How to Make Money With Memes

How to Make Money With Memes


Every year without fail we’re flooded with memes (those images, videos and texts that go viral). Think Grumpy Cat, condescending Willy Wonka, “Keep Calm and…”, Harlem Shake, the list goes on. And with millions of shares on social media in very short spaces of time (Harlem Shake achieved one billion in 40 days) memes can be powerful marketing tools with massive ROI.

Keep calm and carry on meme

Related: Grumpy Cat and the Thriving Cat Meme Marketplace

And the best thing about them – they don’t need to cost a lot. The original Harlem Shake video was shot in a dorm room on a smartphone

Get your timing right

Whether it’s new or you’re meme-jacking (that’s a real thing), trend watching is key. Be authentic. Don’t leap on to meme bandwagons just to increase sales, you’ll alienate your target market. Use memes aligned with your target market, deploy the human element, and push humorous and fun content – advertising is secondary.

Be creative. When jumping on a meme bandwagon, be different enough to draw attention, but don’t move too far away from the original. Also, don’t try too hard, that’s just lame.

Grumpy Cat

Happiness quote from grumpy cat






With her own Christmas movie in the making, Grumpy Cat is one rich kitty. The iconic feline is estimated to be making anywhere from $2,200 to $18,900 from her YouTube channel alone.

Tracy Lee Nicol
Tracy-Lee Nicol is an experienced business writer and magazine editor. She was awarded a Masters degree with distinction from Rhodes university in 2010, and in the time since has honed her business acumen and writing skills profiling some of South Africa's most successful entrepreneurs, CEOs, franchisees and franchisors.Find her on Google+.