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  • Todd Green

Happy National #LetsLaughDay: How To Use Humor In Your Content Writing

When Amber first asked me to write this blog, I said “No.”

That, as they say in the biz, was a joke.

Of course I wanted to write about humor in content writing. After all, having failed to be crowned Bayside High School’s Class Clown, some 17 years ago, left an awful emotional wound—one that’s been the cause of thousands (perhaps billions) of eyerolls from friends and family.

This was my shot to show ‘em all, my chance to be like James Cagney at the end of White Heat: “Made it, ma! Top of the world!” Wait, doesn’t he blow up after saying that? Crap! Forget that part. Let’s just discuss the big question:

Why do I love using humor in content writing?

Well, it elevates your brand and separates you from competitors who take themselves too seriously. Approachability is critical—and humor can achieve that, increasing the likelihood of your post being noticed, not just seen, before the thumb flick of death sends it hurtling into obscurity. What happens after posts disappear up screen? Nobody will ever know.

I bet you’re wondering: “So, how do I get started?” Actually, I bet you’re thinking: “Jeez that was a really good impression of me.” I know. Thank you. Sadly, today’s blog is about content writing only, not my impressions. And that’s why I put together a few questions you should ask yourself whenever you sit down to write a funny post for your company or brand. Here they are:

  • Who the bleep are you talking to?

  • Think about what makes your readers smile, laugh, even cackle like The Grinch. Know them well so they’re sharing in on every joke.

  • What is the goal of this post?

  • Don’t lose sight of what you want to achieve. Want followers to watch your movie, read your book, buy a product, or click a link? Make sure your copy ties into that.

  • Will people understand you’re being funny, a.k.a. “Is this joke accessible or just weird?”

  • You don’t have to stick with low hanging fruit, but make sure the punchline pays off. The best comedy is universal. People love puns, rewriting lyrics to identifiable songs, etc. Think: stuff that’s clever, but also easily digestible. Don’t try too hard.

  • Extra Tip: If you’re being sarcastic and don’t want readers to think you’re a jerk, consider using some emojis. Keep these 🙄🤪🤣😂😹 in your back pocket.

  • Is there anything insensitive, short-sighted, or poorly timed about what you’re writing?

  • Yes, you can be edgy. Just make sure a trusted editor looks over your work.

  • Odds are you are not trying to be Howard Stern, so avoid shock humor. Your brand’s sense of humor doesn’t have to be yours. Again, consider your audience.

  • If you’re boasting about recent achievements or talking smack during a current or recent tragedy, close your laptop and walk away. Put yourself in the position of the people most affected by floods, freezes, fires, etc. and think about what they want to see. You can still write with humor without trivializing their experience.

You need to be serious about your jokes. It takes time to write them and plenty of guts to put yourself out there as the new comedian in town. Keep in mind: Not everyone will think you’re funny, some may even dislike you for trying. Most, however, will appreciate the effort and your keen wit if you put in the work.

Now, let’s quickly discuss the FINAL and most important part of this blog: Did I finally achieve my dream of becoming Class Clown when I joined Ambrose McDowell Communications? Please vote ‘yes’ or ‘yes’ below.

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