Comedy Writing Gigs Part 7

I posted this weeks ago and it didn’t post. . so here you go!

And now for some more ways to find writing gigs,

and while I can’t help you get on a TV staff for a sitcom, I can give you some ideas for other places to find these writing gigs.

Calling people.

Yes, sometimes you need to pick up the phone – but make it quick! Call, or if you have to then send an email, to the group directly. I’m telling you, calling works for all sorts of things. . .go to the greeting card companies directly, contact the author of cartoon strips, contact people in charge of awards shows, contact companies that might need humor. And while I’ve never needed to call people re: joke writing, I have called thousands of people regarding booking me as a keynote speaker at their convention. The trick is, do not, and I repeat, do not try to sell your services over the phone in a cold call. No one likes getting interrupted for a sales call. What they don’t mind getting interrupted for is if you are wanting quick information.

So, make the call last under

45 seconds. . .just ask them something like. . . “how do I submit comedy material to your organization/cartoon strip/whatever. Even if you think you know what they’re going to say (“send me an email’), what you’re really trying to do is make a quick connection with them, so that maybe they’ll actually read your email. And of course, know something about them and/or their company and be ready if they actually want to chat. . .they won’t, but ya never know. Don’t be afraid to contact famous comedians either. . . if they’re on TV a lot, they are chewing up material. You won’t reach the actual comedian, but if your pitch is personal and sincere, then they will get your message.

Which brings me to. . .

network with people. I mentioned the National Speakers Association. They have a national conference in July – check it out! This is where hundreds of professional speakers get together to learn their trade. You can go to it to network and/or maybe even offer up a seminar on comedy writing. And each state and local chapter has meetings too! Go to their monthly meetings and network, and again, maybe speak at it. I also mentioned networking at comedy clubs. . . do that!

Do a lot of writing so people

notice you. The more I write, the more I get noticed and asked to write more. There are a gazillion places that you can post articles on the web. . .research a few and post an article on comedy writing. There are also writing competitions – research those and get noticed. I think Warner Brothers had something like that. . .but I’m sure there are many others.

And contact

magazine for some of the associations I mentioned. You can do a piece on humor writing and get noticed by all the people who read that magazine. . . make sure it’s funny and you get to include your contact info. They might even pay you for that!

In the next and last installment. . . money issues!

Have a great weekend!


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

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