupting textbookish writers with grammar snaps and cracks.” As a professional web content writer for small-to-medium businesses, Miranda B understands how to effectively balance technical jargon and personal brand messaging. Her content is sticky, evergreen when expected to be, and always creative. Keep ’em coming back for more, that’s Miranda’s motto!