An editorial style guide is a good starting point for any work on your web content, be it writing, editing, correcting, or reviewing. If you don’t already have an editorial style guide we can help you create one as a standalone exercise or as part of another piece of work.
What is an editorial style guide?
A full editorial style guide will include guidance on voice and tone. There is no need to overcomplicate it. In many cases a few examples of dos and don’ts are all you need.
In addition to any guidance on voice and tone, a style guide will set out the rules for small but important details such as:
- how you write your company names and trading styles
- language version, e.g. UK or US English
- punctuation and hyphenation
- numbers and dates
- telephone numbers and addresses
It will also typically include a glossary of the agreed way of writing words that have more than one correct spelling, which occur in your site’s copy. There are lots of such words in the English language: email/e-mail, organisation/organization, adviser/advisor to give a few random examples.
Your site visitors do notice little inconsistencies in these matters – or at least some of them do – even if only subliminally. And if they see too many of these little inconsistencies, they’ll probably form a vaguely negative impression about your organisation and be less inclined to trust you.
An editorial style guide brings consistency and thus credibility to your content. It also makes the editor’s job objective rather than subjective.