Does Fit Blogging have to be serious? According to the panel, the answer is a resounding NO!
From the satire of Jack Sh*t, the raw honesty of Operation Shrink Charlie’s Big Butt, or the snark of MrsFatass, each participant on this panel has their own way of using humor to share their story. This session will deal with keeping ideas fresh, finding inspiration, and allowing even the most serious of messages to come through with a laugh.
After a few introductory remarks by the panel, they responded to questions from the moderator and the audience.
Q: Are you funny in real life?
Charlie says she guesses so. Not a good Twitter person but is on Facebook.
Jack says he thinks he’s funny.
Q: When you started your blog, was it a choice to be funny? Did you set out to write a funny blog?
Charlie says she did. She was depressed and needed the humor to make herself feel better. Her blog has evolved and not every post is funny.
Jack says his didn’t start off as a funny blog. He saw other people’s blogs and was mimicking what he was reading. But after an unexpected weight gain, he used he “real” voice and blogged with humor.
Sue said she uses humor as a protective mechanism.
Q: When you are a funny blogger, is it difficult to connect with readers?
Charlie says it’s hard when you’re a humorous blogger. Things you find funny in everyday life may not be appreciated by everyone.
Sue said she has offended people on Twitter and has unintentionally offended other people. Humor has helped her make connections with people, make people laugh and enable people to relate to her.
Q: What happens when you have a serious moment and need help?
Charlie says when she has a serious moment her support system comes out and surrounds her. She says the outpouring of the fitness community is amazing.
Jack said his readers are good about knowing when he’s being funny or serious. He says it’s all about support. He tries to keep his blog posts interesting for himself. He tries to keep it real on some level and keep engaged in what he’s doing.
Sue says she aims to be authentic and always tells the truth. She writes dialogue, not jokes, so she was surprised when people said she was funny.
Charlie gets jealous when people are funnier than she is. But she loves the banter from audiences.
Sue says she gets “out-funnied” in her own house.
Q: How to you balance writing about family and friends?
Sue says she doesn’t really have a filter but she does try to keep some anonymity for her family.
Charlie has started a blog with her son, to keep track of her son’s experiences. She doesn’t use real names or school names to protect her family from harm.
Jack keeps the spirit of what really happened but tries not to go into too much detail.
Q: Do you use humor to grow your following?
Jack says you have to be real. If you’re funny it will come out. He engages with lively blogs where he can really get a sense of the person. If you have humor in your bag, use it.
Charlie finds the greatest benefit is when other people share her stories with their friends. The key is getting people to laugh and share you, on Facebook and Twitter. She said, “feel free to pimp me out to Facebook and Twitter.”
Q: How do you get your message across while being funny?
Jack said you don’t want to lose your message. You need to get your point across.
Sue said she likes to tell stories that are funny. She sketches out what she wants to touch on in her blog posts so she doesn’t lose her point.
Q: Where do you get your inspiration?
Charlie watches a lot of “Family Guy.” She said she tries hard to keep laughing at home, with her family. No matter what happens or what she writes about, she has a connection with her husband and she knows it’s ok to laugh about things.
Everything goes through the Jack Sh*t filter, which is how his brain works – seeing normal things in a skewed way.
Sue is always watching and listening, and filing things away for later. She’s writing a screenplay and takes extra time to listen and observe. She gets inspiration from all of the people around her.
Q: Where do you draw the line between fact and fiction? Is there an integrity issue?
Jack tries to pull from real life. He said a lot of blogs have the same information, but told in different ways. He loses interest and wants to see things from a different angle. He’s very serious about what he does, and about weight loss and health.
Sue stays true to the spirit of a conversation, but may change the order of things to make it more interesting. She said she’s not a reporter, she’s a storyteller.
Q: What are some of the blogs that you find funny?
Sue: Dooce. Her honesty stood out.
Jack: There’s a lot of blogs that have funny days.
Charlie: Results Not Typical Girl. (Kirsten) RNTGirl on Twitter.
Q: Editing Process and Filtering
Jack spends a lot of time on shortening his posts.
Sue said her humor comes from a place of honesty.
Charlie reminds us to think about people who are reading your blog. Be aware of that. It’s time-consuming but worth it.
Q: Did you ever have a funny blog post that fell flat?
Jack: A parody of Edgar Allen Poe’s “The Raven.” Posted on a Saturday so he didn’t get many comments. He was devastated by the lack of interest.
Sue started blogging 7 days a week. Made mistakes of posting on weekends.
Charlie – lost a few followers on a post that she thought was hysterical – about a female-related issue. She likes to blog about things that women don’t like to talk about.
Question about strategy
Charlie and Jack – post every day around the same time
Sue does strategize. If something needs to be seen she posts it on big hit days. She tries to post at least 5 days a week to continue to build a following. She posts at the same time every morning to be consistent.
Jack may set up his posts a few weeks ahead of time. Sometimes he writes a bunch of posts in the same night.
Question: Do you edit – for possible working with brands
Charlie doesn’t edit. She will not compromise for a brand.
Sue doesn’t affiliate with any companies. She had a few giveaways but only for things that spoke to her. She’s very protective of her space.
Question: What’s on the horizon for the panel members?
Charlie is working on a *personal* project. ; )
Jack doesn’t have a grand master plan. He enjoys doing what he’s doing. He sees opportunity on the horizon and said it’s interesting to make this journey, and share it, with like-minded individuals.
Sue is writing a screenplay – bringing Mrs. Fatass to the big screen!
This session was captured by Vicki of GetHealthyFromtheInside,Out!