One of my first questions when I started to blog: What is a meme? Is it something about ME? It took some looking around before I could actually puzzle together and understand the reasoning behind a blog meme. Why would I want to participate in a blog meme? Do I want to make a meme for my own blog? Huh? It was a bit confusing, but hopefully I can help you understand it a little better than I did in the beginning!
I currently have three weekly meme’s here at MamaNYC: Mixed Up Monday, Talk To Me Tuesday, and Wanna Win Wednesday. I am always trying to think up new and creative meme’s for other days of the week, but I truly enjoy the three that I have have, so why add on more stress when I am already content? I do plan on adding more memes in the future, but in due time! After all, I do find that memes can be ‘stressful’ and time consuming. However, I also enjoy meeting new people and checking out new blogs!
Okay, let’s start from the beginning.
What is a Blog Meme?
A blog meme is a list of questions or an idea that is propagated via your blog. It could be a writing prompt that you decide to answer and share with others. In blog land, this means that you’ll start by creating a post on your own blog and then link up to a website that can host the meme. In the process you invite participation and engagement, and give your content the opportunity to travel further. The nice thing about memes is, if popular, they can go viral.
Creating/Planning Your Blog Meme Ideas:
Trying to devise a plan for a weekly or monthly meme can be a difficult challenge, especially since many ideas are overused and washed out. Your blog meme can include a series of questions that you want participants to ‘answer’ on their blogs. Another idea is to create a linkup for other bloggers to add their blog posts or social media network links, which will require other participants to follow back. The later concept helps to build followers, while the former encourages blog prompts dedicated to a specific topic or issue.
How to Start a Blog Meme:
While it is not difficult to start a blog meme (anyone can do it – anyone!), it is difficult to create a successful and original meme. There are a few points to consider before you start planning and promoting your blog hop/meme:
1. Seek Originality
Don’t start a meme on a whimsical feeling just because it is a Friday – and Friday sounds good with "Follow Me Friday". Guaranteed there are hundreds (maybe THOUSANDS) that use that idea. Take some time researching memes that already exist and figure out how your meme name or idea can be considered original and creative. Why would I want to bookmark your meme and linkup every week? I need to have a reason, or feel like your meme is different than the others.
Oh – and don’t copy another bloggers meme name! So many memes have overused the same exact names, so seek that originality that your fellow bloggers and readers want and need!
2. Remain Committed
Be sure that you are crafting a meme that YOU are going to be willing to organize and post every week. Your participation will greatly influence your blog memes potential and success. Make sure your blog meme is a subject that will be easy enough for you to write every week. For example, I am not known for recipes and cooking here on MamaNYC. If I was to organize a weekly recipe meme, I can guarantee it would end within 3-4 weeks! Pick something you are passionate about and could see yourself writing about for many more weeks to come!
3. Start Crafting & Planning
Choose a name: This can be the most difficult part of the planning process, so don’t get discouraged if this step takes a few days (or longer!). You want a catchy, creative, but tell-all type of meme name that your bloggers will remember. Don’t make a meme name that makes absolutely no sense, or has nothing to do with some of the words you’ve selected. Some ideas I have seen are: rhyming with the day of the week, include your own blog name, or using a specific theme word to incorporate with the specific meme. Take your time! Google search your meme name ideas to make sure no one has used that idea. You want to be original!
Choose your day of the week or even day of the month: Do you want to commit to a weekly or monthly meme? That is up to you, but you will need to pick a specific day of the week/month so your fellow bloggers know when to stop by. If you choose a weekly meme, I would try to incorporate the day of the week (ex: Wanna Win Wednesday Giveaway Linky). If you decide to go with a monthly meme, you have to choices:  "This meme will take place on the 15th of every month";  "This meme will take place on the 1st Sunday of every month".
The frequency and day of the week are up to you! However, I do suggest planning appropriately if you plan on creating multiple memes. Try not to overload your days with memes. I have one meme per day for Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday. My plan is to ‘use up’ the other days of the week before I start doubling up. Memes are a lot of work, so be sure you can focus your efforts to ensure success for each day of the week!
Design a meme button: Your blog meme button is going to help others identify with your meme. It will create an identity to make your meme easily recognized, and hopefully you’ll go viral! Hire MamaNYC from WebLogic Consulting for your meme button design needs (blogger discount rates available).
Choose a linky system: There are several free options available to setup a free linky to use on your memes. Sign up for a free subscription service from Linky Tools, inLinkz, Mister Linky, or another preferred tool. I personally prefer inLinkz, but also use Mister Linky. Each of these tools includes different services and options, so be sure to check each of them out before you decide which one will be the most beneficial for your blog meme!
Announce your new meme: Make an announcement about your blog meme a week or so before you plan to actually start. This will help spread the word, but also ensure you are not the only one participating once your meme begins! If you plan on using a specific meme with a blog prompt or question, I would highly suggest you announce a week before! You should also announce the next weeks question so that participants can begin to prepare and schedule their posts to publish on your chosen meme start date.
Draft Your Copy: Now that you have selected a blog name, linky system, frequency and theme – put a post together! Decide on a few meme rules, such as giving you (the ‘host’) a link back or credit for the meme, tagging new people to participate, or how many people your participants must follow back in order to join in for the week.
Your draft copy will basically be reused every time you publish your meme, so try to create a template that can copied and pasted each week. You wil likely change around a few things, but you want to have a basic outline to get your meme published weekly.
4. Ready… Set… Go!
Now that you have completed all of the steps above, I think you are ready to give it a go and see what your meme idea can do when put into action. Ask a few of your fellow bloggers friends (BEG!) to help you get started and participate. Send out some Tweets, share on Facebook, and be sure to visit and comment on every participants blog! This will help participants remember your blog meme each week, but also that you cared enough to participate yourself – AND visit their blog!