This post contains affiliate links. Read the full disclosure here
If you are always on the internet or social media like Facebook, chances are, you’ve noticed those images with humorous captions, a.k.a. memes. I know memes have become a permanent fixture on the internet nowadays. They are hilarious, thought-provoking, philosophical, even controversial. And I bet you did not think that you could make money with memes, right?
Well, think again. Making money with memes is possible, so if you’re wondering how to do it, just read on.
What is a meme?
A meme is a captioned photo or video that connects people through social media with its culturally-relevant message. According to SproutSocial, memes have become a significant aspect of viral marketing. Memes are often posted and distributed on social media to elicit humor.
But memes aren’t just made or distributed for fun. Even brands use memes to share fun content, showcase personality, and increase engagement with the audience. So, while most of us consume memes for a good laugh, it’s safe to say that some people have found ways to make money from memes.
How To Create Profitable Memes
Before we go into a detailed discussion on making money with memes, I believe it’s essential first to understand how to create profitable memes. Since this post’s goal is to shed light on monetizing memes, it is crucial to go beyond our appreciation of memes as something funny or thought-provoking.
Build a social media following
If you are in the market for creating income-generating memes, it is essential to understand the role of social media in the entire process. As we all know, memes reside in social media. You can think of a meme as a family member living under the roof of social media.
Now, without a solid roof, memes can’t thrive and go viral. That’s why I believe it is crucial to growing your social media following so that your memes can reach an even broader audience. Thankfully, social media has made it easy to share and retweet memes with a single click.
Create or post memes that resonate with your audience
Although it’s possible to create memes about anything under the sun, it is wise to pick a niche and create memes around it. Your niche will also determine the kind of audience you wish to attract. For instance, memes on parenting will attract parents, while memes of cats will attract cat-owners. If you create and post memes on engineering, for example, an audience consisting of cat owners couldn’t be bothered.
With that said, can you imagine the kind of conversation or engagement cat memes create among cat-owners? Yes, the right kind of content will foster a healthier conversation and engagement with the right kind of audience.
Protect your memes
Memes get shared a lot on social media. In fact, the number of shares is one of the indications of virality. However, if you’ve come up with the idea and posted an original meme, you want to watermark it with your social media account to ensure its ownership. This way, even if people try to steal your meme or keep reposting it, your social media account still gets the credit.
5 Legit Ways To Make Money With Memes
1. Set up a meme-focused Instagram page
One of the best places to market and make money from memes is Instagram. But the question is: how to make money with memes on Instagram?
As memes are graphic-based, and Instagram is largely a visual platform, putting the two together makes an ideal combination. The goal of creating a meme Instagram page is to grow it to an influencer level.
So, the more fans and followers your meme page has, the more brands will notice you. You can offer to advertise their brands on your page for a fee. Or, they may directly seek you out and request an advertisement. Either way, this is how you make money with a meme page on Instagram. Each sponsored post commands a price, and the more followers you have, the healthier it is for your pockets.
But brands don’t just seek advertisements from random meme accounts. At the very least, you and the brand should share a target audience. If you’d like to make money posting memes on Instagram, I suggest checking out the pages of these top-earners for inspiration: epicfunnypage, fuckjerry and girlwithnojob.
Interested in making money on Instagram? Check out post 9 Instagram Business Ideas: How to Make Money on Instagram!
2. Create memes for brands
Brands are catching up with the times, and they have come to understand that memes are instrumental in their overall marketing efforts. Take a look at Gucci, for example. This famous luxury brand launched its own meme campaign on Instagram #TFWGucci or “That Feel When Gucci.”
Gucci partnered with some of the best meme creators in the industry, including Sebastian Thibbie Matheson, who was paid a healthy sum of $2,000 for his work. This only means that even the biggest brands have come to appreciate memes as part of their new campaigns, and they’re willing to shell out a good amount for the right meme creators.
While you might not get to this level right away, I only wish to re-emphasize that it’s highly possible to make a living from making memes.
3. Land meme creator jobs on Fiverr
If creating memes to Gucci’s level is too far out of reach right now, you can sell memes on Fiverr. Small and medium-sized businesses often outsource their marketing needs to Fiverr and similar platforms to save on costs. And you can make money creating memes for these businesses.
Such a set-up can play to your advantage. You can sign up on Fiverr for free, create a profile and start selling your meme creator services. It helps to have a portfolio ready to show to potential clients. From here, you can land continuous or project-based jobs and make money from memes.
4. Craft and sell meme-based products
Memes have become a familiar fixture in our lives. But those who know how to make money off memes know that their options are not confined to their computers. Instead, they take inspiration from their memes, create a physical product, and then sell such products.
If you’ve already established a meme Instagram account, check out which of the memes have gotten the most engagement. Take that meme and fashion it into a real product. If you want some inspiration, take a look at the nut button meme success story. Two recent college grads were inspired by the popular nut button meme on the internet and decided to create a real-life nut button. They have raked in over $200,000 in sales!
Where you can sell your meme-based products? In a lot of places!
- Instagram business account – if you’ve already activated your Instagram into a business account, you can turn the platform into a shopping site.
- Etsy – list your meme merch on Etsy as you would any other product. Make sure to pepper the description with SEO keywords to increase visibility.
- Your own website – you can create your own shopping website and upload your products there. To increase visibility, link your website in all your meme social media pages. Set up your own website for only $2.75 per month here. I also have an easy step-by-step tutorial on how to set up your own website with Hostgator here.
- Online marketplaces – you can also sell your products on Facebook Marketplace, eBay, Craigslist and Poshmark.
5. Design memes for a POD business
If you don’t want to deal with the physical logistics of creating and selling a physical product, you can still earn money from memes through a print-on-demand business. The POD business model has risen in popularity over the last few years, and you can make money off memes by designing them.
There are tons of POD platforms that are already integrated with Shopify, such as Printful, Printify, and Teelaunch. The advantage of working on such platforms is that all you ever have to do is come up with brilliant memes and list them up on these platforms. When someone wants to have a shirt done with your meme design, the platform takes over. You won’t have to stress about manufacturing, shipping, and customer service.
Make Money From Memes: Are You Ready for This Gig?
Making money with memes is indeed possible. If this is something that you enjoy doing and you are great at, I highly recommend giving this gig a try! You don’t need a lot to get started anyway, and it is extremely flexible. In fact, you can even create your memes through free graphic design platforms like Canva. You can even do this gig in your spare time and from home or anywhere you are in the world.
Do you have more tips to add on how to make money with memes? We would love to hear from you in the comments.