“Long fingers of shadows crept towards the three shacks huddled together on the hillside. Night was coming soon, and with it, the Wolf. Three porcine faces peered out of curtained windows, fear plain on their fleshy faces. The wind began to moan.”

“The sun began its nightly plummet towards the hillside, softening the landscape into a Monet painting, a vast impressionistic sweep of color and light. Inside the three rustic peasant shacks–straw, wood, and brick–three porcine faces peered out of curtained windows, knowing that with the disappearance of the sun, he’d come. But into which house would their handsome prince venture this evening?”

Writers can tell the exact same story in vastly different ways. Even though the bones of the writing are the same, how they tell the story can change our perception of it. These differences in writing style are commonly known as “voices,” and they aren’t reserved for fiction writing alone. Voice can be a critical part of any blog strategy–especially if you’re outsourcing.

If you’re thinking of outsourcing your blogging, writing, or social media, you want to make sure your writer can produce the voice you’re looking for. It’s not nearly as easy as it sounds. Every company’s a bit different, after all. Even two companies in the same industry might speak in vastly different voices. For instance, at Roundpeg, we aim for a light, playful tone in our web  copy and blog posts. In effect, this means using very colloquial language (sometimes in surprising ways), using lots of rhetorical questions, and generally staying pretty fluffy with word choice. But when writing for other clients, it’s all about succinctness of language, seriousness of purpose, and an air of expert. That means blog posts that are to the point, don’t rely overly on metaphor, and use very precise language. Even if I’m writing on the same topic, how they’re presented is a world apart.

What’s the voice of your company? Is it coming through loud and clear?