An active lifestyle generally means a healthier life. Active writing generally means better copy. When it comes to fiction, novelists prefer to use the active voice. Someone who uses it stands a much better chance of landing an agent, editor, or publisher. The same is also true when writing copy, but you’ll attract customers and clients.
What is Active Voice?
Active voice means the subject of the sentence is doing something. Passive is when something happens to the subject.
The cookie was eaten by me. Passive – the cookie is the subject, and something happens to it.
I ate the cookie. Active – I am the subject, and I do something.
Why Does Active Voice Matter?
- It engages the reader. Instead of reading a brochure that’s written as if someone is telling me a story about a product, I’m reading a brochure written by someone who’s actually used the product. It cuts out the feeling of the middle man and lets the reader see exactly what it is you’re selling/providing/promoting.
- It keeps it concise. Your copy space is limited. Don’t waste it on unnecessary words. In the previous example, I cut 33% of the copy by switching to active voice. That gives you more room to write the important stuff.
- It’s more natural. The Zone Template was used on our website. It was liked by our designers for its easy navigation. All of our pages now have the Zone Template applied to them. Or…
We used the Zone Template on our website. Our designers liked its easy navigation. We’ve applied it to all of our pages.
- It’s good story telling. Your copy is essentially the story you want your customers to read. Whether you’re sending a newsletter, direct-mailer, or postcard, you’re telling a story to a specific group of people. Using basic fiction-writing techniques – like the active voice – will create easier-to-read, more-compelling copy that people will want to read.
So don’t just stay active at the gym. Keep your writing active too and see if you don’t attract a little more attention.
Can you believe this is already the fourth week of business for Write Now Editing? I’m still so thrilled to have had the chance to celebrate with you! This week I’m giving away one of my favorites – a copy of Strunk and White’s Elements of Style. This is a great resource to keep in your purse or car for those unexpected grammatical emergencies. As always, leave your name and email address in the comments, and I’ll pick a winner next week -good luck! (And make sure to check back throughout the year – I’ve had quite a few guests volunteer to donate books and resources, so you’ll have plenty of chances to win!)