When building a blog, the focus is usually on the actual content and the overall website design. But there’s a key element that greatly impacts your blog’s success: your brand’s style guide.
You’ll shape your brand image when you have your style guide in place. And the effect of this activity will impact your business for many years, and you need to get it right at the very beginning. Your brand style guide will also affect how your customers perceive you. There are some style guide templates available in the markets.
Let’s learn everything about a style guide, why you need one, and how to build it.
What is a style guide?
A style guide is a manual describing the rules and guidelines you need to follow for your blog.
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This guide is typically in the form of a document and it’s saved in your internal database that’s available to your blogging team.
And it consists of important standards you and your team must follow when creating content. A style guide includes things like fonts, tone of voice, and other details.
Why create a style guide for your blog
The appearance of your blog plays a huge role in whether people even take the time to read your content.
Blog posts that use varied fonts will create a jarring experience for users. Similarly, posts written by different people in your business will sound completely unalike and inconsistent without a style guide.
When you make a style guide, you enable something that makes your blog look attractive and trustworthy: consistency.
And most importantly, style guides make it possible for new authors in your business to quickly learn how to write for your blog. It’s a form of documentation that prevents you from losing important information if your employees leave or change roles.
How to create a style guide for your blog
When creating your style guide, there are a few things to consider:
- You want to create a style guide that meets your marketing goals and improves your customer experience
- Document your style guide and make it easily accessible to the people who need it
- And making it with all the necessary information and ensuring that it’s easy to understand
Let’s get started and look at the particulars of how you can build an informative style guide that supports your branding efforts.
Define your audience
Learning about your audience is an important step that should drive all your marketing. When you define what your target market looks like, you’ll have a guide that’s meaningful and leads to success.
For example, if you’re aiming to win over an audience that cares about the environment, then opting for green and other colors associated with conservation makes sense.
Similarly, stylized fonts will strengthen your brand image when you’re targeting an audience interested in art.
Create a buyer persona so that you have a meaningful purpose driving your styling choices.
Choose your fonts
You need to have consistent fonts for your entire website. I suggest using AI-based font pairing platforms to help you choose your body and heading fonts.
Your body font and font size will impact how easy it is for users to read your main content. So, make sure that you avoid fonts that are elaborate or fancy and pick a size that’s above 14px so that it’s visible on desktop and mobile screens.
Create a tone of voice
It isn’t enough to provide valuable information in your blog content. Your writing also needs to sound appealing and friendly to your readers.
And the best way to do this is to create a specific tone of voice. Take a look at Old Spice’s tone in their web copy. And compare that to how Investopedia writes for its audience.
These two brands have very different audiences and use different styles and tones.
Ask yourself a few questions: do you want to associate your brand with humor, professionalism, positivity, or some other emotion? Knowing your audience and the emotion you want them to feel around your brand will help you define your brand voice.
Make your visuals consistent
What kind of imagery do you want in your blog posts’ featured images? Should you use graphs and charts in your articles? Or perhaps your posts should be entire without any images?
Like every other aspect of your blog, it’s important to clearly define the kind of imagery you should apply across pages and posts.
For example, in WPBeginners posts, we consistently use specially designed headers and social media images optimized for different platforms.
Structure your posts
How long or short should your posts be? Blog articles range in length from 500 to 1500 words in a post.
Depending on your audience’s needs and your blog’s purpose, you need to set a standard length for all your posts and articles so that your audience knows what to expect.
Also, create rules for the headings, subheadings, and the use of bullet points, and formatting like bold and italics.
These are the main elements that you should include in your style guide. It may seem like these details are excessive but they can make a world of difference to the success of your business.
It’ll also make writing easier for your employees and give them a guideline to follow.
Build your own style guide for better content marketing
A content marketing study found that businesses that had documentation for their digital marketing did better than ones that didn’t.
Creating your style guide is a way to document your branding, especially around your blog. It’s a simple but critical activity that impacts the long-term success of your business.
We’ve looked at what a style guide is and why it’s important. And you’ve learned about some key elements you should include in your style guide.
Get started and create your own style guide if you don’t have one. You’ll build a foundation for your blogging that pays off by boosting your brand image and conveying excellence.