How to make your blog more professional, more consistent, and more readable overnight

By Brittany Taylor

BLOGGING

How to make your blog more professional, more consistent, and more readable overnight (for free!)

Vol. 2 of the Blog Style Guide is here!


by Brittany Taylor

published July 6, 2018


Folks, we need to talk. I’ve been reading a lot of your blog posts lately and there are two things happening:

First, I’m smacking my hands together because, damn, your content is good. Go you! Not only are you getting out there and blogging your fingers off, but you’re also creating original, informative content. Y’all get all the snaps.

Second, I’ve got so much side-eye going on because some of your typos and, um, choices are making me not wanna read every iota of goodness you have going on.

That sucks because, A., I want to read it!, and B., I’m probably not the only one who’s turned off by your mistakes, strange turns-of-phrase, or just-wrong word and punctuation choices.

So today, we’re gonna work on that. Together. In secret. That way, you can peek at this post, see what you’re nailing (high five!), what you’re not, and what other people are doing that is, admittedly, kinda funny. Giggle at some /headdesk moments. Go fix your mistakes. Then get back to creating amazing content.

53 blog style guide updates

At the start of 2018, I decided to share my blog style guide with you for free. Because, why not?

Back then, I told you I’d release periodic updates to the guide. This is the very first update. To prep for it, I’ve scoured blog posts and articles across the internet. I’ve learned a lot. I’ve cringed a lot. And I took note of the biggest little mistakes that there’s no reason for you to make going forward.

If you’re new to the idea of the blog style guide, no worries! You haven’t missed a thing. For my in-depth tutorial on how to use a blog style guide (and the newcomers below), click here.

Ready for the new additions to the blog style guide? Drumroll please! Here they are:
  • &, do not use except for informal situations, in branded phrases (e.g. a company name), and in situations where space is tight (e.g. graphics)
  • $5, $10, $10 cheaper. Never 5$.
  • “aha!” moment
  • a.m., not A.M., am, or AM. Same for p.m.
  • badass, not bad-ass or bad ass (unless you’re talking about a naughty donkey or a under-performing bum)
  • close-up, as in “I’m ready for my close-up”
  • deely bobber
  • DIY, not diy. Also: “DIYs”
  • em dash (—) abuts the words it punctuates. Do not place spaces on either side.
  • emoji, emojis. This follows the precedence of applying English pluralization rules to Japanese word (e.g. “tsunami”)
  • enter (object), not enter: (object). As in: “Enter Old McDonald, a farmer with a singing problem.”
  • etc. Style: “cookies, cake, ice cream, etc.” Always a comma before and a period after “etc.”
  • FAQs, not faqs
  • freakin’, with an apostrophe. Same style for other -ing words in which the “g” is dropped.
  • hi-res images, high-resolution images, but high resolution (as a noun)
  • how to, how-to. Ex. “how to tie your shoes” and “a how-to guide for tying your shoes”
  • HQ (for headquarters), not hq or H.Q.
  • inauthentic, not unauthentic
  • losing money, not loosing money
  • love-hate, as in “love-hate relationship”
  • me-time, you-time, but “personal time” and “quality time”
  • must-do’s
  • no-no, as in: “That’s a big no-no.”
  • no nonsense (n), no-nonsense (adj). Ex: “She accepts no nonsense in the classroom.” “She has a no-nonsense approach to teaching.”
  • not so much, not “not so really”
  • OK, O.K., or okay
  • OMG, not omg
  • on-brand, not on brand
  • ooh, not oo (as in, “ooh and ahh”)
  • opt-in, not opt in
  • people-pleaser, not people pleaser. Also: people-pleasing, people-pleasers
  • Pinterest users, not “pinners” in most cases
  • Point A to Point B, not point A to point B
  • P.S., not PS
  • publish a blog post, not publish a blog
  • QT, quality time
  • share-worthy
  • shortlist, shortlisted
  • so far, so good (not “so far so good”)
  • to a T, not to a “T” (with the T in quotation marks) or to a tee
  • to-do, to-do’s
  • top-notch, as in top-notch training
  • UX, as in UX design
  • Valentine’s Day, Valentine’s, V-Day, but “a valentine” (as in, a card) or “be my valentine”
  • vlog, vlogger, vlogging
  • Voodoo, capitalized
  • whatsit, whatsits
  • win-win, win-win-win
  • within, not within’ (no apostrophe after the “n”)
  • woo, woo-woo
  • wows, not wow’s
  • X, not x. As in: “Add X to Y and you’ll have Z.”

About me

Brittany Taylor

My name is Brittany, but my friends and clients call me "Britt." Online small business owners hire me to create content strategies and write their blog posts, email newsletters, and social media updates. I work with bosses around the world from the marshes of Charleston, S.C.

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