Online Writing Style Guide

The information provided here are to help you write user-friendly blog posts.  The following tips were taken from Health Literacy Online.

Write Actionable Content (“actionable” means you are focusing on behavior by telling readers what you want them to do and giving them the necessary steps to do it):

  • Put the most important information first
  • Include only the basics (Read an example of a basic blog: Section 504 or IEPs)
  • Stay positive and realistic!  Include the benefits of taking action
  • Provide specific action steps
  • Write in plain language
  • Review your blog post for accuracy.  If you do not know something, look it up!

Display Content Clearly on the Page:

  • Limit paragraph size – be brief!
  • Try to keep sentences small
  • Define new and complex terms or concepts (Find out how to define a new concept by seeing how we explained phone coaching on the blog about Dialectical Behavior Therapy)
  • Use bullets and short lists
  • Use meaningful headings
  • Use white space and avoid clutter
  • Keep the most important content about the fold – even on mobile
  • Use links effectively
  • Make sure links work properly
  • Use images that are relevant and appropriate for the topic
  • Be consistent (inconsistencies between blog posts can cause confusion. Try familiarizing yourself with previously published blogs)

Organize Content and Simplify your Posts:

  • Organize content with your readers in mind (For example, use terms or concepts that your readers know)
  • Give links meaningful labels (Use action verbs to help identify like ‘find out how‘)
  • Make sure links are to the appropriate source
  • Provide examples when appropriate

Engage Users:

  • Provided tailored information. This site is for adolescents and young adults. They are your peers and want to hear from you about your perspective
  • Use various ways to engage users (include various multimedia like YouTube videos, audio clips, graphics)

Test Your Blog Post:


If you have any questions about the information or tips provided, please email us or contact us through the moderator form!

Information taken from U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion. (2015). Health Literacy Online: A guide to simplifying the user experience. Retrieved from