Instagram went from an app for millennials sharing photos of their morning coffee and cute dogs to one of the most recognizable and monetized social platforms. Now, TikTok is beginning to similarly evolve, and brands who aren’t jumping on the TikTok train are leaving money on the table.
If you’re new to the platform, consult our What is TikTok guide. When you’re ready to start learning how to make money on TikTok, there are a few different paths you can take to get there. We’ve narrowed down the possibilities to six main options, but even within each one lies a world of creative monetization opportunities. For all options, you'll want to create an eCommerce website or landing page to give brands, creators, and followers more information than your bio can hold. Read on for more ideas on how to make money on TikTok.
How to make money on TikTok in 6 ways
01. Link to your website
The easiest way to monetize your TikTok account is to create a website and direct traffic to it via a link in your bio. Whether you use this form of TikTok marketing to direct followers to affiliate links, a media kit or a portfolio showcasing your skills is up to you.
02. Promote partnerships
Brands use influencer marketing on TikTok very similarly to how they do on platforms like Instagram or YouTube. Since TikTok is entirely video-based, brands look for authentic personalities who have strong video content and an audience who trusts them. As a creator, you want to choose brands that align with your content and that’ll interest your audience.
To start, create a few non-sponsored videos of your favorite products. This provides brands proof of the value you bring product promotions.
After Lil Nas X’s breakout success with his song Old Town Road thanks to TikTok, other creators have partnered with emerging musicians to promote new songs. These are called audio sponsorships, or when an artist pays a TikTok creator to use their song in one of their clips. The clip might not explicitly promote their song, but rather show a dance or a video in the creator’s particular style with the music in the background.
03. Get paid by TikTok
In July 2020, TikTok launched its $200 million Creator Fund encouraging users to showcase their voices on the platform. The company estimates the fund will grow to $1 billion by 2023.
To apply for the Creator Fund, users need to meet the following requirements:
Be at least 18 years-old
Be a TikTok Pro user
Be based in the US, UK, Germany, Spain, France or Italy
Have a minimum of 10,000 followers on TikTok
Have a minimum of 100,000 unique video views in the 30 days before applying
Comply with the TikTok community guidelines and terms of service
TikTok pays according to authentic views and engagement levels, meaning that the more creative and engaging content you post, the more you’re rewarded.
Aside from joining the Creator Fund, you can also use its ad platform to run native ads on a user’s feed. Before choosing this option, do some research into your target market to see if your customers use the platform.
04. Sell products on TikTok
If you sell via an online store, showcasing your products on TikTok can introduce your business to new audiences and also demonstrate your brand’s personality. To attract an audience, try using catchy audio clips or partaking in TikTok trends while showing off your merchandise. Here’s how clothing brand, Guess, shows off their latest fall fashion on TikTok:
After gaining popularity through the platform, some TikTok creators capitalized on their popularity and released products. For example, after Tika the Iggy gained a near-cult following in 2020, the dog’s owners released a line of merchandise that followers can buy via a link in their TikTok bio. Check out our guide for more ways to use TikTok for business.
05. Offer your services
TikTok is no longer just for trendy dances but rather can be leveraged as a social media marketing tool. Many consultants have turned to social media to get new leads. Here’s how Elise Darma, a marketing consultant, shares useful social media marketing tips for businesses on TikTok.
Some highly-creative TikTok users find themselves with huge followings almost overnight, but they lack the know-how of managing and monetizing their newfound success. If you know how to create content strategies, liaise with brands and optimize content then become a TikTok account manager to monetize that skill.
06. Grow accounts and sell them
Many brands want access to new audiences without having to put in the time or effort that amassing a following from scratch requires. Often, they’ll purchase accounts from those who have posted regular, engaging and viral content around a certain niche.
If this is a route you want to take, first pick a niche—the more specific the better. Then create content that will engage that community. Once you have a large enough audience, you can begin approaching brands or creators to purchase your account.
How much does TikTok pay?
Before growing a TikTok account, you might want to know how much you can expect to earn on the platform. Here are some of today’s highest earners on TikTok:
Addison Rae Easterling reportedly earns $5 million a year from TikTok. She gained popularity posting videos of her dance moves and soon collaborated with large brands like Fashion Nova, Reebok, American Eagle, and even launched her own branded merchandise.
Sisters Charlie and Dixie D’Amelio’s dance moves also went viral. Due to brand deals and their own merchandise sales, Charlie earns $4 million a year, while her younger sister brings in $2.9 million.
Zach King is known for his YouTube and Vine videos, but the internet personality capitalized on TikTok’s video format and now earns around $41,000 per post. His slick video editing skills have landed him deals with companies like PlayStation and Credit Karma.
Plenty of other creators earn a living from TikTok, but don’t expect to pocket millions right away. Your financial success on the platform depends on your monetization strategy, as well as your posts and following. TikTok influencers with 100,000 followers can expect to earn an estimated between $500 to $2,000 for a branded product placement in a video. Growing and selling an account with the same number of followers can earn you around $1,000 to $2,000.
How many followers do you need on TikTok to get paid?
There isn’t a specific number of followers you need to get paid. If your audience actively watches, comments on, and even recreates your videos, it’s likely you can capitalize on this using the above strategies.
For TikTok’s creator fund, then 10,000 followers is your magic number. However, if you’re aiming for lucrative partnership and influencer marketing, you’ll want more than 100,000 followers.
The Influencer Marketing Hub has a TikTok calculator that estimates how much you can earn based on the number of likes you receive on your videos and your follower count. Naturally, the more followers you have viewing your content, the more you can earn.