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How to make money on TikTok: 8 strategies for creators and influencers

How to make money on TikTok: 8 strategies for creators and influencers
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Read time: 5min

Have you made a how-to, tutorial, or a fun fact video recently? If so, chances are you’re one of TikTok’s 1 billion monthly users. TikTok has become one of the most powerful social media platforms for creators, influencers, and small businesses for good reason. There’s tons of potential to build an audience and make real money on the social app. The latter, we’re guessing, is why you’re reading this blog.

As the platform continues to harness the attention of millions, it’s natural to wonder if you can monetize your own TikTok profile. The short answer is yes, you can, but only if equipped with the right strategy. Who knows? You could be the next Charli D’Amelio or Cassey Ho! 

While that might be a bit of a stretch, the following eight strategies are bound to earn you income on TikTok. In addition to how to make money on TikTok, we’re also covering sustainable monetization options that will diversify your income well beyond social media.

Let’s get started!

How much money can you make on TikTok?

There is no cut-and-dry answer for how much money you can make on TikTok, but there are two things we can be certain of:

  • Creators on the app can monetize through multiple income streams, which will determine their overall earnings.
  • A TikTok account’s number of followers and engagement rate directly correlate with the amount of money a TikTok user can make.

Often TikTok accounts with the largest followings have more opportunity to earn the most, but, as of recently, earning potential is no longer based on follower size alone.

Now, engagement rate is an equally important metric. This new way of measuring success has leveled the playing field, allowing even small TikTok accounts to make money. This has led to the rise of micro-influencers, defined as having between 10,000 to 50,000 followers. They are known for loyal and engaged audiences, which have brands seeking them out for sponsorships and deals. 

No matter the size or quality of your audience, there’s a slim chance you’ll match Addison Rae’s annual TikTok salary of $8.5 million, but with the right strategy, you can still turn a decent profit with your TikTok content!

3 steps to build an engaged TikTok following

As you might guess, to tap into all of the ways you can use TikTok to make money, you need to build a large and engaged following. That requires creating TikTok content that connects with your target audience.

Thankfully, there are actionable steps content creators like yourself can take to build that connection.

Step 1: Develop your brand.

It’s important to have a cohesive brand strategy, meaning your brand should be incorporated into every element of your business, including your TikTok account. 

You should have a solid understanding of what type of videos you’ll post, and once you do, be consistent. To hone in on your brand and content style, ask yourself three questions: Who are you? What do you do? Who is your audience?

Step 2: Create content your audience wants to watch.

Your audience’s interests should always guide the type of content you post. To hone in on what that is, research what other creators in your industry post since your audiences likely overlap. Once you’ve done your research, get to creating! To create engaging content, focus on these aspects:

  • Grab your audience’s attention immediately.
  • Lead with an emotional hook.
  • Vary your video content while remaining true to your brand.
  • And, most important for TikTok, be authentic!

Step 3: Post consistently.

TikTok recommends posting 1 to 4 times daily. Why? Posting consistently keeps you on your followers’ minds and gives you more opportunities to go viral as it pleases the TikTok algorithm. But, keep an eye on your performance to determine a frequency that works best for you.

Having a solid grasp of your audience’s interests will put you in a better position to grow a following and find the best ways to monetize that following.

8 ways to make money on TikTok

Now, you can begin the journey of monetizing on TikTok!

Below, we’re breaking down eight strategies for money-making on TikTok, including how to monetize on the TikTok app itself and how to monetize your TikTok profile—because as you’ll see, they are two very different things.

Monetize on the TikTok app

To start making money on TikTok, you need to meet the following requirements:

  • Users must be 18 years old or older
  • Are based in the US, UK, France, Germany, Spain, or Italy
  • Have at least 10,000 followers
  • Have at least 100,000 video views in the last 30 days
  • Have an account that fits with our TikTok Community Guidelines and terms of service

Once you’ve met these requirements, you can take advantage of all of the monetization options the platform has to offer:

1. Apply to the TikTok Creator Fund

TikTok has offered its Creator Fund, worth $1 billion in the US, since 2020. It’s available to any and all creators as long as you meet the above requirements.

How much a creator can earn from the fund is based on a few factors: the size of your audience, follower engagement, and the frequency of your TikTok videos.

Seeing that the Creator Fund requires creators to have an established following, it can be hard to create substantial revenue from the fund alone, but even creators with substantial followings have complained of low payouts.

As a result, the Creator Fund received major backlash this past year. This led the platform to revamp the program as of February 2023. Now called the “Creativity Program", the fund hopes to generate higher revenue and unlock more opportunities for creators. Eligibility requirements should remain the same as the Creator Fund, but as reported by The Information, creators may now need a minimum of 100,000 followers to take advantage.

The program is currently available to creators on an invite-only basis but will be available to all eligible US creators in the coming months.

2. Post content to TikTok Series

TikTok has expanded its monetization features to include a way for creators to post content behind a paywall called Series.

A Series can include up to 80 videos, each up to 20 minutes long, which deviates from the now standard length of 10 minutes—up from the original three-minute limit. 

When it comes to pricing, creators can charge anywhere from $1 - $190 per Series, paving the way for them to make some serious cash.

At the moment, Series is only available for select creators, but applications will open for everyone in the coming months.

3. Accept live gifts

Hosting live streams and accepting live gifts is yet another way for creators to earn money directly from the app itself.

During a creator’s live stream, followers can send virtual gifts, purchased with virtual coins that are bought on the platform. The creator can then convert the gifts into “Diamonds” (TikTok’s virtual credits) and cash them out to a PayPal account.

But, the one stipulation is, for followers to purchase coins, they have to be at least 18 years old, so this may not be the best monetization method for creators with a young audience.

Fun fact: To receive virtual gifts during TikTok Lives, you only need 1,000 followers!

Monetize your TikTok profile

Now, let’s cover how to monetize your TikTok profile. These methods differ from the above methods, because rather than make money from the app itself, instead, you monetize the following and brand presence you’ve built on TikTok.

1. Sell your own products or merch

Already have merchandise? You’re in luck! Advertising your own product on TikTok is a great way to make money via the app. Whether you’re selling hard goods like t-shirts or digital goods like online courses, create TikTok content that shows off your products or services.

Don’t forget to include a link to your ecommerce website in your bio!

2. Partner with a TikTok influencer

Perfect for established creator businesses, small or large, influencer marketing is an excellent way to grow your brand presence and sell products or services on TikTok.

The great thing about partnering with an influencer is that user-generated content, also called UGC, appears authentic but is designed to showcase a specific brand or product.

Before reaching out to an influencer to establish a collaboration, always make sure their content and audience align with your own. You wouldn’t want to establish a partnership with an influencer who has a Gen-Z following when the majority of your followers are 50+.

If you’re in the U.S., utilize the TikTok Creator Marketplace to find the right influencer for you. The Creator Marketplace is an especially great resource for brands or creators looking to run an affiliate marketing campaign.

3. Publish sponsored posts

Become an influencer yourself! A brand may approach you to post content sponsored by them, otherwise known as a brand deal or brand sponsorship. In exchange for creating content that shows off their product, the brand may compensate you with money, free services, or products.

Remember, when posting your own sponsored content, tap the Branded Content toggle to ensure you’re being transparent with TikTok and your audience. If you don’t, you risk having the post removed, or worse, your fans unfollowing you. It also doesn’t hurt to slap a hashtag on your sponsored content alerting followers to its #ad nature.

4. Run in-feed TikTok ads

Albeit not the best monetization option for creators just starting, but for those that have the extra funds, in-feed TikTok ads are a great way to expand the reach of your content—and get more eyes on your products—with the TikTok ads manager.

TikTok ads appear and play on active users’ feeds like any other short video. But, with paid ads, you can be positive your videos are reaching your target audience.

Even better, the TikTok ad manager integrates with Shopify, allowing you to create TikTok ads, select an audience, and track your ad’s performance all from your Shopify account.

5. Start a paid membership

If you’re looking to establish a steady income stream, look no further than a subscription membership. The subscription model is great for content creators because it provides predictable, recurring revenue—something that can be hard to come by in the creator economy.

All you need to do is advertise the value of your membership to your TikTok fans and encourage them to join!

Remember, the lower the subscription price, the lower the barrier to entry. Charging two dollars for a monthly membership might not feel like a ton, but at that price point, you will attract more customers. And that $2 per customer will quickly add up. Even with only 100 customers a year, you could make an extra $2,400!

Diversify your income beyond social media

Imagine that TikTok ceased to exist. As crazy as it sounds, it’s not implausible. Challenges like app outages, government restrictions, or worse, total bans, and constant competition from other apps will always put social networks at risk. And, with them, their user base.

It’s simple. If a social app disappears, so will content creators’ means of earning revenue. For this reason, it’s paramount for creators to diversify their income streams beyond social media.

At Kajabi, we believe one of the best ways to achieve sustainable revenue streams is through digital products or any product you sell online that doesn’t have a physical form or substance. This includes online courses, coaching programs, and online communities.

With digital products, you are in full control of everything from their earnings to their audience to their brand. But don’t take it from us, listen to what Kajabi Heroes’ Avery Smith and Renee Yoxon have to say about social media monetization.

There’s no denying the potential of monetizing TikTok and increasing your revenue streams. Just like any business venture, do your research and put in hard work. If you play it right, it could pay off quite literally.

How to make money on TikTok FAQ

Can I make money on TikTok?

Yes, anyone can make money on TikTok in multiple ways including monetization options on the app and monetization of a TikTok profile! All you need is the right strategy to get started. If you want to make money on TikTok, check out the eight strategies above and determine which monetization options are best for your audience.

How many followers do you need to make money on TikTok?

To make money directly from TikTok, there are follower requirements. For example, TikTok’s Creator Fund requires a minimum of 10,000 followers, but to receive virtual gifts during TikTok Lives, you only need 1,000 followers. When it comes to making money through indirect methods, like selling your own merch or partnering with an influencer, there is no follower requirement.

How do creators make money on TikTok?

Top creators on TikTok make money through multiple revenue streams on the platform including, but not limited to, the Creator Fund, sponsorships, tips and donations, and product sales. There are many ways to make money on TikTok and how you decide to monetize your content will determine overall earnings.

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