Writing Guidelines

Tone of Voice

Tone of voice is how a brand communicates and connects with its audience through messaging and customer interactions.

Our tone of voice is:

  • Professional, ambitious, clear
  • Upbeat, conversational, confident
  • Insightful, helpful, playful

Writing Tips

  • Write with a single reader in mind.
  • Create a a single primary message or point you’re trying to communicate and supporting information for that message or point.
  • Be concise. Avoid unnecessary modifiers.
  • Use short words and sentences. Watch for run-on sentences.
  • Be consistent. If you start out by writing in past tense or the 3rd person, maintain the tense and / or point of view throughout.
  • Avoid Industry Jargon. Write how you would speak. Don’t use jargon and marketing-speak. Avoid the overuse of acronyms (more on this later).
  • Use the Chicago Manual of Style. If you’re curious whether or not you should use a serial comma, check the Chicago Manual of Style.
  • Proofread. And then proofread again. In addition to proofreading your draft at least two times, be sure to spell check and use a tool like Grammarly to check your work before publishing it. Note: Grammarly is not perfect. Review any suggestions and verify they are correct before accepting the changes.
  • We most often use Second Person. Here’s a quick list of tenses with examples:
    • First person, I, Me, My: Use to write from your own personal experience.
    • Second person, You, Your: This is used to imply that the reader is a character in the article, this can be used in instructional writing.
    • Third person, She/He/It/They: This POV is used when you are not part of the story and are sharing information as a third party. For inclusion and simplicity, the singular they should be used when the subject’s gender is unspecified or unknown. For example, “When a user logs in, they should always remember to…”

SEO Best Practices

  • What is SEO?
    • If you sold lawn mowers, you might write blogs about the best lawnmowers, lawn mowing challenges, or pest control for lawns. This educational content helps your site rank better in Google and other search engines.
    • SEO usually includes keyword research, link building, image optimization, and content writing. The more you follow best practices, the better your blog post or web page will rank in Google.
  • Quality Content
    • Think. What is the central question you want to answer? What do you want your readers to do at the end of the page?
    • Nowadays, quality content is king. Good content leads to more links, shares, tweets and returning visitors to your website. There are always SEO things you can do to maximize the SEO friendliness of your post, but the most important thing is to just write very, very good content.
    • Good content starts with an introduction and finishes with a conclusion
  • Length
    • Blog posts should be 1,100 to 2,000 words or longer. They should be original content and hi-quality, educational content that users will find valuable reading.
  • Target Keyword Phrase
    • Think about a users search intent and where they are in the sales funnel.  Different keyword searches give you an idea of where the searcher is in the sales funnel: “What is CBD oil” is a much different search than Best CBD oil”. The Best CBD oil” searcher is closer to purchase.
    • Choose a target keyword phrase or two – type a keyword phrase in Google like “CBD Oil” and see the phrases that Google suggests to you, then pick one of those
      • Use the target keyword phrase in the URL with hyphens between the words
      • Use this keyword phrase 2-3 times on the page copy
        • Once in a headline (H1 or H2)
        • Once in the paragraph somewhere
      • Don’t over do it. Just write normally. Google understands the topic of your post so use synonyms and other keywords that are related to your target keyword phrase.
  • SEO Titles
    • Update the SEO page title in Yoast/WordPress with this keyword phrase, then insert a vertical line – | – and type another relevant keyword or two. Page titles should be 70 characters long or thereabouts
    • SEO META description tags are not relevant anymore, but Titles still matter
  • Linking Blogs to One Another
    • If possible, choose a different keyword phrase in the blog post (not the target keyword phrase) and link it to another relevant blog post or product page on the website. This interlinking is good for SEO. Ideally, you would use a relevant keyword, such as “CBD side effects”, and link to a blog on that topic that emphasizes that same keyword phrase in the SEO title.
  • Images
    • Ideally images will all be named using keywords with underscores between them CBD_Oil.png
    • You can put a relevant keyword phrase in the Alt tag
    • Ideally images should be kept small so he site loads fast. You can use the Smush plugin to do this for you.
  • Page Design
    • Use headings, subheadings and bullets. People scan things on the web.
  • Posting
    • Add content to your blog regularly
    • Promote your blog posts on social media
  • Tools
    • Paid tools: Ahrefs for tracking and more
    • Free tools: Google Search Console and Yoast (WordPress plugin)

Blogging Tips

  • Strategy
    • Know the audience you are writing for
    • Make an outline and include and intro and conclusion with a call to action
  • Research
  • SEO
    • Write at least 1,200 words for SEO benefit
    • Perform SEO keyword research
    • Optimize Your Image File Names and Alt Text for SEO
    • Use H2 and H3 headings and use keywords where possible
    • Create internal hyperlinks to other blog posts when it makes sense
    • Add a page title
  • Writing
    • Create an eye-catching title
    • Proof read your blog before launching
  • Design
    • Make external links open in a new window
    • Add useful images and graphics
    • Include a call to action at the end
    • Rotate section backgrond colors with white (color 1) and gray (color #10)
  • WordPress
    • Select a blog category
    • Use the Title Element and the Text Element
  • Marketing
    • Promote your blog post on social media
  • Other
    • Give credit to the correct sources when necessary


The StoryBrand Framework

StoryBrand Framework