TikTok is addicting. The TikTok team found and improved the secret sauce, AKA the algorithm, and now TikTok users watch a total of 167 million hours worth of content each minute. With this kind of crazy growth in just a few years, creators are left scrambling to learn how to make money on TikTok with the followers they are generating.
If you are a creator looking to find out how to make money on TikTok and take advantage of all that watch time, you aren’t alone.
Certain revenue streams on TikTok, like affiliate marketing, are still in their infancy and are ready for you to monetize. We cover our top choices below on how to make money on TikTok. Stay tuned as tip #6 will surprise you!
Table of Contents
How to make money on TikTok?
Let’s face it: the TikTok creator fund won’t make you rich. There, I said it!
A 1,000,000-viewed video will only make you $40. And if you’re one of the unlucky ones (like me) you might find yourself in a country where the creator fund doesn’t even exist.
Now that we’ve got that out of the way let’s dive into how you can ACTUALLY make money using your TikTok.
1. Generate revenue through affiliate marketing.
As you grow your audience on TikTok and establish yourself in your niche, your community will look to you for your guidance and expertise.
Affiliate marketing allows for you to simultaneously recommend helpful products while also earning commissions from any sales of those products. For each purchase someone makes using your unique link, you are able to earn a % of the sale.
It’s not easy but it sure can pay well. 35% of independent affiliate marketers report making over $35,000 a year, with 10% reporting an income of over $100,000 annually!
To get started with affiliate marketing on TikTok, we recommend that you:
- Choose your affiliate products wisely
- Build a strong channel first, become an affiliate marketer second
- Work the products into your videos organically
Your recommendations should line up with your expertise and should genuinely help your audience. Ie. It doesn’t make sense for a chef to sell you car insurance. Be smart about your choices. For example, if you are into Blockchain games, promote your favorite platform (preferably one that has an affilaite program) through your own affiliate link
As your engagement and following grow so does your affiliate revenue. Affiliate marketing is a great source of income to scale with your page.
If you find that you are still struggling to build out a channel you can check out this handy guide on how to become an influencer and monetize your passions.
In addition to earning revenue through affiliate marketing, you can also…
2. Promote songs in your videos.
Record labels are getting creative. They know that a sound that blows up on TikTok can lead to engagement in the millions. It can make or break a career of a new musician.
Take the example of Tai Verdes. Tai dropped out of college to pursue a career in the music industry and things just weren’t going his way.
Sleeping on his friends couch and working at Verizon selling phones his music as “Tylersemicolon” never really took off. It wasn’t until he started promoting his music on TikTok that his music career really started.
Stuck in the Middle became a viral sensation with over 2 million hits and ever since then Tai has been hard at work turning his viral success into a career. Since then, he’s released singles Drugs and A-OK and a debut album called Rap, earning the support of Rolling Stone, Apple Music, and Billboard.
With the success of Tai and countless other TikTok musicians you can understand why record labels are willing to pay top dollar for you to use sounds from their artists.
You can proactively reach out to these brands once you have a larger following and pitch them a TikTok partnership. We recommend charging a rate of $25 per 1,000 followers for each post.
3. Partner with brands you trust.
Have you ever wanted to work with your favorite brand?
Wondering how to make it happen? Try these 5 steps to make it happen:
1. Define your niche.
When you appeal to too wide an audience it becomes difficult to build any rapport. It’s like throwing paint at the wall and hoping that it sticks.
Instead, find a niche that you are passionate about and where you can provide your audience with value. For dustinhowes.com this is affiliate marketing for B2B SaaS companies.
2. Make a list of your favorite brands
Find 10 brands where you already use their products and truly enjoy what they offer. These are the same people that will want to work with.
You already know the brand, understand their identity, and can provide a genuine review of what they offer. This makes you stand out to both your audience and the company as it makes it that much easier to build trust.
3. Find relevant contacts and get their email info
Now for the hard part. Cold email outreach *shudders*.
Ok, maybe it’s not that bad…
Identify people in positions like “head of marketing, head of partnerships, influencer marketing, etc.” on LinkedIn and use Lusha to find their emails.
4. Use personalized cold emails to pitch your services.
Once you have a list of emails for your top 10 brands it’s time to make the pitch!
There are three obstacles to overcome:
- Having someone open your email.
- Getting that person to read your email.
- And finally… getting a response.
To make your life easier, use a non-clickbait email title. Keep the content short and to the point and make the ask to have a quick call with that person. The less friction there is, the easier you make it for them to actually respond to you.
From there you can hop on a call or continue the conversation via email to pitch a partnership with this brand!
5. Keep trying until you land your first client!
We make it sound easy. Unfortunately, that is rarely the case. BUT that doesn’t mean that you should give up after a couple of failures!
Find what worked and what didn’t. Tweak your process and keep trying. The partnerships and results often end up better than we ever could have imagined. If you’re you’re not interested in brand partnerships we recommend that you…
4. Sell your own products.
Trying to get your small business off the ground? Struggling with inconsistent traffic?
TikTok just might be the place for you.
Originally, Tina Nguyen thought she might make 6 figures after 5 years and business and be able to rent a space of her own for her company XXL scrunchie.
Instead, with the help of TikTok, she was able to hit over 7 figures in revenue, rent a space of her own, and hire a small team. Whenever one of her TikToks goes viral she sees a 200% spike in orders.
There are still so many opportunities out there. Now’s your chance to build your brand in public and share your journey on TikTok. Odds are, by the end of it you’ll have an audience ready to buy your first product.
5. Manage other Tiktoker’s accounts.
At least 50% of your content should be “core content”. The bread and butter of your page. Content that your audience will know you for and come back to watch. At least 25% should be trying viral trends and the remainder can be left for experimenting.
For new creators, this might sound counterintuitive. Wouldn’t you want to create 100% trendy content to go viral?
Yes, you want to go viral BUT without core content, people will only see a page full of trends without any value.
It’s exactly for that reason that you can offer to manage other TikToker’s accounts. People who are just starting out or who had a few videos go viral may not know the tricks that can help you scale a TikTok following.
If you have a track record of growing TikTok accounts, you can offer to do the same for other’s through managing their content strategy, comments, descriptions, etc.
This is quite hands-on but can prove to be lucrative if managing an account for a more established brand. If you prefer to stay high-level you can…
6. Offer TikTok consulting services.
As a “young” social media platform, brands are trying to make it on TikTok and grow a presence.
From companies like Gilette to General Motors, there are billion-dollar companies with TikToks accounts that are sitting unused.
What if you could offer them consulting to grow their account? Better yet, what if you offered them a guarantee? 10x their follower count or their money back. It would be a no-brainer!
Large, established companies have a similarly large marketing budget. If you can convince them that you can grow their TikTok account and generate more sales you can make $1,000’s selling your services.
Tools like Grovia make this easy. You can find influencers with potential and leverage the platform to pitch your services to those creators.
7. Drive traffic to other platforms (like Youtube).
By now you might have guessed that we’re not the biggest fans of the TikTok creator fund. There are so many better ways to make money on TikTok after all!
If you enjoy creating video content, Youtube could be a natural fit as you grow your audience. It provides more predictability when compared to the TikTok algorithm and pays much better per $1,000 views. Where TikTok will pay you $0.30 per 1,000 views, Youtube will pay you 10x as much. $3.00 per 1,000 views (or more depending on your niche).
Bonus: you can tell your story on Youtube and share how you learned how to make money on TikTok.
But be careful how you promote your Youtube! TikTok does not like when you say “link in bio” in your comments and will actually filter out these comments so that viewers can’t see them.
Add the link in your bio and let your viewers know that they can check you out on Youtube if they enjoy your content.
Bonus: You can even re-purpose some of your Youtube content for future TikToks.
Can you earn money on TikTok?
Yes! Once you reach 100,000 followers you can join the creator fund and TikTok will pay you based on the number of views you get. If you want to make more money, try to secure sponsors who will pay as much as $25 per 1,000 followers per post.
How much can you earn on TikTok?
Between brand sponsorships, product sales, and affiliate revenue you can make over $10,000 a month on TikTok.
Who makes the most money on TikTok?
Charli D’Amelio made more than double the salary of Costco CEO Craig Jelinek ($8M) and a couple million more than Fedex CEO Fred Smith ($14M), raking in a cool $17.5 million as the top paid TikTok creator.
How do you get paid on TikTok?
In order to get paid directly from TikTok, you need to:
- Be 18 years or older
- Have 10,000 or more followers
- And have at least 100,000 video views in the last 30 days
Once you meet these criteria you can apply for the TikTok Creator Fund through the app.
What’s next for TikTok?
The parent company of TikTok, ByteDance, has an app called Douyin. You can think of this as the Chinese version of TikTok. Because they’ve been around for 1 year longer than TikTok they get new features earlier.
You might be thinking: “so what?”
Well, turns out there might be a few neat features coming to the North American market.
One of these features is called social commerce. This allows Douyin creators to sell products directly in the app whereas TikTokers can only link to external pages.
This means that affiliate marketers, business owners, and other entrepreneurs may be able to make use of similar features soon!
If you are thinking about how to make money on TikTok you can get ahead of the curve and be ready for when this feature drops.
Wrap it up Dustin.
Coming in at #1 most downloaded app in the world TikTok is the place to be to grow an audience. With 656 million downloads in 2021, TikTok had more downloads than Snapchat (327 million) and Spotify (203 million) combined.
Whether you are a new creator or an experienced pro, you can use the tips above to make money using TikTok and get one step closer to going full-time on the platform.
So, are you all set to begin making money on TikTok? Feel free to leave your replies in the comments below.