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Tips For Creators

January 17, 2023

7

min read

Noam Yadin

How to make money on TikTok

For years, YouTube has been the home for video content. However, with changing audience behavior and demand, more and more short-form video content has become popular. Although YouTube has adapted to this major change by adding YouTube Shorts, TikTok is still one of their major competitors. 

TikTok has over 1B active users and has 30.8M daily active users worldwide. Not to mention that TikTok users spend more than 850 minutes per month on the app. Well, that's great, but what does all this mean for TikTok creators? How do you make money on TikTok? How much money can they actually make on TikTok? Here’s everything you need to know about earning money on TikTok.  

Can you make money on TikTok? 

Yes!

In order to make money on TikTok, users must be

  • 18 years old or older
  • Based in the US, UK, France, Germany, Spain, or Italy
  • Have a minimum of 10,000 followers
  • Have 100,000 video views in the last 30 days

When it comes to monetizing your content, there isn’t one single approach. Some of the highest earners on the short-form content app usually have a number of different income streams, which includes brand sponsorships, selling merchandise, virtual gifts from lives, and more. 

How do people make money on TikTok?

Join the TikTok Creator Fund

As a way to reward successful creators on TikTok, the short-form content app created the TikTok Creator Fund, which gives TikTokers the opportunity to “earn money doing what they love and turn their passion into a livelihood”. 

However, in order to even be considered into this exclusive club, creators need at least 100K authentic video views in the last 30 days. Also, it’s important to note that TikTokers will receive funds based on a variety of different factors - number of views, audience size, quality of user engagement, and posting frequency. 

But, we all know how TikTok works - it's super dynamic and while one day you can have a video go viral, the next day your videos may not receive any views. According to TikTok, “TikTok changes naturally - so your funds will ebb and flow in the same way”, meaning that a steady payment is not guaranteed. 

Selling Merchandise

Selling products that relate to your content is great for monetization - the best part is, pretty much any type of creator can make and sell merch to their loyal subscribers and viewers. 

Don’t know what to sell? Ask your customers! By creating polls and asking your viewers directly, you can get a pretty good idea of what your audience likes and what they will buy. Then of course you can promote your merch via your content - win/win all around. 

Here’s some examples of TikTokers selling their own merchandise:

  • @creatingwithlucy: Focuses on all-things planning and iPad tips, giving her 826K subscribers a glimpse at how she digitally plans and iPad tips and tricks that will make your planning and life easier. Obviously, in order to show her viewers how its done, this creator presents the content on her own digital planners - which are available via the link in her bio. This is a great way to seamlessly integrate your merch into your content, without being too obvious. 
  • @itsmorgenmarie: This lifestyle TikToker recently announced that she has started her own merch, Soulless, where loyal subscribers can purchase hats, mugs, t-shirts, crew necks, and of course, #FlorasCafe apron. Morgen is well-known for being a beautiful red-head, and she made sure to include this feature in her merch. Throughout her TikTok videos, Morgen wears her own merch - a great way to promote the various products. 
  • @insta.noodls: If you love Ramen, you have definitely come across this TikTokers content. The Ramen Guy shares his experience eating ramen - everything from unique recipes to try to actually eating the ramen (ASMR!). It comes as no surprise that he created merch that aligns with, well, his love for ramen. In his noodlshop, loyal subscribers can purchase hoodies, sweatshirts and t-shirts (you’ll probably get hot after eating a steamy bowl of ramen) which all feature a graphic of a ramen bowl. 

Go live

Livestreaming is nothing new, but TikTok’s live feature is unique because it allows followers to send virtual gifts in real time as a way to show appreciation to the TikTokers they love. These virtual gifts can then be redeemed for payment. 

Here are some tips:

  1. Make sure to pick the right time to go live - when most of your viewers are online (you can check this by keeping an eye on your audience insights) 
  2. Don’t keep it short and sweet - the thing with live streaming is that viewers can join at any time so the longer the live, the more viewers you can potentially receive.
  3. Post content during your livestream -  TikTok will prompt viewers who see your content on their feed to join the stream thanks to a link to your livestreaming. 

Brand sponsorships

Just like on many other social media platforms, brand sponsorships thrive on TikTok. 

  • Nearly 50% of TikTok users reported the platform helping them decide what to buy after seeing the product promoted on TikTok
  • 55% of TikTok users use the the platform to research brands or products
  • 27% higher ad recall for TikTok-specific branded content in collaboration with creators
  • 46% of users engage with TikTok content without any other distractions

A number of brands have partnered up with TikTokers to promote their products and services. In return, the brand pays the creator and usually gives them the product/service for free in order to enable them to fully show it off. 

Here’s an example of a brand sponsorship on TikTok:

@kay.turnthe.paige Get your first book for $9.99 with code TREAT 🎃👻 #bookofthemonth #botm ♬ Halloween ・ cute horror song - PeriTune

How much money can you make on TikTok?

Although TikTok hasn’t officially revealed how much they pay creators via their creator fund and the amount is obviously dependent on a number of factors, many TikTokers have claimed to earn between 2-4 cents per thousand views. So, for example if your video reaches 500,000 views, you would only get around $20 (not taking into account any of the factors mentioned earlier). 

However, we mentioned a number of different ways TikTokers can make money on TikTok. According to Forbes, a creator on TikTok can make between $100,000 - $250,000 for a sponsored video. Also, during live streams, viewers can gift their favorite creators ‘Diamonds’ - which can be converted into coins (2 Diamonds = 1 Coin).  At the end of the stream, creators and viewers can see the total amount of Diamonds collected. ASMR TikToker, Lucy Davis shared that she earns between $20-$300 each time she goes live, while Jakey Boehm live streams on TikTok while he sleeps and earns around $34,000 in a single month - there really is a niche for everyone on this app. 

Highest-paid TikTokers

Just like on all the other social platforms, it's really not as easy as it looks. But, there are a number of TikTokers who have found major success on the short-form video content platform. Here’s a closer look at how much some of the highest-paid TikTokers really make.

  1. Charli D’Amelio: This TikTok sensation is one of the most followed influencers on the platform. She joined TikTok in June 2019 and posted a variety of different dancing videos that went viral. Believe it or not, Charli D’Amelio gains about 1M followers per month. This TikToker currently has 148M followers and makes an estimated $17.5M from TikTok. 
  2. Khaby Lame: The most followed influencer on TikTok is famously known for mocking unnecessarily complicated life hacks - without saying a single word. Khaby stated, “The pandemic had just started, and I was bored with a lot of time on my hands, so I started making videos on TikTok.” According to reports, this TikToker gains around 3M followers monthly. During an interview with Fortune, Khaby Lame revealed that he makes about $750,000 per video and earns over $10M a year. 
  3. Addison Rae: Addison Rae joined TikTok in July 2019 and rose to fame quickly, leading her to drop out of university to pursue her online career. You have definitely come across a video of her dancing with her mother - who also shot to fame thanks to TikTok. Addison Rae, who currently has 89M followers allegedly makes $8.5M annually from the app. 
  4. Josh Richards: This TikToker posts lip-synching and dancing videos on a regular basis for his 26M followers. According to Forbes, Josh Richards makes $5M on TikTok - and it doesn't look like he’s slowing down. 
  5. Bella Poarch: In just a little over a year, Bella Poarch became the third-most follow person on TikTok with 92M followers. She started her TikTok career back in August 2020 when she poted a lip-synch video to “M to B” and it became the most-viewed TikTok video of the year. Now, Poarch makes approximately $5M a year and has been sponsored by a number of big names, including Prada, Tinder and even Google.   

Obviously it's possible to make a lot of money on TikTok. The app is continuously working on different ways to not only help currently popular TikTokers make more money but also incentivize creators on other platforms to bring their creativity to this social app. At the end of the day, it’s all about where the content creator can get the best engagement and make the most money. 

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