You’re probably wondering, “what’s a style guide?”
Similar to many guides used by writers and editors such as The Chicago Manual of Style, a style guide is simply a standard set for how each element is to be styled. For a blog, a set of standards must determine elements such as headings, paragraphs, images, bullets, and more.
If you’ve seen (or own) a blog which has a smattering of text, images, or just an unmanageable way of displaying content, this article is for you.
Keeping the concept of the style guide in mind, let’s take a look at key blog elements and examples for how to style them consistently and effectively for maximum readability for visitors:
Arguably the most important portion of an article, the headline must stand out above all other elements. If readers can’t tell the end of one of your blog posts from a new one, chances are your headlines are not impacting and contrasting enough. Find the balance between bold and readable.
Depending upon the amount of content your article contains, use sub-headings to help break up your content into digestible segments for your readers to browse.
The amount of images used will vary depending on the type of content you’re delivering. Even so, set a standard width both for landscape images and portrait style images. This will keep every article consistent, and more readable for your visitors.
One additional aspect to utilizing images effectively is how they’re placed upon the page in conjunction with the copy text. Will it flow in-line with the text, or should the image have its own paragraph? The following map illustrates a sample of incorporating an image within the content:
Another key element to keep consistent, bullets enable you to organize more concise points into a list format for easy reading. If you find yourself inserting a great amount of commas into a sentence, it’s time for a bulleted list.
Bulleted and numbered lists are fantastic for round-ups, showcases, facts, resources, and more.
The Main Blog Page and Overall Layout
With WordPress, Blogger, Typepad, and many of today’s leading blogging platforms, options are given for customizing the layout of a blog’s front page.
You can invite readers to read the whole article, or present pertinent information in a snippet format, and encourage visitors to read more.
Consider the books, newspapers, and magazines you’ve read and the amount of time and effort placed into the consistent positioning of elements. In design, consistency speaks the loudest among all the elements. The same applies to your blog, so use it well. Happy blogging!