“Always leave them laughing” is a great strategy for stand up comics, but you run the risk of falling flat on your face when using humor in your blog posts.
Everyone’s sense of humor is different. While you might have yourself in stitches with your clever one-liner, others might not get the joke—or they might even be offended.
Humor’s tricky. It carries an element of risk.
That said, humor could add some extra personality and pizazz to your writing. You don’t have to steer clear from it if you want to give it a try, but you do need to keep a few things in mind.
- Stay away from anything dealing with race, religion, and politics
Need I say more about that? If I do, then you should probably avoid adding what you perceive as humor in your blog.
- Make it about you
Yes, you read that correctly. Poking some fun at yourself can make you more approachable and trustworthy in the eyes of your readers. Make light of a past mistake or a particular flaw to demonstrate your human nature, but don’t completely bash yourself and crush your credibility.
- Pay attention to how your readers react
As you incorporate humor into your writing, take note of what people say and do (or don’t do) in response. Are you getting “hate mail,” high fives, or no reaction at all? Are people liking or sharing your posts on social media? Track the types of quips that resonate with your readers and those that fall flat so you can focus on doing more of the former and less of the latter.
- Ask yourself, “Is it really necessary?”
Ask yourself why you feel you need to add humor to your posts. Is it because your audience is longing for it or because you want a platform to express yourself? Your business blog is for them, not you. Yes, you should enjoy writing your posts, but you can have fun and make your blog conversational without cracking jokes.
- Final thoughts on the funny stuff
“Funny” is in the eye of the beholder.
When using humor, remember what Copyblogger founder Brian Clark says in his article, The Dangers Of Humor, “…it’s not the reader’s fault if the writer’s joke is missed. Any stand-up comedian will tell you: if no one laughs, it’s not funny—period.”
Great article, Dawn! I’m always interested in creating engaging content, and many times that can be done by adding (tasteful) humor 🙂