Okay, so it’s obvious you’re funny. But let’s face it: transferring your bubbly personality to a blog post is tricky.
Erma wasn’t funny because she burnt toast — everyone burns toast. She’s funny because of the truths, surprises and irony she carried throughout the story. Her writing is timeless.
Readers today are so . . . challenged? Sluggish? Too distracted by Duck Dynasty?
Anymore, readers don’t have the attention span to read every detail of your 26-hour laundry disaster. In blog writing, use a word max to help you revise and revise until you don’t just have a story, you have a tightly crafted joke in story form.
To capture and keep their attention, try these five tricks:
1. Keep your posts under 300 words.
2. Use short choppy sentences.
3. Use short paragraphs (one sentence is sometimes plenty).
4. Think of your post as a joke. Every element of your post should be working toward that punch line at the end. If you don’t have a punch line, rewrite until you do.
5. In crafting the punch line for your post, always go back to your intro and find a way to bring it all together.
Thanks to the interwebs, we can all channel our inner Erma. And although there will only ever be one Erma, there is also only one you. So use that hilarious voice of yours to bring more laughter into the world, one short blog post at a time!
— Polly Scott
Inspired by the 2012 Erma Bombeck Writers’ Workshop, Polly Scott wrote and published a book, Forget About Grammar: How to Write a Better Blog Post. She teaches an online writing course and writes a humor blog, Coming to Grips.