If you’re on social media, you already know what an internet meme is. Still, for the uninitiated, a meme is a funny picture that goes viral on the web. It comes in various forms, though most of them feature photos or illustrations emblazoned with witty text usually written with caps lock on. But what if you want to make your own meme? There are websites that will allow you to quickly customize your meme from a host of existing ones. All you need to do is to choose a image template, type in your desired text, and share away. However, you can also create a whole new meme from scratch and, fortunately, it’s pretty easy to do.
Step 1: Do your research
Know your memes — It’s good practice look at memes out there that have gone viral already, especially current ones. These can provide inspiration — maybe there’s a certain meme theme that’s popular at the moment, for instance — and allow you tell you if somebody’s already tried your idea. The best resource for catching up with the latest memes and trends is Know Your Meme — a website dedicated to keeping track of any and every meme you come across.
The above image, for example, has been re-appropriated into meme-dom on multiple occasions.
Keep a watchful eye on trends — Keeping current with news, pop culture, and other memes can be a big source of inspiration. Instagram, Twitter, Reddit, and Facebook are great for spotting trends, and entertainment topics are usually a win. Take note of what makes you laugh the most and what gets the most responses.
A recent meme to make the rounds is one known as the Slaps Roof of Car meme.
Choose a subject you can relate to — If you’re not a sports fan, you might have a hard time selling a sports-themed meme. Cute animals are always a great go-to when you are tapped out of ideas, but if you really want to push the envelope, choose a public figure you can easily imitate. If you’d like to use a personal experience as the center of your meme, choose one that’s easy to relate to.
Decide on a medium — The easiest medium to use is a photo, but if you can be funny or capture something funny on camera, you might want to venture into video.
Step 2: Compose your content
Collect your materials — Before going any further, this is the point where you decide if you’re going to come up with your own stuff or recycle things you’ve found online. If you’re doing a photo meme and you want to use existing content, grab the appropriate screens from the videos you want to use. You can also surf the web for images you’d like to use as pegs, or hit up Imgur’s meme generator.
Keep it short and simple — Keep in mind that the attention span of the typical internet user is pretty short, so you want to make an immediate impression. Come up with a catchphrase that uses simple and memorable language.
Find the right expression to convey — Make sure your visuals match the sentiment you’re trying to portray.
Step 3: Find the necessary tools
If you’re creating a photo meme, it might be wise to get Photoshop or use Pixlr Editor, the latter of which is a free image editor that offers similar functionality. You can also look up meme-generator sites like Imgflip’s meme generator, which let you upload your own photo to use as the background. Lastly, you can install photo apps directly on your phone that allow you to add text to your images.