Why style guides matter for your school’s blog

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You may have heard of style guides before and how they are used by marketers for their content. You may have also asked yourself, “Is having a style guide really important? Why bother using it if I can start creating my blog entries right away?”

According to Techjury, a staggering 4.4 million blog posts are published daily. If you want your blog to stand out, then you must use tools and techniques, which include a style guide, to help your entries get spotted and increase your blog following.

In the formative years of print media, publishers had the painstaking task of manually fixing their typesets prior to pressing ink on paper. The style guide actually started out as a technical guide on how to operate the mechanical printing press in order to create a consistent output. This eventually evolved into in-house standards for publishers to present their print materials to a wider audience without losing their brand in the process. In modern times, the style guide has become a document that helps marketers become more consistent on important blog elements such as fonts, colours and image styles, as well as brand elements such as tone, document styles and more. Without a style guide, you might not be able to control and monitor your online brand and your content might not fit well together to help you reach your marketing goals.

Here are some of the main reasons why style guides matter for your school’s blog:

1. Improve the quality of your posts
Simple rules like capitalisation and proper use of acronyms can mean a lot if you want your site to be noticed as a professional and trustworthy information hub. A blog entry that follows a proper style guide can dramatically improve your visitors’ reading experience and increase the chance of your blog getting read from start to finish. On the other hand, shoddy grammar can turn your readers off, even if you have great content to begin with. If you want your blog to get more followers, use a style guide to make your entries easier to understand and more convincing.

2. Gain a strong brand image
Style guides can help maintain consistency in your blog format, style, and tone of voice, which in turn can make your blog entries more remarkable and memorable. By making your blog entries adhere to a particular theme and layout, you can establish a distinct, signature look that can help your readers easily identify your website. Ultimately, style guides can help you build a recognisable online brand presence.

3. Save more time and keep your team on the same page
Content creation takes a considerable amount of time and resource to complete, so having a style guide can help you start and complete your blog entries much faster and with less errors. By keeping a style guide, you don’t have to worry about the format of your text or the images you use, so you have more time to focus on your message. Additionally, you can delegate blog assignments to your team and freelance writers without worrying much about their output quality. By reducing the time needed to edit and format your team’s entries, you will be able to efficiently produce more content.

4. Elicit proper expectations
Imagine that you’re holding a pair of salt and pepper shakers. Would you prefer shakers that are similar in design or shakers that clearly explain what their contents are? Of course you’d prefer something that would prevent a minor culinary mishap from taking place. The same is true with a style guide – it is a reference on how to package and present your content to help you deliver the right message. By removing the element of surprise and confusion to your blog post format, style guides can eliminate false expectations.

5. It can help you become a proper online authority
Maya Angelou once said, “People don’t always remember what you say or even what you do, but they always remember how you made them feel.” This piece of wisdom is true with online blog writing as well. Aim for consistency so that your readers will be more familiar with your blog. Over time, your readers will get familiar with your content, and you’ll earn their trust as an industry authority.

As mentioned by the experts Brafton, style guides can provide “guidance for instances when many possibilities exist.” If you place utmost importance on your style guide, and not treat it as a mere rulebook for grammar and spelling, you can streamline your content marketing and release more convincing blog entries to create more conversion.

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