Making Money from Jokes
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.
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.