When writing, you obviously want to keep your audience in mind.
The goal is to capture the attention of your readers and retain it. That way, you make them visit your blog or website regularly, and while they’re there, they spend quality time going through your articles. In doing so, you maintain your readership and reduce your bounce rate.
However, some people find this hard because most of their readers think their articles are boring. They can capture the attention of their readers initially, but lose it just as quickly as they gained it.
Is it a hopeless situation?
How To Use Humor In Your Writing
After reading this article, you will gain some useful tips that will help you write humorous content that will resurrect your blog and keep your readers waiting for more.
Here’s what you need to do…
1. Use Sarcasm
Some people just have a knack for sarcasm.
With a little sense of humor, you can use sarcasm as one of the most practical tools to gain and retain the attention of your readers. If you can use sarcasm at the right time, the effect will be very powerful.
But be warned: Not everyone understands when sarcasm is being used.
You have to study and understand your audience so that you know what they find funny and what will piss them off. That way, you can use sarcasm without sending your readers away.
2. Focus On Your Introduction
Your introduction needs special attention.
Most readers make up their minds whether to continue reading an article or move on to another one after reading the introduction. So lace your introduction with a little humor. Make your opening the window through which your readers will see the essence of your article.
Throw in some fun/funny facts, illustrations, quotes, or other useful types of humor in the introduction.
When you do this repeatedly, your readers will become “addicted” to your articles.
3. Use Metaphors
Speaking metaphorically is another great tool in the humorous writer’s playbook.
What is a metaphor?
This is how Wikipedia defines it:
“A metaphor is a figure of speech that refers, for rhetorical effect, to one thing by mentioning another thing. It may provide clarity or identify hidden similarities between two ideas.”
In a sense, it is a way to symbolically compare two things. The objective is to drive home a point that may not otherwise be easily understood.
For instance, William Shakespear compared the world to a stage in As You Like It. The mental image that this expression elicits is stronger than one he could have painted through laboriously explaining what he meant. When you realize that his assertion is true (as you come to understand the metaphor), it becomes humorous and you feel like the metaphor was a really clever joke.
While writing, look for metaphors that will deliver the message accurately without sounding dry.
With metaphors, you are giving readers a humorous mental exercise that they can’t afford to miss. As they continue reading, they will be thinking about the images you use. That’s the power of using metaphors.
4. Use Self-Deprecating Humor
It is sometimes good to use self-deprecating humor… at the right time.
If you want to make a joke, you need someone as the target. You may incur the wrath of your readers if you use someone else as your target, therefore, you can just make fun of yourself.
A practical way you can do this is to recall the mistakes you’ve made in the past which may serve as a lesson to your readers.
Individuals who may otherwise feel offended if the joke applies to them will see it from another perspective if you direct the joke at yourself.
Moreso, it increases the degree of the impact of the joke.
Doing this, you can be funny, clever, and not bruise anyone’s ego (except your own!).
5. Include Images And Memes
Images can sometimes express that which you can’t find the right words for.
Memes are a great way to show your readers how to respond to your jokes. By using the right image to drive home your jokes, coupled with the right meme, you will fuel your readers’ interest in your articles.
- Check out: Top 5 Free Online Meme Generator Websites
Gradually, they will find your posts irresistible- this translates to retaining readership.
However, don’t overuse them. They can distract your readers and have the very opposite objective of using them. Use images and memes sparingly.
You can also try to use “hand drawn images”. If you’re creative enough, you can draw your own images like Henneke always does on her Enchanting Marketing blog.
As you can see, looking at these hand drawn images alone will compel you to read the entire article.
That is the wonder of the right image at the right time. It does not have to be something extraordinary at all, just simple images with writeups.
The internet is full of great pictures and memes you can use appropriately to add life to your posts. You can search for these resources in advance and save them where you can easily access them whenever they are needed. Using comic strip is another neat idea to increase humor & impact of your content.
Using a comic strip is another neat idea to increase the humor and impact of your content.
In one of my earlier posts, I used the above comic strip to add in some sarcasm & humor.
6. Occasionally Use Clichés
Using clichés is another way to bring humor to your write-ups.
This is more important if you find it difficult to come up with the right joke that your readers will find amusing without hurting their conscience. You can use them occasionally to spice your articles. But like images and memes, don’t overuse them.
I suggest that you use synonyms to write different versions to keep the cliché unique and amusing.
- When life gives you lemons, make lemonade.
- When you’ve got a bunch of rotting cucumbers, put them in a jar and call them pickles.
This way, you won’t be doling out the same advice that a million other people have given before you. And more importantly, you can be unique and funny!
7. Use Other People’s Works
Hey, don’t get me wrong, I am not advocating plagiarism. But you can make a reference to a relevant or funny thing from the work of someone who has a flair for writing humorous things.
Make sure that whatever you want to quote or point out is relevant to the topic under discussion. This will add some spice to your work while you still giving readers the necessary information.
How do you do this?
An ideal way to become acquainted with such people is to follow them. The internet is full of social media platforms where you can see the work of humorous writers.
You can read their social media posts, blogs, or listen to them speak at seminars or workshops. However, don’t forget to acknowledge the owner of the work. You can’t steal people’s work or ideas and think you can get away with it. You must give them credit.
For example, here is a great piece of work by popular blog The Oatmeal:
8. Write Down Funny Things
While surfing the net, you may come across some jokes that you feel may be good in an article. Write such jokes down for future use.
Whenever you want to write an article that is related to that joke, develop your article and weave in the joke.
You can find jokes on social media platforms, on comedy blogs, or even at comedy shows and on TV.
Whenever you come across some really funny jokes, jot them down. It is advisable to maintain a swipe file instead of searching for the right joke when writing an article. I use Evernote for maintaining my swipe file.
Humor In Your Articles For Better Engagement
While you don’t want to give the impression that you are a clown (unless you are a professional one), infusing your articles with some humor may be the boost that your writings have been craving for.
When people are entertained and educated via your articles, rest assured that they will be ready to come back repeatedly for more information.
However, following these useful tips will not turn you into a pro within a couple of days. You need to practice repeatedly until you have mastered them.
Using humor in the right way will take your blog out of obscurity and into the limelight where you can get real value for your efforts.
So how do you use humor in your articles? What kinds of things do you find funny in blog posts? Let me know in the comments below!
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