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The Secret To Online Comedy Success

September 2, 2011

When it comes to online comedy content and promotion, it’s easy to get confused and frustrated as you try to figure out how to get the most out of your creations. But, there’s a really basic trick that will help you better think through what you do online and make it more effective.

The secret is to pay attention to what you do as a consumer of comedy online, and apply that to what you create and promote.

Here’s a few questions for you to consider that will actually wind up teaching you a lot of valuable lessons about what works online.

What Do You Click?

Start paying attention to anything you click online – other people’s Facebook updates, Twitter posts, ads on websites, links people email you, etc. You’re likely bombarded with hundreds of different opportunities to click something every day, but there’s probably only a small percentage that you actually click.

So what is it about the things that you click that compels you to do so?

When you pay attention to what you click, you’ll learn a lot about what it is that convinces people to view content. Maybe you click things that make you curious, maybe you click things that seem scandalous, maybe you click things from people you trust, maybe you only click things from people you know. There’s a lot of different variables, but you’ll start to see some common threads amongst the things that earn your clicks.

Once you do, you can apply those same traits to the content you create and promote. Most people click things for the same reasons you do, so the more you’re able to hone in on those reasons the more success you’ll have with your own stuff.

What Do You Share?

Just like you can learn a lot from paying attention to what you click, you can also learn from paying attention to what you share through Facebook, Twitter, or email. Obviously, you don’t share everything you click – you’re likely much more selective and there’s only a couple things a day that you feel warrant being shared with your friends or followers.

The next time you decide to share something, think about why you want to share it.

What is it about that piece of content that made you want to share it with others? Does it say something about what you believe? Does it represent something you disagree with? Is it so unique or cool that you feel like you have to pass it on?

There’s lots of reasons you may share something and again, those reasons are the same reasons that other people share content. The better you understand why you share what you share, the easier it will be for you to create your own content that other people will want to share.

What Do You Buy?

If you’re actually going to spend your hard-earned money on something, the chances are you’ve thought about the purchase and the value it provides to you. But have you ever applied that same theory to the products you try to sell?

Too often I see comedians trying to sell products that they themselves would never buy – that’s not a good formula for success.

For example, yesterday on the Connected Comedy Facebook page I asked readers how many comedy albums they bought in the past year and the vast majority of the answers were that they had bought less than 3 albums. And most of the albums bought were from older comics like Mitch Hedberg and Bill Hicks.

Plus, these responses came from an audience of mostly comedians who love the artform and who would probably be more likely to buy albums than the typical person.

So, the majority of comedians are really not buying comedy albums, but I’m guessing that most of the people who responded have produced and tried to sell their own album at some point. My guess is that they’re doing it because they think that’s just what you do, but in reality they’re spending time, effort, and money on a product that they probably wouldn’t even buy themselves.

I’m not saying there’s anything wrong with trying to sell albums, but I do think it’s worth really thinking about what you spend your money on and trying to create merchandise or products that you would likely buy yourself.

As you can see, the more you consider what you do as a consumer of comedy, the more you can learn how to be successful as a producer of comedy.

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