What’s the Right ‘Voice’ for My Blog?

This podcast audio served as the source for the blog post “What Writing Voice Should I Use? 

The transcript was rewritten to produce the blog post, which is the cornerstone of the Shortcut Content system.

Shayla: Thanks for joining us today for the Shortcut Content podcast. I am talking with founder Dave Young. Dave, when we’re writing, how do we know what the best writing voice is?

Dave: That’s a question that we get quite a bit. So it depends on the customer. We do some work for some what you would call corporate customers and the language inside the company and, especially their communications, they always seem to want a corporate voice, and because we’re a service company we recognize that our customers are our customers and in this specific instance they are the boss and they’re not hiring us for our consulting work. They’re hiring us to do a job, and that job is to pull stories from the mouths of their experts and turn them into the written content that they want to put on their company blog and their company blog has a corporate voice. So we take human voice stories and we massage them into a bland, emotionless corporate voice. It makes a little, tiny part of my heart sad to do that, but I understand it. I understand that, hey, we’re going to try to do what every other coporation and turn our corporate voice into some kind of a machine.

If they were hiring me to consult with them, I would try to convince them that that’s not the right approach. And our default mode of writing for most of our clients is that we clean up the grammar, because it’s easy to understand when we’re having a conversation, but as far as written content, transcriptions of spoken conversations usually don’t stand up very well. But if edit that transcription and create a written piece from it, we can keep the writer’s personal voice, by just cleaning up the grammar and maybe moving important points from the middle of the story to the beginning of the story, and tightening up some of the thoughts, if they were repeated throughout the course of the conversation. So we can tighten it up. We can make it read really well for a written piece of content and yet, we can still maintain a conversational, human to human voice. And that’s our preferred method.

I believe that that’s the way even a corporation ought to talk to people that they want to do business. I’ve been asked many times in the course of my business life, “Do you do work for business to business companies, because we are a business to business company and that’s different than a business to consumer company?” And I don’t buy it. To me, there’s no such thing as a business to business transaction that’s any different than a business to consumer transaction, because at the end of the day, they’re both human to human transactions. Somebody’s making decisions about what they’re giong to carry, how they’re going to stock, their levels of inventory, and even how they’re going to communicate to their consumers. Your company and my company aren’t going to be handled by the corporation; they’re going to be handled by people that work for the corporation. It all boils down to human to human interaction.

In our content creator’s creed, one of the most important lines in the creed is that your work’s meaning is best shared by a human voice of storytelling. And that’s always going to be the case. We’d much rather watch the CEO of a company on a stage, telling about a new product and demoing it than we would read a brochure or read some post about it. The human voice of storytelling is always going to be a very important thing and we try to keep the voice of our customer intact, if it’s left up to us. Again, that’s our default mode. It’s not hard, it’s not rocket science to massage that personal and strip all the personality out of it and turn it into corporate speak. We can do that. We’re very good at it. I’d rather not have to but, hey, you’re the customer. If that’s the way you want to communicate, we’ll help you.

Shayla: So if you want to know more about Shortcut Content uses storytelling to share your company’s purpose through the written voice, reach out to Dave and the team at ShortcutContent.com.