How to Captivate Your Audience with Humor (Even If You Don’t Think You’re Funny)

How to Captivate Your Audience with Humor (Even If You Don’t Think You’re Funny)

Let me guess…

You’re not funny. At least, that’s what you tell yourself.

And who cares anyway? Readers don’t come to your blog for laughs, right?

They come for the information.

Because blogging’s about being useful. It’s about understanding your audience and helping them achieve their goals and dreams. It’s about giving them the information they need to get where they want to go.

So that whole “being funny” thing is for the birds. Right?

Actually, if you think like this, you’re missing a big piece of the puzzle.

Being a successful blogger is not just about being a teacher…

It’s about being a performer.

Your content must do more than just educate. It must entertain.

And while using humor is not the only way to make things more fun, it’s certainly one of the most effective.

If you don’t learn to entertain while you inform, your readers will find a blogger who can.

So, are you ready to rescue your content from the classroom?

3 Possible Reactions to Your Content (#3 Is The One You Want)

Most readers click your link on the promise of learning something new.

It’s why you craft attention-grabbing headlines that offer a better blog. Or a more successful business. Or a happier life. Or a free box of Mr. T cereal. (Wouldn’t that be awesome?)

And if you’ve done your job properly, they take the bait.

Then one of the following happens:

#1 They Leave

It takes the reader about four seconds to realize your content is dull and uninformative.

You’re talking about yourself in a way they can’t relate to. Or showing off an outdated social media “trick” that nobody cares about anymore. Or sharing ideas they’ve heard a dozen times before.

But whatever the reason, your post is about as appealing as a second-hand burrito.

By the second paragraph, they’ve seen enough. They mentally kick themselves for being duped by the false promise of a well-written headline.

And then they make a break for the back button.

#2 They Scan. Then They Leave.

Your reader’s time waster detector remains silent – for now.

They can see your content is potentially useful, and they may even learn something, but the more they read, the more it seems like hard work.

The writing’s dry and joyless. And on top of that, it’s really, really long.

So instead of reading your entire post, they scan it, looking for a useful nugget or two. Maybe they spot your killer, game-changing insight, and maybe they don’t.

They don’t get to the end of the post, and they certainly don’t take action.

But hey, at least they read yourΒ subheadings!

#3 They Stop. They Read. They Act.

The reader senses this post is a little different.

Sure, the information’s useful, but the writer is also taking pleasure in its delivery.

Reading it is not hard work at all. In fact, it’s kinda fun.

Because the content is informative and entertaining.

This is the sweet spot where blogs have a chance to become legendary. Blogs that burst onto the scene overnight, seemingly from nowhere. The ones that attract thousands of subscribers in the blink of an eye.

When you create valuable content that is also entertaining, people read to the end, and they’re much more likely to take action afterward.

Like sharing it. Or leaving a comment. Or signing up to your list.

Hell, they might even implement the advice you gave them in the post. (And when they find it works, they’ll love you forever.)

Bottom line is that they won’t just read it and disappear. They’ll want more. Because what you just gave them is a rare experience indeed.

And what better way to make your blog more enjoyable to read than by adding a little humor?

How to Use Humor in Your Writing (Without Looking Like a Desperate Try-Hard)

Now, not everyone is naturally funny. (Funny looking, maybe. But not funny ha-ha.)

And hey, I get it.

We weren’t all born with a fully-functional funny bone. In fact, some people have suggested mine is held together with duct tape and chewing gum.

But that doesn’t mean it’s too late to learn a few new tricks or even sharpen that saw.

Regardless of how funny you think you are, or are capable of being, use the following ways to apply the funny to your next blog post.

1) Don’t Make it This Big. Make it THIS Big.

We know it’s a lie. But it’s an acceptable lie because it’s so far over the top that it’s clearly not meant to be taken literally. Because it’s an exaggeration.

It’s the difference between catching a fish this big and catching one THIS big.

Maybe you walked a million miles. Or it cost a bazillion dollars. Maybe it took forever. Or you laughed your butt off.

It is the art of taking something that started out as true and magnifying and distorting it to the point where it’s barely recognizable. Where it’s absurd. Where it’s, well, funny.

And going to extremes doesn’t only raise a smile. It also makes your points more memorable. So your valuable information is much more likely to sink in. It’s a win-win!

2) Give Them The Benefit of Your Genius…Einstein

Personally, I love sarcasm, but it’s not for everybody.

It’s kind of like sword swallowing. Do it right and it’s a big crowd pleaser. Do it wrong and things get messy, and people get upset.

But, what exactly is sarcasm?

Well, why don’t you pull up a chair and get comfortable while I tell you all about it? I mean, it’s not like you could just get on the Internet and look it up for yourself.

See?

Sarcasm is a sharp or bitter attempt at mocking your reader or the situation you are writing about.

It’s raw. When done right, it borders on offensive. It’s polarizing and occasionally obnoxious.

Some readers won’t get it. While others will fall on the floor laughing.

The key is to truly know your audience. Or just to redefine your audience as those people who do get it.

3) Try Speaking Metaphorically

A metaphor is like a box of chocolates. Wait. That’s life. Life is like a box of chocolates. Which is ironic because that’s actually a metaphor too. But we’ll get into being ironic in a minute.

What were we just talking about? Oh yeah. Metaphors.

A metaphor is the symbolic comparison between two things that are otherwise unrelated but used in an effort to drive home a specific point. That sounded pretty smart, didn’t it? Like I just swallowed a dictionary. (Metaphor alert!)

But let’s take a look at another example.

Let’s suppose for argument’s sake that you were here to cause trouble. You could say that you were here to instigate. Or you could say that you were here to light a bag of dog poop on fire and run.

The comparison gives your reader a visual that they can easily relate to and see in their mind’s eye.

And smell, in their mind’s, er, nose… Which reminds me, mixed metaphors don’t work so well.

4) Tell Them What a Loser You Are

I like self-deprecating humor, although I really suck at it. (See what I did there?)

When you poke fun at yourself, you appear more human to your readers. They connect with you more easily and feel better about themselves too – because you’re not perfect either.

Sure, it’s a little twisted. And of course it’s at your expense. But that’s a problem for your therapist, not me.

Self-deprecating humor allows you to get that harsh joke or sarcastic comment out into the world without the risk of alienating anyone by making them feel stupid or ugly or boring or not funny.

Sure, what you’re saying might apply to them too (and maybe that’s the idea), but because you’re the apparent target, they don’t take offense. But they still take the point. Clever, huh?

Just be careful with how far you go. There’s a fine line between self-deprecating humor and an embarrassing cry for help.

5) Do a Jerry Seinfeld

I’ve always felt like the best place to write is at the airport. There’s so much ridiculous stuff to observe. All of the little nonsensical things that drive our species a little crazy. In fact, you can make an entire career out of it.

Wait. Never mind. Jerry Seinfeld already did that. Dang. I thought I was onto something.

Anyway, the best part about observational humor is that your readers can easily relate to it because they’ve been there too.

We’ve all seen the how to put a seatbelt on speech given by the flight attendant. Or the way people will wait in line for 20 minutes just so they can be one of the first people to have to sit and wait on the plane.

It doesn’t have to be the airport. I’m not obsessed with airports. Well, maybe a little.

But open your eyes within your own industry. Both online and off. Pay attention to the things that will prompt a laugh of recognition from your readers.

It doesn’t matter if the rest of us think you guys are weird. (And you are weird by the way.)

6) Ask “Isn’t It Ironic?”

In order to truly understand irony, search for “social media rock star” (it also works with ninja, guru, Jedi and diva) and observe their rock star-ness in all its glory.

You know, the 157 people following them. Their latest tweet, dated four and a half months ago. The link to their MySpace page.

This is what we (and Alanis Morissette) would call ironic.

Granted, in this example, the subject of the irony does not realize they are being ironic, which makes it a little, well, ironic.

Of course, when you’re being ironic on your blog, you want to be a little more calculated about it. You want to be sure we’re all laughing with you and not at you.

Start by looking for the contradictions in your niche, and the laughter will soon ensue.

7) Beg, Borrow (But Don’t Steal)

Don’t have even an ounce of funny in you? No problem! Try quoting someone that does. Or pointing out something someone else made that gave you a good laugh.

Careers have been made on the backs of sharing other people’s funny. Just look at your Facebook feed. I bet there’s barely an original thought in there. It’s filled with funny stuff – from other people.

So, if you aren’t already following some of the funnier (or simply more outspoken) people inside and outside of your industry, start there. Read their blogs. Share their social media posts. And when you find something that triggers a thought you feel would resonate with your readers, build a blog post around it.

But don’t steal someone else’s lines and hope to get away with it. Do the right thing – give them credit. Maybe even a link. I hear people like links.

8) Make Unexpected Connections

Referencing something completely out of left field is a great way to grab a reader’s attention. It can wake them up. Make them laugh. And maybe even help you make a serious point too.

When you mention something seemingly out of place, it brings with it a whole bunch of emotions and associations for free. It works great with lists where you have a few related points and then the last one is from another place entirely. The brain’s normal reaction to this kind of surprise is to find it kind of funny. (Or to explode, but usually the other thing.)

I’m not proud, but in my writing, I have randomly snuck in references to The Wonder Twins, ChiPs and of course David Hasselhoff. He’s always a crowd pleaser.

And let’s not forget Mr. T. You can’t go wrong bringing up Mr. T. It doesn’t matter what the situation; if you bring up Mr. T, it’s funny. I don’t know why. It just is. If you don’t agree, you are dead inside.

I pity the fool that disagrees with me on this one.

Ready to Show Them The Funny?

Like it or not, blogging is a performance. And with any performance, as soon as it stops being entertaining, people start checking their watches.

Online, that means they exit your blog stage-left, likely never to return.

And while you don’t want to be seen as a clown (unless you’re a professional clown of course – you guys keep doing what you’re doing), infusing your content with a little humor could be just the boost your writing needs. It’ll raise your blog out of the gray, featureless crowds of joyless information peddlers.

So try a little funny. Not everyone who reads your blog will like it. But some will love it. And that right there is the secret to building a passionate audience.

After all, the worst that can happen is people hate your blog, and the whole Internet ridicules you to the point where you’re forced to run away to live in a shack in the woods eating nothing but bugs and squirrels. Just like me.

But before you decide to keep playing it safe with your content, consider this:

To be popular, you must risk being unpopular.

Which is a little ironic, don’t you think?

About the Author: My name is Marc. And my mission is to save the Internet from a catastrophic collision with bad taste and vulgar commercialism. And speaking of vulgar commercialism, I have a new book coming out called Be a Dick. You should totally check it out. Oh yeah, and here’s my blog.

65 Comments

  1. Alexander
    Oct 16, 2014 @ 01:39:43

    Mr. T.

    – PAUSE –

    Yeah, you are right, it IS funny.

    Very true. When my Posts and Videos get comments, they are usually about the Little jokes that I worked in. Especially in tutorials about Controlling and accounting, where this is not much expected.

    • Marc
      Oct 16, 2014 @ 10:38:41

      I know, right? I challenge you to come up with a serious post having anything to do with Mr. T and not at the very least crack a smile. It can’t be done. It goes against nature.

    • James
      Oct 28, 2014 @ 10:49:05

      Nice Marc, I am also funny when I piss on my dreams. So basically I have to adjust my timing. Very informative post.

  2. Andrew M. Warner
    Oct 16, 2014 @ 06:40:05

    Hey Marc,

    Really entertaining post there. I’m one of those people that uses that dry, sarcastic humor to family and friends all the time. It may be interesting to try it out online. And you’re right about the whole thing and doing this and doing THIS!!

    Within the last 3 months or so, I changed up my entire writing style and now I write in a more conversational tone … similar to what you’ve done in this post. I’d love to expand on it much more and perhaps the nuggets of goodness you’ve shared here can help me do that.

    Self-deprecating humor is really interesting and really something I haven’t considered … but it seems like it could work really well.

    Thanks for the funny, Marc.

    Hope you have an awesome upcoming weekend.

    – Andrew

    • Marc
      Oct 16, 2014 @ 10:40:23

      Conversational tone is the way to go. As a reader it feels more like we are…well, having a conversation as opposed to having to be so “officially official.”

  3. Edward Beaman
    Oct 16, 2014 @ 07:40:37

    Exceptional blog post Marc and very amusing.

    I’ve noticed all the great bloggers, like Jon Morrow, cleverly use humour in their posts. It really connects the reader with the blogger and forms that important level of intimacy.

    I love sarcasm too, just like I so love your Mr. T references, but I find it difficult to translate it well to the written word. I end up avoiding it altogether.

    Blogging is definitely entertainment with some valuable nuggets of wisdom mixed in. I think many people forget a reader needs to be inspired to finish the first paragraph let alone the entire post.

    Much food (you have soya squirrels?) for thought, thank you Marc!

    Edward

    • Marc
      Oct 16, 2014 @ 10:42:53

      The big trick with sarcasm is knowing your audience. If you are speaking to a bunch of funeral directors, it might not be the right place for it. Although I’ve heard that those funeral directors really know how to party.

      If you are speaking to your ideal crowd and they get it, that’s all you need. The stragglers that stop by, get offended and leave weren’t there for the long haul anyway.

  4. Adrienne Andreae
    Oct 16, 2014 @ 09:18:52

    Nice post! You’re right–it’s no longer enough just to give people information. Readers need to feel as if they know you better after reading your work.

    Your point about knowing your audience is especially important in humor writing. Not everybody will get every joke, but those who do will feel like they’re in on something.

    • Marc
      Oct 16, 2014 @ 10:43:37

      Exactly! It becomes your own private club. With Mr. T.

  5. Sonia Thompson
    Oct 16, 2014 @ 10:06:14

    I smiled all the way through this one. Thanks for showing us how it’s done!

    • Marc
      Oct 16, 2014 @ 10:45:42

      Thank you Sonia! I must say…I smiled all of the way through this comment. In fact, my avatar was taken at the exact moment I was reading it. For real.

  6. Don Coggan
    Oct 16, 2014 @ 10:12:01

    This is another gem, Jon or better still another Jon-gem. You restated that “blogging is a performance” and you’ve proved it again. Thanks for this. It made my day!

    • Marc
      Oct 16, 2014 @ 10:46:12

      Thanks Don! I really appreciate the kind words! Makes my day too!

  7. Kevin Duncan
    Oct 16, 2014 @ 10:20:17

    Hey Marc,

    Great post, and a topic dear to my heart: humor. πŸ™‚

    For seven years before I started Be A Better Blogger, I ran a humor blog. I didn’t realize it at the time, but it was good training for what I do now: Motivate bloggers in entertaining ways!

    Love your tips for adding humor — even if you weren’t “born with a fully-functional funny bone!” You’re right. ANYONE can add elements of humor to their writing.

    Also, kudos on the Alanis Morissette reference. There are too few of those these days. πŸ˜‰

    I’ll be Tweeting this shortly. Again, nice work, Marc.

    Have a great day.

    – Kevin

    • Marc
      Oct 16, 2014 @ 10:47:22

      Thanks Kevin! I can’t even imagine what it was like to run a humor blog. I am funny by accident. Ask me to tell you a joke and I immediately drop into the fetal position and start sucking my thumb.

      • Kevin Duncan
        Oct 16, 2014 @ 10:58:57

        Hey Marc,

        You’re welcome! Sucking your thumb in the fetal position, eh? Well, you have to admit… That IS funny! πŸ˜‰

        Believe it or not, teaching high school freshmen for 3 years is what prepared me to be a humor blogger. I was one of those teachers who tricked students into learning through humor. Usually, anyway. Some days I was grumpy. I was still funny, but I was more Lewis Black funny than my usual Jim Gaffigan.

        Hope you’re having a great day, Marc. (How could you not? You were just published on Boost Blog Traffic!)

        Have a good one…

        – Kevin

  8. Tim Brownson
    Oct 16, 2014 @ 10:20:41

    I must admit that I swear a LOT on my blog, but 90% of the time it’s for comedic effect.

    My audience know me well enough by now that they shouldn’t be reading if they’re offended by the F bomb, B bomb, T bomb, Q bomb or da bomb.

    It’s not for everybody’s tastes and I get some people think it’s unprofessional for a Life Coach to be using so much humor and swearing like a drunken sailor who just stepped on a rusty spike after buying a new pair of shoes, but I really don’t care because I find it exhausting writing in any other way.

    I think something else that people can use is callbacks which can be really cool when thought through and clever. If you don’t know what a callback in comedy is, Google ‘what’s a callback in comedy’ and you shall be enlightened.

    • Marc
      Oct 16, 2014 @ 10:51:16

      I read a really interesting article with Chris Rock where he was talking about how every single curse in his act is there for a specific reason. Each one was strategically placed. While listening to him we think it’s just falling out of his mouth but he’s actually being calculated about it. That’s what the masters do.

      And don’t worry about the cursing. I’m right there with you. I like to consider myself an acquired taste.

      • Tim Brownson
        Oct 16, 2014 @ 14:13:10

        Chris Rock is a genius.

        Prior to every tour he does unannounced open mic events to test his new material.

        Imagine going to your local bar open mic competition and Chris Rock steps on to the stage.

        You’d presume either the margaritas we waaaaay stronger than the barman let on or you should have just said no to the dude selling ‘wild organic mushrooms’ at the stop light 6 blocks back.

  9. Lynne from Design The Life You Want To Live
    Oct 16, 2014 @ 10:29:52

    That was awesome sauce! THANKS FOR THAT!!!

    I love to write funny. BUT. It is hard work to write funny. Dammit. LOL. I have a wee hot tip that I do. I keep a running note in my ‘puter called BLOG. Original, huh? Every time I see a funny line, or something that is worded in an oh so hilarious way, I copy and paste it into my notes and write the authors name. Later, I have the quote to use as is, or {often times} that quote sparks me into my own quote by switching words.

    It is great inspiration for those days when you have cob webs growing in head.

    Cheers!
    Lynne

    • Marc
      Oct 16, 2014 @ 10:52:57

      You don’t have to tell me! Ask the guys at BBT about the torture I put them through to get this post done. All of the stars have to align in order to get this stuff out most of the time. I need a vacation now.

  10. John Yeoman
    Oct 16, 2014 @ 10:32:05

    Hilarious, Marc! And yes, humor can be a wonderful thing. It humanizes us and builds affinity faster than any technique I know. I can’t help injecting it into my own emails and blog posts because I’m incurably facetious. And that’s the problem: not everyone gets the joke. I once ended an email: ‘Must go now. I’ve got a jogging date with my tortoise.’ Several people replied: ‘What’s this thing you have about dating tortoises? Is it some kind of Brit perversion?’

    • Marc
      Oct 16, 2014 @ 10:54:39

      I can’t tell you how many times a Tweet got me in trouble to where I had to spend time explaining to people that I did not literally mean that I wanted someone to punch me in the face.

  11. Mary Anne Shew
    Oct 16, 2014 @ 10:40:39

    You hit me right where I live. I mean work. Well, maybe both. I see now I definitely need more funny in my writing. Thanks for breaking down funny and being a great example at the same time.

    • Marc
      Oct 16, 2014 @ 10:55:43

      Thanks Mary Anne!!! Love to hear that you “got it.”

  12. Alex
    Oct 16, 2014 @ 10:51:11

    Yes, you absolutely have to find your own voice and “dig out” your sense of humour from the back of your brain. Full self-expression, baby!

    Just like with most skills (including writing), you can train yourself to do this. The trick is to flip the angle – everything is humorous when watched from a certain angle. So a truck ran over your legs and you had to have them them amputated? Awesome, so in the future you will spare yourself the hazzle of buying new shoes! Shopping really is a drag.

    I’m pretty happy with how I have fine-tuned my voice for my blog posts. Some people will love it, some people will hate it – but if you are not pissing off some people, you are probably just mediocre. [Insert more jokes here].

    • Marc
      Oct 16, 2014 @ 10:58:21

      I completely agree. I’ve gotten hate mail from people that just didn’t get it or think it was funny. To me, it always meant I was heading in the right direction.

  13. Emory Rowland
    Oct 16, 2014 @ 10:51:30

    I like this. Self-deprecation usually works for me. The problem for me is I do think I’m funny but no one else does πŸ™‚

    • Marc
      Oct 16, 2014 @ 10:56:31

      I’m with you on that one. At this point my wife just thinks I’m kind of annoying.

  14. Esther
    Oct 16, 2014 @ 11:02:38

    Now this post has some great ideas I have not read about! I love it. Whew. Its a great idea to lighten up the blog posts and have more fun blogging.

    • Marc
      Oct 16, 2014 @ 18:10:23

      Amen! I think we were meant to be Internet friends. And not because I need the ego boost or anything like that. Which I totally do by the way. We need more people reading a blog to learn and enjoy and not expect to be making 7 figures by the time they make it to the end!

  15. Mike Devaney
    Oct 16, 2014 @ 11:21:37

    Marc,

    Great post. Glad you mentioned Seinfeld. As strange as it sounds, I never got into his show during it’s run in the 90’s (and I’m from Noo Yawk).

    What made me reconsider him was his “How to Write a Joke” video on YouTube (also known as the “Pop Tart joke”). He explains in detail, the process for crafting the perfect joke — length, words, rhythm. He’s a master!

    Since then, I’ve been watching his new show “Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee.” He riffs on everything perfectly! He brings out the best in his guests. I recommend that show to all writers, copywriters, performers, and comedians…so many takeaways.

    Gracias,

    Mike

    • Marc
      Oct 18, 2014 @ 08:05:12

      I’m pretty sure I have every episode of Seinfeld memorized. Love it. I hadn’t seen the Pop Tart joke in a while so I just watched it again thanks to your reminder. Still crazy funny.

  16. Linda
    Oct 16, 2014 @ 11:38:51

    Great stuff Marc!

    I’m in the business area of blogging and really had to (well…still working on it) get over the fear of not being too serious in my blogs. It’s fun though when you do; I’ve gotten more positive reactions on my remark on how ‘processes are like ogres (they have layers)’ than anything else! πŸ™‚

    • Linda
      Oct 16, 2014 @ 11:39:55

      oh and, the ‘here’s my blog’ link in your bio is not working; you might want to fix that!

  17. Ronn Jerard
    Oct 16, 2014 @ 12:30:17

    Funny post, Marc. I laughed all the way through it. Timely, too, because I have been considering how to effectively use humor in my posts. I agree that knowing my audience is a key, and I can’t wait to try out your points. Thank you.

    • Marc
      Oct 16, 2014 @ 18:08:01

      Keep in touch and let me know when you give it a go. I could use a good laugh…not in a bad way! I mean I could use a good laugh from a funny post kind of thing. I didn’t mean I would be laughing at…never mind. Send it over when you’re done!

  18. Serena @ Thrift Diving
    Oct 16, 2014 @ 13:03:26

    Yep, great post! I’m happy to report I already write this way! It’s given my blog a down-to-earth feel that my readers have actually commented is one of the reasons they love my blog.

    HOWEVER….

    I see other bloggers in my niche offering just informational pieces, and their stuff is getting pinned on Pinterest a million and one times. While my funny, down-to-earth post is like a step-child that’s left sitting in the corner eating a piece of stale white bread while everyone else gets to sit at the table and enjoy steak and potatoes. πŸ˜‰

    Regardless, my humor and down-to-earth perspective must prevail because it’s who I am and how I write.

    Serena @ Thrift Diving

    • Tim Brownson
      Oct 16, 2014 @ 14:09:26

      Serena, I don’t want to embarrass you in front of your peers, but this is blogging 101.

      We all know that under you circumstances you need to get bitter and twisted, then you need to kick a few cats (small domestic cats – do NOT Kick a lion, puma, tiger, leopard (including cute snow leopards) etc as this will result in limb degradation and mucho bleedio, and finally you need to go postal and wipe out all your competition armed only with a ceramic squirrel.

      Trust me that latter has been done, just Google it πŸ˜‰

    • Marc
      Oct 16, 2014 @ 18:06:39

      Are you sure these informational posts aren’t written by Mr. T? That could have something to do with it I’m thinking.

  19. Corey Pemberton
    Oct 16, 2014 @ 13:48:21

    Marc, Humor is definitely an underrated part of building an audience and being a successful blogger. So I’m glad you covered it. Who ever made the “rule” that you couldn’t be useful and funny at the same time, anyway?

    I think people can develop their humor more than they realize. 90% of it comes down to training your mind to stay curious and see situations play out from different angles. Watching a lot of good comedy (TV shows and standup) helps a ton when it comes to pacing, playing off the audience, etc.

    Thanks for the thought-provoking post! – Corey

    • Marc
      Oct 16, 2014 @ 18:05:14

      Thanks Corey! I think it all started back in third grade. That was the time when all of a sudden if you had too much fun you were labeled the class clown and before long your parents were visiting the principal. I mean, not that I know from experience or anything like that.

  20. Anthony
    Oct 16, 2014 @ 14:20:40

    Marc,

    Very meta post.

    Thanks for this.

    And Mr T. gets funnier by the year. Why did I never notice when I was younger that he regularly walks around town wearing a weight belt and everybody acts like he’s normal?

    Humor is a great way to convey personality and relate to your readers. Clicked though to your website and I’m a little confused. I’d love to know a bit more about what you book is actually about….

  21. Michelle @ Feed Me I'm Hungry
    Oct 16, 2014 @ 16:17:05

    Thanks for the great post. I know my writing needs a kick in the pants to stand out, and I think humor might be just the way to do it. In real life people often tell me I’m funny but I’ve never translated that to my writing before. In fact, I’ve read advice that recommends staying away from humor in your writing because it’s easy to offend people. However, I think you make a very valid point that to be popular you have to risk being unpopular.

    • Marc
      Oct 16, 2014 @ 18:00:41

      There are so many ways to offend people. You ave to get over the “make everyone happy all the time” thing because it’s an unreachable goal. There will always be somebody that drags their baggage into the conversation. So, be who you are and do what you do and let the chips fall where they may!

  22. bagus fani
    Oct 17, 2014 @ 12:27:14

    Thank you so much for his post. may be useful

  23. Mary Lou Green
    Oct 17, 2014 @ 12:43:26

    Hi, Marc!
    How did you know I needed to read this today? I worry about offending someone with the sarcasm and sexual innuendo that sears through my brain, so I often don’t write it. You reminded me to have courage. I need to get up on a stage and try out new material to find my audience. It’s funny that I imagine a big hook grabbing my neck and pulling me offstage instead of wild cheers and thundering applause. Maybe I should write with a laugh track in the background….? Thanks for a great post.

    • Marc
      Oct 18, 2014 @ 08:03:22

      I’ve been stalking you. That’s how I find these things out. I’m committed to my craft.

      Don’t worry. There will be a big hook someday. Along with rotten tomatoes. But it’s well worth going through that for the times you actually get people to crack up!

      • Mary Lou Green
        Oct 22, 2014 @ 17:45:58

        Maybe this is an idea for a new product! An app people use to rate blog posts thatt has applause, wild cheering, splats from thrown rotten tomatoes, and yawns.

      • Mary Lou Green
        Oct 22, 2014 @ 17:47:25

        Sorry for not catching the misspelling of “thatt” when I posted my reply. Three rotten tomato splats for me!

  24. Bree
    Oct 17, 2014 @ 19:01:38

    When I read the title of your post, I immediately wondered if you were going to list #7. Why? Because as a self-professed video addict who doesn’t create humor very well myself, I’ve found it’s super-easy to express my feelings or messages in a funny way by linking to/embedding a YouTube video that does the job. It could be a well-known line from a movie (like the clip of Samuel L. Jackson from ‘Pulp Fiction’ asking, “English, motherf***er, do you speak it?”), or something as silly as a cat jumping off a ledge (look up “cat jump fail with music” on YouTube if you haven’t seen that yet).

    No matter what video I pick is usually darn funnier than I could ever be, and yet I look brilliant for doing it. Everyone wins. Huzzah!

    • Marc
      Oct 18, 2014 @ 08:00:13

      And your audience loves you for it…except for maybe the cat video. I can’t take anymore cat videos!

    • Mary Lou Green
      Oct 22, 2014 @ 17:49:00

      You are a smart and efficient person, Bree. I am going to look up the cat video.

  25. Benjamin R
    Oct 18, 2014 @ 07:30:59

    Believe it or not, this post actually made my day. I have always wanted to post something funny, but I know I’m not a funny person in general. Thanks for this post though. I just might try my luck again.

    • Marc
      Oct 18, 2014 @ 08:01:18

      I totally believe it! I mean, how could it not, right?!? It’s awesome! (That would be the polar opposite of self-deprecating humor)

  26. Ryan Biddulph
    Oct 18, 2014 @ 11:43:09

    Hi Marc,

    Excellent. My fiancee Kelli and I were talking about this during our evening walk, #1 in particular. Have you read David Sedaris? Brilliant guy, very funny. He blows things up, exaggerating quite a bit, and sometimes folks do their best to prove that his entire stories are made up. Maybe they are, maybe they aren’t. I don’t care, as I think the guy is brilliant, funny, an entertaining.

    He’s a story teller. Story tellers enhance the stories, add on anecdotes, an exaggerate. Otherwise it’d be dry prose. That’s what makes them funny, and that’s what makes bloggers funny, and when I do use humor, I blow things up quite a bit because that’s where the humor is. People need the bit extra, or a ton extra, because that’s where the funniness happens. Most folks know that it’s a big fish tale type deal, and those who don’t should stop taking themselves so seriously, I say.

    Fun stuff Marc πŸ™‚ Tweeting from Fiji.

    Ryan

    • Marc
      Oct 20, 2014 @ 22:45:40

      You had me up until you said you were Tweeting from Fiji. Now I don’t like you anymore.

  27. Samuel Sofunde
    Oct 19, 2014 @ 11:00:57

    Absolutely, humor has power and holds the key to effective result oriented write ups. Great points, great post. Love this

    • Marc
      Oct 20, 2014 @ 22:46:01

      Thank you Sam!!!

  28. Bill
    Oct 21, 2014 @ 00:39:51

    I believe being humorous is a gift. There are people who are just really good at it. I agree with what you’ve said. It is true that humorous articles can really make people react.

    • Tim Brownson
      Oct 21, 2014 @ 11:06:26

      Bill, I think there’s an element of truth in what you say. Somebody like Robin Williams had enormous innate talent, but for the most part that’s not true.

      Comedians works their nuts off writing, rewriting, testing, failing, testing some more, rewriting some more etc.

      Why do you think you almost never see really young good comedians? With the rare exception most don’t really start to make any headway until their closer to 30 than 20 because it’s a highly tuned craft.

      And the ones who do breakthrough earlier have usually been working on it since they were in junior high, even if it’s only to stop being bullied.

      I know a guy who is a really funny speaker. But off stage he is painfully boring and unfunny. he has just spent years working on the technical element and if he can give an appearance of being a funny guy – anybody can!

  29. maxwell ivey
    Oct 21, 2014 @ 01:06:07

    Hi Marc; thanks for the great post about improving our posts by adding humor. I must confess i don’t do this much in my posts but do it often in my comments. and i think i usually employ the introduce random things. strange things seem to pop into my head especially when commenting on the blog of someone who uses a lot of humor. its like i feel like i must either rise to their level or sink to it depending on how you think of it. this happens often at ash and jess’s blog the middle finger project. they write such funny email newsletters to go along with their posts. even their unsubscribe section is funny. in my posts i am more likely to share something personal. sometimes reliving a past event will make people laugh. but usually i get people saying that they appreciate me being willing to share personal things so honestly in the effort to help them along on their journey. i need to work on adding more humor. good advice. thanks so much, max

  30. Kostas Chiotis
    Oct 22, 2014 @ 16:57:37

    One of the things that I find effective is to simply link your topic to some personal experiences and anecdotes. Those will be funny in a natural way!

  31. Brandon Patros
    Oct 24, 2014 @ 14:56:54

    Try and inject your personality traits by typing as though you are typing out an e-mail to your best friend rather than your nan πŸ˜€

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