A style guide creates and defines the standards for an organization’s internal and external written communications. From emails, newsletters, blog posts and social media content to formal corporate documents, a style guide helps ensure your brand communication is consistent and correct.
A style guide also serves as a centralized resource and training tool for everyone who is writing content for the brand. From executives to internal content teams to external freelance writers, a style guide is essential for content success.
How can a style guide help writers support their clients?
Creates A Consistent Message
A style guide promotes consistency among all written communications by providing the same roadmap for everyone to work from. It’s an essential part of a marketing strategy.
Saves Time and Money
A single resource that provides all the pertinent information, organizations can streamline their content development process and significantly reduce the time required to create new content. A style guide helps both internal and external writers spend fewer hours writing, reviewing, and correcting their work.
What Should a Style Guide Include?
A style guide can take many forms. It can be as simple as a one-page reference sheet, a full-fledged comprehensive reference manual, or somewhere in between. Following are some of the key topics that all good style guides include:
- Brand voice
- Style preferences (AP or CMOS), punctuation and formatting
- Industry terminology
- SEO terms
- Reading level and linguistic preferences
A style guide that covers at least some of this information is especially helpful for us as freelance HR writers. We write for different clients — all who have their own approach.
With a style guide, you have a jump start on delivering expert content that represents the tone, industry, and your client.
To learn the details about the five topics every style guide should include, download my Style Guide ebook.
By the way…whenever you’re ready, here are two ways I can help you with a style guide:
1) Learn what you need to include in a style guide. Download your copy of my Style Guide Basics ebook here for free.
2) Grab my Style Guide In-A-Box. This “plug and play” tool provides the framework and AP basics you need to have a Style Guide ready to hand off to your internal and external writing team. Instant access available here.