But whilst you have been taking time over the look, design and colours of your website, make sure you take the same care for the words on the page as well.
Beyond ensuring your spelling is correct, it is important your writing style does not confuse readers or make them have to work out what you are saying due to the words appearing confused and muddled on the screen.
This is where a style guide comes in, which will not only help your readers, but also provides you with a framework saving you having to go back to an earlier article to see how you did things in the past.
If you look at a newspaper you will see that opening paragraphs will often start with the first word in capitals, dates will be in the same format and the use of certain characters will be banned.
To give you a quick idea of the style-guide I use, it’s not written down it’s just in my head, here are some of the rules I stick to:
* Every story I write opens with the first word in capitals, check the first paragraph of this article. If you start with the word ‘I’ then capitalise the next word as well.
* Keep sentences short and snappy, don’t use exclamation marks or capitals mid-sentence unless it’s an abbreviation and understand how apostrophes work.
* Stick to the same way of writing dates, I use February 10, 2008 and for the time I use 'am' and 'pm', but if you are more comfortable with the 24 hour clock use this instead.
* When you write a number if it is between zero and ten spell it out (just like I’ve done) and anything above, for example 17, use the actual number.
* A French specific one for postcodes I use is to place the number first and then the location, for example, 24550 Loubejac.
One of the benefits you get from sticking to a style guide is more time, as you are not wondering how something should be written.
And your website visitors will absorb the rules you are keeping ensuring they are clear on what you are saying, meaning there is a good chance they will return to your site in the near future to read more.
Don't forget to add any comments or questions about running a blog via the form below and I will look to answer them either here or in a future article.
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