You may have seen enough teens in weird outfits gyrating to soundbites to decide TikTok is not for you. Aside from a passing curiosity, who would actually spend any time watching this nonsense? We get that. We really do. But guess what? Over a billion people a month scroll through TikTok, with the average user spending almost an hour a day on the platform. That’s a lot of revenue in one place. For reference, the number of active users on Instagram is 1.4 billion monthly.
In short, TikTok is the fastest-growing social media app ever. So if you like money, maybe it’s time you took a second look.
As of September 2021, TikTok is in more than 150 countries and has been downloaded over 200 million times just in the US. You’ve probably noticed that some TikTok users are cashing in on this social platform, but how are they doing it? If you’re interested in making money on TikTok too, this post is for you.
First Up: What Is TikTok?
Launched in 2016 by ByteDance (a Chinese technology company), TikTok is a wildly popular social media app. It allows users to create and share 15-second videos produced on a cellphone and has plenty of tools (stickers, music, filters, and such) to make those clips exciting enough to hold the younger crowd’s attention. In fact, most TikTok users are between the ages of 10 and 29.
And yes, while there are many clips of users dancing in skimpy clothing and lip-syncing to music, there are also plenty of other things to discover on the platform. From DIY videos to funny animal clips, there’s something for everyone.
How Do People Earn Money On TikTok?
While the platform itself earns money from in-app purchases and advertising, TikTok’s users can also make money with the app—in some cases, a whole pile of it. For example, Charli D’Amelio is the most viewed user on the platform, with earnings of four million dollars. Addison Ray’s earnings are five million, and Spencer X earns just over a million.
Okay, These are TikTok’s high earners, but what about the little guys? Of course, the average person is not going to make a pile of cash like this on TikTok, but most people can still earn a bit of extra money if they know what they are doing. But how?
Three Primary Ways To Make Money On TikTok
Use It as an Advertising Source to Market Your Existing Business
Many people already have small businesses or hobbies that pay. For example, do you sell crafts online or make extra cash on YouTube? People just like you have used TikTok to drive traffic to their existing businesses with astounding success.
Earn From TikTok’s Creator Fund
The Creator Fund is a pool of money that gets distributed to a specific group of creators on TikTok. There are rules, of course. For example, you have to have at least 10,000 followers and have received at least 100,000 video views over the past 30 days to be eligible.
Similar to getting paid to take surveys, earnings from the Creator Fund are typically enough to make a little extra pocket money. You can use your Creator Fund earnings to help you finance more significant entrepreneurial projects, buy something special, or save for emergencies.
The last way to earn on TikTok is to acquire sponsorships, which is probably the most lucrative opportunity. It works like this: Let’s say you love to bake, and you start creating TikTok videos of you making cupcakes. You’re making new and interesting cupcakes every day or two, and you begin to amass a following.
Food manufacturers start to take note. For example, perhaps you’ve reached 15,000 followers, and your audience continues to grow. Suddenly, a flour company reaches out to you and offers to send you some free flour if you promise to mention the company and show the bag of their flour in your next three clips. That’s a sponsorship deal.
But what if you start getting even more followers? That same flour company might reach back out and offer you cash for a specific number of posts. Likewise, other companies may start reaching out to you, like those that supply sugar, frosting, or cupcake pans. Before you know it, you have several sponsorships, and you’re bringing in a decent amount of money each month. So, how do you get from point A to point B and start making real money with TikTok? That’s what we’re going to cover step-by-step next.
Step-by-Step Method To Start Making Money on TikTok
Step 1: Consider Your Niche
If you’re a total beginner on TikTok, you’ll want to think about the type of content you would like to provide. If you plan to use TikTok to support another business you already have, let that be your guide. For example, if you make quilts and sell them on Etsy, you might want to use TikTok to send viewers to your Etsy page. In this case, you’ll want to create videos related to quilting.
If you don’t already have a business and want to create content centered around a hobby, think about what you enjoy the most. For example, do you have five pet lizards you are always talking about? Let that be your niche. Do you love to clean? Cleaning tips can be a great niche. Whatever you are good at and enjoy sharing with others, consider it as a niche opportunity. The more drilled down and specific you can get with your niche, the easier it will be for you.
One of the biggest mistakes newcomers make is not choosing a niche and just posting random stuff. That’s fine if you only want to use TikTok for fun, but if you’re going to make money, you need to settle on a topic and focus only on that, especially in the beginning.
Step 2: Create Your Profile and Start Posting Content
If you don’t already have an account on TikTok, you’ll need to create one. And if you already have an idea of your niche and what type of content you want to share, it can help if you set your account up with a username that relates to that content somehow.
Of course, plenty of people have made money without coming up with a catchy name, so don’t spend too much time on this. After all, you can change your username every 30 days on TikTok, so you can always do it later.
To open your account, all you need to do is:
Download TikTok from the App Store or Google Play.
Open up the app.
Look on the bottom right for Profile and click.
Choose a signup method.
That’s it! Now you can start posting content. Don’t worry if it takes a few tries. It’s all a learning curve. TikTok also has excellent instructions on how to post your first video. Reading them will ensure that your efforts result in success rather than frustration.
Step 3: Keep Posting Videos and Getting Followers
The best way to get followers is by discovering exactly what viewers in your niche want to see and then creating your content around that. Of course, you’ll need to do this continuously. Luckily, the videos are short, so you can easily create your TikTok content around the other responsibilities in your life, like work, school, or family.
You’ll want to be consistent with your content. That means you should be posting fresh, updated, exciting stuff every day, sometimes multiple times a day. This is how you will get those followers, and getting followers is the most critical step to making money with TikTok.
It is estimated that you should have at least 10,000 followers before you even think about monetizing your account. This seems to be the magic number for when users start getting sponsorship offers.
Step 4. Reach 100,000 Followers
Up until this point, you’re just building your TikTok enterprise. However, the ball really starts rolling when you reach 100,000 followers. That’s because once you have that many followers, you can access the TikTok Creator Marketplace.
The Creator Marketplace is where brands and TikTok influencers can connect. Once you gain access to the marketplace, you won’t need to do anything specific. As long as you keep creating excellent content, you’ll get noticed. Brands can see all your metrics on the marketplace, and they will reach out to you, not the other way around.
You will get notifications of offers from various companies, and then you can pick and choose what you want to accept. Alternatively, you can also turn down those opportunities that are not worth your time and effort. You are always in control of the process.
Note: You don’t have to stop at 100,000 followers either. With Tik-Tok, the sky’s the limit, so you’ll want to amass as many followers as you possibly can.
Making money on TikTok is not only possible, but it’s also super fun! However, like any worthwhile endeavor, it takes hard work and commitment. If you don’t succeed with one niche, nothing is stopping you from trying something different and seeing what sticks.
When it comes to creating content for TikTok, make sure you are working on things you enjoy, and that make you happy. Influencers who are genuine and honest are those most sought after by brands and the people most likely to be financially successful on the platform.