Comedy Writing Gigs part 6

So you’re ready to write comedy AND

make money at it? You’ve got your joke writing samples, some ideas for who to write comedy for, but where do you actually find people who will pay for jokes! Here’s some ideas.. .

First off. . the internet. OBVIOUSLY you need to have a

website. . .I get many, many hits on my website. I’ve got my writing samples up there, a few quotes from happy clients (don’t forget to get those!), a little bit about me, resources – namely my humor writing book “Finding the Funny Fast – How to Create Quick Humor to Connect with Clients, Coworkers and Crowds,” and my joke writing “rules” if someone wants to hire me. I have all of this optimized for search engines and it seems to work. You can also do a blog, such as what I’m doing now, so you can show people that you actually write jokes. And of course Facebook and all the others social media things . .. do as much as you can. Most of my joke writing inquiries now come to me because of these activities. But it wasn’t always like that. Here’s other things I’ve done to get joke-writing clients.

keynote speakers travel

comedy and travel go hand in hand

I mentioned that you should write for speakers. A few ways I’ve reached these people are:

1. the National Speakers Association (NSA). Many speakers, including up and coming speakers, join this association so they can get better at speaking. There are also have NSA state chapters. I once contacted each state chapter to find out if they sold their mailing list and/took ads in their local magazine. Many, not all, did one or both, so I spent a little $ and put ads in newsletters and got some great results. Check out the national group and the state chapter by googling them.

2. I’ve also watched speakers at conferences and then

contacted them later to introduce myself and ask if they’d like some jokes. Be careful that you don’t imply that their speech isn’t funny already. I had the luxury of already being booked at the conference, so I could just look on the agenda and see who else is speaking. . . you may have to google some conferences or associations and do a little research into who is the keynote speaker, and then google them and introduce yourself. If you start with a catchy subject line, and have a link to your website, then you’ll probably grab their attention.

3. – this is a great online tip ezine in which

professional speakers trade tips with other professional speakers. I’ve taken out ads on there and offered my own tips. Don’t spam people, but you can do an ad or a tip that will get you noticed. It’s a free ezine to subscribe to.

Next week I’ll have more tips for finding writing gigs. . .

Have a great weekend!


Jan’s funny main website – click this link!

Comedy Writing Gigs part 5. . .

Writing comedy for

keynote speakers and other speaker people at conventions, as mentioned in last week’s post, is a GREAT way to get some paying gigs. One other group that can use humor, that is often overlooked, is the average joe who has to get up and speak maybe a few times or only once in their life. I’ve written jokes for CEOs to kick off an company event, doctors who have to talk at fundraisers, and best men who have to give the best man speech at a wedding.

funny statues give you jokes

humor at conferences is all around you

I’ve also written humor for

products, like embarrassing products that want to change their image. I once wrote jokes for a wart removal product because they wanted to make people feel comfortable buying their product, and they realized that humor was a great way to do that. I’ve also written for food product companies that want to make their food product stand out. And I’ve written for people who are doing training for other companies. I’ve written for accountants who want to make their services sound funnier, and I’ve written for realtors who want to make their marketing letters stand out to their clients.

Which brings me to other professions. . .

sales people, marketing people, and many other types of jobs that require customer service, can use humor. . .

And then there are

books. Yes I’ve written jokes for people to put in their books. And now that self-publishing is so huge, it’s easy to write a book. BUT not so easy to write the humor in the book, which means there’s a ripe market for your jokes.

Syndicated cartoon strips.

Another great place for selling jokes, and the jokes are needed daily! Some, not all, cartoonists are in need of funny material. Get to know some cartoon strips, find out the ones that resonate with your humor!

Greeting cards.

I’ve found these to be the hardest form of joke writing. I have sold to them, but they usually want a general-but-specific card. . .like a mothers day joke for mothers of any ages with kids of any ages. So you’re trying to be broad but specific with the jokes.

Awards shows. . .and not just the Oscars.

There are dozens of esoteric awards shows out there. . .I’ve written jokes for one that you have probably never heard of. . . who cares! The Golden Globes might be out of your reach, but other awards shows are not.

And last, but certainly not least,

the comedy writing gigs that most people think about are late night TV and sitcoms. I have written for late-night TV, back when I could fax in my jokes. I doubt they use fax machines anymore, but they probably use freelancers. Just know that getting in the door to these groups can be very, very tough. . .and you usually need lots of experience under your belt. BUT if it’s what you want to do, then go for it!

But how do you FIND these comedy writing gigs? That’s for next week’s blog. Have a great weekend. . .


Jan’s keynote and humor website

Comedy Writing Gigs part 4

Comedy writing gigs are

all over the place IF you look outside the box! Most comedy writers only think of the obvious people (i.e. comedians and entertainers), places (late night TV and sitcoms), and things. . . but there are other people, places and things that use humor too. My first stop would be:

Professional speakers.

People who speak at conferences and conventions are ripe for buying jokes because they are usually good at content, but not at funny. They know how to tell you about making widgets. . .but many times the information, while good, is BORING. Now there are 2 main types of convention speakers.

The first is the

Keynote speaker (also called Plenary Speaker). . . they are the one who addresses the entire conference at once. Many times these are motivational speakers and while they are good at motivational stories and some funny stories about their kids, sometimes they aren’t that funny. And they are easy to write for because they usually have their keynote in a word document. . .so you can work with that! As opposed to other people, like comedians, who may just have a subject, relationships or cats, and they want you to write on that subject – much harder because it’s so broad. They also make the bigger paychecks, so they have $ to pay someone for jokes. I’ve written for several keynote speakers and I really enjoy it. If their topic isn’t too close to mine, then I don’t have a problem with it.

Keynotes send me all over the place

Keynote speaking at a great city in Montana!

The second group of convention or conference speakers are called

breakout speakers. They do the breakout sessions that are in between the keynotes and the luncheons and the parties. They do the more esoteric topics that really drill down and appeal to conference attendees. They don’t usually make the big bucks, but they still need jokes. Many of them are new to speaking too. . .which means they may not be getting paid much for the breakout session, because they have another job that actually pays the bills. They can do 1-2 hours at a breakout session, and trust me, that’s a long time if it’s not funny.

There’s actually a third group of people at conferences who can

also use funny material. . .vendors! These are the people who staff exhibit booths in the exhibit hall. They are usually sales people and many times they are also the sponsor at the event. Soooo, not only can they use jokes in their sales pitches, BUT they can also use jokes in their spiels for the sponsorships they do.

These are 3 big groups

who can use humor and there are thousands of conferences. Tap into this market and you can make some serious comedy writing money.

Part 5 coming up. . .more comedy writing opportunities.

Have a great week!


Jan’s keynote and comedy website


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