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Get Paid for Your Jokes: Legit Ways to Earn From Humor

Do you love making people laugh? Do people describe you as witty or funny? Why not use your sense of humor to earn some cash and get paid for your jokes?

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Your comedic skills partnered with writing skills can earn you some cash by writing and sharing your funny stories, one-liners, and other hilarious jokes with the world.

There are a few ways to do this, so here’s where to begin!

Websites That Will Pay You for Your Jokes and Other Humorous Writings

I mentioned a few of the sites that pay you to write funny in my massive writing gig post, but if you really want to dig deep and turn your humor into a real-money-paying “funny business,”  then this list of websites could help you get started.

1. Funds for Writers ($60 per accepted article)

If you have funny stories about being a freelance writer (or even not-so-funny ones), you can share your story or wisdom with other freelancers.

Funds for Writers like story pieces with “a dash of humor,” “a positive note,” and “a happy ending.”

All submissions should be submitted through email hope[at]chopeclark[dot]com. Payment is through PayPal or Venmo.

2. Cracked ($100 to $250 per accepted feature article)

Although the print mag retired in 2007, the web version is still alive and well.

They often accept Pictofact and Photoplasty submissions from contributors, but you can also pitch feature articles to them by emailing Cyriaque Lamar at workshop[at]cracked[dot]com. Accepted articles pay between $100 to $250 based on the length and the number of articles you submit.

3. The Funny Times ($75 per accepted story)

Ray Lesser and Susan Wolpert, the duo behind this 35+year-old magazine, call themselves “publishers and troublemakers.”

Story submissions can be about anything under the sun: from food to pets to death to religion and even politics and relationships. The duo says “Not much is off limits, so do your best to make us laugh.” Stories should be about 500 to 700 words.

4. Writer’s Digest (pays 30 to 50 cents per word)

This writer resource is pretty popular, which means it can be a challenge to get published here.

Target the section of this magazine called “Inkwell,” which is the lead story that kicks off the magazine. If you’re lucky to get a spot with hundreds of competition, you’ll get paid for one-time print use and electronic publishing in perpetuity. If they ever have to reprint your article, you’ll get paid 25% of the original fee you received for each reprint.

5. The Imperfect Parent (starts at $25 per accepted story)

For parents with funny stories about their kids, parenting, and family life in general, this website accepts the stories that focus on the lighter side of parenting.

Editor Preston Carlson recommends taking a shot at “Parody, humorous takes on parenting, satire, an ‘open letter.’ Take your pick.”

6. (Payment varies)

This is another parenting site, but unlike the one before it, is a bit more “personal” and accepts essays written in the first person.

Submissions should be around 700 to 900 words, focusing on motherhood.

7. Reader’s Digest ($25 to $100 per assignment)

You can submit quotes, jokes, gags, or funny stories and become a part of the history of this 1920-launched magazine.

8. Chicken Soup for the Soul ($200 per story)

This publication is known for heartwarming stories, but it also accepts hilarious real-life stories and funny poems.

The maximum word count is 1,200 words.

If your submission gets chosen, you’ll also receive 10 free copies of the book where your work is published.

9. Saturday Evening Post (Payment varies)

Launched in 1897, the Saturday Evening Post has been publishing its magazine for decades.

If you’re sharing something funny, email your submission as a Microsoft Word, RTF, or PDF attachment to editors[at]saturdayeveningpost[dot]com and indicate “Attn: The Lighter Side” on the subject line.

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10. The New Yorker (Payment varies)

If you have a knack of writing satire and fiction, The New Yorker will love you for your submission.

You’ll have an amazing audience if your work is accepted, so make sure to follow Daily Shouts for more guidelines.

11. Weekly Humorist ($20 per accepted article)

This satire magazine accepts pieces 1,500 words or less.

The articles can be in list form, open letters, topical, absurdist, fake-news blurbs, and so on.

12. The Offing ($25 to $100 per submission)

If you have a funny poem, story, or joke, this literary magazine accepts humorous pieces for the humor section called “Wit Tea.”

Note that each website has its own voice and writing guidelines.

If you’re a fan of the site, you’re probably aware of the content style by now. If not, make sure to backread and familiarize yourself with their articles.

Sometimes, no writing opportunity will be posted, but if you send a pitch and your idea is pretty unique and match their style, you can be given a lot in upcoming issues.

13. The Rumpus: Funny Women column (Payment varies)

The Rumpus is an online magazine that is a place for budding writers to share their work. Funny Women is a column in this magazine especially for woman or non-binary writers.

Submit your evergreen pieces with short conceptual humor (650 to 1,000 words) and get paid between $10 to $25 depending on the length and quality of the piece.

14. Functionally Dead ($50 per accepted submission)

Functionally Dead is a left-leaning culture and comedy zine. If your humor fits the zine, email your pitches to functionallydead[at]gmail[dot]com with “Submission” in the subject line.

15. Hard Money ($30 per published article)

More satire? Hard Money is a financial news satire website. Their editor-in-chief looks at pitches (5 pitches max per submission) and will get back to you if they’re interested. When you write the article and it gets published, you’ll get paid.

16. Sasee Magazine (Payment varies)

Based in South Carolina, Sasee Magazine is a women’s lifestyle magazine constantly on the lookout for non-fiction content from freelance contributors on topics relevant to women, including humor and satire.

Email submissions in plain text format to editor[at]sasee[dot]com and include the month(s) of consideration in the subject line.

17. McSweeney’s Internet Tendency (Payment varies)

McSweeney’s Internet Tendency has been publishing comedy and satire article submissions for the past two decades. Submit your piece to websubmissions[at]mcsweeneys[dot]net and wait to hear back from their editor.

Other Ways to Get Paid for Your Jokes

Writing for these websites, as you’ll soon find out, is good for side cash and some publicity.

But unless you get hired as a full-time staff writer, it’s extremely difficult to turn this into a regular income.

Maximize your earnings by dipping into other niches:

Join humor writing contests. Winning a humor writing contest can earn you a significant amount of cash. For instance, the Slackjaw Humor Writing Challenge 2021 had a grand prize of $1,000.

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Aside from the cash, it’s your chance to get publicity, as well as feedback for your jokes from comedy fans and writers.

Sell your jokes to greeting card companies. Several greeting card companies that pay for submissions accept jokes and funny rhymes to include in one of their cards.

Write jokes for established comedians. You’ll need to know a comedian personally or have a connection to them. You can negotiate for a pay rate per joke, or have them buy a set of jokes that fit a theme or a specific topic.

This is a great training ground if you’re aiming for a career as a stand-up comedian so you can find out if your jokes are landing with a live audience or not.

Write jokes for a comedy show or sitcom. This is not an easy gig to land, but if you have the right connections in a network or a streaming media company, writing one-off jokes can be your foot in the door to a comedy writing career.

Create a comedy comic strip. Even if you don’t have the drawing skills, you can still write a comic strip. Partner with an artist with whom you connect mentally and can take your vision from mind to paper (or screen).

Stand-up Comedy, Pranks, and Skits on YouTube

If writing jokes in the shadows isn’t your cup of tea, consider going the traditional route of becoming a comedian.

Norm Macdonald, Jim Carrey, Kevin Hart, Jerry Seinfeld, Bill Burr, Dave Chappelle, and many other popular comedians spent years performing in obscure comedy clubs in far-flung places before they got their shot to stardom through Comedy Central or Saturday Night Live.

However, the internet has made it possible to reach an audience even from the comforts of your own home. Just look at celebrity impersonator ShaneDawsonTV, parody songwriter/performer Bart Baker, skit-comedian Nigahiga, and other famous people who shared their humor via YouTube and made bank.

Start Your Own Humor Empire

You can mix and match all the methods of making money with being funny.

For instance, while doing stand-up at local bars and doing your fair share of real-world experience, you maintain a YouTube blog to showcase your other jokes.

If performing isn’t your thing, you can submit as many funny stories as you can with third-party websites. While doing this, you can build your own website, share your ideas there, and hopefully attract a following.

Comedians like Gabriel “Fluffy” Iglesias has done stand-up, TV sitcoms, hosted a comedy series, lent his voice to several animated characters for different films, and even landed his own shows on Fuse and most recently on Netflix.

The funnyman even has his own merch: he was the first stand-up comedian to have and sell out his own Funko Pop!

Are You Ready to Get Paid for Your Jokes?

The cool thing about having a good sense of humor is that there are unlimited opportunities available for you these days. You can choose to write jokes for a living, perform, or do both.

Whichever route you decide to take, isn’t it awesome to be paid real cash for spreading laughter and bringing good vibes to the world?

Have you tried to get paid for your jokes to one of the websites we listed? Are you inspired to work toward a career in comedy? Share it with us in the comments!