Figuring out how to make money on TikTok can turn your passion into a full-time online business. Get ready to learn the best 5 ways to monetize your videos and become a TikTok pro.
It might not be totally fair to say that TikTok is an emerging player in the social media game.
The platform already boasts over 1 billion active users. in fact, TikTok was the most downloaded app globally in both 2020 and 2021. Moreover, TikTok enjoys the highest engagement rate per post of all social networks.
Emerging? More like taking over.
No wonder. Its fast-paced short video format is perfect for the creatively minded. But it’s more than that. In just a few short years, TikTok has shown itself to be the perfect place for those looking to turn their creativity into cash.
But if you’re here, you might already know that. What you want to know isn’t necessarily can you make money on TikTok but rather how to make money on TikTok in 2023.
Yep! You’ve come to the right place.
Below are the five best ways to make money with TikTok right now. Plus, all the tips and tricks needed to maximize your success.
Ready? Let’s go!
Can you make money on TikTok?
The short answer is yes, you can make money on TikTok. Many have already achieved financial success through the platform and even financial freedom.
Even better, TikTok is expanding every day, on pace to be the most downloaded app in 2022 once again.
Now is a great time to jump in and capitalize on TikTok’s growing popularity.
So how do you do it? How do you make money with TikTok?
5 Top Ways to Make Money on TikTok
1. Brand Deals
Fun fact: in December 2019, just 16% of US marketers planned to use TikTok influencer campaigns. By March 2021, that number was 68%.
Brands are becoming increasingly interested in paid collaborations with TikTok influencers, making brand partnerships perhaps the best answer to how to make money on TikTok right now.
This means that brands will pay you to make TikTok videos promoting their products. This payment can come in the form of both free products and cold hard cash. It can be on a one-time basis. Or you may become a brand ambassador with an ongoing partnership with a brand.
The best part is that you don’t even need to have a lot of followers to get paid. Many brands actually prefer to partner with micro-influencers – smaller accounts that have fewer followers (usually between 5,000-50,000) but high engagement levels in their community.
But how do you find brands who want to pay for you to promote their products?
Many TikTokers have had success searching out their favorite brands themselves and pitching a partnership. Just find a business email or DM them on social media!
But another great option is to let TikTok do the heavy lifting for you and join the TikTok Creator Marketplace.
This is where businesses find influencers and invite them to partner. It’s kind of like Fiverr or Upwork for content creators, meaning once you are listed on the platform, you simply sit back and wait for offers.
To join the TikTok Creator Marketplace:
- You need at least 10,000 followers.
- You must have 100,000 video views in the last 30 days.
Just remember, as you begin to work with brands, it is essential that you only partner with products you like and which align with your existing content.
TikTok users are notorious for sniffing out when someone is only doing something for money. And the last thing you want is the dreaded ‘sellout’ label.
Pro tip: Not sure what you should charge brands when you enter a partnership? Check out F*** You Pay Me or Clara for Creators, which are like Glassdoor for influencers. There, creators share how much specific brands paid them and what the partnership experience was like.
2. Get paid by the TikTok Creator Fund
In July 2020, TikTok announced the inception of its new Creator Fund, pledging to give $200 million to TikTok creators to encourage their creativity and “spark inspirational careers.”
The announcement was so well-received that a week later, they announced the fund would grow to $1 billion by 2023.
Yes, TikTok is actually paying users to create content.
To gain access to the TikTok Creator Fund:
- You must be at least 18 years old.
- You must be in the US, UK, France, Germany, Spain, or Italy.
- Have at least 10,000 followers.
- Must have 100,000 video views in the last 30 days.
- You must adhere to the TikTok Community Guidelines and Terms of Service.
But how much does the TikTok Creator Fund really pay?
Though there are no defined rules about whom they choose to pay and how much, the general consensus is that they pay about 2-4 cents for every thousand views (or $20-$40 for every million views).
That is … not great.
Unless you are putting out a massive amount of viral content, you will probably not make much money from TikTok’s Creator Fund. However, it can be seen as a nice little bonus. Some motivation as you are starting out.
3. Make money with affiliate marketing
As many of you probably know, affiliate marketing is one of my favorite ways to turn your creative content into cash.
In short, affiliate marketing means that brands will provide you with a unique link to one of their products. When someone clicks on and buys through this link, you earn a percentage of the sale.
TikTok’s short video format has proven to be perfect for showcasing products, presenting a prime opportunity for affiliate marketing.
There is only one problem.
TikTok keeps changing its mind on whether or not you can put links directly within videos and video descriptions.
At the time of this writing, you are unable to do this, meaning it is difficult to truly leverage affiliate marketing on TikTok to the fullest extent possible.
So what can you do?
The secret is to put the affiliate link in your TikTok profile, then reference it in your videos. Just remember to update the link each time you post about a different product! Or to link to a shop page with all your affiliate products.
4. Upsell your products
Again, TikTok’s short videos are perfect for promoting products. This means that if you have your own products or merchandise, TikTok provides a unique opportunity to get them in front of potential customers and make more sales!
Case study 1: “Miss Excel” Kat Norton
In March of 2020, Kat Norton was plodding along at her day job with a global consulting firm, traveling to one location or another each week to host Microsoft Excel training sessions she’d created for her company. You know the punchline – and then COVID hit.
With the outbreak of the pandemic and the inception of lockdowns, Kat suddenly found herself back at her parents’ house, sleeping in her childhood bed, her travel indefinitely on hold. By April, the quarantine life had stimulated a wild idea in Kat’s mind – what if she put her knowledge of Excel on TikTok?
She was not without her doubts. For one, she didn’t even have a TikTok account.
“You’re 27 years old; you cannot make a TikTok,” she thought. And yet, something kept telling her, “make a TikTok.”
Finally, she decided to take the plunge, and what a decision it was. Making videos about Excel with only a ring light and her iPhone, her fourth post ever hit 100,000 views. Within three weeks, a different video went truly viral, hitting 3.6 million views.
Unexpectedly a viral sensation, she asked herself, “what do I do now?”
In November 2020, Kat started selling her first Excel course online. By the end of the year, she was making more than at her day job. Within six months, Kat was selling a various courses which cost between $297 and $997 a piece, using TikTok as her primary marketing channel and hosting the courses on a platform called Thinkific.
Incredibly, just a year into the experiment, Kat was earning six figures each month. In fact, she even had a six-figure day!
Recently, TikTok began a partnership with Shopify on a new feature that makes selling your products through the platform even easier.
Known as TikTok Shop, it allows you to showcase your Shopify catalog to potential customers and even lets them purchase your products directly on TikTok.
The best part about selling your products through TikTok Shop is it allows you to leverage the unique features of TikTok to boost sales. Think live-streamed product showcases and demos, real-time promotions and shopping offers, collaborative catalog building, and more.
5. Get paid by your audience
When people ask how to get paid on TikTok, they often do not consider that even without a product to sell, they can actually get paid by their audience directly.
People like the idea of supporting their favorite content creators. It allows them to feel like they are a part of the content creation journey.
This means that if you create good content and build an engaged community of supporters, they will want to pay you!
So how can you get paid by your audience on TikTok?
First, check out Patreon, essentially a crowdfunding site for content creators. There, patrons subscribe to pay a certain amount to their favorite content creators each month.
As a content creator, you offer patrons exclusive bonuses and rewards in return for their subscriptions. This can be behind-the-scenes content, early content availability, merchandise, live chats, public shoutouts, and so on.
Many content creators, including influencers and name-brand celebrities, are already making good money through Patreon, giving the platform a level of brand awareness that adds trust for potential patrons.
But while Patreon is the flagship, there are other options as well.
Each of these is similar in that they offer an opportunity to receive tips from your supporters on a recurring basis, like Patreon, or, alternatively, as a one-off. Unlike Patreon, you don’t have to provide supporters with exclusive rewards and bonuses, though you have the option if you want to.
The real benefit to these three, however, is that, unlike Patreon, supporters do not have to sign up for an account to give you a tip. This just eliminates one more step in the process, which may prevent you from receiving as many tips from supporters as possible.
Bonus: Tips through TikTok
Recently, TikTok has introduced an option for creators to receive tips from supporters directly on the platform through their profile.
Currently, this is only available in the US and only for those with at least 100,000 followers. However, it is expected that expansion on both counts will be happening soon.
For those with less than 100,000 followers (or not living in the US), there is still an opportunity to earn money from followers directly through TikTok with live gifting.
If you have at least 1,000 followers, you can go live on TikTok and receive virtual gifts from viewers when you are live streaming. These gifts will appear in your account as diamonds, which can be converted into cash.
Who makes the most money on TikTok?
According to Forbes, these are the highest earners on TikTok in 2022:
- Charli D’Amelio: $17.5M (148M followers)
- Dixie D’Amelio: $10M (57M followers)
- Addison Rae: $8.5M (88M followers)
- Bella Poarch: $5M (92M followers)
- Josh Richards: $5M (26M followers)
- Kris Collins: $4.75M (47M followers)
As we have seen above, people make millions of dollars per year on TikTok.
And if you want to start making money on TikTok, check out how to do it with the tips below.
Tips for Making Money on TikTok
There are seven vital tips you need to know to make earning money on TikTok as easy and as lucrative as possible.
1. Identify your audience
The first and most important step when considering how to earn money on TikTok is identifying your target audience. That is, find your niche.
Simply, creating broad content that appeals to everyone will not work. You need to be specific in who you are trying to reach, or you won’t reach anyone.
When you identify your audience, don’t be afraid to think about sub-niches – vegan baking is different than baking. Most importantly, think about underserved sub-niches where your unique skills can provide people with something they genuinely want and need.
Case Study 2: Tori Dunlap – Her First 100k
That Tori Dunlap would be a financial success was established early. At nine, she began operating a vending machine her father bought for her. By the time she was in high school, she ran 15 of them.
From high school, she went to college, then straight into a marketing career with big-name companies like Apple, Amazon, Facebook, and Nike.
Yet, in the midst of this success, Tori realized that the opportunities she had were not the norm. As she told Entrepreneur, “I started realizing that this financial education I had was a privilege.”
This was a seed of inspiration.
“I realized I had a responsibility to pass that information on, and in doing research and then hearing more, I realized that we don’t have any sort of equality for any marginalized group, especially women, until we have financial equality.”
So, Tori came up with an idea. At 25, and having just reached $100,000 in savings, Tori quit her corporate job and founded Her First 100k.
Her idea was to fight for financial equality by giving women access to actionable resources to pay off debt, build savings, invest, and so on.
To get her message out and expand the reach of these resources, Tori chose to use TikTok. And as she expected, the niche was underserved and ready for what she was bringing.
In the first six weeks, she went from zero to 350,000 TikTok followers and made $60,000!
Today, she has more than 2.2 million TikTok followers and makes six figures each month with affiliate marketing and brand partnerships, as well as by selling her own products, such as resume templates and side hustle courses.
Moreover, Her First 100k has helped over 350,000 women improve their financial situation, generating real progress in the fight for financial equality.
2. Make sure your audience is on TikTok
This means that before putting in an effort to build a community of followers and make money with TikTok, you must ensure that the people you are trying to reach are actually on the platform.
So how do you do this?
The best way to check if your audience is on TikTok is to search hashtags.
Simply type in an interest or keyword in the TikTok search bar. You will be able to see what hashtags are used in conversations about that topic.
Most importantly, you will see how popular they are. This will allow you to easily discern which topics and niches enjoy a community of interested followers on TikTok.
3. Serve before you sell
Whether you are going to promote your own products, use brand partnerships and affiliate links, or solicit tips from your audience, it is crucial that you serve before you sell. This means you must provide value for free before asking people to buy something.
Remember Miss Excel? Here’s how she utilizes this strategy:
“I host these different high-energy Excel parties, essentially, where I come in, and I teach a ton of free content. If you look at my page, I’m just giving away knowledge because my social media presence is what draws people in. That’s my purpose: to provide as much value to people as possible. That’s why I host these Excel training sessions and offer a deal on my products at the end of the webinar.”
4. Create the right content
It’s not enough to merely identify your audience. You must engage them with unique content if you want to make money with TikTok.
But how do you create the right content?
TikTok users come to the platform for three reasons:
- To be entertained.
- To be educated.
- And to aspire to better themself.
It follows that successful TikTok content must be some combination of:
It must also be authentic. TikTok users quickly spot when someone is doing something for a like or a sale.
Make content that is not always about your products, or your audience will feel like they’re being used.
Going further, here are three other tips for creating great content on TikTok.
Examine competitors and favorites
If you’re unsure where to start or what will work best, don’t be afraid to look at what competitors in your specific niche, as well as your favorites, are doing.
Look at which of their posts are getting the most engagement and what their community is saying, particularly what they are saying they need.
Once you start producing content, you can use analytics to determine what your audience likes and what type of content gets engagement so that you can produce more of this type of content.
Vitally, analytics can also tell you when your audience is active. The best content in the world doesn’t mean a thing if no one sees it.
By knowing when your audience is online, you can post your content at this time and make sure it has the best chance of getting in front of them.
Jump on trends
This means trending hashtags, songs, and TikTok challenges.
Remember the cranberry juice guy riding the skateboard to Fleetwood Mac and how, for months, businesses, celebrities, and ordinary people alike jumped on the trend?
By utilizing trends and blending them together with your own unique content, you will give yourself the opportunity to be seen by a wider audience.
5. Act fast
When you post something on TikTok, you have between three and five seconds to capture somebody’s attention before they scroll away. This means your content should go straight to the point.
Moreover, even though TikTok has upped the limits of videos over the years from 15 seconds to ten minutes, the platform’s algorithm still rewards content that is watched all the way through. This makes 15-30 second videos particularly effective, especially when you are just starting out.
Also, include a call to action at the end of all your posts, telling people what you want them to do. This could include buying a product, checking your bio, following you, hitting plus for more, and so on.
6. Use relevant hashtags
Hashtags are like keywords for your content on TikTok.
People search for hashtags when they’re interested in a topic. Including relevant hashtags in your posts is a great way to dramatically improve your content’s discoverability and help you build a community of followers.
But how do you know which hashtags to use?
The easiest way to find out is by using hashtag finder tools like tiktokhashtags.com, which will give you a list of relevant hashtags and their popularity for any topic you search.
Another good place to find relevant hashtags is in the content of your competitors and favorites. See what hashtags they’re using in their most popular posts, then use them in your own.
And don’t stress; 3-5 hashtags per post is enough, leaving you room for an engaging description.
Pro tip: Combine niche hashtags with popular trending ones. The most popular and trending hashtags have a massive audience but are highly competitive, making it hard to stand out. On the other hand, niche hashtags may have a smaller audience but more room to get noticed. Plus, an audience more engaged is interested in your specific content. Use both in your posts for maximum effect.
7. Think about your strategy
The best time to have a plan for how to make money on TikTok is before you go viral.
If one of your posts goes viral, you want to have a way to convert that traffic into money already in place.
This could mean a product to sell, an affiliate link to promote, an email list to join, or other social media accounts to follow.
Have something, or better still, a few things, in place so you can fully enjoy the spoils of your success.
Yes, you can make money on TikTok. Do it by using brand partnerships and affiliate marketing, by promoting and selling your own products, or by getting tips from your supporters.
Even better, use all these in combination to make the most money on TikTok.
If you want to get paid through the TikTok Creator Fund or join the TikTok Creator Marketplace, you must have at least 10,000 followers.
However, there is no specific number of followers you need to make money with through brand partnerships, affiliate marketing, selling your own products, or getting tips from your audience.
Those with a lower follower count can still earn a lucrative income if their community of followers is engaged and active.
You need at least 100,000 views in the last 30 days to join the TikTok Creator Fund or Creator Marketplace.
But again, there is no specific number of views required for brand partnerships, affiliate marketing, selling products, or earning tips.
A small but engaged community works just fine.
There is no required number of likes to join the TikTok Creator Fund or Creator Marketplace.
However, when thinking about how to make money on TikTok, follower engagement is key, and likes are a useful, if imperfect, way to broadly measure engagement.
There is no specific number of likes you need to get paid, but more likes probably mean more engagement, which means bigger earnings.
How to make money on TikTok in 2023
So there you have it, the top five ways to make money with TikTok, alongside tips and strategies to maximize your success. You no longer have to ask how to earn money on TikTok. All that’s left to do is get start!
And make no mistake; now is the time. Many industry insiders are suggesting that in two or three years, the market will be flooded by people who wished they’d gotten started on TikTok sooner.
So what are you waiting for? It’s time to make money!
As you build your social media empire, please do let me know how it’s going, and particularly if and when you go viral!
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