Does Your Online Business Need a Style Guide?

young man in a fur hat wearing a sloppy tie and jacket with no shirtStyle guide?

Feel as though your writers, designers, developers fly by the seat of their pants, make the rules up as they go along, and sort of do their own thing (good or bad) with your sites and online content? It may all be good, but what happens when you have turnover? How weak kneed on direction and guidance are you willing to be? Decide for yourself…

A “style guide” doesn’t have to be an academic dissertation:

Style guides range from simple to complex, loose to rigid guidance and instruction to web writers, designers, developers and others. These types of professionals often face new projects or jobs with little formal guidance whether it’s from internet marketers or even a large business. A style guide is often a last thought. An excellent one, at that. Sometimes the notion of a style guide arises when the question, “who will take over the writing/design/development now?” comes up. In a potential vacuum, and when the next in line to assume responsibility for your site(s) is unclear, a style guide offers some peace of mind.

What kind of payback does a style guide give you?

  • For businesses that could have turnover in personnel or freelancers a style guide can ensure some continuity and integrity to your site(s) and projects.
  • Inspires you to finally put some organized thought to your business and online goals from a nitty gritty content persective.
  • Ensures your business goals and expectations are clearly communicated, which can go a long way when you’re vetting professionals for jobs or freelance positions.

Sample web copy style elements I’ve written into the few style guides I’ve helped create:

  • Page length
  • Grammar, style rules
  • Overall tone of the site(s) or project
  • Page format
  • Meta tag creation
  • Authoritative resources, industry specific sources, etc.
  • Citations

Comprehensive style guides can get into elements of design, development, and usability as well.

Over time even a basic web content style guide can be expanded, each time solidifying and reinforcing your business’s online goals and aims.

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One Comment on “Does Your Online Business Need a Style Guide?”

  1. e campaigner Says:

    Thanks for share style guidance.

    Reply

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