You Need a Style Guide

By on September 16, 2017

Writing can be fun, is fun. Creating new interesting content is an adventure. But how do you go about it, what do you exactly create? What does it look like? Writing a style guide isn’t fun,, but it’s an unavoidable necessary evil. Here’s why you need to have one.

Guidelines

Rome wasn’t built in a day. Because Rome had to be planned, mapped out, how do you even build a city? Create your content in this way, set down rules, regulations. You can’t just wing it and expect to have no mistakes or incidents.

When writing you should have some freedom, but too much is, well, you’re not going to help someone start a fire if you explain it in a stream of consciousness manner.

Branding

Your brand, your image, needs to stay consistent, recognizable. If it’s not broke, don’t fix it. Don’t indulge the intern’s whim and make your colors rainbow because of it. It will confuse your audience, turn them off.

People don’t like change, it’s a proven fact. They are slow to warm up, adjust to it. Be consistent, have a theme, be recognizable, have standards.

Makes Writing Easier

If you tell someone writing anything? What are they supposed to write, or about? Besides just the word “anything”? A style guide makes writing easier, reigns in the creativity. It makes writing faster, more efficient. And greatly helps quality.

Makes Editing Easier

Editing isn’t easy per say, but it’s less subjective with a style guide. You did clearly say blah can’t do blah, so you have to cut it. Or blah has to, nothing personal. Everyone has to follow the rules, you’re just doing your job.

Evidence

Even the best writer or editor can slip up. Someone has to point out the flaws before the post is published, or else, meme city here you come. This keeps people accountable- and gives them a solid argument when people are getting away with things others aren’t.

Or are ignoring the standards. Have a standard and stick to it, being rigid is better than well if it’s Tuesday than Tim can spell the “Q423!” because, batman symbol, #q423?

Style guides aren’t that exciting, but they are an essential part of the content creation process. They are not to be overlooked. They are essential, even non-text based blogs and branding need them. Why? Because everyone needs to play by the rules. And someone needs to make some.

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