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Making Money from Jokes

Updated on October 18, 2009

Laughing all the way to the bank!

Heard a good joke lately? Or perhaps you've come up with a new one or added a twist to an old one. You've retold a jokes to family, friends or workmates and have been rewarded with a hearty laugh, snerk or chortle.

That joke, pun, story or one liner could be worth money to you.

You don't need to write up a collection of jokes and get it published to be rewarded for your sense of humor or the side splitting retelling of an old favorite.

You don't even need to put those jokes online on a site plastered with advertising in the hope that revenue is generated from a sale or a click.

There are magazines that send out checks with your name on it for jokes published or deemed worthy of being the pick of the bunch.

Prizes and rewards start as little as a lottery ticket or $10 up to $150. A couple of magazines will reward only the best but a lot will pay out for every joke published.

Always check out the magazine before you send jokes. Be familiar with their format and style. It would be a waste of time and money to send in, what may be regarded by the editor and therefore the readers, something that is considered too risqué, rude or lewd. On the other hand a more ribald publication might consider it too tame and lame.

You're not going to be able to retire on the money you receive but you will enjoy receiving checks in the mail and seeing your name in print. Over the last few years I have made over $2000 per year from this little side earner. Now that's two thousand dollars that I never would have seen if I had not submitted jokes to magazines. And for the small amount of time I invest in doing it, it's actually very profitable.


Funny FAQ

Where can you find jokes?
The best source for the funniest jokes is the one you've heard off a friend and laughed at. Write it down at the first available opportunity.

Other sources (other than the magazines that publish them) is joke books whether they are old or new (and the older they are the fresher they seem). Check out the book shop.

Better yet have a look through the shelves at your second hand goods store. Borrow books from the library. Or just keep an ear out for something that tickles your funny bone.

What about copyright infringement?
Jokes are a different kettle of fish. No one can actually claim ownership of a joke that spreads via word of mouth. But if you're copying the joke from a book do yourself a favor and word it differently. And change nationalities around. Stop picking on the poor Irish.

Is there anything that is inappropriate?
Blatantly racist. Anything that is more hateful than funny. Baby jokes aren't funny.

When will I see the money?
Every magazine publisher has their own system. They may pay before, or after publication. Don't fret. Chances are you will get your check eventually. And remember it's usually by check.

What if they don't pay me?
Then don't send anymore jokes. Most of the magazines I send jokes to haven't stayed in business by ripping off contributors. But then again I don't think any of them will go out of business because they overlooked a payment to someone such as myself. As long as your jokes are funny and haven't been used before or sent by someone else you'll eventually get in there. But if they do overlook the odd cheque don't crap in your own nest by ringing or writing to them with complaints.

And one other thing: don't tell them you're sending in jokes because you read this article. They definitely won't print your jokes or send you money. They want to believe that you're a devoted reader.

Can I email jokes?
Usually there's an address on the jokes page where they're asking for reader submissions. If it's an email address SCORE! No cost for paper, ink, envelope and postage stamp.

Can I send in ALL my jokes?
Pace yourself. You're not going to be more popular by spamming. It will have the opposite effect. Send in one or two jokes a week. You might have far more joke than that, but make sure the ones you send in are the best of the best. If it works out then maybe send in jokes under the name of a friend or family member. Someone with a different name and address, who have the ability to cash the check. My tip is you split the proceeds of the check with them.Otherwise they'll soon tire of cashing in checks on your behalf for your sole benefit. 50/50 is fair. Sure, they're getting money for doing practically nothing except for going out of their way to deposit the check. But remember you're making money by doing just as little. So don't be greedy.

How should I present my joke?
If you don't have the option of using a typewriter or a computer then write it VERY neatly.

Make sure your name and address is on the page and all you need after that is the joke/s. You don't need to tell them how funny it is or how much you love their magazine. Just the joke.

Will they tell me if I'm going to be published?
Probably not. The only way you'll know that you're published is if you see it with your own eyes. So that means buying the magazine every week or month. The other option is to have a browse at the newspaper stand. Sure, they probably don't like browsers but if you're going to be buying every magazine that you've sent jokes to you run the risk of it probably costing you more than you make. On the other hand if you choose your jokes appropriately and select your magazines wisely you could be making far more than you spend. And who doesn't like seeing their own name in print?

Best of luck with the jokes submissions. And remember, he who laughs last... probably didn't get the damn joke.


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    • darkside profile image

      Glen 4 years ago from Australia

      I never had anything published in Reader's Digest, and I sent plenty for a long period of time.

      The same joke should be fine, but I wouldn't send it to the same publisher. For example, if a publisher does two similar magazines. If I am sending jokes I will resend the same jokes about 6 or more months later to a different publication. But be mindful of the types of jokes you're sending. Pick the most appropriate ones for the type of audience the magazine is catering to.

    • profile image

      Philip Henderson 4 years ago

      Can you mention some of the magazines that pay in the higher range? I know Reader's Digest pays $100, but who pays more? Also, is it okay to submit the same joke to multiple publications? Thanks!

    • profile image

      Daniel Busbey 5 years ago

      The early years weren't nice at all. My siblings and I were split up when we were very young. Dad used a 15-inch machete'!

    • profile image

      Daniel Busbey 5 years ago

      My Mother was mean. She would make cupcakes and then ask me if I wanted to lick the frosting off the beaters. I'd reply by saying, "shut 'em off and I'll think about it!"

    • Anjo Bacarisas II profile image

      Anjo Bacarisas II 5 years ago from Cagayan de Oro, Philippines

      that was very useful .. very nice idea, converting a talent into money :) keep hubbing!

    • profile image

      Funnykid 5 years ago

      I had made money from it because my jokes was clever i tried to make my jokes relate to people.

    • tomretterbush profile image

      tomretterbush 6 years ago from San Antonio, TX

      Do mimes have a future in this business? They can be pretty funny.

    • profile image

      lenny gray 6 years ago

      i have invented a hilarius gag witch you hang on unsuspecting person and funny just aint the word. i am looking for help in finding who to contact to get it marketed in know its got to be worth $$$$$$ every one who sees it in action nearly falls over with laughter.

    • soozeqsh profile image

      soozeqsh 6 years ago from Boyertown, PA

      I like it - to the point, interesting and funny too. I'm not much of a joke teller, but you obviously are. Nice read.

    • profile image

      internetnewbie 7 years ago

      Thanks for the interesting hub. This is the first time I read about this idea. Laughter is really the best medicine...

    • electricsky profile image

      electricsky 7 years ago from North Georgia

      Quite interesting and useful hub - thanks for the laugh!

    • akirchner profile image

      Audrey Kirchner 8 years ago from Central Oregon

      Great hub - nothing like laughter to get us through the day!

    • BrianS profile image

      Brian Stephens 8 years ago from Castelnaudary, France

      Now that's a funny story, I have hundreds of jokes sitting in my funny email folder that I was wondering what I should do with.

    • GoldiString profile image

      GoldiString 8 years ago

      Laughter is best medicine... for my wallet. Now i have to humor my pocket. Thanks, nice hub.

    • darkside profile image

      Glen 8 years ago from Australia

      Elvislady, no HTML is needed. Start making a hub and you'll see why. Images are uploaded, hyperlinks are as simple as highlighting the text and clicking on the chain icon (and then you put the URL in the box that pops up), all you have to do is give it a go, type up your content or better yet, write it on Notepad and save it on your hard drive and then copy and paste it into the capsules (it's always a good idea to have a back up of your textual content).

    • elvislady profile image

      elvislady 8 years ago from IONE, California in the USA

      Thanks for the Hub on making money selling jokes. I enjoyed reading it, and you inspired me to write special HUB of my own about jokes.

      Now that I am talking to you darkside, I am new here, and have a notebook I've been listing things I want to write HUBS about. I have not tried yet to write one, because in

      some places I see HTML is needed and others places say its not needed. Can you clear that up? Am I required to use HTML, for writing a HUB, or does HUB do all that for me? I would be very thankful to you, for clearing up that question. I hope the answer is not needed. Because I might abandon ship. That is why I have not published any HUBS yet. Cause I'm shy, bashful, and stupid. Thanks

    • ChristopherHowell profile image

      ChristopherHowell 8 years ago from San Diego

      Great hub, definitely never thought of this as something to make money. Definitely awesome for those with a bit of spare time on their hands...

      "So there's this irish dude walking into a bar..."


    • Gemsong profile image

      Madalain Ackley 8 years ago from Richmond, Virginia

      Really great hub. Unfortunately I have a lousy sense of humor and can't re-tell a joke to save my life. :)

    • wannabwestern profile image

      Carolyn Augustine 8 years ago from The Land of Tractors

      I don't have a funny bone. Alas!

    • marcofratelli profile image

      marcofratelli 8 years ago from Australia

      Hmm... another market worth considering. Sweet!

    • profile image

      Amazooo 8 years ago

      It's a good idea mate.

      I've never thought that we could make money by send jokes to some newspaper.

      But it's real.

    • emievil profile image

      emievil 8 years ago from Philippines

      Wow $2,000 per year? Hmmm, now who says you can't laugh while making money =). First time I've read a hub on making money through jokes. I'm actually reading this magazine where you can send an original joke for $100. Maybe I'll give it a try. Thanks DS!

    • darkside profile image

      Glen 8 years ago from Australia

      I'm talking baby jokes that involve... potato peelers and pitch forks and such.

      Magazine editors will probably draw the line somewhere.

    • thranax profile image

      Andrew 8 years ago from Rep Boston MA

      Baby Jokes aren't funny? Youtube:

      ugly baby stephen lynch

      Most of his stuff is hysterical!


    • profile image

      pgrundy 8 years ago

      Cool! I'm going to check this out. :)

    • stuart747 profile image

      stuart747 8 years ago from Colchester, Essex, UK

      Great advice, Thank you for sharing, I will look into this,

      However I think most of my jokes are a little rude

    • profile image

      cosette 8 years ago

      that's true about he who laughs last. i have woken up on more than one occasion at 2 in the morning going "ohh now i get it!". (some of the fhunniest jokes start out with "This horse walks into a bar..." :)

      very nice hub!

    • frogdropping profile image

      Andria 8 years ago

      Make money from joking around? How interesting. My mind is stuffed with jokes, my dad, more so. I'm going to call him. He could be a potential joke gold mine. I'm glad I read this Darkside - thankyou :)

    • ChloeAliceWilson profile image

      ChloeAliceWilson 8 years ago from Spain

      That sounds like a fun way to make money. I had no idea it could make any money, let alone that much. Thanks for the info.

    • JulietduPreez profile image

      JulietduPreez 8 years ago

      Great hub and info.

    • profile image

      Chris 8 years ago

      Are you Joking,Yes this is a Great Idea,I have seen Some Joke Blogs with Adsense, As The Joke may be not the Only Funny thing about the Blog.

    • profile image

      Nancy's Niche 8 years ago

      Now this is an interesting hub!!! I loved the best of luck comment...