How do you make your written content stand out with so much content out there? Humour could be one of the answers.

In this post, we’ll look at the reasons why using humour is a good idea when writing your content, as well as when you really shouldn’t, and how to use humour to the best effect.

Let’s go!

The benefits of using humour in content writing

Before we get into the benefits, I guess the first thing to consider is the medium you’re writing for. If you’ve already got an established website that’s written more seriously, going in with humour on your blog posts and social media content is just going to look…weird! If you’re using humour (as with any tone of voice or style), ensure it’s consistent.

That said, writing using humour does have many benefits:

It shows your personality. It’s likely that when you talk, you might use the odd little anecdote, fun phrase, or light-heartedness. Carefully and deliberately using some of those things in your writing makes you sound like you. And that helps your readers warm to you because you sound like a real, living person rather than a robot.

It’s more fun to write! Let’s get real here – when you have to write content for your business, it can sometimes be a real drag – particularly if your everyday job has nothing to do with writing. If you’re trying to keep to a content schedule, it can be ruddy hard work! By using humour and a more casual writing style, it’s more fun, and your finished piece will sound natural, again giving you the ability to connect with your readers.

It stops people in their tracks. Let’s say you have used something funny/naughty/wacky in your headline. When it appears amongst hundreds of other headlines on Google, it really stands out. Therefore, more people will stop and read it because it piques their curiosity.

People like to laugh (well most of ’em!). Even if your subject is a serious one, injecting a bit of humour can go a long way in making it relatable, allowing you to take the edge off the subject and letting your readers know that you understand it well enough to make fun of it a bit. (They do it in TV ads all the time – I’m thinking about such ads as the Scarlett Moffatt campaign with women’s products, for example.)

The downside of using humour in writing

Humour can work well in written content, but there are always going to be situations where you really shouldn’t do it.

Like all marketing, you must know your audience. If your customers are expecting straight copy (this could be industry-led. For example, you wouldn’t use humour if you’re selling funerals!), then you have to be really aware of the tone you use with them.

Sometimes, humour used in the wrong context can alienate your customers. Things to be aware of are:

  • Think about the customers you are appealing to – how might they react to your humour?
  • Never EVER make fun of your customers or their traits, quirks, or disabilities. Written humour should always be relatable and used in a way that your customers can relate to. Laugh with them, not at them.

Tips for using humour in your writing

Set the tone with a witty headline – tell your readers what they can expect and create intrigue that’ll make them want more!

Be conversational – imagine you’re writing a letter to a friend. How would you speak? What phrases might you use?

Don’t be brash, rude, or cruel – poking fun is allowed, but don’t get carried away. People don’t want to be made to feel small or stupid – it’ll just turn them off.

Use subtlety – be light-hearted in your humour. It doesn’t have to be slapstick, in-your-face type of stuff.

Tell a story – telling stories or funny anecdotes helps your reader to relate to you. If they can say, “Hey, I do that, too!” and can smile or even laugh about it, then you’ve cracked it.

Don’t try too hard – people tend to try too hard to be clever with humour. The best type of humour is subtle and relatable.

Over to you! Have you tried using humour in your content writing? Did it go down well with your audience? Do share your stories, I’d love to hear them! Oh, and if you want someone to write witty, funny, and downright amazing copy for your brand, send me a message!