How to Create the Ultimate Style Guide for Your Blog

 

blog style guide

Every great blog has a style guide.

All of your favorite blogs likely are consistent in tone and imagery.

But you’ve never really put pen to paper and articulated your style — it’s just something you make up as you go along, selecting the parts and pieces that seem to fit who you are and how you write.

And while that may have worked to get you started, if you really want to take your blog to the next level, it’s time to make decisions about your style … and stick with them.

Here’s a handy guide to create your blog’s style guidelines once and for all.

Remind Me … What’s a Style Guide?

A style guide is a basic document that shows the writing rules you (and other contributors) agree to follow for the blog. It’s like your blog’s rule book, so everyone is on the same page and can find the answers to common writing questions.

This allows you to articulate the personality of your brand — from colors, to tone, to grammar.

While there are multiple sections you’ll want to hit, you also want to keep your guide digestible. Think four or five pages.

In crafting a style guide, the most important part is knowing your blog inside and out. Know the types of phrases you use, the colors you like, and the audience you’re serving, that way you can articulate them clearly.

Ultimately, a style guide is the key to creating a blog that’s consistent, credible, and impactful.

The Parts and Pieces: What Should Be Included?

An overview. Most guides begin with the mission — a reminder of the audience and the topics covered. This will help to streamline and maintain a focus throughout the rest of your guide. You must know who you’re writing for and why you’re writing it; this is the backbone of your blog and your style guide. By knowing your ideal consumer, you can tailor content to those you hope to reach.

External style manual. This section will clue in your writers to the accepted format or set of standards you want them to follow. Choose which style you’ll follow, whether it’s MLA, AP, Chicago, or something else. This provides a general go-to for basic questions.

Grammar and punctuation. While the external guide will provide the foundation, it’s also usually a good idea to explicitly include the most common need-to-know rules here. This can range from what’s capitalized, what’s abbreviated, whether the Oxford comma is a no-go, and and other special cases.

Style and tone. Here’s where you answer questions about how the content will sound to the reader. Keep it concise. Will you use first person? Industry jargon? Passive or active voice? Be sure to think about your target audience and ideal consumer — what style and tone will resonate with them? It can be helpful to have a list of three to five words defining your voice, as well as a similar “what we aren’t” list, just for clarity.

Personas. Don’t go into extensive detail, just pull some quick descriptions of your target audience and the descriptors you would use to define them. This will help writers stay focused and keep the audience in mind while creating content.

Graphics. Guidelines needn’t all be about copy– any content you produce represents your brand, so you want to keep it consistent with style. While it’s typically a good idea to have a separate brand design style guide that addresses the visual nuances, if you or anyone else contributing content will be creating visuals, include this section. Cover the basics: Where can you get images, and how should they be attributed? What size should images be? Are videos OK? What about podcasts, infographics, or other media? Make it clear what’s allowed and how it should look.

Formatting. Keep it simple, focused, and informative. How should writers format their posts for your blog? Answer some of the following questions: Do images align left, right, or center? Does text wrap around images? How would numbered lists appear? What about bullets and section headers? All should be made clear, so your writers can implement best practices.

Colors. This helps with consistency. What’s your color wheel? Decide on a set palette and keep the exact color codes on hand. Keep it simple — use two to four main colors that reflect your brand.

Examples. Throughout your guide, utilizing real examples really can help clarify what’s good to go and what won’t get published.

Resources: Put It Into Practice

Do a quick Google search and you’ll find some basic outlines to adopt and edit to your liking. These are some of my favorites:

  • Hubspot – download its free e-book for tips and tricks as well as a free editorial calendar template.
  • Frontify – this costs a little bit, but helps you organize your style guide neatly (and it looks awesome)!
  • Every Tuesday – it offers a free template, printables, and examples of what it all looks like filled in.
  • Dribble – a user on this site created a free style guide template that can be downloaded and used in Adobe Illustrator.

Your style guide is the one-stop shop to articulate your blog’s personality, create effective content, craft consistent messaging, and maintain a brand identity.

Take the time to write out who you want to be, how you want to be perceived, and give yourself the guidelines to get there.

Subscribe to Beyond Bylines to get media trends, journalist interviews, blogger profiles, and more sent right to your inbox.

[blog_subscription_form]

Julia Rabin is a former media researcher for Cision. With a background in organizational communications, public speaking and international relations, she has a passion for social justice advocacy and loves keeping up to date with the latest global news. In her free time, you will find Julia traveling, playing with puppies, baking dairy free treats or reading.

You may also like...

47 Responses

  1. martial art says:

    In this post it shows that how to create the ultimate style guide for develop the blog writing

  2. Martial arts says:

    This post is really good bcz of it shows the ultimate style guide for bogs https://bit.ly/2JmcX6X martial arts

  3. Julieth says:

    There is a new project underway known as “Tesla Project”. This project seeks the development of machines that take advantage of the free energy of tesla, such as photovoltaic panels, thus reducing pollution. It is fully funded by Fernándo Martinez Gómez-Tejedor and his company F. Society Mr. Robot SL, we only need people who want to collaborate with their knowledge and experiences. If you are interested in being part of this project, write to the email Teslaprojectt@gmail.com

  4. Kylee Newman says:

    This is my first time pay a quick visit at here and i am really happy to read everthing at one place

  5. Halle Cook says:

    Pretty! This has been a really wonderful post. Many thanks for providing these details.

  6. I do not even understand how I ended up here, but I assumed this publish used to be great

  7. I am truly thankful to the owner of this web site who has shared this fantastic piece of writing at at this place.

  8. This was beautiful Admin. Thank you for your reflections.

  9. Aylin Orozco says:

    For the reason that the admin of this site is working, no uncertainty very quickly it will be renowned, due to its quality contents.

  10. Awesome! Its genuinely remarkable post, I have got much clear idea regarding from this post

  11. Chana Walsh says:

    I’m often to blogging and i really appreciate your content. The article has actually peaks my interest. I’m going to bookmark your web site and maintain checking for brand spanking new information.

  12. Good post! We will be linking to this particularly great post on our site. Keep up the great writing

  13. Lyric Day says:

    Pretty! This has been a really wonderful post. Many thanks for providing these details.

  14. This is really interesting, You’re a very skilled blogger. I’ve joined your feed and look forward to seeking more of your magnificent post. Also, I’ve shared your site in my social networks!

  15. I like the efforts you have put in this, regards for all the great content.

  16. Maya Obrien says:

    You’re so awesome! I don’t believe I have read a single thing like that before. So great to find someone with some original thoughts on this topic. Really.. thank you for starting this up. This website is something that is needed on the internet, someone with a little originality!

  17. Theresa Fry says:

    For the reason that the admin of this site is working, no uncertainty very quickly it will be renowned, due to its quality contents.

  18. very informative articles or reviews at this time.

  19. I very delighted to find this internet site on bing, just what I was searching for as well saved to fav

  20. Jay Goodman says:

    very informative articles or reviews at this time.

  21. Very well presented. Every quote was awesome and thanks for sharing the content. Keep sharing and keep motivating others.

  22. I really like reading through a post that can make men and women think. Also, thank you for allowing me to comment!

  23. Cierra Kerr says:

    I just like the helpful information you provide in your articles

  24. Nice post. I learn something totally new and challenging on websites

  25. Gunnar Park says:

    very informative articles or reviews at this time.

  26. Dominik Li says:

    I do not even understand how I ended up here, but I assumed this publish used to be great

  27. I really like reading through a post that can make men and women think. Also, thank you for allowing me to comment!

  28. This is my first time pay a quick visit at here and i am really happy to read everthing at one place

  29. Good post! We will be linking to this particularly great post on our site. Keep up the great writing

  30. I very delighted to find this internet site on bing, just what I was searching for as well saved to fav

  31. very informative articles or reviews at this time.

  32. very informative articles or reviews at this time.

  33. Hi there to all, for the reason that I am genuinely keen of reading this website’s post to be updated on a regular basis. It carries pleasant stuff.

  34. Clay Cooke says:

    I’m often to blogging and i really appreciate your content. The article has actually peaks my interest. I’m going to bookmark your web site and maintain checking for brand spanking new information.

  35. Nice post. I learn something totally new and challenging on websites

  36. You’re so awesome! I don’t believe I have read a single thing like that before. So great to find someone with some original thoughts on this topic. Really.. thank you for starting this up. This website is something that is needed on the internet, someone with a little originality!

  37. Hi there to all, for the reason that I am genuinely keen of reading this website’s post to be updated on a regular basis. It carries pleasant stuff.

  38. Good post! We will be linking to this particularly great post on our site. Keep up the great writing

  39. I truly appreciate your technique of writing a blog. I added it to my bookmark site list and will

  40. Fiona Conway says:

    Pretty! This has been a really wonderful post. Many thanks for providing these details.

  41. I truly appreciate your technique of writing a blog. I added it to my bookmark site list and will

  42. Nikhil Kerr says:

    Very well presented. Every quote was awesome and thanks for sharing the content. Keep sharing and keep motivating others.

  43. For the reason that the admin of this site is working, no uncertainty very quickly it will be renowned, due to its quality contents.

  44. For the reason that the admin of this site is working, no uncertainty very quickly it will be renowned, due to its quality contents.

  45. George Meza says:

    I just like the helpful information you provide in your articles

  1. April 19, 2018

    […]   By Daria Kadovik: Van offers faster stroke diagnosis, treatment         Beyond Bylines Team: How to Create the Ultimate Style Guide for Your Blog       […]

  2. February 24, 2021

    […] more consistent your blog is, the more professional it looks. Figuring out a style guide for your blog will take it to the next level. Once you have that sorted, make sure any new posts fall within your […]

Leave a Reply