As you know that we are attending BlogWorld Expo East in New York City. We had a pleasure of attending Jordan Cooper’s (@NotAProBlog) session in which he shared how to stand out in any niche using humor. Here is a summary of his story:
Using humor in blogging is not about making sales. humor doesn’t make people want to buy from you, but it does build engagement, build your brand, and it helps you manage yourself. You do not need to be hilarious to be funny on your blog, you only need to inject little tidbits of humor into your content so that it is easily sharable.
So what is a joke? A joke is a surprise like a magic trick. You first provide context (i.e. don’t write a crazy joke outside your niche) so people are firmly grounded and then throw them a little surprise in the form of a joke. It is okay if your joke is only relevant to your geeky audience, because that is who is going to read it.
So how do you write a joke? Get a piece of paper and write sixty weird or funny things about your content area (alternatively you can use a mind map). It doesn’t have to be hilarious, so don’t self censor right away. Review your list the next time you write a post and see if you can incorporate one of your weird things. If you can compare anything on your list to something in pop culture, do that too! Those posts (ex. ten ways that my content area is like The Hangover) are easily sharable and funny.
So how do you execute that? Well pick a target. Your target should be someone above your audience, that way they don’t feel bad laughing at them. Avoid targets that people sympathize with or feel sorry for. Good examples are politicians or people higher up in your niche. Realize that even doing that some people may still be offended and that is okay. For each person you offend, you will have one fan that really identifies with you and those are super fans you don’t want to lose.
If you cannot think of someone to be your target, you can always become your target. By commenting on the problems you see with yourself, you can make your audience laugh and avoid alienating them. Also, you can exaggerate your experiences to make your point without calling anyone else out. Alternatively you can create a character that you use to help distance yourself from your comedy.
A note on cursing… If you can take out the swear word and still be funny, then it is okay. If the swear is the joke, then it is not funny.
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