We all know that writing stellar content can drive traffic to your website. However, writing amazing content isn’t just about the right words on the page, but it also includes having a consistent tone, look and feel between each piece of content. This is where a Blog Style Guide comes in.
What is a Blog Style Guide & Why Is It Important?
A blog style guide outlines the theme of your blog to give it a more uniform look and feel. From the tone to the font and a few things in between, a blog style guide outlines the important aspects that will ensure each blog is crafted in sync with your brand.
Having this consistent look and feel is important for many reasons. First, it is a reflection of your company and how technologically advanced you are.
Secondly, implementing a blog style guide can add value to your brand in the form of credibility more than you may realize.
Thirdly, having a blog style guide provides direction for your writers so they are more likely to fulfill your expectations. When your expectations are met on the first try, it saves time and energy for both parties.
Lastly, this consistent look and feel makes reading your blogs easy. The easier a blog is to read, the more eyeballs it will attract.
Who Should Be Involved In Creating a Blog Style Guide?
Creating a blog style guide is a collaborative project. It seems only natural that your content team should be the driving force in the creation of the guide. However, every organization is different and what's most important is determining the voice of your brand and how to present it in the clearest way possible. Gaining insight and feedback from your co-workers, regardless of their department, can be valuable.
As you work together, address the use of headers, colors, ideal sizes and outlines and how to integrate everything in a way that, again - syncs with your brand.
If you have an in-house designer, they are often helpful in this step because they can help you with the visual style of your blog. They often have insight into the use of vital elements such as white space and image placement. These elements can make or break the visual appeal of your blog.
What Exactly Should Be Included In A Blog Style Guide?
There is no one-size-fits-all checklist for a blog style guide. What you need to include in your guide depends on the needs of your team and the themes of your blog.
Below are some common aspects of a blog style guide:
- H Tags
- Organization (tags)
- Image and video types and uses
- Grammar and spelling
- Fonts and font sizes
Including your brand’s colors is a very important part of a style guide. The use of only a few of your brand’s colors will create a consistent visual feel across your blog. Recording the HEX or RGB color code in your guide will ensure that there aren’t different shades of a brand color.
For example, this is how we outline our colors:
What’s your brand’s overall tone? Fun and happy? Authoritative and serious?
Consider the adjectives that describe your brand’s messaging and personality and add those to your style guide. The tone of your content needs to remain the same throughout your blog. Without a consistent tone, your content will seem messy and confusing for readers.
For example, this is how we outline our tone:
Headers are important for scannability and overall content organization. The consistent use of headers provides and maintains structure for your blog. Outlining where to use headers as well as their color and size is vital to create a complete blog style guide.
For example, this is how we outline our H Tags:
Keeping your blog organized saves everyone a headache. Not only do your content creators benefit from a consistent organizational strategy, but your reader does too.
It might be a good idea for your blog style guide to include a few specific, relevant tags to make sure your team sticks to. Organizing your blogs under the proper category tags will maintain organization and make it easy for everyone to find exactly what they’re looking for.
For example, this is how we outline our organization:
Image and Video Types and Uses
Visuals - both pictures and videos - are a hugely important part of your blog. They’re so important that including some image and video guidelines in your blog style guide is vital in maintaining the consistency we keep mentioning.
What should the overall purpose of the images be? Are they intended for educational reference and to help your reader understand your blog better? Or can they be added to simply add some humor? Are gifs allowed? What image and video qualities are acceptable?
These are all important things to consider to add to your guide to ensure that your blog continues to stay in sync with your brand.
For example, this is how we outline our image and video types and uses:
Grammar and Spelling
Chances are, your content team already knows the importance of writing blogs without spelling or grammar mistakes. However, there are a few debated uses that should be settled in your blog style guide.
One example of a debated grammar situation is the Oxford comma. Deciding on how to consistently use something like the Oxford comma is vital for blogging consistency.
For example, this is how we outline our grammar and spelling
Font Family, Font Sizes, & Line Spacing
Now that we’ve established that consistency between posts is key when you’re blogging, I bet you can guess what else is typically included in a blog style guide - font details.
The font family, font size, and line spacing of your text are a super important part of any blog style guide. Having those visual aspects the same between posts will go a long way in ensuring that your blog’s look and feel remains static.
For example, this is how we outline our font information:
Blog style guides can be an important tool in your marketing toolbox for many important reasons. Creating a quality, on-brand, blog style guide that your team is on the same page about can be hugely beneficial for your blog. It will deliver the consistency and organization your audience craves and the instruction you and your writers need.