We think that creating quality content centers around five basic principles. If you can follow these, you can be a successful Studio writer:
- Write what you know.
- Use credible sources.
- Do not plagiarize.
- Keep it tight.
- Get it right.
General Writing Guidelines
- The AP Stylebook is the primary style guide for studioD. Proofread for grammar and style errors, and typos, before submitting any article.
- Stay within your expertise.
- Use credible references and confirm facts.
- Write to the titles. If you don’t understand a title, don't write the article. Don’t bend a topic to fit your interpretation.
- All articles must be evergreen. Avoid dating copy with years and words like "new" and "hot." Use "at the time of publication" whenever necessary.
- Write a strong lede (opening sentence). Lay out the basics of the story in the opening graphs and follow with more detail.
- Two or more authoritative references are required, unless specified otherwise. Check site specific guidelines.
- Be concise, don’t overwrite.
- Write in the second or third person. Do not use first person.
- Be relevant. Avoid generic and off-topic content. Address all parts of the title.
- If your expertise led you to a specific angle, explain that to the copy editor by leaving a note in the comments field.
Every brand or publisher we partner with has its own unique voice. But for most assignments, we ask that you follow these voice guidelines.
- Write for the U.S. audience.
- Review the section and site guidelines for additional information specific to those segments.
- Target the middle audience, not the professional, unless stated otherwise in the site guidelines.
- Provide service to the reader, whenever possible.
- Don't reference the article’s layout or position on the page; these elements could change i.e. don’t write “at the top of the page” or “in the second section.”
- Avoid brand names, unless the title specifically calls for it. Use the generic description. When in doubt, consult site guidelines or the Help Desk.
- Do not make unsupportable claims about product performance.
- Write objectively and avoid bias. For product titles, list attributes/specs without making qualitative judgments.
- Use the most current version/model for product titles, unless otherwise stated.
- Avoid subjective adjectives -- such as "fun," "great," "easy," "terrific," "fantastic" or "unique."
- Provide detail and be specific. It is not enough to write "connect the two boards." Explain how and why as it relates to the topic.
- Avoid the obvious choices and clichés. Include options readers won't find on their own. Describe the unusual options, if possible.
Keep the following in mind when approaching titles.
- Ensure the article reflects the title in its entirety.
- Use the section and site guidelines for direction on how to interpret a title.
- Use your knowledge of the topic to determine the meaning of a title. Be prepared to support your angle with facts, when asked.
- If a title appears illegal, dangerous, sexually explicit or impossible to fulfill, flag the title and contact the Help Desk about the title.
- Add relevant content to short-answer titles, whenever necessary, including alternative methods to complete a task. Do not write short-answer articles for titles that cannot be expanded upon in a relevant manner.
- Do not base the meaning of a title solely on its category. The category is a search function.
- Do not write a title that is contextually illogical -- Difference Between a Private Investigator and a Speech Therapist.
- Leave a note for your copy editor to correct spelling or grammatical errors in a title. Copy editors cannot change, add or delete major keywords in the title.