TikTok's growth has skyrocketed over the past year, and it has quickly become the most popular social media platform according to Forbes. Even luxury brands like Prada and major publications like The Washington Post have found their way to the social media giant. Not to mention Queen B herself. TikTok is the most influential platform among Gen Z, driving how they discover new music, fashion, and more.
TikTok's success is largely attributed to its growing network of dedicated creators, who continually provide users with valuable and engaging content. Therefore, while creators navigate how to build a long-term path to independence from social platforms, TikTok simply can’t be ignored as a place to build a brand and an audience in the near-term.
While discovery continues to be the primary benefit of TikTok for creators, the platform now offers creators some opportunities to monetize. Learn how to take advantage of these monetization opportunities while you are building your brand and audience.
Making money on TikTok
TikTok is now the #1 most visited site in the world. It dethroned Facebook as the most popular social media platform in 2022 – and it's in a tight battle with Google for most-visited site worldwide. That means more traffic and more eyes on your content, which translates to more opportunities for you to earn money.
New shopping features
TikTok provides a robust set of shopping features. These features include:
- Collection Ads: Include product cards in your In-Feed Ads to move interested customers through their buyer's journey. You can leverage Collection Ads to direct customers towards product galleries, landing pages, and new promotions.
- Dynamic Showcase Ads: Create short videos to promote relevant products to customers when they express interest in them. TikTok is a platform that relies on natural engagement, and DSA ads help you speak to customers' interests in an organic way.
- TikTok Shopping: This is arguably TikTok's most powerful shopping feature; it's a fully functional commerce suite that manages everything from product upload to purchase. TikTok Shopping also integrates with popular eCommerce providers, including Shopify and Square.
- Live Shopping: Live commerce is one of the most interesting recent developments in commerce, but no one has cracked it yet for the US market. TikTok's Live Shopping features, available in select countries, let you integrate products and merchandise in your native TikTok live stream, so you can sell products in real-time. According to the Financial Times, many TikTok Shop livestreams have achieved poor sales, and TikTok has halted its plans to expand into the US anytime soon.
The key to translating these features to sales is building a community and connecting with your audience.
More brands are paying for sponsored content
A-list celebrities have been the face of leading brands for years. Now, brands recognize influencers and creators as powerful allies for similar reasons. Moreover, depending on a brand's offering, it may benefit more from micro-influencers than mega-influencers. That's great news for emerging creators because establishing yourself as a micro-influencer is a more attainable goal.
If you build a small community of superfans who trust you, you can negotiate sponsorship deals with interested brands trying to reach that audience.
A unique branded landing page leads to more sales
Link tools solve one of the most pressing challenges for any creator or solo entrepreneur or creator – centralization. Organizing and promoting your content and merchandise gets tedious, especially if you're growing your followers across multiple platforms. With link tools, you can organize your most important content in one place and promote it seamlessly.
However, most link tools look the same and don’t allow you to stand out or convert sales. That’s why you need more. You need a home with design and storytelling tools as unique as you that’s as easy to use as a standard link tool.When TikTok star Tawnted added a custom landing page as his link-in-bio, he stood out among the sea of other musicians releasing music on TikTok by displaying images, audio, video, and text onto one canvas, which can all be paired with embedded shops to increase intent to purchase and ultimately sales. Within 22 days of joining Tellie, Tawnted fielded several major record deal offers.
How to make money on TikTok
If you're looking to make money on TikTok consistently, you'll need to develop a personal brand and grow a loyal following. This involves providing your target audience with value and gaining their trust, which takes time and effort.
After establishing yourself on the platform, here are some ways you can make money on TikTok.
Promote products from other brands
Creating and selling your own products can be difficult, which is why many creators choose to promote products from other brands. In general, these creators have affiliate relationships (i.e., they earn a percentage of each product's sale). For example, if they're promoting another brand's T-shirts, they might earn 15% of each T-shirt their followers buy.
If you decide to promote products from another brand, be sure to vet the product yourself (always ask for a sample) and ask yourself if the product is something your audience can truly benefit from.
Your follower's trust and loyalty are more important than a brand deal, so don't promote every product – make sure it aligns with your audience's desires and needs.
Publish sponsored posts
Affiliate relationships aren't the only kind of brand deals you can land – many companies strike sponsored posts deals, where they'll pay you a flat fee to publish a sponsored post. These posts don't necessarily have to promote a product – the brand may just ask you to help them raise brand awareness or spread the word about their new campaign.
With sponsored posts, it's important to note that you might not have creative freedom. Brands typically have a script in mind that they'll expect you to follow.
Sell your own products
As a growing creator, you'll reach a point where you'll have a strong community of loyal fans that you know better than anyone else. At this stage, you'll have earned their trust and will understand their needs and desires on a deeper level. This means you're in the perfect position to create and sell a product that truly resonates with them.
While it's understandable to delay selling your own products (it is quite a commitment!), don't discount the idea altogether. You might eventually reach a point where it could be the most profitable source of revenue for you. Many services like Spring now allow even smaller creators to dip their toe by doing smaller runs where creators pay no upfront fees and hold no inventory risk. You simply get a cut of each sale you make.
Collecting donations means opening up a channel to allow your fans to show appreciation for the content you deliver. You can use a platform like Buy Me a Coffee or even PayPal.
How to improve your chances of making money from TikTok
As mentioned, you will need to establish a strong personal brand and build an authentic connection with your audience to turn your TikTok account into a profitable revenue stream if you don’t have a massive audience.
Understand your audience
First and foremost, make content that you love and are inspired to make, not content that you think a particular target audience might like. Otherwise, your audience will eventually see through you, your engagement rate will tank, and you will risk burning out earlier in your career.
If an audience starts to view your content, early on take the time to learn more about who is viewing and engaging with it. Review the data and analytics and ask for feedback directly from your fans. The secret to producing content that your audience loves and engages with lies in understanding who your fans are and what makes your content resonate with them.
Understanding your audience is the first step towards building your own community, creating highly relevant content, and monetizing your personal brand with confidence.
Make a unique TikTok profile
TikTok's popularity also means that the platform has become saturated. Many content creators are fighting for similar audiences, so if you're looking to stand out, creating a unique profile is crucial. You could upload an animated GIF for your profile image, but adding a link to your Tellie Site gives you the opportunity to tell your whole story in your bio.
Interact with your audience
Reply to their comments and engage them in live streams.. This helps you get to know your fans and what they like about your content, and it encourages your fans to keep engaging with your content and the TikTok algorithm to show your content to more people.
If keeping up with fan comments throughout the day is overwhelming and distracting, a good productivity hack is to set aside a couple small blocks of time and only view and respond to comments in that window. You can also limit and filter comments to reduce any negativity. If at any point interacting with comments begins to feel toxic, you can turn them off or ignore them entirely. There are plenty of other ways to get to know your fans!
Focus on superfans
The concept of 'superfans' aligns with the "quality over quantity" perspective. If you're looking to make money from TikTok, encouraging a small community of superfans to invest in you is more attainable than growing your following to hundreds of thousands or even millions. If you establish strong, personal relationships with loyal fans, you can monetize more reliably.
Posting consistently can help your content get picked up by TikTok's algorithm and promoted directly to TikTok users. It also keeps your audience engaged and increases your opportunities to develop meaningful relationships with fans. But remember that your mental health is the most important thing and creator burnout is real–so listen to your inner voice if it’s telling you that you need a break.
Promote your content on other social networks
It can be overwhelming to feel like you have to post everywhere–and you don’t. Most creators have a primary platform. But once you get your footing on TikTok, branch out by starting to dip your toe on platforms with similar formats, like Reels on Instagram, and encourage your followers to support you across each social media site. Cross-channel 'pollination' is a great way to grow your audience faster by syncing up your efforts.
How much do influencers earn from brand deals?
TikTok influencers can earn anywhere from $500 to tens of thousands of dollars from a sponsored brand deal. The amount you earn depends on your typical engagement rate and follower count.
Creators with 200,000 followers earn around $600 per sponsored post, while influencers with 1.5 million followers typically earn between $3,000 and $6,000 for one video on TikTok.
How much do influencers earn from affiliate links?
Business Insider reported that a skincare influencer made $5,000 a month on average through affiliate marketing. However, this is on the higher end – you can expect to make a few hundred dollars a month if you have a few hundred thousand followers.
How much do influencers make promoting songs, especially on TikTok?
According to Business Insider, creators charge around $200-$300 per million followers for a song promotion on TikTok.
FAQs about making money on TikTok
Here are some of the most common questions new creators have about TikTok.
How many followers do I need to get paid by TikTok?
You need 10,000 followers to get paid by TikTok directly (that's how many followers you'll need to unlock TikTok's monetization features).
How much money can you make from TikTok?
Creators make anywhere from a few dollars to millions of dollars a year from TikTok. The amount you earn depends primarily on your follower count, your average number of views per post, and your engagement rate, which is the rate of likes, comments, and shares you get on the content you post.
Does TikTok pay creators for videos?
TikTok pays creators with at least 100K authentic video views in the last 30 days who join the TikTok Creator Fund. But be forewarned: as more creators are joining, payouts per creator are decreasing, and many creators are expressing their frustration.
How do you get paid on TikTok?
The TikTok Creator Fund pays you based on views and engagement. You can also make money through sponsorship deals and affiliate marketing, but those payouts come from brands directly, not TikTok.
How much does TikTok pay per 1000 views?
TikTok pays up to $2 per 1000 views, but the amount can be less depending on several factors.
How Tellie helps you monetize TikTok
Tellie is the fastest, easiest web2 and web3 website builder that helps you own your content, community, and creative destiny.
Promote multiple products and pieces of content
With Tellie, you're not restricted to promoting one product or piece of content at a time. Instead, you can embed your most valuable content and products on one landing page and promote it from your TikTok bio. You can embed 2,000+ sites & apps by pasting a link–driving streams, follows, ticket sales, merch sales from Shopify and more on your Tellie page without fans ever leaving your TikTok bio.
Aggregate all social media platforms to build superfan community
Tellie helps you build a superfan community by allowing you to embed all of your social media channels as interactive embeds in one branded landing page. That way fans can explore your content, build a connection, and follow you on every platform all from one spot.
Despite TikTok's huge audience, monetizing on TikTok still takes significant time and effort. It requires building a successful personal brand, creating valuable content, connecting with your audience, and learning the best practices of using TikTok’s monetization tools. But there are more tools than ever to monetize while you build a brand.