What’s an editorial style guide – and why might you need one?

An editorial style guide saves time and money, and helps an organisation’s writers to craft consistent, right-first-time content that gets them deservedly perceived as trustworthy experts in their field.

What’s an editorial style guide?

It’s a document or online resource that provides rules and guidance on how you write about your organisation, writing style, spelling, grammar and syntax, capitalisation and punctuation, sector-specific words and phrases, and more. It helps writers to achieve a high level of correctness and consistency.

Here is an example editorial style guide.

Why have an editorial style guide?

Studies1 consistently show that people are less likely to do business with organisations that make spelling or grammar mistakes in their public-facing content and more likely to trust content with a high level of correctness and consistency.

In my years as a copyeditor, I’ve observed the challenges clients face in the content creation process. Too often, time and budget are wasted on avoidable revisions and debates over writing style and usage. The solution: an editorial style guide.

Researching and compiling editorial style guides is a new specialist service that I’m offering. I’m looking for a small number of pioneer clients to help me test and refine my process and, in return, benefit from an advantageous introductory price.2

Editorial style guide options

These are trial prices offered to early clients while I’m still working on refinements to the process. The future prices of the custom and premium options are likely to be considerably higher.

Open-access

£0

You can use my free online generic editorial style guide. It’s a section of this website – no registration or email address required. Feel free to use it, copy it, and adapt it. It may be all you need to get started.

FREE GUIDE

Custom

£900 + VAT

If your organisation is a small-to-medium or growing business with a dedicated content team and a number of content authors who may need guidance to help them write consistently and with one voice…

CUSTOM – DETAILS

Premium

£1,600 + VAT

For a larger entity with an extensive content team and a greater emphasis on precision in content, possibly with an interest in incorporating voice and tone guidance based on existing brand voice guidelines…

PREMIUM – DETAILS

ENQUIRE NOW


(1) An internet search brings up a number of studies with various findings. We can’t really know what percentage of people will react in one way or another when they see poor-quality content. But the point is, mistakes and inconsistencies definitely put many people off and exert a negative effect on trust. Whereas you won’t put anyone off by getting it right.

(2) I have many years’ experience of compiling editorial style guides, usually as part of a bigger editing project. But it’s only now that I’m promoting this as a standalone package, and there will probably be an element of trial and error in the process initially.