Why writing good content is like stand-up
Hi there pop pickers. I’m Jo and I do stand up comedy when I’m not doing social media for Noisy Little Monkey. I’ve overcome a heck of lot of stage fright, heckling and dead back-rooms of dodgy old men in pubs over the past few years. And I’ve learned my lessons. Oh boy.
What makes good content on t’interwebz? All the usual stuff. Making sure it’s relevant to your audience. Making sure it’s packed with images (see these blogs about images). Making sure it’s well researched. Making sure it’s memorable.
But basically, what makes good content is that it tickles people. Somehow. That they don’t forget the good bits. That they tell their mates about it when they’re having top bantz. So here are my 7 top tips for making your content bant-worthy. I’ve also peppered it with some jokes to keep y’all gigglin.’ Hot-damn!
1. If it doesn’t add, it distracts
This is the cardinal rule of comedy. If you have ANY extra words, ANYWHERE, peoples gets boreds. If you’re proofing, take out anything unnecessary that you can. Cos no-one gets bored faster than internet peepz. In fact, they’re just like a comedy audience. Used to scanning for weaknesses. So take out the adverbs, ‘ands’ or ‘thens’ and just keep it simple.
What kind of shoes do ninjas wear? Sneakers.
“Um.” - 1st horse that got ridden
— rory (@rorynotroy) June 23, 2013
2. Short sentences yo.
Keep. Dem. Sentences. Short. You heard it. The longer the sentence. The more boring for the audience. The less likely they are to share it. If you don’t believe me, read Thomas Hardy books. They’re dull. And I should know, because before I was a Monkey, I was a teacher. Love is the best thing….. Money can buy.
How much for the horse tornado? Sir, that's a carousel. I must have it. — Mastodan (@letdogsdrive) February 27, 2013
3. Think through yo stuff.
Before any comedian gets on stage, they Rehearse. Rehearse. Rehearse. Until you know it backwards. I know it looks sponateous. It isn’t. We rehearse until we can do it with our eyes closed. Same with good content. Think it through, and edit, edit, edit. Proof read it and truncate wherever you can. Good marketing might seem natural, but it's the result of a lot of editing.
*shipwrecked diary* Day 1: alone, doing well. Mentally sound. Met a crab Day 2: I have married the crab. Day 3: I have eaten my wife.
— brent (@murrman5) August 14, 2013
4. Know your audience
If you’re performing in front of a bunch of toothless National Front voters then you don’t tell feminist jokes. You learn this the hard way, trust me. For the same reason if you are writing about gardens, grapes or giants, make sure that your content is targeted. It might mean you write less, about a smaller topic area. This can only be good, because (well, see above). How many SEO’s does it take to change a lightbulb? Dunno. Google it.
5. Connect with the audience
Ask lots of questions. That’s good stand-up. Even when they are rhetorical. Use the word ‘You’ relentlessly. Tell stories about yourself, and involve people. ‘Who here’s had a bad week at work? You too? No way?’ This is just as good as a marketing call to action. Give it a whirl, you can do it….
6. Don’t be afraid to be political, disgusting, sexy or controversial
Sometimes comedy needs a bit of edge. Like a table. Only comedy. You need to storm into those topical areas that others won’t. It engages people, and surprises them, and sometimes takes the seriousness out of something that people are worried about. Tackling the elephant in the room (not literally, don’t tackle elephants. They’re endangered FFS) is sometimes a great idea!
What's the difference between my campaign and everyone else's campaign? Mine doesn't do personal attacks, not like that Tory Liz Kendall. — @corbynjokes (@corbynjokes) August 12, 2015
7. But don’t be offensive
Always be topical. Always be honest. But that doesn’t mean you need to be a dick. Respect people’s differences, and respect your audience above all. If you think it might be too soon, then it’s probably TOO SOON. If you’re unsure about your content, get someone older, wiser and generally nicer to proof it. That will give you the answer you need.
Happy contenting people!