Here is a MASSIVE mistake that many business owners make when they are doing their copywriting (writing ads, web pages, flyers and so on.)

Stop writing in a PASSIVE voice! STOP being so bloody …. NICE.

When you’re being “nice,” to someone, you’re not being yourself. You’re being a manipulative little weasel because you’re only being nice because you  want something from the other person, and, you know what, those on the receiving end of your kind gestures will notice it, feel it and dread it. What’s more, this sort of falsehood will shine through like a warning beacon in your writing too!

When you’re that “nice guy,” you will finish last because everything you write will be in a “passive voice” aka wet and drippy.

Look at these examples and guess which one is active and which one is passive.

… Paul ate all six shrimp at dinner.


… All the six shrimp were eaten by Paul.

Can you guess which one is passive and which one is active? The top sentence is the active and the second sentence is the passive. The first one says in big bold letters “THIS HAPPENED! HE DID! I CAN’T BELIEVE IT … HE ATE ALL THE SHRIMP! OMG!!” The second one says Paul ate the shrimp and … errr, well, that’s it.

Here’s some more examples…

“Click on the link Right Now to get your Deep Rapid Cleansing Skin Formula and say goodbye to Acne FOREVER.” (aka DO IT NOOWWWW!!!!)


“If you want to buy the Deep Rapid Cleansing Skin Formula to treat your Acne then click on the link.” (aka, well, it’s up to you, I don’t want to bother you, if it’s not too much trouble, please could you …”)

Do you see the difference? Do you see how having a passive voice in your writing can make you sound like a manipulative sociopath and kill your response, content and sales letter?


So How Do I Fix My Passive Problem?

To fix this problem, firstly you need to be aware when you are writing like a wimp and recognise when you are paddling a canoe when you should be driving a speedboat. When you become aware of your passive writing you’ll instantly know you’re doing it and change your writing to be more butch. 

Second, you need to be more specific, detailed and tough when you write copy or when you write your emails. Be clear about your message and what your purpose is for writing the ad or the email.

Third, recognize the subject is the star in all your writing, in all of your sentences. Re-write the sentence and make the subject do the action of the verb.

Finally, in everything you write, always always always keep your audience in the front of your mind when you write. Remember you are writing to attract people like them, NOT people like you.