Welcome to the era of TikTok. Boasting more than 1 billion active monthly users, the social media platform drives the zeitgeist — and the market. In the last few years, the creator economy has exploded in growth, and TikTok has led the charge, becoming a viable source of income for creators of all sizes and niches. By harnessing the power of the app, some (like creator Miss Excel) have even managed to turn their TikTok account into a full-blown business.
With billions of dollars on the table, now’s the right time to start monetizing on TikTok. If you’ve landed on this article, you’re probably eager to get started, but are likely wondering just how to go about it. Well, you’re in the right place. Read on as we break down how to make money on TikTok.
Want to start earning? Get a little help with our free guide on How To Make Money on TikTok!
Can you make money on TikTok?
Yes! You can absolutely make money on TikTok. If you’re familiar with the platform, you’ve likely heard of TikTok influencers like Addison Rae and Khaby Lame, who boast millions of followers and rake in millions of dollars. Making that kind of cash might seem like a pipe dream, but the reality is anyone can start making money on TikTok. All you need is an audience — of any size! That’s right, even small-scale creators with as few as 1,000 followers can earn a decent chunk of change through the app.
How much money can you make on TikTok?
The truth is there’s no one-size-fits all answer to how much money you can make on TikTok. But that also means the sky’s the limit! It all depends on how much effort and intentionality you want to put into building your TikTok empire.
Creators’ revenues vary widely depending on a few reliable factors, including how many TikTok followers you have, and how high your engagement rate is. It almost goes without saying that creators with more followers and higher engagement will earn more money. Because of their reach and influence, these creators are more desirable to brands engaging in influencer marketing campaigns and affiliate initiatives. A larger and more engaged following also means more potential buyers if you’re selling your own digital products or merch.
Want to know how much money you stand to earn on TikTok? Just punch a few simple metrics (or, simply, your TikTok username) into our handy TikTok Money Calculator, below, to calculate your estimated earnings per TikTok video, as well as how much you can make every month in digital product sales.
8 Ways to make money on TikTok
How much money you make on TikTok also depends on how many revenue streams you want to tap into. (Hint: the more the merrier!) From in-app programs like TikTok’s Creator Fund to selling your own digital products, there are plenty of ways to make money on the app. Let’s dive in.
1. Join the TikTok Creator Fund
Launched in June 2020, the TikTok Creator Fund is a $1 billion fund designed to reward creators financially. The idea behind it is to encourage creators to do what they do best: creating great quality and engaging original content.
In a nutshell, the TikTok Creator Fund pays you a slice of its billion-dollar pie every month based on view count. So, how much can you make through the Creator Fund? While TikTok has kept a tight lid on the fund’s payouts, the good news is that many TikTok Creator Fund users have come forward with their earnings. The bad news? Many have expressed disappointment in the fund’s low payouts, which are reported to be around $0.02 to $0.04 per 1,000 views.
Still want to rake in the TikTok Creator Fund earnings? TikTok’s Creator Fund is currently available to eligible users based in the U.S., U.K., Germany, Italy, France, and Spain. Visit TikTok’s Creator Portal to find out whether your TikTok account is eligible and how to join the fund.
2. Apply for the Creativity Program Beta
In 2023, TikTok responded to creators’ concerns about the Creator Fund by launching a brand new monetization tool called the Creativity Program Beta. According to TikTok, the tool was developed to “generate higher revenue potential” for creators. In other words, the Creativity Program Beta promises to reward creators (a lot) more money than its predecessor.
So, how much more money? As usual, TikTok is keeping mum about the amount of money the Creativity Program Beta pays creators. Luckily, a number of creators have gone on record with numbers that are much higher than the Creator Fund.
Want to know exactly what kind of payouts to expect from the Creativity Program Beta? Download our How to Make Money on TikTok guide for the full scoop.
3. Go live on TikTok
Did you know you can earn money by going live? TikTok’s LIVE Gifts feature lets creators earn diamonds, part of the platform’s virtual currency that can be exchanged for IRL cash. Simply sign up, go live, and watch the diamonds — and dollars — roll in.
TikTok’s LIVE Gifts let creators earn money through TikTok’s internal virtual economy. Here’s how it works:
- First, TikTok users use real-world cash to purchase in-app coins, which can then be exchanged for virtual Gifts.
- Your viewers can send these Gifts to you during LIVE videos.
- TikTok then converts your Gifts into Diamonds, which can be exchanged for cold hard cash. Essentially, more Gifts equals more Diamonds equals more Cash.
Want to get in on LIVE Gifts? Visit TikTok’s website to find out whether you’re eligible and how to enable this monetization feature.
4. Brand partnerships
The OG moneymaker for creators everywhere, brand partnerships are still flying high with the influencer marketing industry expected to hit $21.1 billion in 2023.
Today, there are numerous ways brands and TikTok influencers can partner with each other. Think creating sponsored posts, hosting giveaways, holding TikTok takeovers, and more. What’s even better is that you don’t need a massive following to land brand deals. Brands are increasingly interested in collaborating with creators with smaller TikTok audiences, given they usually have higher engagement rates and access to niche communities.
When it comes to brand partnerships, the age-old question is always, “How much should I charge?” A few years ago, $100 per 10,000 followers was the standard. But today, creators are commanding more than ever.
Want to know how much you should be charging brands in 2023? Get our free How to Make Money on TikTok guide to find out. Plus, learn how land your first brand deal, and how much TikTok creators of all tiers are charging for sponsored posts.
Wondering how much you could make per sponsored post? Use our free TikTok Money Calculator to estimate your earnings!
5. Sell merch
Sports teams sell jerseys and rock bands sell T-shirts. Now, creators are getting in on the merch game, too. Selling branded merch is a great way to monetize and engage your audience. When your followers buy merch, like T-shirts, mugs, or iPhone cases, they’re showing their support and supporting you financially.
Today, the number of widely-available print-on-demand (POD) services makes selling merch easier than ever. Simply design your logo and the POD company will take care of printing and shipping. No need to keep an inventory or deal with pesky shipping logistics.
6. Sell digital products
With the digital media market set to reach $624 billion in 2023, digital products are some of the hottest commodities out there. And selling them is fast becoming one of the most popular — and profitable — ways for creators to earn a living.
To put it simply, a digital product is anything you can sell online that your customer can download instantly. Think online courses, ebooks, CV templates, website themes, stock music, downloadable art prints — the list goes on.
In addition to the over-$600-billion digital media pie, there are a number of other compelling reasons you might want to get into the digital product game. First, digital products require little investment, since digital tools are more affordable than renting a brick-and-mortar store or maintaining an inventory. Secondly, digital products only need to be produced once before they can be purchased ad infinitum; that means higher returns than selling physical products, with a profit margin that increases over time. Even better, selling digital products allows you to avoid the hassle of shipping logistics.
The bottom line is that digital products are a powerful source of passive income (which, if you ask us, is the best kind!) Without needing to be hands on, you can rake it in while focusing on the other things you love, like creating content and having some well-deserved relaxation.
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7. Create UGC content for brands
UCG creators are paid by brands to create TikTok videos that capture the authentic look and feel of true user-generated content. The difference between being a brand partner and a UGC creator is that their content is posted to the brand’s TikTok account, rather than the creator’s own TikTok account.
UGC content is a fast-growing money-maker in the creator economy, with TikTok recently (and quietly) launching its own UGC program called the Creative Challenge. The program pays creators to make ads for brands and, allegedly, the payouts are pretty impressive.
Creating UGC can be incredibly lucrative. But that doesn’t mean it’s a cakewalk. Your success as a UGC creator hinges on the quality of content you create (rather than, say, your follower count.) So you’ll need to take time to build your photography, video, script writing, and editing skills before making it big. But after that, your hard work is likely to pay off in a big, big way.
8. Become an affiliate marketer
As an affiliate marketer, you make money by promoting the products and brands you love. Sounds like a pretty sweet deal, right? How it works is that creators recommend products through their TikTok posts using a unique affiliate link or promo code. For each purchase, the creator earns a percentage in commission from the sale.
Want to become an affiliate? Plenty of brands have robust and ongoing affiliate programs, and are constantly looking for new creators to join. Your first step is to do a little research into the affiliate programs within your niche. Then, it’s just time to reach out!
Tons of brands have affiliate programs. But did you know TikTok has its own? TikTok’s affiliate program connects creators directly with the brands and products they want to promote. Essentially, it allows you to earn money without even leaving the TikTok app. Simply browse through the platform’s marketplace of over 10,000 products, request samples from brands, and recommend your favorite products in your videos and livestreams.
5 Tips for making money on TikTok
Want to boost your TikTok income? Keep these tips top of mind:
Create engaging content
Say it after us: “high-quality content.” TikTok users are more likely to engage with valuable content. That’s to say, videos that teach them something new in a fun way. Creating quality content doesn’t mean you need to use fancy equipment. Instead, focus on crafting strong hooks and knowing your audience’s needs.
Have a consistent posting schedule
The algorithm rewards consistency — and so does your audience. Sticking to a regular posting schedule increases your chances of appearing on the For You page (FYP), all while keeping your followers engaged and eager for more content.
You know the old saying, “be yourself”? Sure, it might elicit an eye roll — but it actually does count when it comes to TikTok. Studies have shown that today’s consumers crave authenticity. And they’re flocking to TikTok to get it. In other words, TikTok users value creators who are creating content that’s original, honest, and true-to-themselves. So, don’t just copy others or rehash what’s trendy. Keep it real on TikTok, and the followers will follow.
Speaking of keeping it real… TikTok users value transparency as much as authenticity, so you’ll want to let them know when you’re posting sponsored content. This is where the Branded Content toggle becomes your best friend. This handy button automatically adds an #Ad hashtag to your post, so your followers know when they’re viewing an advertisement. Use it often — and err on the side of caution or get ready for a call-out.
Don’t stop posting your regular content
Sure, you might be excited to promote your latest partnership, but don’t forget about your regular content in the process. A little goes a long way when it comes to posting sponsored content. A good rule of thumb is one sponsored video for every four or six that are all you. Remember: that’s who your followers are here to see.
So, how do I make money on TikTok?
The world of TikTok is weird, wide, and wonderful (that’s what we love about it.) There are many, many ways to monetize on TikTok, whether you’re a newcomer, a micro-influencer, or already in the game. How much you make it pretty much limitless. And it’s all up to you. As long as you approach it strategically and with intention, you’ll be raking it in in no time.
Want even more tips? Grab our TikTok monetization guidebook to unlock more tricks to making money on TikTok.
Does TikTok pay you?
Yes, TikTok does pay you. TikTok pays creators directly through a series of initiatives, including the TikTok Creator Fund, the Creativity Program Beta, its affiliate program, its LIVE Gifts feature, and its upcoming Creative Challenge program.
Who are the highest paid creators on TikTok?
According to a 2023 report by Influencer Marketing Hub, the highest paid TikTok creator is Charli D’Amelio, who earns around $17.5 million per year, followed by Dixie D’Amelio, who makes an estimated $10 million annually, and Addison Rae, who makes around $8.5 million per year.
How many followers do you need to make money on TikTok?
There’s no cut-and-dry follower count you need to hit to start making money on TikTok. You can earn decent money with even as few as 1,000 TikTok followers.
According to a 2022 report by Influencer Marketing Hub, TikTok nano-influencers (1,000 to 10,000 followers) typically earn $5 to $25 per video, while micro-influencers (10,000 to 50,000 followers) can earn $25 – $125 per video.