It may sound like a far-fetched idea, but you can really make money selling memes.
As a matter of fact, people have been doing it for quite a while now.
What at first began as a way to get your friends to laugh is now a creative job opportunity.
You don’t need a degree to get started and if you can think outside the box, you just might end up making more money than you thought possible.
So here are the best ways you can make money selling memes.
How To Make Money Selling Memes
Read This Before You Start
Before I discuss the best ways to profit from memes, a quick and unavoidable warning about potential copyright issues.
At this moment, most memes are published under the Fair Use doctrine in the United States.
As the laws change over time, make sure to play it safe.
Mostly this means not messing with big brands and companies unless you are fully prepared to bear the consequences.
Also, make sure everything you create is original and if you use photos, make sure they either fall under Creative Commons license or you have the authority to use them for commercial purposes.
Now that you are aware of how to play it safe, let’s look at the best ways to make money from memes.
#1. Sell Memes To Online Marketers
Memes drive traffic.
When you browse and search for dank memes, you are visiting a website.
Well, that website uses ads to monetize its content and generate revenue.
The website owner or the online marketer may have different goals in mind.
But they both want traffic.
So, creating fun and mind-blowing memes is a sought-after quality.
You can make money selling memes to online marketers and website owners in several ways:
- Contact the website owners directly
- Building a digital agency website for your services
This option takes a lot of time to find buyers of your memes, but when you do, you can make a good amount of money.
#3. Sell Stuff With Memes On It
One of the perks of creating memes is that you can gauge their effectiveness.
In other words, you get to know which ones work best.
Successful memes are viral.
So, whenever you find a virtual golden nugget, you can profit from it.
For example, by printing your memes on numerous items such as:
- Clothing (t-shirts, hoodies, sweaters, etc.)
- Accessories (shoes, umbrellas, hats, etc.)
- Consumables (phone holders and cases, seatbelt pillows, sunshades, etc.)
When you make money selling memes on stuff you create, you achieve two goals.
First, you build follower loyalty by giving your followers what they like.
And second, the landing page or e-commerce site gets free advertising
As you might know, many online services offer you to create your merchandise for free.
What they are doing is taking advantage of the second goal I listed.
So if you have some viral memes, you might consider opening up a shop on Zazzle or CafePress so you can sell your memes on a physical product like a coffee mug or t-shirt.
#4. Sell Unfinished Memes
Did you know you can make money selling memes that are not even complete?
The following tip works great for promoting collaborations.
But you can find customers eager to pay for unfinished works.
In the music industry, rappers are probably the best candidates.
Many labels and independent musicians have trouble getting their songs out.
By contrast, video memes are often gateways to spread new hits.
But in reality, memes make the hit nowadays.
Just look at what TikTok did for Roses (Imanbek Remix) by SAINt JHN.
In under a year, the official video collected more than 140 million views on YouTube alone.
Eminem released a song the previous year to very little fanfare.
But once he created a meme inspired video for it, it took off in popularity.
When contacting musicians and record labels, send some examples.
Or make a page dedicated to some of their previous songs.
Understand that the chances of you coming to an agreement to sell your meme is a long shot.
But if you are successful this way, not only do you make a lot of money, but you have your foot in the door as you can prove your success to other artists.
#5. Make Money On How To Make Memes
Another way to sell unfinished memes is to teach others the art of meme making.
Here you can simply record yourself while you are creating them.
For example, by producing a self-study course on making memes.
All over the Internet, many sites and platforms sell online courses.
Most of them offer videos. But you can sell audio courses too.
In this way, you can maximize profit and get traffic on your sites.
Popular platforms you can use to sell online courses include:
This is a great untapped option as there aren’t many great guides out there to help newcomers learn how to make memes.
#6. Repurpose Old Memes
You could argue that most people have seen the majority of memes.
But in reality, most people only see the ones that go viral.
There are many more memes that were created but never took off.
If you twist one of these memes just a little, and you get a whole new meaning out of it.
When you update the meme content with the right elements, you can make the meme relatable.
And by doing this you can possibly turn a meme that didn’t go viral into the next internet sensation.
Check out Know Your Meme for a huge database of memes to look through.
You can sort the page by popular memes, so you can easily see what is trending.
Do your research, and you will find what works and whatnot.
Finally, you can use the previous ideas for selling these new memes to customers in different niches.
#7. Make Memes For Others
If you are great at creating original memes, consider this option as a way to cash in on the trend.
Instead of trying to get one of your meme’s to go viral, you can simply create memes for others.
Sites like Fiverr have a small group of people offering this service.
This tells me that people are looking for help creating memes.
And don’t think this is anywhere as competitive as the other options listed.
With only a handful of services offered, you can quickly build a reputation and stand out from the crowd.
#8. Use Memes For Your Brand
If you have a blog or a website that sells products, you can use memes as advertisements to get traffic to your site.
It’s a great alternative to paying for Google Ads, Facebook Ads, or other promoted content on social media.
Just be certain that the meme doesn’t mislead users when they come to your site.
What I mean by this is, don’t post a funny pet meme that leads to a website that sells bullet journals.
That is unless of course the meme is about bullet journals.
This will ensure you get the best return for your money as you increase the likelihood of making a sale.
#9. Sell Sponsored Memes On Social Media
Here is a solution for anyone who wants to sell memes but isn’t interested in creating their own original content.
Partner with brands who will pay you to post their memes on your social media channels.
As long as you have an online presence with followers, you can start making money.
Most companies and managers will contact you, if you have a big YouTube channel or Instagram page with lots of followers.
If you find brands aren’t reaching out to you, you can reach out to them directly.
The money you earn doing this varies based on your following and what the brand is willing to pay.
For beginners, you are looking at $100 or so per post.
But as your profile becomes more popular and successful, you can charge thousands for a sponsored post.
#10. Post On Meme Websites
There are some websites out there dedicated to memes that you can post your own memes on.
You simply create a meme and upload it to the site.
When someone looks at your meme, an advertisement will show up on the page as well.
The meme site will pay you a portion of the revenue they earn from that ad.
So the more times your meme is viewed, the more money you make.
To make decent money here, your memes need to be popular so they are viewed.
Some users report earning hundreds of dollars doing this.
The catch though is they do not disclose how long it took them to earn this money.
#11. Sell Trendy Memes Before Others
This one takes a decent amount of work, but if you are good at this, you can cash in.
Make it a point to visit meme database websites and look through memes.
You can sort by popularity and if you see any that look like they could go viral, you make a similar meme and post it on Instagram or other social media channels.
An added benefit to this as you spend your time reviewing memes, you will be able to see any trends in what makes certain memes stand out.
You can then use these ideas in the memes you create to hopefully boost the odds of your creation going viral.
The final benefit of this strategy is if you find a popular meme that relates to your brand or products you sell, you can create a similar meme and use that as a tool for driving traffic to your site.
This gives you a better chance of creating a meme that has a higher likelihood of being popular.
#12. Make Meme Compilations
If making memes takes too much time for you, this could be the best way to make money and still be involved with memes.
Create a YouTube channel that shows compilations of memes.
There are a good number of these videos on the site and they all show ads, which is how the creator makes their income.
To make sure you aren’t violating any copyrights, stick with Creative Commons videos.
You can take portions of these videos and mash them up into your own.
Seeing as how many of these YouTube videos have millions of views, it is easy to say the creators are making decent money with this idea.
#13. Use For Affiliate Marketing
Affiliate marketing is where you promote and sell other’s products to your audience.
For every sale you make, you earn a percentage of the profits.
For example, if you sell a $100 product and earn a 25% commission per product sold, you made $25 for that sale.
To make this work, create some memes for your social media platforms and see which ones produce sales or traffic.
I mention traffic here because you might create some memes that don’t result in a sale but they did drive traffic to the sales page.
This could simply mean that your message was off and creating another meme with a few tweaks could result in sales.
Finally, be sure to promote items that your followers want, not what you think they will want.
This is a big stumbling block for many people trying to earn an income through affiliate marketing.
How Much Money Can You Make Selling Memes?
The amount of money you can potentially make selling memes is hard to pin down.
This is for two reasons.
First, no one knows what will be a dud and what will go viral.
Second, the extra cash you can make varies greatly depending on which option you choose.
For example, if you partner with a rapper to sell an unfinished meme, you could make thousands of dollars.
On the other hand, if you sell your memes on Zazzle, you might make a few dollars for each one you sell.
For most meme makers looking to get started, expect to make up to $100 a month on average.
But as you build your followers on social media, assuming you are creating sponsored content or working with brands, you can easily increase this amount to $2,000 or more per month.
Tips For Making The Most Money Selling Memes
In order to increase your success with any new meme you create, here are a few guidelines to follow.
Do your homework. Check out popular meme pages online to see what is trending. You can get a quick idea of what elements work and what doesn’t by doing this.
Use a witty caption. The key to a viral meme is the caption. You need something that will get a good laugh. So make sure you spend your time on coming up with the right caption. You might even want to test a few out on your friends to see which is best.
Use hashtags. Many users still search and filter by hashtags, so be sure to use them in any meme you create to potentially reach a larger audience.
Post on various social media accounts. Don’t limit yourself to just your Facebook page or Instagram Stories. Post on all your social media accounts. And make sure you have an Instagram account as this tends to be one of the more popular meme social media channels.
Make money as soon as you can. Don’t make the mistake thinking you need a large social media following in order to work with brands. If you have a few hundred dedicated followers and have good engagement rates, advertisers and brands will pay you.
Selling memes is one of the more popular ways you can make money.
The only issue is because they are so popular, you have a lot of people already in this niche and more coming every day.
This means you need to do something to stand out from the crow if you want long term success.
Whatever idea from this list you choose, make sure you take the time to do a good job and pay attention to what is trending.
Otherwise you will most likely be wasting your time.