The newest and fastest-growing social media app – TikTok – is quickly expanding from a fun way to pass the time to an opportunity for a paycheck.
Is It Possible to Make Money on TikTok?
Yes! Since the app’s development in 2017, and the increased viewership since the beginning of the pandemic, TikTok has grown to over 1 billion users as of September 2021. While plenty of those users are only casual, or not so casual, viewers, many saw the new social media platform as a way to make money. As a result, more than $5 million a year has been generated through TikTok alone, and the platform only seems to be growing, leaving lots of room for new creators.
How to Make Money on TikTok
There are several different ways to make money on TikTok, and you can most certainly combine them. They involve different routes of earning income, whether directly from viewers, directly from Tiktok, from other companies, or a little bit of all three.
Creators and business owners usually have links set up on their profiles in their biography – bio for short – where viewers and customers can easily find links for things like Etsy shops, Venmo usernames, affiliate links, and plenty more. So, how can you join them?
While popularity is certainly a bonus that makes things easier, you only need your audience to succeed. With an audience of viewers that genuinely care about your page and your brand, you can go far. Use some of these ideas below to decide how you want to make money, then build up your target audience and wait for the results.
One place creators on TikTok make their money is through brand partnerships. Once you have reached a certain level of popularity, either across TikTok as a whole or in your specific community, brands may reach out to you about promoting their products for a certain percentage of the profits you bring in.
You can also reach out to your favorite brands and see if they are interested in partnering. Often they send a package of merchandise for you to try out and review for a video, or they send you products to make an ad targeting your audience. Either way, this is a great way to promote a brand you love, receive some free products you are sure to use, and make a little bit of money.
TikTok has guidelines about Branded Content, mainly that any content done with a brand to make money must be labeled as such. The specific guidelines around TikTok’s branded content can be found here.
Sell Sponsored Posts
Similar to brand partnerships, you could sell sponsored posts where you promote a brand for a certain amount of money. Sponsored posts are usually for a fixed rate rather than a percentage of what you earn, so they may be the safer bet when starting.
Instead of providing you with materials to try out, they may ask you to make a post that includes the brand and their product, making it more like a commercial than a review. Sponsored posts are also usually a one-time deal, rather than an ongoing relationship like brand partnerships often are.
Small business owners are expanding their social media presence by promoting their products on TikTok! Some business owners and creators will simply advertise their products on TikTok, often joining in on the latest trend to reach a wider audience and appeal to more viewers. If you already have a business, TikTok is the perfect place to expand it – and if not, it’s the perfect place to start one.
Merchandise on TikTok ranges from candles and stickers that people have listed in shops such as Etsy or even Amazon to promoting books to offering services like tarot readings or financial counseling. The goal is to showcase whatever you are selling, find the most willing audience to buy it, and tell them all about it.
TikTok’s algorithm will land you on the For You Page of the people most interested in your work, and the more people find and interact with your merchandise videos, the more people will see it, leading them right to what you’re selling.
Tiktok has a “For Business” feature, much like other social media platforms, that makes it easy for businesses to use the platform to sell their products and services. Along with making different videos to showcase products, you can also create Advertisements for your business that you can make once, pay to promote, and then leave alone. TikTok helps you set goals, target your audience, and rake in the sales.
TikTok Ads come with pros and cons. The pros include the one-time investment of time and money to promote your page and what you’re selling there. TikTok will also spread your ad to a broader audience than your regular content, which will only go to your audience. Ad campaigns through TikTok will still include people in your audience but will reach farther to people who you may not have organically reached on your own.
Accept Virtual Gifts
Another way to earn money on TikTok is to accept virtual gifts from viewers, particularly during live streams. TikTok users will go live and do various activities to keep their followers’ attention and encourage them to contribute gifts.
Some common examples include study sessions, where one can join and work on different projects or assignments in real-time with the other person on the screen. Scratching lottery tickets on a live event, telling a juicy story, and creating art are also all common events that creators will go live to perform.
It is then up to viewers to purchase gifts and stickers to send to the user at the other end of the live stream. These fans will see their name pop up on the screen for all to see, and many creators make a point to thank all the people who contribute, encouraging more people to give gifts so that the creator will say their name and thank them.
Virtual Gifts can also include tips given to creators on their profiles or sending money directly over a service like Venmo, PayPal, or Cash-App, which many creators have linked on their profiles as well.
Join the TikTok Creator Fund
Joining the TikTok Creator Fund is an excellent way to boost any earnings you may be reaching on the platform. As a part of the fund, creators are paid based on a combination of factors, mainly how many videos they create, their follower count, and the number of audience interactions. So, in addition to selling merchandise or working with brands, you can get paid per video purely for the content you create.
Any content creator can apply for the creator fund regardless of what kind of content they create, provided they meet the requirements.
TikTok has some rules for who can apply for consideration. Creators must:
- Be based in the US, UK, France, Germany, Spain, or Italy
- Be at least 18 years old
- Have at least 10,000 followers ( Learn more here on how to get followers on TikTok )
- Have at least 100,000 video views in the last 30 days
- Have an account that follows TikTok Community Guidelines and terms
TikTok has more specifics about the creator fund here, like what the future holds for the creator fund and frequently asked questions.
Much like brand partnerships and sponsored posts, affiliate marketing means working with a particular company or brand to make your money. As an affiliate, you often receive a link from that brand to market to your audience. Your audience is incentivized to use that link because it provides them with a discount, supports a creator they enjoy, and the product comes recommended from a creator they trust.
Affiliate marketing is usually a more passive way of earning from brands. The creator promotes the products they like and use, and viewers trust that approval to give them the final push to buy the product.
Who Makes the Most Money on TikTok?
So, who does it best? Well, it’s hard to tell if the people selling merchandise are in the running, but here are the top five TikTok influencers as of 2022 and what they do to make their millions, according to GQ and PressFarm.
- The D’Amelio Sisters (Dixie & Charli) sit at the top, earning $10 million and $17.5 million, respectively. They’re known for their dance videos and drama, but their success doesn’t stop on TikTok. Both of them have turned their attention to their blossoming music careers, and the whole family is set up for a reality show later this year.
- Addison Rae comes in a close second with $8.5 million, and her claim to fame is also dance videos. But, she didn’t stop there either, expanding to host a podcast and start her own cosmetics line, as well as partnering with several large brands.
The next two are a tie for $5 million a year – Josh Richards and Bella Poarch.
- Josh Richards rose to fame for dancing, lip-syncing, and music videos. However, Josh has also expanded his brand away from TikTok, launching his own energy drink business and co-founding and investing in several other successful business ventures – including Animal Capital, Triller, and TalentX.
- Bella Poarch became well-known for her lip-syncing and then her original music. She has grown her musical career since lip-syncing to other artists’ songs. Fans loved Bella’s incredibly curated fashion-forward look and her openness about her struggles as an immigrant from the Philippines to Texas.
- At $4.75 million, Kris Collins finishes up the list with her comedy sketches. Kris’s success came quickly after producing hilarious videos that found their way to millions. Just as quickly, Kris worked to expand her platform and now runs incredibly successful TikTok, Instagram, and YouTube accounts that center around her comedy.
So clearly, if you’re looking to make millions on TikTok, becoming a singing, dancing influencer is the way to start – which isn’t surprising considering that TikTok used to be a platform focused mainly on dancing and music. However, the most important lesson from these young entrepreneurs is to stick to what you love and don’t be afraid to grow and diversify.
In conclusion, TikTok is a great place to make money that anyone can take advantage of. Any and all of these methods can be combined to earn money on TikTok in whatever way works best for you. With a dedicated audience and some trial and error, the sky is the limit for making money on TikTok, and anyone can do it – including you!