Does your blog have style?

I've read a number of real estate broker and agent blogs recently, and one thing jumps out: they often lack a consistent content style.

A hypothetical example: sometimes "Just Listed" is capitalized, sometimes it's lowercase, sometimes it's italicized. This inconsistency can confuse readers and shed your blog in an amateurish light.

When mentioning a book, movie, or TV show, do you italicize its title or put it in quotes -- the same way every time? Say you want to compare the tension of a recent sale to a gripping scene from "Game of Thrones" (like maybe a starving, massive hound slowly approaches his tied-up abusive owner). Do you have a set way to alert the reader you're talking about a show?

Is it Game of Thrones, Game of Thrones or "Game of Thrones"? Image credit: HBO

Is it Game of ThronesGame of Thrones or "Game of Thrones"? Image credit: HBO

Blog pro tip: Adopt a copy style and stick to it.

This may sound nitpicky and small, but as is true in any case of quality, the little stuff is actually big stuff. Consistency breeds confidence. Confidence and clarity breeds trust. Trust breeds business. That's why top publications have well-documented styleguides.

Journalism publications like Inman typically follow AP Style, dictated by a detailed stylebook. Need to know which U.S. cities can be written without their state or how to present titles of elected officials? Look it up. 

A stylebook provides absolute clarity and consistency, because a publication adapts copy to match the style. When in doubt, writers and editors check the guide.

Individual publications with specialized, frequently repeated words and phrases develop their own styleguides, building off a broader, more general guide. Inman, for example, established capitalizes "Just Listed," which does not appear in the AP Styleguide.

Real estate brokerages, firms and agents aren't professional publications, so, in most cases, it doesn't make sense for them to worry TOO much about adhering perfectly to a style. But adopting an organized styleguide (I recommend AP Style), will give your blog a professional sheen.

If nothing else, notice the phrases, topics and words you use often and decide how you want to present them every time. Readers will notice.