No more passive voice!


Can I write a good blog post? This is the question I ask myself every time I start typing. As I type the content of any post, WordPress provides me with some feedback about the readability of the post. The thing which I score lowest on every time is the use of the passive voice. So I have set myself a target. From now on, to ensure that the readability of my blog posts is at least green I will be reducing my use of the passive voice to a minimum.

What is the passive voice

I did not know what the passive voice was, so I did a quick search of the internet. Also, I followed the links within my search engine optimiser (SEO). I arrived at this definition.

Passive voice occurs if the noun or noun phrase that would be the object of an active sentence (such as Yoast SEO calculates your SEO score) appears as the subject of a sentence with passive voice ( The SEO score is calculated by Yoast SEO)

Yoast Knowledge

I am aware of verbs and subject/object agreement, but when I looked at the sentences it was identifying, I couldn’t see how they actually were fitting to this definition of the passive voice. Still confused, I decided to investigate further and started to search the internet. I found a really good article on a blog which I had never seen before. Basically, the article was commenting about the different ways bloggers actually blog.

Is this me who is typing?

Drop Your Preconceptions: Be Yourself
Bloggers aren’t taught how to write. The most common piece of advice we are given is to “use your own voice” when you publish content. This is good advice, but it’s not easy to implement and takes practice to master.


I read this article with interest, as well as second one focusing on ‘Pillar Content’. I started to think about how I actually wrote my blog posts and came to the conclusion that I write as if I am writing to a multitude. What I should be doing, so maintaining that personal contact with you, the reader. I should be writing/typing as if I am talking to you, as an individual. So rather than sat here thinking that loads of people are reading this, I am focusing on you. yes YOU, and I am writing this for you!

Trying to remain active!

Now, before you get excited and get the wrong idea. I’m not going to start running or going to the gym. I tried that and really it had no impact at all! (I will tell you that story at a different time).

As well as focusing on writing this post as if I am writing to you, I am also trying to imagine that I am talking to you and, in doing so, keeping my verbs active. It will be interesting to see whether the blog post gets any more view because of the changes I have made. I doubt it though since the content is dire!


So, I managed it! Checking the readability of this post I see a green smiling face! Readability is all good. It took me some time to get into the ‘feel’ of being less passive but got there eventually! I am also writing in shorter sentences, which is completely alien to me as an academic and putting plenty of subheadings in the post. I am going to stop before I ruin it! Thanks for bearing with me!

Image showing the readability score - with a green smiling face.
And here is the proof!

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