What are the best ways to make money on TikTok? The best ways to make money on TikTok are actually the simplest – you need to be very entertaining and you need to attract huge audiences and the attention of brand owners.
The Chinese app TikTok has taken the world by storm over the last few years. The app, created by Bytedance, has been downloaded over two billion times since its launch in 2016/17.
The app encourages users to create 15-second videos, soundtracked by music clips. Many users dance and lip-synch. It has been called ‘Karaoke for the digital age’ and young people all over the world love it.
Some entertainers have even become ‘TikTok stars’, and make quite a bit of money from their videos. You can read a great guide on ‘How to set up the perfect space at home for your social media videos’ here, from our friends over at Porch.
So, how do people make money from posting content on TikTok? How many followers do you have to have before you can make money on TikTok? And, what are the most lucrative ways to put cash in the bank?
Coins & Diamonds
TikTok has a currency. Users, who are over-18, can buy bundles of virtual coins with a real credit card. These coins can then purchase virtual gifts like diamonds and other emojis.
In a live stream event (you can only live stream if you have over 1,000 followers) people can show their appreciation for your performance by sending you gifts, like diamonds.
Diamonds can be converted into cash. You must have a Paypal account to do this and TikTok takes 50% of any ‘revenues’ you earn.
You can only withdraw your money once you’ve reached $100 and you can’t withdraw more than $1,000 a day.
Earning money via live streams is a tricky proposition, and only the most entertaining stars benefit from this business model. The real money lies in advertising and product placements.
If you have a decent following, you can earn money from brand partnerships and product placements. In the advertising and product placement world, YouTube stars get paid on views, so they need tens of thousands of viewers to make any money. YouTube stars are also quite upfront about the stuff they are advertising; for example, a beauty blogger will call out the name of the brands they feature and use.
TikTok is different. TikTok stars are likely to be dancing in a video, but in the background, you may see a beauty brand. TikTok product placement is more subtle but no less potent than YouTube.
A mega influencer like baby Ariel, for example, with over 34 million followers could earn as much as $150,000 for a single sponsored post.
If, however, you have just 2,000 followers but still post decent content – like makeup tips – you could earn up to $50 a post. You may also receive free stuff from brands who are hoping you will use their products in your videos.
Top tip: If you have a sizeable following contact the brand managers yourself, see if they think you are a fit and try and do a deal with them, for example, six posts over two months for an agreed lump sum. There are many ways to approach brands, and many want to get on TikTok as there’s a bit of a ‘gold rush’ going on.
TikTok stars can make some serious coin according to a new list estimating the top 10 earners on the social platform by OnlineGambling.ca.
TOP 10 TikTok stars: With earnings per video; TikTok name in parentheses
1. Loren Gray (lorengray), Lip Syncing / Music Videos, $197,500
2. Ariel Rebecca Martin (BabyAriel), Lip Syncing / Music Videos, $151,500
3. Charli d’amelio (charlidamelio), Dancing Videos, $149,000
4. Riyaz Aly (riyaz.14), Lip Syncing / Music Videos, $145,000
5. Kristen Hancher (kristenhancher), Lip Syncing / Music Videos, $117000
6. Gilmher Croes (gilmhercroes), Lip Syncing / Music Videos, $117000
7. Awez Darbar (awezdarbar), Dancing Videos, $112500
8. Spencer Knight (spencerx), Lip Syncing / Music Videos, $112500
9. Jacob Sartorius (jacobsartorius), Lip Syncing / Music Videos, Earns $111000
10. Arishfa Khan (_arishfakhan_), Acting Videos, Earns $109000
Affiliate marketing is slightly different from product placement. The deal is; if you feature a product in your video and that product sells afterwards, you will get a share of the sales money.
If you are smart and creative, you will be able to make videos that include certain brands or products but still entertain your followers.
No one wants to visit TikTok to see a star doing a blatant ad for a brand; they want to be entertained. Affiliate marketing should feel natural, and good TikTik creators will offer simple discounts or coupons for specific products. They then also earn revenue if these discounts or coupons are used.
Drive traffic to your other channels
If you have a large following on TikTok, why not double up on efforts to make money?
An excellent way to increase your earnings is to post your TikToks on other channels and drive traffic to your YouTube or Instagram channels. You can then earn more via affiliate marketing or brand partnerships due to a bigger audience and broader reach. TikTok videos are quite good at driving engagement on other platforms.
Sell your own products
TikTok stars are now able to sell their own merchandise directly to their fans on TikTok.
Thousands of TikTok creators have hooked up with the ‘creator commerce’ platform Teespring to start creating merchandise they can sell to their followers.
TikTok is set to become a colossal e-commerce platform. Read more from The Verge here.
The pandemic halted all significant events, and TikTok stars lost a very lucrative money-making channel. Event appearances can put a lot of coinage in an influencer’s bank account. Major events like Comic-Con, for example, got swamped with TikTok stars in 2019. Once the pandemic recedes, we can expect to see more and more TikTok stars attending big events to bump up their earnings, physically meet their fans and sell their merch.