Creating a Company-wide Content Guide


Create a single-source of truth to govern all content across the organization and align teams like UX, marketing, support and more.


  • Standardized the terminology we used to speak to our three unique audiences
  • Documented our rules for grammar and punctuation, using our brand guide and the AP style guide as resources
  • Introduced a set of guidelines specifically around inclusive writing
  • Aligned stakeholders from across the organization and across functions
  • Screenshot of a document containing a list of brand attributes and how to apply them in writing
  • Screenshot of a document outlining three content principles: make it about them, not us, prioritize consistency, and know your audience
  • Screenshot of a document containing a list of best practices for writing error messages
  • Screenshot of a document containing rules for grammar and mechanics on a website
  • Screenshot of a document containing a list of best practices for writing inclusively
  • Screenshot of a document containing a list of terminology to use when discussing certain user groups

A Deeper Dive


When Outschool began rebranding, we quickly realized that the way we were writing content was inconsistent, and we knew that this would play into our brand perception, making us appear less professional and reputable. Our writers (both internal and contract) were also spending a lot of time asking questions and wondering what words to use or how to format their copy, and they were rarely able to find a concrete answer. We needed to align on how we created content at a company level in order to improve our brand perception and allow writers to work more efficiently.

Role: UX Writer, Project Lead

Skills & Deliverables

  • Outschool Content Guide
  • Cross-department Collaboration
  • Brand Voice and Tone
  • Inclusive Writing


After identifying the need for a universal content guide, I needed to further understand what kind of information we needed to document. I made a preliminary list of things that content guides typically include, like grammar and mechanics and terminology. Then I began researching other content guides available online from companies like MailChimp, Adobe, Shopify, and more. I identified more potential sections, like inclusive writing or component guidelines, and added them to the list.

This was a lot to cover, and I needed to know what information would be most useful to our team. What questions do we have? What do we need to align on? Speaking with team members across the company allowed me to prioritize my list, and gave me more ideas on how to execute it. For example, they wanted examples! So I included “dos and don’ts” throughout the guide.

I broke my work up into phases, focusing on one section at a time. This allowed me to start publishing the guide as soon as possible so my teammates could start using it. Before publishing each section, I coordinated with a small group of writers from different teams to ensure what we were creating would truly serve all of us. Lastly, I went through a review process with our leadership team to align on my recommendations and make any changes.

Once I had a significant portion of the guide published, it was time to share it with the entire company. I set up a presentation at the all-company meeting to introduce it as our universal Outschool Content Guide. I outlined what was included, where to access it, and how to use it.


The guide is now used regularly by writers in marketing, support, merchandising, and UX. It’s also shared with contractors so they can quickly get up to speed on our guidelines. This allows us to move faster, write better, and support a consistent brand experience.