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Making money online is more accessible than ever, but it also means the competition is a lot greater. Regardless of your chosen field, it requires time, effort and a willingness to learn.

It’s also important to remember that success rarely happens overnight. Expect to go for long periods at first before you see any real return on your efforts. If you fancy yourself a meme expert and want to monetize that talent, here are some of the main things to keep in mind as you start your journey.

Related: Great Things Take Time To Build: Four Tips For Entrepreneurs Who Are Starting Up Their Business

Stay connected

This might seem obvious, but its importance can’t be ignored. If you are going to be successful in building a meme following, it is paramount to keep up with all the latest social platforms. That means engaging with popular platforms like TikTok, Reddit and Twitter. It also means watching the tech space to learn about up-and-coming social media options like Mastodon and Cohost.

Develop a unique name for your meme brand and secure your handle on each platform early. While many social platforms fizzle out quickly, it only takes one or two successes to get your account noticed around the web.

Related: What Is ‘Decentralized Social Network’ Mastodon and Why Is Elon Musk Already Raging About It

Follow trends

Maintaining a presence across multiple social channels is only the first step. Next, you will need to make sure you are following trends. This means meme trends, of course, but it also means keeping up with current events across different verticals like tech, politics and pop culture. By capitalizing on these aspects, you can reach much larger audiences, as a more diverse group will (hopefully) share your content.

See what types of templates (meme formats) people share in your real-life circles. If they have reached that point, they will likely do well across other groups and social media platforms.

Related: 5 Must-Know Social Media Trends for Franchises in 2022

Pick a niche

Meme about what you know. While it might be tempting to create a meme page that makes content for everyone, that often will result in less-than-stellar shares and retweets.

Instead, figure out your own style. The best humor comes from the things you know and the groups you interact with. If you are a parent and constantly think of funny things about your children throughout the day, consider going with a parenting-focused page. If you are a gamer, creating memes about video games like Call of Duty and World of Warcraft will come much easier.

Use free meme tools

The memes aren’t going to make themselves! The best way to get started with gaining a following and going viral is by creating memes.

Thankfully, becoming a meme creator doesn’t require expensive programs like Photoshop. There are many online tools you can use to create memes for free. Some of the best include Imgflip, Make a Meme and Yepp.

These tools allow you to use popular presets to create memes, or you can upload your own photos. Uploading your own can be risky, as people are less likely to latch on to them. That said, if you do get a successful trend started, it can be huge for your meme page.

Eventually, you may want to upgrade to actual photo editing software. However, there is no rush to do that.

Start monetizing

Eventually, once you build an audience, you will want to figure out how to monetize your efforts. That way, you can spend more time growing your brand. And quite frankly, seeing money roll in is a great motivator to keep pushing.

For this, you will need to do a handful of things. First, figure out what each platform allows for when it comes to monetization. Some are different than others.

TikTok, for example, has a long list of requirements for advertisers. While this doesn’t often affect creators, some apply to branded content and ad partners. Going against those terms of service (ToS) could get your account banned.

Once you feel comfortable with the rules, the next step is reaching out to advertisers, affiliate programs and brands. If your page is popular enough, they will come to you. Make sure you have an easily accessible business email for people to reach you.

Related: 10 Secrets to Going Viral on Social Media

Ultimately, it is possible to create a successful brand around memes. But, it will require hard work and a deep understanding of what makes things go viral.

Study your competitors, keep up with trends and use the free tools at your disposal. It is also essential to keep up with each platform’s rules on ads to make sure you don’t get your account suspended.

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