TikTok has recently become one of the fastest growing social media platform of the world. With a whopping 1 billion active monthly users, it only makes sense that at least some of them would like to make some amount of money from it. But is it really possible, and if so, how? Those are the questions we will look at in this article.
We will go through several different things, which will help you turn your simple social media app into a decent source of income. Several of these ways can be achieved simultaneously, so don’t worry about mixing things up. In total, we will look at 4 different money-making strategies, as well as some tips at the end.
1. TikTok’s creator fund
And why not start with the most obvious. The “creator fund” is Tiktok’s own way of rewarding successful creators. It’s based on several statistics your TikTok video has, like you like/view ratio, and the number of comments, shares and, recently, also reposts and saves. Similar to YouTube, there are also several entry criteria, which you have to meet before even applying to the creator fund:
- Be located in a country supported by the creator fund – as of today, those are the USA, UK, France, Germany, Spain and Italy
- Be at least 18 years of age
- Have at least 10,000 followers
- Have at least 100,000 video views in the last 30 days
- Have an account that abides by TikTok Community Guidelines and terms of service
These criteria aren’t that strict, since it’s possible to earn way above the follower and view amount in just a few weeks, sometimes even just days. You also need a TikTok Pro account, but those are fairly quick to set up and don’t cost you anything.
How much does it pay?
This is the important bit. Is it actually worth it to join the creator fund? And to that question, i will, sadly, have to say no. Well, it’s not entirely worthless. You will earn some money, but it definitely won’t pay your rent, unless you become extremely popular.
The creator fund pays approximately 2-4 cents per 1000 genuine views you get. This means that if you manage to get a milion views per month – a feat unachievable by most, you still earn only about $40. Even the most viral videos of them all, either from famous influencers, or the ones that his the “viral wave” almost never get above 100 milion view – and even that amazing feat will land you around a $1000. Even the most followed TikToker, Khaby Lame, rarely has videos reach more than 10 milion views.
Put it simply, unless you are a mega-star influencer with hundreds of millions of followers, the TikTok’s official creator fund will probably not be able to pay for your rent. But even then, it’s still better than nothing. And remember, we’re only starting. There are still more ways to make your wallet a little more full.
2. Partner with a brand
Now this is where it gets interesting. As said previously, TikTok has experienced a massive growth over the last few years. This also means that companies and brands are much more keen on getting in on the action and making some of that TikTok money themselves. Basically every company you can think of has a TikTok account, on which they post various amount of content. TikTok has actually become the 3rd most used platform for influencer marketing, overtaking even Facebook and YouTube, with only Instagram and Instagram stories being more popular.
But it’s not just their official account that make them money. there’s also the influencers, which they pay to advertise to their viewers. If you are an influencer yourself, chances are at least some companies will approach you with some form of deal. Be it some major brand asking you to shoot some commercials, or even the small companies, wanting you to give them a “shout-out” (mentioning their name and talking about what they do).
How much does it pay?
Here it’s slightly more complicated than the last one. With this type of income, it’s much harder to assess the amount of money you will make. Some brands might offer more than others. The type of partnership you make also greatly affects your income size. If you partner with some small, local business, you can’t expect to earn the same as with a large corporation.
Another important point to mention is that you should only partner with companies, whose viewpoints align with yours. It’s also important to stay true to your personal way of content, as to not alienate your viewer-base. If you suddenly switch your form of content, because your new partner said so, most of your viewers will probably leave, because you changed so much, leaving you even worse off than before your partnership.
3. Partner with an influencer
This is, in concept, very similar to the option before, but instead of a brand, you partner with an individual person. This partnership can work in many different ways – You can be paid to co-star in some videos of theirs, or maybe just mention their name in your videos. The main thing is, this partnership has its pros and cons compared to the previous one. For the better, this partnership is a lot more personal, because you only have one person to work with. On the other hand, you will probably earn a fair amount less than with a company for the same reason.
Partnership with an individual person is often recommended as a great way to kick-start your own career. Because you are using another person’s success to improve your own popularity. Of course, this can also come with a downside when you decide to stop this partnership, because there’s a chance a part of your own viewers may leave and travel to your ex-partner.
How much does it pay?
Similarly to the brand partnership, it’s difficult to say for certain. Some people might give you a lot of money for seemingly trivial things, while others might force you into borderline slavish work for pennies and cents. The platform is filled with stories from both of these sides. You have tales about an influencer graciously offering work as an editor, or any other position for “rising stars” to boost their ascension, only to be revealed to be running basically a sweat-shop of an account, where the “rising stars” basically work for free to boost the influencer further to the top.
Whenever you decide to partner yourself with someone, be sure to always know what you’re getting yourself into. Also, as with the brand partnership, don’t lose who you are, because some influencer said so. Always remember – you will never get popular, if you just imitate someone, who’s already at the top. People don’t need more of what’s popular, because they already have the better thing.
4. Advertise your own product using TikTok
Doesn’t matter if you are a seasoned photographer, or you just started your own crocheting business, TikTok has a place for everyone. Whatever your particular niche is, you can be sure that there is a community about on TikTok. So why not use that community for your own gain? As said previously, TikTok is among the most popular site for advertisers to go to. And there’s a reason for that. Because of the short nature of TikTok videos, you don’t need some long commercials to advertise your products.
Because it is so easy to build a substantial community on TikTok, you have a decent chance of you product being seen by thousands of people in a single, short video. And because of the, frankly insane, variety of content TikTok offers, it’s basically impossible for your efforts to go unseen.
How much does it pay?
The amount you will make from this is, of course, dependent on what your product is and how big of a community you have. Even if you have a fairly “small” community and get about 10,000 views on your videos, that’s still 10,000 people that see your ads. That’s an amount some sites may only dream about. If even a small percentage of your viewers decide to try your product for themselves, you will still get more exposure than some brands on sites like youtube.
A small tip to help you with your advertising – try to appear as human and natural as possible. If you just sit there and blandly read from a script, that isn’t going to make your product seem appealing. Great thing to do would be to actively participate in the community you try to advertise to. If people see that you are interested in them, they will be interested in you.
Another great thing about TikTok advertising is that it’s technically completely free. Yes, you have to make the video, but you don’t need to pay a fee to put your ads on the site. In fact, if you are already in things like the creator fund, TikTok might actually pay YOU for your ads.
TikTok is a great app. Both for simple casual fun, and for actual income earning. But keep in mind that, unless you manage to amass a big enough following, or strike a great deal with some sponsor, it’s probably not going to earn enough to be your only source of income. It might be a great source of passive income, or a way to turn the hobby you enjoy into a source of income, but you won’t be able to use it as the sole crutch for your personal finance.
But who knows. If you reaming true to yourself, and keep at it, maybe you will become the next shining star, and manage to make a living with the thing that you enjoy.