Recently a business acquaintance asked me if he could mix and match his fonts and styles when posting his company’s blogs. He quoted from Elements of Style, and insisted that he had permission to make his blog look any way he wanted. He wanted me to agree to a sloppy look.
Many times a business owner that writes his own blogs is educated in business rather than the style rules of writing. Because he’s educated and successful he doesn’t think he needs help writing or presenting his material. But Elements of Style gives permission to the uptight, technical writer to loosen up. It does not give blog writers permission to be careless or tasteless.
Here are some quick tips for business owners that write their own blogs:
1. Edit your work using the APA style if your company is technical or non-artsy; use the Chicago Manual of Style if your company is artsy or catering to writers or musicians;
2. The APA style is the business standard for most industries; using it gives your blog a “business” edge;
3. Limit your font style and font size to no more than 2 styles and 2 sizes; more than this strains the reader and can create a sense of chaos;
4. Be consistent in your style and size choices; in other words, don’t use a different font or size for each blog – people like consistency;
5. Do not mix and match – a technical style and then a postmodern style, etc.; this gives a gross appearance and a mixed message, and it can look like you don’t know what you’re doing;
6. Keep your spacing consistent, and your alignment consistent; again, this is more about straining the reader than it is about what you are doing with the page;
7. For text alignment, remember block alignment is very formal; left alignment – letter style is friendly and a bit informal; and center alignment should be used only to set off times, dates, titles, or poetry – used on anything else the center alignment is aggravating and looks ignorant;
8. Remember, if you strain your reader’s eyes, then you have an increased chance of losing them all together;
9. Build in lots of “white space” in the blog page; this helps the reader’s eyes;
10. Insert an image in your blog; again, this is not about posting pictures of your family or business, but rather it’s about breaking the page up to give the reader’s eyes comfort;
11. Remember, limit your blog; ideal blogs are 300 to 700 words;
12. If your subject needs more space, or if your article is longer, then break it up and make it several entries [Part 1, Part 2, etc.]; and
13. Write your blog in a Word document before you post it; this gives you an opportunity to use the spell check and grammar check before getting into your site format, and it improves your content and reduces your errors.
[Courtesy of Joe DeVaney, Stuart Beach, FL]
If you prefer to have your material professionally written or prepared, you can contact Joyce A. Leggette, Ph.D. at: Contact Our Editor. Joyce has written many books, business plans, marketing plans, and technical manuals in her writing career. She has served Shulamite Publishing House since 2006. Joyce holds degrees in literature and communications.