Getting to the point quickly creates effective online content, and using the active voice is the easiest way to accomplish that. It gives your writing a natural sense of urgency. Front-loading your sentences is the basic premise of writing in the active voice. In it, the subject is the one doing the action.
To create the active voice:
While using the passive voice is sometimes necessary, it hurts your online content in several ways:
Besides giving your content a sense of urgency, there are other benefits to using the active voice. Understanding the difference between active and passive voice allows you to write stronger, more compelling copy.
Adding a sense of urgency and immediacy to your writing isn’t the only benefit of writing online content in the active voice. The active voice makes your writing more:
Your readers benefit from content written in the active voice because it’s easier to follow and understand. It also keeps the responsibility on the subject, or doer of an action. Consider this sentence:
Written passively, this sentence takes the onus off the defense contractors. Rewriting the sentence using the active voice is more direct and more honest:
The biggest difference between using the active voice and using the passive voice is in how the action takes place. Active voice puts the subject doing the action; passive voice puts the subject as being acted upon by the action instead of doing it. Consider these sentences:
Front-loading sentences is a must in writing online content. The difference between active and passive voice, then, makes active voice the clear choice to put the most important information first. Not only can the passive voice confuse your readers, it sometimes makes them lose interest.
In some active sentences, the subject (doer of the action) is implied although not expressly stated. This is the case with imperative sentences, where the subject of “you” is implied. You are directly addressing the reader, and the reader becomes the doer of the action (in theory at least).
Sometimes writing in the passive voice is necessary, but aim to stay in the active voice as much as possible. The art of writing well incorporates both. What makes you stand out as a writer, whether you write for yourself or write for Write.com to earn cash, is knowing when and how to use the active and passive voices appropriately.