Here’s this week’s semi-rambling look at things I’ve been thinking about, stuff comics should know about, and more food for thought for comedians.
Comedian John Roy’s Entirely Free Comedy Class – On Tumblr
For the past several weeks comedian John Roy has been rolling out what he’s dubbed his “Entirely Free Comedy Class” on his blog. I highly recommend you check it out – he’s posted six lengthy posts worth of the class so far, and you can start with the first one here.
Here’s his explanation of why he’s doing it:
“Lots of people in every major city are charging money to take a standup comedy class. While I know comedians who have benefited from such classes, the majority consensus among fellow comedians are that these are of dubious value and, even if they help with some fundamentals or with building courage and comfort on stage, neither replace the time you will have to spend in open mics nor are worth the hundreds of dollars they normally cost.
The fact remains that there is no homework in standup comedy. You may practice your jokes at home until they are very polished, but you will not know how funny they are or the proper way to time your delivery of these jokes until they encounter a live audience and you see how people who expect to laugh react to them. So, I am now teaching a comedy class. On tumblr. For free.”
How To Get Sponsors For Your Podcast
Way back in December 2011, the Earwolf podcast network posted an episode in which they interviewed David Kahn, who at the time was helping monetize and attract advertisers to Kevin Smith’s Smodcast podcast network.
In the episode, Kahn talks about how he approaches advertisers, how he sees the podcast world evolving, and the general opportunities and challenges facing podcasters from a business perspective.
Even though it’s more than a year old, it’s still very relevant and worth a listen if you have any interest in monetizing your podcast – or for that matter, any content you create online.
Meet The New TV – It’s Like The Old TV, Only Totally Different
I don’t want to say I told you so, but remember that post I wrote a couple weeks ago about why every comedian should pay attention to the new Twitter TV ratings? Well, Wired recently published a much deeper dive on the subject and breaks down the rise of “social TV” (an admittedly obnoxious term) and explains why “The Nielsen Family Is Dead.”
It’s worth a read if you have any interest in TV or ever being featured on one. And if you’re a comedian, I’m sure you have that interest.
Several years ago I saw Mitch Joel speak at the Montreal Comedy Festival and he gave a great talk that in some ways inspired what Connected Comedy would ultimately become. Mitch has an excellent marketing podcast called Six Pixels of Separation which I highly recommend, and a recent episode might be a good one for you to check out since it actually touched on comedy a little bit.
In his Media Hacks episode, Mitch is joined by several other leading marketing/social media experts for a great discussion including a bit of talk about Funny or Die, its initial struggles and recent success.
Video Podcast Network
Have you checked out the Video Podcast Network on YouTube yet? It features video versions (some animated, some not) of several popular comedy podcasts including the Adam Carolla show and the Earwolf network. It’s also an example of the development of something I wrote about way back in 2011 when I shared the 5 Reasons Your Podcast Should Include Video.
On a side note – yes, I know the irony that I wrote that piece and yet I don’t include video as part of our Connected Comedy podcast but stay tuned…that may be coming soon.
Would You Want To Read Comics’ Reviews Of Other Comics?
There’s a new online publication called The Talkhouse that features reviews of new music albums, written by other musicians. It’s a pretty interesting site that got me wondering how much of a disaster a site would be featuring comedians reviewing each other’s albums?
Get Your Marketing Nerd On With Marketing Experiments
My newest obsession (because I’m a marketing geek) is the Marketing Experiments blog, and in particular the series of videos the site produces where they review and reveal the results of various tests they run to determine things like what email subject lines work best, how best to get people to subscribe to things or purchase things, and assorted other geeky marketing conversion topics.
This is certainly not going to be for everybody, but that doesn’t mean it’s not helpful. For an example, check out this video in which they discuss the 5 easiest changes to make to your web pages to increase conversions:
“If You Get Offended By It, It’s Not For You”
I came across a Kickstarter recently that I thought many of you might want to support – it’s for a documentary called That’s Not Funny that will be “An exploration of controversial topics in comedy and an examination of recent incidents involving comedians who have crossed the line.”
You can watch the trailer below, or go here to donate to the Kickstarter to help make it happen.
Want More Stuff Like This?
If you’ve enjoyed this post, you might want to also check out The Most Annoying Thing Comics Do And More Stuff That Was On My Mind Last Week.
And Now, One More Question For You…
I’ve had a lot of people reach out to me and say they’d like to hear more success stories from comics who have tried different things in the marketing/business side of their career. So, if you’ve got anything you’ve done that you found successful and you’d like to share it with me and my readers, please shoot me an email and let me know. Thanks!