5 ways to earn money on TikTok

It might seem unbelievable, but some TikTok creators are using the platform to make five-, six-, or even seven-figure incomes. Most of them are using multiple income streams to do so, too. TikTok is a unique platform because there is more than one way to make money on it. It’s a viable way to make money online. Below are the five easiest ways to get paid on TikTok.

Get paid by your followers

You can earn money on TikTok directly from your followers by hosting live videos. Your followers can purchase Coins from TikTok, use those coins to buy Gifts, then gift you those Gifts during live videos. You then use the Gifts to buy Diamonds, which can be converted into actual cash.

If that seems like a long chain of events to get paid for, you’re not wrong! And this is why Coins and Gifts are not a popular way to make money on TikTok. Nevertheless, this is one of the best ways to get paid directly from your followers, which is useful if you don’t yet have a large enough audience to make significant income through sponsored or affiliate videos.

Participate in the TikTok creator fund

TikTok has also started paying creators directly through the Creator Fund. This is a revenue-sharing model where TikTok will pay you some of the money it earns via ads based on your video audience and their engagement. Unfortunately, it’s not totally clear how the TikTok creator fund works. Not every user is eligible to participate, and not every video you create will earn an income. But the Creator Fund is the only way to get paid directly by TikTok.

The response from TikTokers to the Creator Fund has been mixed. Some say it’s really great, and others complain it doesn’t generate significant income for them. Many have complained that their views and engagement on their videos decreased after they signed up for the Creator Fund (though TikTok insists there’s no correlation). The only way you’ll know if the Creator Fund will work for you is to try it out!

Do sponsored videos

Sponsored content is probably the most lucrative way to make money on TikTok if you’ve built up an audience. Brands will pay you directly to mention or show off and recommend their product to your followers. Depending on the size of your following and how many views and likes your videos typically get, you can be paid anywhere from a few hundred dollars to tens of thousands of dollars for a sponsored video.

Sponsored content is not unusual online, and many users expect to see their favourite influencers promoting a brand or product from time to time. However, people do get upset if you pitch too aggressively or too often, so be selective about the brands you work with and how often you promote.

Promote affiliates

An increasingly popular way to earn money on TikTok is to promote products or services for which you’re an affiliate. As an affiliate, you’ll either earn a flat rate per sign-up or a percentage of the purchase spend from people who engage with a brand through your unique link.

To make money as an affiliate on TikTok, you need to create a video promoting a brand or product and leave your affiliate link in your bio for viewers to click through. From there, you’ll be paid by brands whenever your followers sign up or purchase whatever it is you’re recommending.

Many TikTokers are Amazon affiliates, which is why you’ll see so many “Amazon hauls” or “TikTok Made Me Buy It” videos posted on the platform. But many brands in every space, from make-up to fashion to personal finance, have affiliate programs you can jump on board with. If there’s a product or service you feel passionate about and are willing to sing the praises of to the TikTok world, then an affiliate partnership is the best way to do it!

Sell your own products

Finally, selling your own products via TikTok is probably the easiest way to make money on the platform if you have something to sell.

TikTok has become an incredible marketplace for artists, who often post “beyond the scenes” videos making their products. This gets fans really engaged and interested in your work and makes them more likely to purchase directly from you. Service providers like coaches or social media managers often promote themselves on TikTok by providing tons of free information in their videos. This showcases their expertise and convinces potential clients of their value, so they’re ready to buy.

Whatever you do or sell, TikTok is probably one of the best places to reach a large customer base with something as simple as a 15-second video. Unlike Coins, the Creator Fund, sponsored videos, or affiliate partnerships, promoting your products is the only way you keep 100% of the income earned. As long as you’re willing to get in front of the camera, this is an incredible way to make money!

More tips for making your TikTok Videos make money

If you’re looking to create income-generating videos on TikTok, you might be searching for how to game the algorithm or investing in fancy production technology. But the truth is, earning money on TikTok is much simpler than that. All you need to do is make great content and engage with your followers.

Build your brand

On TikTok, you are selling yourself, so it’s important that you are an interesting, identifiable brand. Branding yourself doesn’t have to be complicated. Think of it as delivering a consistent style in the way you present yourself online. This can be as easy as always using the same filters or voice effects or always doing the same type of video.

If you’re looking for inspiration, check out your favourite content creators on TikTok. You’ll notice some of those with millions of followers are making videos as simple as reading tweets, acting out short character skits, or giving advice. The point is to do the same thing repeatedly, so it becomes you and what you’re known for.

Decide on a niche

The best way to succeed on any social media platform, especially TikTok, is to select a specific focus for your channel. This makes it easier for people to find you when they search for something in particular. It will also keep users coming back to your channel for more information on that topic. When you don’t pick a niche, people don’t know what to expect from you and will be less likely to subscribe!

Provide tons of free value

How much money you make on TikTok will be determined by how many people see your videos and how many people like them. Focus on creating valuable content that encourages people to like, comment, follow you, and most importantly, share it with others. As more people consume your content, the algorithm is more likely to push your content out to even more users.

Consistently creating valuable content gives people a reason to keep coming back to your channel for more. The more eyeballs on your content, the better shot you have at converting them into customers or getting a brand’s attention to pay for your sponsored videos.

Focus on engagement

Likewise, engaging with your following is really important. Make sure to like and reply to comments, answer questions, and do duets with other creators. The purpose of social media is to be “social”, so make yourself accessible and engaging so people want to follow and interact with you.

The bottom line

TikTok can make an awesome side hustle or even ultimately become a full-time income, but you need to put the work in like any other job. Follow these tips and see where it goes. You never know: you may strike gold and start your own business before you know it!

Bridget Casey is the award-winning entrepreneur behind Money After Graduation, a Canadian financial literacy website aimed at 20 and 30-somethings. She holds a BSc. from the University of Alberta, and an MBA in Finance from the University of Calgary. She has been featured as a millennial financial expert by Yahoo! Finance, TIME Magazine, Business Insider, CBC and BNN. Bridget was recognized as one of Alberta's Top Young Innovators in 2016.

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