Have you ever caught yourself spending hours consuming endless amounts of TikTok videos? Yes, TikTok — a platform that’s been eating up our time over the last few years, audience and creators alike. TikTok’s goal is to allow people to easily make short-form videos with their smartphones, giving every user the power to be a content creator. But have you thought about monetizing your TikTok? That’s right, why not use this mega-platform to your advantage by learning how to make money on it?
Content monetization is a way of leveraging content so that when it is consumed by your audience, you benefit by earning money. You can be paid either by members of the audience themselves, or from a third party that markets products through your content. With over 1 billion monthly active users on TikTok, it is possible to make money by creatively using this platform.
Sure, making money from posting 15-second clips sounds like a no-brainer, but how exactly does one get those checks? You may also ask, “What if I don’t have millions of followers like Khaby Lame or Addison Rae?”
The Leap’s guide on How To Make Money on TikTok explores some of the most common questions about getting paid on the popular social media app. (Spoiler alert: You don’t even need a D’Amelio-level follower count in order to cash in.) From ideas to help you stand out from the crowd, to proven ways to earn money as a TikTok creator, our guide features plenty of useful tips and tangible advice. Learn how much other creators are charging, figure out your brand, and find a monetization strategy that works for you.
Read on for some easy strategies to get you started, and download the full 30-page guide below (it’s free!). Have fun exploring that weird, wide, wonderful world of TikTok.
1. Find your niche
First and foremost, find your niche. It’s so important to know what you love, or what you’re good at doing, and find a way to promote that. Having a niche allows you to hone in on what makes your content unique. It also helps differentiate yourself from other creators. When it comes to the kinds of expertise can be monetized, the answer may surprise you. It can be anything that you have insight into, that’s likely to be of interest and value to others. Naturally, the larger the potential audience, the greater the possibility for monetization.
Finding your niche is a great way to grow an organic following on TikTok, meaning you’ll have a loyal and engaged audience. With this platform, it’s also important to be consistent with publishing videos, so that your content can be seen regularly.
The main takeaway here? In order to monetize TikTok, you need to have an engaged following. So niche down and start creating!
2. Join TikTok Creator Next
Creator Next is a program designed to help TikTok creators monetize as they grow their communities. If you qualify to join Creator Next, you’ll get access to features and tools to help you grow on TikTok. The monetization features in Creator Next include: Creator Fund, Creator Marketplace, Video Gifts, LIVE Gifts, and Tips.
Take note that business accounts are ineligible for Creator Next, making the program best for individual creators. There are also certain criteria that need to be met in order to apply for the program:
- You have to be located where Creator Next is currently available.
- You must be at least 18 years of age (or 19 in South Korea and 20 in Japan).
- You need to have a minimum number of followers and video views (it’s usually at least 10K followers and 100K views).
- You need to have posted a minimum of three times on TikTok in the last 30 days.
- Your account must be in good standing with the TikTok guidelines.
3. Go live on TikTok
Another way that can help you monetize your TikTok account is by doing live streams on the platform. With the LIVE Gifts feature available exclusively via the Creator Next program, your audience can directly — and financially — show their support to your content.
The principle of the LIVE Gifts feature is simple: TikTok users are able to purchase “coins” using actual money via in-app purchases. These coins can be used to send gifts to TikTok creators, in essence giving them a small amount of real money as a “thank you” for creating good content.
TikTok does take a commission, and will pass you 50% of what you earn. While this often isn’t a huge amount of money, it still is something! Doing live videos will also help build your account, and signal to brands that you’re growing in influence.
4. Partner with a brand
Once you’ve found your niche and set a goal of what kind of content, products, or business you want to create, start reaching out to some brands you’d want to partner with. Better yet, they may be the ones to reach out to you first. This can happen once brands start to notice your platform, and are able to see the kind of engagement you get from your followers. At this point, you’d want to figure out how to monetize your TikTok views.
Many TikTokers find that brand sponsorships are one of the most lucrative ways of monetizing TikTok videos. With sponsored content, you’ll have an agreement with a brand to help promote their products and recommend them to your followers. Just remember to be upfront with your audience about your paid sponsorships.
5. Add affiliate links to your profile
By adding affiliate links to your TikTok profile, you may be able to earn a commission, a flat rate, or a percentage of sales every time someone clicks on your links.
An affiliate relationship is very similar to a sponsorship: you’ll promote a brand’s product or service, and provide a link to the brand’s website to purchase that. Sometimes, the business you partner with may even create a unique promo code for your followers.
Here’s a little tip: Since you can only have one link included in your TikTok bio, you can use Linktree or similar platforms to catalog all your links, including your affiliate links and your other social profiles.
6. Discover partnerships on TikTok Creator Marketplace
TikTok Creator Marketplace is the official platform for brand and creator collaborations. Like other TikTok monetization methods, you’ll need to meet certain eligibility requirements to access this feature. Successful applicants will be able to connect with brands for potential partnerships. This is an easy way to connect with different brands and find opportunities when learning how to monetize your TikTok.
Presently, business partners can reach over 500,000 creators across 24 countries and regions on the TikTok Creator Marketplace. TikTok creators can receive invitations from business partners in the app, and can choose which collaboration opportunities to pursue. Note that contracts and payouts differ between brands and campaigns.
7. Advertise your products on TikTok
If you’re a creator who has launched a business selling products, whether they’re physical merch or digital products, consider posting ads on TikTok.
As with most social media platforms, TikTok has an ads manager that offers business owners the opportunity to expand their reach among customers and viewers. By promoting your brand with TikTok For Business, you may be able to drive up product sales and increase website movement. This can be done through using in-feed video ads, branded hashtags, brand takeovers, and branded effects like filters.
While video ads may help you reach a large audience quickly, just note that TikTok ads can be pricier compared to other platforms, such as Google or Facebook. The ads can range from $10 per 1,000 views, and TikTok requires a $500 minimum spend on a campaign. Due to the higher cost, creators with small businesses may want to use other channels for advertising.
If you’re wondering what digital products are, or how you can start selling them, watch this series of videos for a quick explanation:
Watch the cash flow
There are a ton of ways to monetize your TikTok as a content creator. It’s all about finding a strategy that works best for you, so you can add an additional stream to your income. You never know what will take off on the app, or if your content will inspire a new trend. Now is the time to take risks, and see where this platform can take you. Happy creating, and good luck!
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