Hitting your readers funny buttons
I was going through some of my pdf files and came across a 10 point blog post audit from Digital Marketer.
I read it and a phrase hit a nerve: “dry or boring language.”
At first, I just ignored the notion. I was pretty sure I wasn’t boring. But then I read the smartblogger.com post How to Captivate Your Audience with Humor (Even If You Don’t Think You’re Funny) by Marc Ensign.
A Chink in Your Attitude
And Ensign put a chink in my attitude when he said, “Being a successful blogger is not just about being a teacher …
“It’s about being a performer. Your content must do more than just educate. It must entertain.”
And there’s a point when you must see that chink in your attitude about being too serious — for it isn’t chique.
Now, I do sometimes try to be entertaining. I enjoy the eclectic and often come up with odd angles that others aren’t talking about. Like Queen Elizabeth’s morning breakfast of scones instead of luscious forget-it-not American muffins. Or Google Goulash.
Instead, I now have the oldest family success recipe. And the Muffin Lovin’ Writing Tribe Success Recipe.
But even now, when I reread my posts, in places I sometimes get a vague feeling of dry-lipped disinterest. And wonder if maybe some readers experience that when a writer goes on and on without really saying anything.
Add a Little Hiccup to your Writing
Or at least, without saying something that makes a reader sit on the edge of excitement and wonder “What’s that? What’s she got in her overdramatic head now?” A dramatic recipe for muffin’ lovin’ tribe’s writing success? Or even a call to the muffin’ lovin’ tribe?
And according to Ensign, you can start giving readers a more enjoyable read, even a more exciting read, by “adding a little humor.”
But what is humorous to me may not be so funny to you.
I define HUMOROUS as the heart-fluttering uncensored reaction to offbeat rationale that’s outrageous, unanticipated, and startling.
I see as humorous, phrases that create a hiccup, an unexpected moment of reflex that’s an obvious undeniable surprise. A moment of interruption of your automatic thoughts that bind you to the hum of the ordinary …
A Spasm of Uncontrolled Emotion
And, instead, wakes you up with a spasm of uncontrolled emotion.
Phrases like the blinking of an eyelash that props open a tired eye. Or the fluttering of a clamorous crowd crossing the bridge toward an intoxicating fate.
Or the quivering of the waves of decision splashing onto one’s hopeful love-torn memories.
Triggering Reader’s Funny Buttons
But those phrases may not trigger your reader’s funny buttons.
Yet, if and when you do, amazing things happen.
Ensign says, “when you create valuable content that is also entertaining, they’re much more likely to take an action afterward.”
For they respond to your words. They comment. They share. They may even take you up on your offer and buy something from you.
For, by finding their funny spot, by fulfilling their need for the novel and the surprising, according to Ensign, you may also find
“the sweet spot where blogs have a chance to become legendary. Blogs that burst on the scene overnight, seemingly from nowhere. The ones that attract thousands of subscribers in a blink of an eye.”
Or the blink of an eyelash.
Getting Personal is Sometimes Funny
But humor is a personal thing. So, you have to develop rapport with a reader. You have to relate to your reader’s experiences as well as find a way to ignite her sense of the novel and entertaining.
And hitting their personal funny buttons requires constant testing. Constant tweaking of words and ideas. Like all writing that is purposely aimed at influencing and persuading a reader.
Thus, it requires you to open up your tired, jaded eyes and see things from a different angle. Look at them with a wider, less personal viewpoint.
Seeing the Irony
That’s the paradox of humor.
For you zoom out occasionally and look at the world as if seeing it for the first time with the eyes of an observer.
You notice how others are acting and reacting, often in irrational ways. Notice the differences in how people react to the same situations. Notice the differences between the words and expressions one person uses compared to another.
You even notice the differences between how people strive to gain attention and love.
The more observant you are, the more you will see the things that make people unique … and even comical.
Funny is Fascinating
And when you can see the irony of it all, when you can see the funny side of life, your writing will fascinate others.
Then, readers “might even implement the advice you gave them in the post.” And find it works. And “love you forever,’ says Ensign.
Or at the very least, they may put a mental note in their head that reminds them of who you are. For that moment of pleasure increased the dopamine … the pleasure chemical … in their brain, that also aids memory retention.
So, reading something funny may cause a reader to smile widely, chuckle, and look forward to hearing from you again.
And that’s the beginning of a beautiful partnership every writer really desires.