We know that social media is the primary way to attract new readers and keep your blog top of mind. We also know that cats saying silly misspelled things get way more shares and likes and retweets than a heartfelt, well-worded 2,000 word blog post will ever experience. So what’s a blogger to do? Join the meme game!
First things first, what IS a meme, anyway? According to Merriam-Webster, it’s “an amusing or interesting item (such as a captioned picture or video) or genre of items that is spread widely online especially through social media.” According to the Urban Dictionary, it’s “a virus of the mind especially contagious to children and the impressionable.” You can choose the definition you prefer.
They actually pre-date the modern Internet, as British scientist Richard Dawkins coined the term in 1976. “Memes propagate themselves in the meme pool by leaping from brain to brain via a process which, in the broad sense, can be called imitation.” But with Facebook, Snapchat and Instagram around, brain-to-brain transmission is moving at light speed these days.
What makes a meme?
“The origins of memes are a mixed bag,” according to sparks & honey. “Many times a meme is a remixed version of an innocuously shared personal photo. Other times a meme uses a still from a video –– anything from a “New New Hollywood” YouTube sensation to a decade old Bjork music video. Where a meme comes from seems to be irrelevant, as long as it possess a specific voice. In particular, it needs a specific voice that can be properly developed and expanded upon by other users as they remix and recreate.”
So that means you need to find that killer image that sums up the emotion you want to convey, be it confusion, enjoyment, sadness… and it is hopefully being conveyed by a celebrity or an animal.
Armed with your pic, it’s time to think about the text. You’re a blogger, so this should be the easy part! It needs to be short and sweet so that it fits on the picture without covering everything up AND holds people’s attention long enough to get to the end before they scroll or swipe on by.
Actually making that meme
If you’ve got the image and the text, putting them together is simple. Unlike an infographic or logo, memes are rough around the edges by default, so you don’t need to spend much time at all making it look pretty.
There are plenty of sites and tools out there that let you make one quickly, so you can craft, create and share while the mood is fresh. Here are a few you try out:
Now you’re ready to make some memes and boost your social profile!