Professional or wacky; which is the right humor for your business blog?
Any new social invention has to pass a gauntlet of acceptance and acclamation before it becomes convention. Cellular etiquette, the proper time to use shouty caps in an email (NEVER!), anything to do with texting, and even what you should talk about on your blog, all still have a ways to go before “how to use it” becomes common knowledge.
But what, then, is the etiquette for a business blog? This has the danger of becoming a multi-post, but let’s start the conversation about blogging for business with humor.
Why humor? Well, when was the last time you saw a serious commercial? When insurance companies start cracking jokes I think it’s safe to say that everyone is using Funny to get their message across.
So, is humor something worth adding to your content marketing?
To answer that, let’s turn the clock back a bit: When you first started your business blog, it was probably because someone said you should, right? Or, maybe you got bored while updating your website? Got inspired by an article about how to blog? Lost a bet?
Whatever the reason, when you first created your internet business blog I bet you didn’t plan on humor as an element.
Humor is a funny thing, particularly with business blogs. There is actually very little humor that’s universally accepted as Funny. And worse, humor could actually offend some people, blacklisting your small business blog and company from paying clientele. But before you put down that rubber chicken, let’s look at what the right humor could do for your business blogging.
1. Makes you more likeable – Who doesn’t like laughing? Good, clean joking is a great ice-breaker.
2. Shows you’re human – No google-bot’s going to spread smiles like a real person–yet. And that should make you feel good, right?
3. Opens doors to awkward subjects – Not delicate subjects, mind you (more on this below), but awkward subjects. Recent videos for a certain bathroom potpourii product illustrates awkward perfectly.
4. Makes people feel good – Who doesn’t like laughing? And, yes, it bears being repeated.
Content marketing is about drawing people in. Being more likeable, more human, making people feel good, are all great tools to use when starting a business blog. And the blog format is just informal enough that even the stuffiest law firm or diplomatic para-legal site could offer up some gaffs, occasionally.
So here are some tips to get you started introducing humor into your blogging SEO.
1. Make it CLEAN – Yes, I used shouty-caps. Professional humor should only ever be good-clean fun.
2. Avoid delicate subjects – Only a few people will appreciate making light of serious issues like mortality, terminal illness, and socio-religious or political issues. Best not to invite everyone into those conversations. If in doubt about offending someone, just don’t post it.
3. Try it out on customers – If you’ve got that killer one-liner, test it out on your favorite customers first. Let them know you’ll be posting it on your blog and just want to make sure it’s appropriate. The customer will appreciate being in on the conversation and will likely give you a candid review.
4. Use it sparingly – A good joke is like Japanese art. There is as much in the space around it as there is in the art. One or two jokes for your blogging audience per post is plenty. Any more and you run the risk of being an entertainer instead of a professional.
5. Have fun with it – Your humor will be unique to you, so take advantage of the special nature of that voice. If it feels forced or stolen, don’t use it. Humor is not a plug-in you click whenever you need it, it should be an extension of who you are and of the business blog’s brand. Which leads us to the next point.
6. Have a point – Slapping a smile-maker onto a post might brighten someone’s day, but if it doesn’t relate to your industry, the post you’re writing, or the audience you’re speaking to, it becomes more of a distraction than a device of mass jocularity.
7. Follow sage humor writing advice – To be clear, this post is not that advice. This was meant to open the conversation and get you to think of humor as another tool in your content marketing toolbox. Research professional humorists, or study pro-bloggers who get it right and then start exercising your funny bone.
Keep in mind that blogging is still a fledgling communication tool; there is a lot of forgiveness built into the medium and the casual nature of blogs lends itself to humor very well.
But what are your thoughts? Has humor helped your business blogging? Is yours an industry that will resonate with a certain kind of Funny? Feel free to comment below about laughs won, pratfalls failed, or your own ideas on how to infuse your blog with smiles, and happy merry-making.
For questions about content marketing, and how to make the humor on your small business blog Search Engine Optimized, check out innoblogs.
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