3 ways to make money on TikTok

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TikTok is swimming in money – money that can end up in your bank account if you operate the platform well.

“I won over $200,000 [from TikTok] for 2021 and the first part of 2022,” says Sal Farzin, an Austin-based tech pro whose TikTok side is rocking, @SimplySalFinds, has 1.7 million followers. Firzin’s first TikTok post was posted on July 1, 2020, and his primary TikTok monetization strategy involves reviewing Amazon products and directing viewers to affiliate links.

“I realized this was a platform with immense reach,” he says. Affiliate links are just one of the many ways to make money on TikTok, and contrary to popular belief, you don’t have to dance around or point fingers at things to find traction on the market. platform.

We reached out to experts who use TikTok every day to spread the word and generate additional revenue. Here’s what they had to say.

How many TikTok followers or likes do you need to make money?

Having a lot of followers or likes on TikTok does not guarantee a big financial gain. In most cases, the most lucrative approach is to focus on engagement and connecting over time with users who are excited about what you post.

As with other social media platforms like Instagram and YouTube, making money on TikTok can usually be split into one of three main buckets:

  • Monetization in the platform: Create content on TikTok, then get paid by the app itself through payments from creator funds. Note that TikTok does do not give its creators any revenue share from advertisements; it is different from other social media platforms.
  • Paid partnerships and sponsorships: Prove your TikTok content is driving engagement, then bring your results to brands for sponsorship.
  • Off-platform sales: Use TikTok to reach new people, then invite them out of the app to visit your website or click and buy an item using your affiliate link.

What makes TikTok unique is that it has eyeballs – lots of them. As a website, TikTok recently dethroned Google to become the most popular web property on the planet, according to a 2021 report published by Cloudflare, a global cloud platform that powers millions of websites. It’s not uncommon for a post on TikTok to get thousands or even tens of thousands of views, even if you’re just getting started.

Pro tip

TikTok is an emerging platform with an unusually high reach. Focus on engaging and entertaining your audience consistently and your fanbase will grow over time.

TikTok’s secret sauce is knowing what types of content the app likes to prioritize. A good rule of thumb is to make your content native: create videos that look like TikTok and can be consumed and enjoyed while still on the app.

“TikTok rewards users who take an entertainment-first approach,” says Tiffany Rivers, senior director of social media at Media cause, a creative agency that helps nonprofits grow and accelerate their impact. “Users want to stay [in-platform] on TikTok even more than on other platforms. Creators can still be very profitable by leveraging paid partnerships, but we’ve found that when influencers try to drive traffic to landing pages or e-commerce sites, it’s not as effective as on other sites. other platforms.

It takes a careful strategy to drive TikTok users to another platform, says Humphrey Yang, an entrepreneur and former financial adviser whose TikTok @humphreytalks has 3.3 million followers. “Off-platform conversion rates aren’t usually great – 1% or less in my experience,” Yang says. “You need a strong video with a strong call to action at the end. Some of the best conversions I’ve seen anecdotally are great videos that make you want more; they then promote from another platform or newsletter for the full scoop.

How much do TikTokers earn?

How much you earn on TikTok highly depends on how you operate the app and incorporate the strategies mentioned above. A common denominator between these strategies is to create an enthusiastic and engaged audience; When you do this, brand partners are more likely to take the first step and approach you.

“I’ve developed great brand partnerships with Amazon, Kodak, Panasonic, and the Container Store,” says Farzin. “The majority of these brands contacted mewhat’s exciting, you know?

When we see TikTokers generating huge revenue, brand deals and paid partnerships are usually a substantial contributor.

TikTokers with the highest earnings

A Forbes report listed six TikTokers that generated $4.75 million or more from their channels in 2021. They are:

It’s important to remember that this list only considers influencers who got their start on TikTok. Celebrities who have adopted the app may qualify for higher sponsorship deals or rates, but they arrived on TikTok with an already established personal brand or following. You can make money on TikTok even if you’re starting from scratch by investing time and energy into learning the platform.

Now let’s dive deeper into three strategies for turning TikTok posts into tangible dollars.

Strategy #1: Drive users away from the platform

Click-through rates on TikTok seem low compared to other platforms, but Farzin, whose strategy relies primarily on affiliate link commissions, thinks it has more to do with the app still being new. and has an unusually high post reach.

“My conversion rate is between 10 and 15%,” he says. “Watching the video, going to my bio and clicking the link, it’s three or four clicks until they get to this product. It’s phenomenal that they follow through.

Farzin emphasizes that valuable content is key. “It’s about this value-driven content. When people come to my page, they can say “Okay, this guy does products, but there are other categories too.” Maybe I should follow him.

TikTok profiles only allow one hyperlink, but there are several free services that can turn your single link into multiple links. LinkTree, Lnk.bioand milkshake are popular options.

Strategy #2: Look for partnership or sponsorship deals with a brand

If you’re sure you can get attention for your TikTok videos, advertisers can’t wait to pay you to promote their product or brand. Brand partners and sponsors know that TikTok is a platform with huge reach; expect outreach and quality storytelling to be two of your most important deliverables.

“Paid partnership posts that drive awareness and are centered around storytelling and entertainment are more likely to gain traction,” Rivers notes. Micro-influencers – loosely defined as creators who have less than 10,000 followers – can strike deals with a brand, but to do so they must show a brand that they are genuinely interested in representing the product and that they can do it effectively.

Strategy #3: Get paid by TikTok itself

TikTok’s parent company, ByteDance, has launched a $200 Million Creators Fund in the summer of 2020, but the disbursements from this fund are modest. The industry consensus is that TikTok will pay you two to four cents for every 1,000 video views.

It never looks good for your app when a popular creator posts a video saying you suck, like Hank Green did in January 2022 with a YouTube post titled “So… TikTok sucks.” Since TikTok is growing like wildfire, more users mean more videos, and more videos mean more competition for the same pool of money. Consider pairing this strategy with one of the other approaches mentioned earlier to diversify your money-making efforts.

Also, if you have a knack for creating viral videos, you might want to use that same skill set and apply it on a platform that offers bigger rewards for such a skill set, like YouTube or Instagram.

Whatever strategy you decide to pursue, long-term success on TikTok will depend on how much content you actually post. want to to create week after week.

“Don’t try to be like someone else already on the platform,” says Farzin. “That’s rule number one. Talk about the topics that really interest you, be authentic and be yourself.

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