July 19, 2016
Among my greatest pet peeves is inconsistency in blog post formatting. In putting together my own blog posts, I find myself meticulously checking my use of bold and italics, double checking words that can or cannot be hyphenated, and triple checking the overall flow of the text.
Developing a personal style in your writing format is just as important as producing content on a consistent basis. That personal style can-and should-include the tone and voice behind your blog posts, and it also refers to the distinct style of your brand or business. Adhering to a specific formatting guide not only keeps your content pieces consistent, but it also makes your brand more recognizable.
It’s not at all uncommon for businesses to develop a style/branding guide, detailing specifics right down to the font type and hue. Giving a uniform to the content you produce helps with streamlining the production process and gives your site the consistent, credible aesthetic it needs. Whether you’re trying to develop a comprehensive style guide or just looking to polish your personal blog, these are the tips to get you started.
Many website platforms have an auto-formatting component built in to the template design. You can save yourself a lot of time by determining in advance the font, font size, color scheme, and post layout that all of your posts are going to have. That way, even if you copy and paste from another document, all your posts come out looking the same.
This one gets overlooked a lot. What I’m mainly referring to is the consistency with which you use certain words or phrase. For example, if you’re going to use the oxford comma, commit to using it all the time and in every post. If you’re writing a summary of something, use the same tense throughout the summary. If there are industry words or phrases that can be written multiple ways (e-commerce, ecommerce, Ecommerce, etc.), choose one and one only. Viewers look to websites for information and understanding, so keep your message and how you deliver that message steady.
Also along the lines of auto-formatting is the way you style the text in your posts. When posting a lot of information or creating a list, do you use bullets or numbers? In formatting different headings, are they bold, italicized, or underlined? Will text wrapping in posts be acceptable? Establishing set answers to these questions will not only help give your site a more identifiable look, but it’ll also help your guest posters or contributors have clear guidelines to follow.
You don’t necessarily have to pledge allegiance to gifs or graphics, but it is nice to have some style guidelines for image. Even if it’s only a standard size guide or pixel requirement, it contributes to a more uniformed look that supports the authority of your posts.
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