CCN EDITORIAL STYLE GUIDE
For any questions related to the editorial style guide, please contact CCN [content manager.]
For any questions related to CCN’S branding, please contact CCN [brand strategist,] .
QUICK REFERENCE & TABLE OF CONTENTS
Section 1: Why Following a Style Guide Is Important
Section 2: Editorial Style Guide
Section 3: Spelling
Section 4: Troublesome Words
Section 5: Names
Section 6: Branded Terms
Section 7: Punctuation
Section 8: Capitalization
Section 9: Headings and Subheadings
Section 10: Abbreviations
Section 11: Numbers
Section 12: Attribution
Section13: Blog Post Formatting
WHY FOLLOWING A STYLE GUIDE IS IMPORTANT
CCN is in for the audience acquisition success—ensuring maximum success for both our clients, general audience and all.
And consumers trust (end up doing business with) brands they recognize. Part of creating a strong brand is in creating and maintaining a consistent brand in the visuals, content, and tone we deliver.
This style guide aims to “cohesivefy” the efforts of the wealth of you, our dedicated team, partners, contractors who make what we do possible.
Here’s to a strong brand!
EDITORIAL STYLE GUIDE
CCN uses AP Style for rulings not explicitly stated in this guide. We couldn’t possibly create a ruling about every little detail. Unless explicitly stated otherwise in this style guide, here’s what we recommend:
When in doubt about any punctuation, default to AP Style
If you run into words with multiple spelling possibilities, default to Merriam Webster dictionary
SPELLING TROUBLESOME WORDS
Cell phone (noun) – Two words, no hyphen. Again Click Through (verb) – Two words, no hyphen
e.g. I will click through to this website Clickthrough (noun) – One word, no hyphen
e.g. My clickthrough rates are up!
Do’s and Don’ts (noun) – Note the apostrophe placement
e.g. (abbreviation) – Example given (or “exempli gratia” which means “for example). Not to be confused with i.e.
My blog promotes other things (e.g. my podcast).
SPELLING TROUBLESOME WORDS
eBook (noun) – Note the capitalization of the B. email (noun and verb) – One word, no hyphen. Note the capitalization.
i.e. (abbreviation) – In effect or In essence. May also mean “specifically” or “in other words.” Not to be confused with e.g.
The podcast will launch in August (i.e. in two months). internet (noun) – Note that the ‘I’ is not capitalized.
Keyword (noun) – One word, no hyphen.
SPELLING TROUBLESOME WORDS
Okay (adjective or adverb) – Note that there’s no abbreviation and the word is fully spelled out.
REALTOR (proper noun) – “REALTOR” is a proper noun, and we are following the trademarked styling with all letters capitalized. However, feel free to omit the symbol from the copy. When in doubt, use “real estate agent” in instead.
Set up (verb) – Two words.
e.g. He set up the booth.
Setup (noun) – One word.
e.g. The setup was perfect.
Use this rule of thumb for all similar words (e.g. sign up, etc). For adjective forms, use a hyphen (e.g. “sign-up sheet”).
PUNCTUATION, AND APOSTROPHES
Please add ‘s to show possession for a singular entity, even if the word ends in ‘s.’
e.g. My business’s employees have Christmas off. Plural words, as always, receive s’.
e.g. The businesses’ collective assets are being consolidated.
Punctuation always goes inside apostrophes.
e.g. He said “hello.”
Exception: When it causes confusion.
e.g. Did he just say “hello”?
Use the Oxford comma when listing items.
e.g. I bought milk, eggs, and cheese at the grocery store.
Exception: When there’s an ampersand such as in a headline or title.
e.g. How to Find, Hire & Work With Freelance Writers
Hyphens are used for compound adjectives.
e.g. High-quality work
Do not use them with adverbs (that end in -ly).
e.g. Highly skilled workers
Use the dangling hyphen for incomplete / repetitive compound adjectives but only when the sentence cannot otherwise be reworded.
e.g. The walls are designed to be fire- and flood-resistant.
Be mindful of the differences between hyphens (-), en dashes (–), and em dashes aka the long dash (—).
Hyphens and en dashes should not be used in place of the em (or long dash), which typically emphasizes phrases. The long dash does not get spaces on either side of it.
e.g. You—an amazing and talented writer—will go far.
Use en dashes (–) for periods of time.
e.g. 8am – 5pm
CAPITALIZATION [HEADINGS & SUBHEADINGS]
Capitalize all words in a title, heading, or subheading except conjunctions and prepositions with less than 4 words.
e.g. and, at, by, but, in, for, nor, of, on, so, to
Exception: When the preposition ends the title or heading.
e.g. 27 Things to Live For
Prepositions with 4 words or more such as “that” or “with” will be capitalized.
Pronouns such as “he” or “it” will be capitalized.
When a subheading is a full-sentence list item, it can be capitalized according to the rules that govern regular sentences.
Heading: How to Make a Peanut Butter & Jelly Sandwich
Subheading: 1. Take the peanut butter out of the cupboard and unscrew the lid.
Use abbreviations when applicable, but be sure to define them in parenthesis first.
e.g. SEO (Search Engine Optimization) is one strategy businesses use to improve their presence online. Some of the basics of SEO include…
Always use the numeral in titles and body text rather than spelling out the word unless the number is long and unwieldy such as “5 billion.”
Use the numeral even when it begins the sentence.
5 kids knocked on my door.
I ate 100 cheeseburgers.
I want to win 3 billion dollars.
Five kids knocked on my door.
I ate one-hundred cheeseburgers.
I want to win $3,000,000,000.
Always use the % symbol instead of spelling out “percent.”
When using a statistic, provide attribution within the text of the sentence.
e.g. According to the National Heart Association…
If other sources were used that may need to be referenced in the article, we can hyperlink to those sources.
Freelance writers are NOT to include the links in submitted Google Docs but can provide them in the comments of the Write task (if applicable).
Blog Post Formating
FORMATTING HEADINGS & SUBHEADINGS
Only 1 “Heading 1” or per blog post.
Writers, this is the title of the article. Please do not include it in the body of the submitted Google Docs file; it should be the file name only.
Any subsequent headings should be in “Heading 2” format or
Headings suboordinate to “Heading 2” will be in “Heading 3” format or
We do not typically use “Heading 4” or