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Humor in Blogging

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January 12th, 2007
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Blogging Essays, General

This is the Twenty First entrant in The Blogging Essay Contest from WeblogToolsCollection.com If you would like to participate, please email me your entry at mark at wltc dot net. Please rate this article using the star system below. The competition will be judged primarily on the input from readers like you. Thank you.

This is written by Brad Finn

I am not a serious guy. Well, that’s not entirely true.

Damn it, I’ve begun by lying to you. I am off to a bad start. Please let me try again.

I can be a serious guy when it comes to my job or paying my mortgage or when I am in court defending myself against a totally trumped up charge of statutory rape (hey, she showed me her driver’s license, how was I supposed to know it was a fake?)

But for the most part, the writing I do for my blog is not serious. My focus is humor. Now, by humor I don’t mean knock-knock jokes or where to find the best deals on joy buzzers, although joy buzzers are certainly fun. Can we all agree on that?

My blogging is an extension of my sarcastic, angst-ridden, and absurd take on life and that is exactly my intention. I want it to be light, because that is where the bulk of my writing ability lies. I am not going to be the guy writing an in-depth post about global warming, supply-side economics, the vanishing rain forest, or who is most likely to be President in two years. Trust me; I don’t understand any of that. I am not going to be running down to the patent office any time soon saying “Hey, look what I invented; give me a number on this thing!”

I can’t do that. I’m just not wired that way. And for the most part I am not really interested in reading about those things either, unless perhaps there is a little humor thrown in to help make it go down a little bit easier.

My main point is this: humor is the great common denominator. Everyone likes to laugh and be entertained, or at least they like to chuckle. Even Dick Cheney chuckles for God’s sake. Sure, he does it in a way that makes you nearly wet your pants in terror, but still…

You don’t have to be a jolly goofball like me, but a light humorous touch really does mean so much. It can take the edge off, keep someone’s interest piqued, and in general lighten up what might otherwise be a pretty heavy post.

Now the thing about a sense of humor is that everyone thinks they have one, but they don’t. It’s kind of like being good in bed, everyone thinks that they are, but not everyone is. Believe me; I know what I’m talking about, and I still have the rug burns to prove it.

However, I am of the opinion that most people who write can be funny, and humor is one of the most powerful tools you can possess in your creative arsenal. Well, that and blasting caps. You’re going to need those as well, but I can’t tell you why.

If you are angry about something, sarcasm can be a humorous way to get your point across. If you feel compelled to complain or vent about something going wrong in your life, a little self-deprecation can go a long way toward making the post a little more palatable to readers. Also, a well placed witty bon mot can make you seem a lot more intelligent than you really are. Trust me on that one as well. I have spent my entire life devising ways to make myself appear smarter than I really am. It seemed less work than actually improving my intellect.

Believe me, if you throw around a couple of big words correctly and toss off a witty quip now and then, no one is going to focus on your inability to diagram a sentence or do long division. When people like what they see, they don’t dig too deep.

Readers, by and large, want to be entertained. Yes, there is a place for serious discussion on religion, politics, world events, etc. but the majority of us just want to live our lives, share little pieces of ourselves along the way, engage in friendly conversation with like-minded individuals, and make our own little world a happier place to live.

Wow…if that isn’t a sentence that calls for a group hug than I don’t know what is.

And not only will a humorous touch keep your readers coming back, but a similar approach to comments left on other blogs will attract a whole new group of readers to your site. A clever comment is to a blogger as a monkey is to an organ grinder…or something.

Soon word of your razor sharp mind and your gift for witty repartee will spread through the blogosphere not unlike the way dysentery spread through my family the day we let Uncle Malcolm man the grill at the reunion barbecue. That was a special time.

Humor is the salt in your spice cabinet, the ketchup on the condiment shelf, the tidy whities in your underwear drawer, the ribbed rubber cylindrical device in the nightstand where you keep…well, you get the idea.

Find and embrace the funny. Make a friend of the funny. Cultivate the funny. Trust me when I say that a little investment in humor will pay huge dividends down the line. Your readership will grow steadily and it won’t be long before you will hardly be able to remember those lean times when you would go days between getting a comment.

A humorous touch will make you seem more real and more likable. You don’t have to be a joke machine or a shock jock. You just have to be you. And you’re funny, right? I could tell right off that you were a person of wit and good humor.

So go forth and lighten up! Be the kind of writer that you would want to read. When writing, always keep an ear out for how your words might sound to others. In no time at all other bloggers will be sending their friends over to check your site out.

And so it will begin.

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19
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Comments

  1. Rirath (14 comments.) says:

    I’d say the hardest part of quick quip Internet humor is being clear enough that you’re being sarcastic / funny, without overly relying on emoticons to make the point. Sure, they’re an easy fix, but they also tend to make the post feel less witty and more obvious.

  2. ade (4 comments.) says:

    My blog is mostly humor as well. And the biggest problem with writing humor blogs is that I can easily be drained. I used to come up with a new article every two days or so. But now it’s taking me at least a week before I could write a new one.

    And internet humor is really, really hard to catch on with the uninitiated. I’m still waiting for that first piece of hate mail, though.

  3. Howard (1 comments.) says:

    I have to do MATH to comment here. Hmmph!

    As yet another humor blogger, I wanted to say excellent article with points I’ve been trying to get across to some of my much more serious blogger friends. I keep telling them that an occasional bit of funny would not only break up the grey cloud over their blog, but it will surprise readers enough to keep them curious enough to come back.

    All I get back is, “Geez! Grow up!” But like the article says, the best compliment is “We like you. You’re mature where you need to be.”

  4. Will (1 comments.) says:

    I like to keep it light and funny on my blog as well. What good is having a sense of realty if you can’t make a joke about it? I build on the humor in scenarios. My goal in joining the blogging community was to make light of the world around me. I’ve even taken it one step further, I create videos to entertain the two readers that visit my site.

    “For humor there must be a disciplined eye and a wild mind.” Dorothy Parker

  5. Jonathan (81 comments.) says:

    I’ve actually been trying to limit the humor on my blog.

  6. Say No to Crack (1 comments.) says:

    The toughest thing about a humor blog is being funny without being overly drawn out. People will gladly watch a comedian for an hour, but if you can’t get your point across in 20 seconds, they’re on to the next blog. Fickle world.

    Great article!
    Anita

  7. Sonja (1 comments.) says:

    I won’t read just any humor site, it has to be somewhat relevant to my life and I admit the sense of humor of the writer has to be somewhat similar to my own. Brad, the author of this article, has a wonderful sarcastic bite to his entries and clever puns, quotes, etc. Your humor has to be accessible to a target audience, obviously not everyone will laugh at the same things. So I would say figure out your target audience – a group of people with humor that you would most likely laugh at, and just sound off.

  8. Tisha (1 comments.) says:

    Group hug, all for it!

    Now that is one honest take on your contribution to the quality of our lives didn’t know you had it in you, the honesty that is.

    What I enjoy most about your writing outrageous or “serious” is the entertainment but also the fact that I can relate to what you say.

    Another thing someone mentioned here is being succint, nobody wants to read a diatribe especially if it puts them to sleep.

    Thanks for sharing this with us as well as your wonderful sense of self and amazing humor!

  9. MsDemmie (1 comments.) says:

    I am biased – This guy is on my blogroll.

    The reason he is on my blog roll is because he does make me laugh and he makes me smile.

    Sometimes makes me *titter* , some makes me *wince* and sometimes he is just so outrageous my reactions are unprintable.

    Sheer entertainment – taking you out of yourself even if it is just for five minutes.

    Humour is essential – if we were not laughing we would be crying.

  10. Michele (2 comments.) says:

    That was very good,as you know i
    love your sense of humour.It’s
    edgy and relevant most of the time.
    Your taste in music is another matter:)

  11. Michele (2 comments.) says:

    That was great,i love your edgy sense
    of humour.Now your taste in music is
    another matter.:)

  12. Lynda (1 comments.) says:

    This guy is also on my blogroll. And he asked for an honest assessment.

    I disagree with some of the statements in this article but overall I agree. For one thing, I think some people do know they are not funny. I however, am not one of them.

    I also agree with MsDemmie that he makes me laugh/smile/titter/wince and sometimes all at once. He is also much more interactive with his readership than almost any other blog I read out there, which he doesn’t seem to think counts for anything. I know that when I am having a down day, I can even go back and re-read one of his entries and things just don’t seem that bad.

  13. Charles Nicholls (2 comments.) says:

    One of the funniest pieces I have read in a long time, Thank you. Sometimes though, it’s too easy to go overboard either way, too funny, not funny at all. My biggest trouble is knowing when I have crossed the line.

  14. Templar (1 comments.) says:

    I hope I got the addition sum right otherwise I am typing all of this for nothing.

    I must say that I didn’t recognise you with your semi-serious clothes on. I agree with a lot of your sentiments and you express them well…I would expect nothing else from a writer of your callibre. However, and yes there is a however, comedy is not the world’s panacea…it does not cure all.

    I love your blog and your sense of humour and many times it has picked me up when I am down but I would also like to get to know the man hidden behind the clown’s mask so that maybe I can pick him up when he is down.

  15. Irish Church Lady (1 comments.) says:

    Damn, either this site is wacky or I can’t add worth beans even tho I’m a Math grad. Where you puttin’ my comments bro?

  16. Mark (386 comments.) says:

    Irish Church Lady, sorry for the trouble. I have removed the Math plugin for now. If it does deter commenters, it is not worth it.

  17. Sunspel (2 comments.) says:

    “When writing, always keep an ear out for how your words might sound to others”

    This is sooooo true. I always try to make sure that I don’t hurt anyone with my articles and posts.

    And I have to say, I love the way you started the post. Good one ;)



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  1. […] I have written an essay that I have entered in into a competition over at Weblog Tools Collection. If you’ve got a moment, pop on over and give it a look. If you do, please give it an honest rating. Don’t automatically give it five stars because you want to have my baby. I’m not asking people to do that. I am just interested in honest feedback. […]

  2. […] Since I read Mr Fabulous post at Web Tools Collection called Humor in Blogging, I’ve been thinking about this whole thing around attracting readers and make them stay. Well… not make them stay maybe… but keep coming back. And it’s a wonder you guys keep coming back. I mean, there’s no way in this world that I can write about my hurting limbs in a humorous way. Sarcastic, maybe… but that can scare people away just as effective as whining. […]

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