Introducing the Internet Marketing Written Style Guide

by Beth Dunn

Date

September 12, 2012 at 12:30 PM

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Sloppy writing is the silent killer of inbound marketing. At this very moment, you could be bleeding leads and losing customers, hemorrhaging them by the dozens because of it. Bad grammar and spelling might be turning away your most qualified leads every day, and you wouldn’t even know it.

The Internet Marketing Written Style Guide can stop the bleeding.

What the heck is the Internet Marketing Written Style Guide? So glad you asked.

Ye Olde Style Guides of Yore

When you were in school, you probably had to use a traditional style guide when you wrote those long, interminable papers. Maybe you had to use one for every page you wrote. More likely, you only resorted to them when you got to the very end -- to the end notes and bibliography.

Remember bibliographies? Fond memories, huh? Ah, youth.

Style guides are what made it possible for you to get a decent grade on all those papers, all those years ago. You can have all the writing chops in the world, but if you’re not conforming to the proper style and format for your field, you’re letting yourself in for a world of hurt.

Style guides serve as the commonly acknowledged authority when questions of grammar and punctuation come up. The most widely used style guide today is the AP Stylebook, which for years has been the standard for journalists and copywriters alike. Different disciplines prefer different style guides -- Chicago is favored by academic writers and editors, especially in the humanities, while APA is used more often by the scientific community. But until now, there hasn’t been an authoritative style guide created just for the internet. Something just for writers like you.

Until now.

The Internet Marketing Written Style Guide

The real value of a style guide isn’t really the generic “how to use an apostrophe” and “what’s a dangling modifier” type of advice. The real value lies in addressing the particular words, syntax, and context that are unique to a certain field of study. So one style guide might be a great resource when trying to decide how to handle scientific notation, while another would be the go-to guide to Latin phrases. And while each guide tries to address a handful of the more common questions of usage that crop up in web writing, none of them really pulls it off.

And that’s the problem.

While it makes sense to use the appropriate style guide for your own field, as a marketer your industry isn’t just whatever field your business or organization happens to be in -- your industry is the internet. Your place of business is the web. So your writing needs to work on the web. And that’s why you need the Internet Style Guide.

Think about it. New terms are coined on the web every day, and there’s a dizzying amount of different opinions about how to properly spell, use, and define every single one of them.

How many times have you puzzled over whether you should write ebook or e-book, login or log in, call to action or call-to-action? Have you ever wondered whether to capitalize internet, hyphenate online, or slide some periods inside URL?

You need the Internet Marketing Written Style Guide.

Or maybe you know all the answers, and you just wish you had an authoritative guide you could use to back up your claims. Do you cringe when someone claims “I just wrote a blog” and what they really mean is they just published a post? Do you burn with outrage when apostrophes are misused, when commas are littered like cigarette butts across the page, when spelling and capitalization are treated like matters of opinion rather than matters of fact?

You need the Internet Marketing Written Style Guide.

The Making of the Internet Marketing Written Style Guide

When we set out to create the Internet Marketing Written Style Guide, we took a hard look at what terms marketers used most -- as well as which ones there seemed to be the most confusion about. While there’s general agreement about certain things, like how to capitalize titles and subheadings, there’s general disagreement about a lot more.

So the first thing we did was start a list of Commonly Troublesome Words. And we quickly found that this was the most useful part of our new style guide. It also turned out to be the biggest.

The Internet Marketing Written Style Guide.pdf (page 49 of 69)


We asked ourselves: How great would it be to have a handy, alphabetized list of words and phrases, each of which have caused endless hours of arguments among otherwise reasonable content creators?

Pretty great, as it turns out.

The Internet Marketing Written Style Guide.pdf (page 49 of 69) The Internet Marketing Written Style Guide.pdf (page 50 of 69)

In short, the Internet Marketing Written Style Guide is the web writer’s best secret weapon. It answers all of those pesky little questions about spelling, capitalization, grammar, and usage that continually plague you -- and your readers.

Oh, sure, you could create your own style guide. But why would you, when HubSpot has already done all of the work for you? The Internet Marketing Written Style Guide covers all of the basics for online writing, and explains the best way to use the most common words and phrases unique to inbound marketers. It also provides some step-by-step guidance if you really do want to create a house style guide of your very own.

Stop the silent killer of inbound marketing. Download and use the Internet Marketing Written Style Guide. No prescription required.

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