Congratulations! You finished writing your blog post, all that’s left is to proofread and publish. Right?
Not exactly. You’ll also want to review the sentence structures, word choices, and even the layout of your ideas. Passive voice can weaken your point.
The worst part? Passive voice subconsciously enters your writing. It happens to me too! That’s why you’ll need to learn how to fix passive voice while you go through your other edits.
How to Fix Passive Voice
Writing and editing employ different skills; different mindsets. Your blog editor can fix passive voice for you. If your budget is tight, keep these reminders handy for when and how to fix passive voice mistakes in your own blog post.
What is Passive Voice?
Passive voice occurs when the subject is acted on by the verb. (Read about sentence structure here.) Another way of saying this is that the subject undergoes the action rather than doing it.
For example, “the post was written by the blogger.” This sentence highlights the subject, the post, and what occurred to the post; it was written. The subject, the post, underwent the action, was written.
Still confused? Then add the words “by kittens” after the verb. If the sentence can still function, you have passive voice. Meow!
The same sentence could be rewritten in an active voice as “the blogger wrote the post.” Active voice is usually preferable because it gives a sense of immediacy to the sentence. (Read about why you want to use passive voice here.)
Passive voice can also be defined by the usage of select verbs, known as passive verbs.
What are Passive Verbs?
A passive verb receives the action of the verb. This can come in different tenses. The present (am, are, and is), past (was and were), and future (will be) tense verbs are commonly used without conscious thought.
Many passive verbs can be eliminated during the editing process to convert sentences with active voice. For example, the content calendar was scheduled by Brian. Brian did the schedule; however, the content calendar became the focus of the sentence. To create the present active voice, we say, “Brian scheduled the content calendar.”
Which do you prefer? Active voice?
Brian schedules the content calendar. I write the content. Ashley published the last post.
Or do you prefer the passive voice?
The content calendar will be scheduled by Brian. The content is written by me. The last post was published by Ashley.
Now you know how to fix passive voice. Your writing will continue to improve with practice. Unintentional passive voice writing will become less frequent as you become more aware of what passive writing is and how to fix passive voice.