Writing to Make ‘Em Laugh

Posted on January 2, 2013 by John C

Everyone enjoys a good joke or a funny story. It can be exactly what is needed to get through the day. A writer who understands how to lace humor into their words will soon find their writing services in high demand. They become a hit with their target audience and earn repeat business from clients. Proceed with caution, however, when injecting humor into your writing. You might think you’re a comedic genius, but if not done with care, and attention to your target audience, you can miss the mark. Your attempt at being funny can drive readers away faster than they change channels from a lame sitcom. Remembering these rules will help you master the art of writing humor while working as a web site copywriter:

1. Comedic Timing
Comedic writing starts with mastering comedic timing. When you deliver the punch line matters as much as what you actually write. Comedy flourishes when it feels natural and organic. Be strategic with your humor. It should grab the attention of your audience and help you make a point in a creative fashion. Forced humor simply distracts your reader. Good comedic timing is a learned skill. You should actively seek out the humor in everyday situations and train your mind to separate funny from unfunny.

2. Exaggerate Whenever Possible
One reason the iconic sitcom “The Simpsons” remains so popular after nearly 25 years on air, is because the writers bend and stretch real-life situations in hilarious ways. Audiences laugh because they relate to the writers interpretation, and how they stretch the details in ironic or ridiculous directions. A good comedic writer engages their audience when that person sees a piece of their own life in the satire.

3. Defy Audience Expectations
Humor works best when you write the opposite of what your target audience expects. That means setting a scene or idea and then taking the conclusion in an unexpected direction. A writer could put this idea into practice by writing about a singer auditioning. A panel of judges criticizes the song choice and her inability to sing on key. They tell her to get off the stage. Then the audience finds out she is participating in karaoke night at a local bar. The twist at the end creates humor because it defies the initial expectation that this singer is a reality show contestant.

4. Choose Your Words Carefully
It’s an undiscovered scientific fact that some words just sound funnier than others. Specific words and phrases, used in the right context, can evoke laughter on a grand scale. Puns are example of this idea. Using funny words and phrases work best by surprising your audience. They can’t tell if you’re strange or insane, but either way they get a kick out of you.

5. Draw On Your Own Life
Humor can often be found under your own nose. A good humor writer isn’t afraid to poke fun at themselves or at situations they face each day. It gives them new ways to share old ideas. It also shows they are willing to laugh with their audience. Readers can relate to a writer who becomes the joke.

John C is a freelance writer available on WriterAccess, a marketplace where clients and expert writers connect for assignments.


Small army of writers. Big platform in the cloud.

WriterAccess is the fastest-growing content sourcing platform that makes it easy to find writers, place orders and manage the workflow, all powered by advanced tools that become your GPS for content marketing. Sign up for a risk-free offer here.

Click here to request a demonstration of our platform.
You can also call 617-870-0800 or email info@writeraccess.com

Click here to become a writer for WriterAccess.

  • Categories