Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Indie Tuesday—Create Your Own Shareable Memes

by Jessica Keller @AuthorKeller

By now I’m sure you’ve heard the term “meme” tossed around when it comes to using many of the social media sites Charity and I will be covering in the coming weeks.  Marketing professionals have embraced the use of memes because they’ve realized the viral power these graphics can have. When I launched Saving Yesterday, I created shareable memes and people told me they bought my book solely based on seeing one of my memes. Today, I’m going to show you a free and easy way to create your own shareable memes.   

Need clarification on what a meme actually is? Basically think of all those fun pictures you see with a funny phrase that people share on Facebook or the pretty scenes with a Bible verse on them. Those are memes.

A meme I made for my latest release. This one got a lot of shares!
I use a free and easy online program called PicMonkey. They’ve made it so simple it’s almost impossible to mess up creating content using this site. When you get to the site, click “edit a photo” and choose a picture from your computer to start working on. When you’re done with your meme, make sure to give it a different name than your original file or you’ll lose your original. I’m not doing anything fancy today—just showing the nuts and bolts of this program and making it less scary to try.

Speaking of scary—the main thing that keeps people from creating their own content is the fear of copyright problems. My best advice is to take your own pictures and use them. If you want to make a meme about writing, I’m sure you have old books that you can stack haphazardly and snap a photo of (or go to a thrift store and snap a photo). When you’re out and about, take photos of anything interesting (anything—cool light posts, brick walls—you name it). Another way to deal with copyright is to purchase your pictures. Be careful about creative commons. If you have concerns, read this post about Copyright Fair Use and How it Works Online.

Original. Snapped while the car was in motion.
Cropped. Used 'sharpen and clarity.' Foggy boarder and a phrase. Done.

For the purpose of today’s post I snapped two (horrible) pictures using my smartphone. Seriously. I am not a photographer. Do not hire me to do your wedding. But my terrible camera skills help show off the beauty of PicMonkey. I spent less than two minutes from upload to save to make each of these. 

Sharpen and clarity become your two best friends in PicMonkey. Use them liberally (see how the flag *pops* in the second picture?). 
Original. Snapped while pushing my daughter in her stroller. 
Cropped. Used 'sharpen/clarity.' And added a phrase. Done
Before you save, double check your spelling, grammar, and see if you left a word out. Nothing gets a bigger eye roll from me than an author who puts out a meme with a glaring error. Once you create a meme, upload it to your
blog/website if you can (NOT straight to Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, or Pinterest). If you share them on social media from your blog/website, then every click links back to you.

Any questions? Have you seen authors use memes well? Do you find yourself afraid of copyright issues? What are your favorite sites for finding pictures?


Learn the free & easy way to make your own memes. #IndieTuesday #marketing via @authorkeller @ediemelson (Click to Tweet)

Use memes as a free & easy way to market your book. #IndieTuesday #marketing #publishing via @authorkeller @ediemelson (Click to Tweet)

Jessica Keller holds degrees in both Communications and Biblical Studies. She is multi-published in both Young Adult Fiction and Romance and has 100+ magazine and newspaper articles to her name. Her latest release is a Young Adult Fantasy - Saving Yesterday. You can find her at www.JessicaKellerBooks.com, on Twitter @AuthorKeller, on Tumblr, or on her Facebook Author Page. She lives in the Chicagoland suburbs with her amazing husband, beautiful daughter, and two annoyingly outgoing cats that happen to be named after superheroes.


  1. Jess, these are great and your suggestions spot on! Thanks so much for sharing, Blessings, E

  2. Great post! Thanks for the tip about uploading to blog first so every click links back to author. Didn't think of that. Also, I might add that Canva is also enjoyable and easy to use, as well as free.

    1. I'm not a big Pinterest user but have been told some amazing stats from friends who pin memes from their websites.

      I'll have to check out Canva. Thanks!

    2. Very helpful information for me. Thank you!

  3. I just started using PicMonkey recently and created memes for my Christmas novella releasing in October. It's fun and not hard to use. I hadn't thought about uploading to the blog first. Thanks for the tip, Jessica!

    1. You're welcome! Great to hear you're already creating content to share :)

  4. Thanks for sharing. I use PicMonkey quite often, but haven't seen where there is a translucent background on which to place my words. Sometimes my photo is too busy and my wording gets lost. Any tips?

    1. For backgrounds - when you're on PicMonkey editing a photo click on the butterfly button (I think its a butterfly...I'm not on PicMonkey at the moment). But its the button you press to open up the menu where you can add things (like hats and kiss marks or whatever). There are options for banners and tags in there. Once you choose on of those you can change the color of it (like on my flower picture I changed the background to match the flowers) and then put text over that. Don't do the text first or it'll always lay behind the background...hopefully that makes senes.

    2. Thank you, I will take a look at that.

    3. Thank you, I will take a look at that.

  5. Love the blog!!
    V. Useful information for me.
    Try to create memes using Followlife - An easy way to create memes