Great to see Microsoft’s style guide for the tech community is now a free online resource. Way to go, Microsoft!
And here’s a useful list of other style guides you can find online.
MailChimp — the well-known, online, email marketing service — has its style guide for online content available online.
It’s a great resource for anyone putting words up on the web, in emails or on social media.
You can find it here: http://styleguide.mailchimp.com/
Looking for a style guide for a different type of writing? Here is an extensive list of style guides.
Sometimes finding the right word, its correct spelling, and its proper usage can be tricky.
Sometimes random writing styles from person to person in your team impacts negatively on your organisation, and what you need is consistency.
Here’s a long list of style guides to choose from that will help.
Here’s a useful list I made in 2011 of all sorts of style guides accessible online to help make your writing consistent and more easily understood.
I thought I would revisit it as a United States reader of this blog recently found a broken link to the NASA grammar and punctuation guide I had listed, and very kindly sent me a working link. Thanks, Liz!
That pushed me to check all the links and update them where needed. So … a very useful page and fresh links: Fill your boots!
If your website sells stuff or promotes a service, the words you use have to be focused in a way that works in cyberspace. It’s totally different to writing a hard copy brochure or article.
For a start, your writing should be short (some people say make it short, then go back and edit it back 50% shorter again!), clear and benefits-focused. Below are links we’ve compiled to some knowledgeable people who explain it clearly.
Headlines may be the most important words on your website.
No matter how great the content of a web page or blog post, if your headline doesn’t grab people’s attention, you’ll lose them.
Promise a benefit
“A compelling headline must promise some kind of benefit or reward for the reader, in trade for the valuable time it takes to read more,” says Copyblogger’s Brian Clark.
Read more from Brian at How to write headlines that work.
Researchers from Marketing Experiments have a similar view: “All marketing messages must be centered primarily on the interests of the customer. Therefore, when it comes to crafting headlines, emphasize what the visitor gets rather than what they must do.”
Plus “the goal of a headline is similar to the goal of the opening scene of a movie — to arrest the visitor’s attention and get them into the first paragraph” so “place the value at the front of the headline”.
Details on the Marketing Experiments research is here.
Write for search engines as well as humans
Tips for writing headlines that appeal to search engines are at How to write web headlines that catch search engine spiders.
Writer Shawn Smith says make headlines clear, concise and short, and have them include keywords and phrases relevant to the article and what people are likely to search for.