How to make money on TikTok

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TikTok has taken the social media world by storm, with over one billion active users worldwide. It has become a platform for creativity, entertainment, and most importantly, a source of income for many individuals. With its massive user base, TikTok has become a lucrative platform for creators to showcase their talent and earn money through influencer marketing.

In this article, we will explore ways to make money on TikTok and how you can turn your passion for creating content into a profitable career.



1. Establish yourself on TikTok

Establishing a presence on TikTok can be intimidating, especially with so many talented creators already dominating the platform. However, with the right strategy and approach – and with a little SEO knowledge – anyone can make a name for themselves on TikTok.

Start using TikTok

Creating an account on this popular social media platform is easy and straightforward. First, download the app from your device's app store. Once it's installed, open it and click on the "Sign Up" button. You can sign up using your email address or phone number. After providing the necessary information, create a unique username and password. It's important to choose a username that is easy to remember and reflects your brand or personality.

Next, set up your profile. Your profile is the first thing that people will see when they come across your content, so it's important to make a good first impression. Start by choosing a profile picture that is clear and reflects your brand or personality. Your bio should be concise and informative, highlighting what your content is about and what viewers can expect from your page. You can also include links to your other social media profiles or your website to help your audience connect with you outside of the app. Finally, make sure to switch to a "Pro" account to gain access to analytics and other helpful tools to grow your following.

Once your profile is set up, check TikTok's recommended videos in the "For You" screen to get an idea of what's new and popular on the platform. The "For You" screen is where TikTok curates content based on your viewing history, engagement, and other factors. This means that as you engage with more content, the app will learn your preferences and show you more content that you're likely to enjoy.

It's crucial to understand how the "For You" page works and how you can leverage the TikTok algorithm to drive traffic and grow your following. The first step is to produce content that strikes a chord with your target audience and captures their attention. This will help increase your visibility on the "For You" page and attract more TikTok followers.

Once you create your content, start engaging with other users' content by liking, commenting, and sharing. This will help increase your visibility on the "For You" page and attract more followers.

Engage your audience

To build a dedicated following, it's crucial to decide on your niche — one that aligns with your interests and talents. Start by brainstorming ideas for content that you enjoy creating and that you believe will resonate with your audience. You can also research popular TikTok trends and hashtags to see what types of content are currently popular on the platform.

Once you have found your niche, stay consistent with your content and engage with your followers to build a loyal community. For example, consider offering behind-the-scenes looks at your work or live chats with your followers. By focusing on your niche and creating top-notch content, you can establish yourself as a go-to creator in your chosen category.

Next, determine your target TikTok customer, as creating content that resonates with them and drives engagement will become critical in building your position on this platform. Start by researching your target market and understanding their interests, behaviors, and pain points. This information can help you create content that speaks directly to their needs and interests.

You can also use TikTok's analytics tools to gain insights into your audience's demographics, engagement, and viewing habits. By understanding your target customer, you can make content that is tailored to their preferences and increase your chances of building a loyal following on the platform.

Now, it's time to start the creation process. For budding influencers, creating your first video can be intimidating, but it doesn't have to be. Start by watching popular videos on the app to get an idea of what works and what doesn't.

Once you have an idea, plan out your video and keep it simple. Remember that TikTok videos are typically short, so focus on getting your message across quickly and effectively. Use good lighting and sound quality to ensure your video looks and sounds professional. You can also add music, filters, GIFs, infographics, and other special effects to make your video stand out.

Finally, don't be afraid to experiment and have fun with your content. With practice and perseverance, you can create unique, engaging and shareable content that will grow your following.

2. Affiliate marketing

Affiliate marketing is a popular way for creators to monetize their content on TikTok. By promoting products and services to their followers, creators can earn a commission on any sales that result from their recommendations.

If you're interested in affiliate marketing, it's important to note that TikTok's affiliate marketing program is only available to brands and creators with a business account. Therefore, to apply affiliate marketing to your business, set up your business account first.

To set up a business account on TikTok, follow a few simple steps. First, create a regular TikTok account, if you haven't already. Once you've done that, you can then switch to a business account by going to your profile settings and selecting "Manage Account." From there, select "Switch to Business Account" and follow the prompts to set it up.

Once this is complete, you'll be able to participate in the platform's affiliate marketing program. Just be sure to follow TikTok's guidelines for affiliate marketing, which include disclosing your relationship with the brand you’re endorsing and only promoting products that are relevant to your audience.

When you participate in affiliate marketing, you'll be recommending products and services to your audience. So, be mindful of what you promote and ensure everything aligns with your brand.

Also remember that your viewers trust you and value your opinion, so it's crucial to only promote products that you believe in and that you think will genuinely benefit them. By doing this, you'll build trust and increase the likelihood that they'll make a purchase based on your recommendation.

When promoting products or services as an affiliate, it's also important to be transparent about your relationship with the brand. This means disclosing that you'll receive a commission if your audience makes a purchase through your unique affiliate link. By being transparent, you ensure that your recommendations are viewed as authentic and genuine.

Typically, you'll include a unique affiliate link in your video captions or comments. However, you can also include a link in your profile bio to make it easier for your audience to access the product or service you're promoting. Note, however, that TikTok only allows one bio link, so choose which one you include wisely. You may want to include a link to your website or blog if you have one, or you may choose to put in your affiliate link directly.

If you have multiple affiliate links that you want to promote, consider creating a landing page that includes all of your links. A landing page is a standalone web page that is designed to promote a specific product or service, and can be a great way to showcase multiple affiliate links in one place.

If you have other social media profiles that you'd like to promote to your TikTok audience, you can redirect traffic to them by including links in your video captions or comments. This is a great way to build your following on other platforms and increase your overall reach. It also diversifies your audience and builds a more engaged community. As always, just be sure to make it clear what your audience can expect when they click on the link.

Promoting discount codes in your TikTok videos can be a great way to incentivize your audience to make purchases through your unique affiliate link. Discount codes can be a powerful tool for driving sales, as they offer your audience a tangible benefit for making a purchase through your link.

When promoting discount codes in your videos, make sure you clarify what the discount code is for and how your viewers can use it. You may want to include the discount code in your video caption or highlight it verbally in your video. Keep in mind that not all brands or affiliate programs offer discount codes, so be sure to check with them before promoting one in your videos.

3. Promote songs

Promoting songs on TikTok can be a lucrative way to make money on the platform. With millions of users around the world, it provides a massive audience for musicians and artists to promote their music and build a following.

Record labels often pay for particular tracks to be used in an influencer's videos. When agreeing to work with an influencer, they typically do so through licensing agreements. These agreements allow TikTok users to use the song in their videos, while also compensating the artist and label for the use of their music.

In some cases, record labels may also offer incentives. For example, they may offer to feature particularly popular videos on their social media channels or offer exclusive access to new music releases.

Once you have access to a particular track through licensing agreements or other means, you can begin creating videos with that song. It will increase the reach and engagement of your content, as users are often drawn to videos featuring their favorite songs.

When making these videos, consider the tone and mood of the song and how it can be incorporated into your content. You may want to choreograph a dance routine or make a lip-sync video that matches the lyrics of the song, or you may want to use the song as background music for a more visually-focused video.

It's also vital to consider the copyright implications of using copyrighted music in your videos. While licensing agreements can provide access to certain tracks, ensure that you're using the music in compliance with copyright laws. TikTok has a library of royalty-free music that you can use in your videos, or you can create your own original music to avoid copyright issues.

4. Sell via TikTok shopping

TikTok shopping is a great opportunity for creators to sell their own products directly to their followers. As a creator, you can sell a diverse range of products, which you can operate as a side hustle or small business. Popular items to consider selling on TikTok include merch, clothing, accessories, and other branded items. With TikTok shopping, you can showcase your products in short-form videos and link directly to your product page for easy purchasing.

TikTok shopping also allows you to tag videos with merchandise, making it easy for viewers to purchase products directly from the video. Tagging videos with merchandise is a simple process that can be done within the app.

When uploading a video, select the "Tag Products" option and choose the products you want to feature in the video. Viewers can then click on the product tags to view more information and make a purchase directly through TikTok.

Tagging videos with merchandise is a great way to increase sales and drive engagement with your content. By showcasing your products in a visually appealing and interactive way, you can turn your TikTok videos into a powerful sales tool.

5. Live stream an event

Live streaming an event on TikTok is a great way to engage your audience and create an immersive experience for your followers. Whether you're hosting a Q&A, product launch, or live performance, live streaming allows you to connect with your audience in real-time and answer their questions and comments.

Live streaming an event is a great way to build a loyal following and increase engagement with your content. To go live on TikTok, simply click on the plus sign at the bottom of the screen and select the "Live" option. From there, you can add a title and description for your live stream and go live. During the live stream, interact with your viewers by responding to comments and questions, and bring on guests to join the conversation.

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During a live event on TikTok, watchers have the option to send donations to the host. This feature is called "Gifts" and allows viewers to send virtual gifts to show their appreciation for the host's content. To send a gift, viewers purchase “coins” within the app and use them to send their gifts during the live stream. The host can then convert these coins into real money to withdraw from the app.

Gifts range in price from a few coins to several hundred coins, and each gift has a unique animation and sound effect. Using the Gifts feature during a live event is a great way to monetize your content so your most loyal fans can show their appreciation for what you do.

Especially during live events, remember that TikTok's community guidelines prohibit users from requesting donations or gifts from their audience. This means that you cannot directly ask your followers to send you money or gifts through the platform. In addition, TikTok's guidelines prohibit the use of third-party payment services to solicit donations or gifts from your audience.

6. Collaborate with another TikTok influencer

Collaborating with another influencer can be a powerful way to increase your reach and engagement on TikTok. By teaming up with another TikTok personality, you can leverage each other's audiences and create content that is more engaging and entertaining for your followers.

Start by searching for influencers who are creating content that is similar to your own. Look for those with a similar target audience and who share your values. You can also search for influencers who are active in your industry or who have a similar style or aesthetic.

Once you identify potential partners, reach out to them and introduce yourself. Let them know why you think a collaboration would be beneficial and share some of your ideas for content. Be sure to also ask for their input and ideas, as collaboration should be a two-way street.

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When planning your collaboration, set clear goals and expectations. Decide on the type of content you want to create, the frequency of your collaborations, and how you'll promote each other's content. Having a shared vision and plans ensures that your collaboration is successful.

When reaching out to potential partners, be sure to highlight the value that you can bring to the collaboration, like your unique perspective or creativity. Be open to their ideas and suggestions, and ensure the collaboration benefits both parties.

7. Become a TikTok Creator

Becoming a TikTok Creator can be an exciting and rewarding experience. As a Creator, you have the opportunity to showcase your creativity, build a following, and earn money through the platform's monetization features.

To become a Creator, TikTok's terms of service establish that you must be at least 18 years old. If you're under 18, you can still use the platform as a regular user, but you won't be able to access the full range of Creator features or monetization options.

To be eligible for the monetization features, including the TikTok Creator Fund, you must:

TikTok offers several monetization features specifically for Creators, including Live Gifts and Video Gifts, the Creator Marketplace, and the Creator Fund. These features can help you earn money from your TikTok content and build a sustainable income stream from your work on the platform.

8. Live Gifts and Video Gifts

As previously mentioned, Live Gifts and Video Gifts are virtual gifts that allow users to send monetary tips to creators during live streams or on-demand videos, and can be a significant source of income for Creators who build a loyal following on the platform. These virtual gifts are purchased with real money and can be converted into dollars and withdrawn as real money. Creators earn a percentage of the value of each gift they receive, which can add up to a significant amount over time.

These gifting features are accessible to Creators using “TikTok Creator Next", which is a program designed to help Creators grow their audience and monetize their content on the platform. To access Live Gifts and Video Gifts, apply for the Creator Fund and meet the eligibility requirements.

Once you're approved, earn money by producing excellent content that connects with your audience and inspires them to send you virtual gifts. By using TikTok Creator Next and leveraging these monetization features, you can build a sustainable income stream from your creations.

9. Creator Marketplace

TikTok's Creator Marketplace is a platform that connects creators with sponsors and brands for paid partnerships, sponsorships, and collaborations. The Creator Marketplace allows you to showcase your work and connect with brands. It also provides tools for managing your partnerships and tracking your earnings.

Any brand can join the TikTok Creator Marketplace by following a simple application process. To begin, visit the TikTok Creator Marketplace website and click on the "Apply Now" button. From there, you will be prompted to fill out an application form that includes basic information about your brand and your TikTok account. Once the application is submitted, TikTok will review it and notify you if your brand is accepted into the Creator Marketplace program.

Unlike Creators, brands have the option to create business accounts on TikTok. Business accounts offer additional features and tools that can help your brand better engage with your audience and track your performance on the platform. Some of these features include the ability to run ads, access to analytics and insights, and the ability to add a call-to-action button to your profile. By creating a business account, you can take advantage of these features and maximize your brand’s presence on the platform.

Influencers have to either be invited or apply to join TikTok's Creator Marketplace, as well as meet certain requirements. To be eligible, influencers must:

Applying to join the Creator Marketplace includes filling out an application and providing information about your content, audience, and partnerships. The application process is competitive, and not all applicants are admitted. If accepted, you can access a variety of sponsorship opportunities and collaborations with brands. Scoring a brand deal that results in a sponsored post or sponsored content is a great TikTok money-making strategy.

10. Creator Fund

The Creator Fund is a program that was made to support and encourage Creators on the platform. The fund is earmarked by TikTok to "encourage those who dream of using their voices and creativity to spark inspirational careers." The Creator Fund provides financial support to eligible Creators based on the performance of their content, including views and engagement. This program is designed to help Creators build sustainable careers on the platform and to support the growth and diversity of the TikTok community.

To be eligible for the Creator Fund, you must have a U.S.-based account in good standing with at least 10,000 followers. You must also have at least 100,000 video views in the last 30 days.

Finally, you're required to abide by TikTok's Community Guidelines and Terms of Service. These guidelines outline the types of content that are allowed on the platform and the behaviors that are expected of users. If you violate these guidelines, you may be subject to disciplinary action, including being disqualified from the Creator Fund. To ensure that you're eligible, carefully read and understand these requirements, and follow them closely when creating and sharing content on the platform.

Tips for growing your audience

Growing your audience is a crucial part of building a successful career as a TikTok Creator. The more followers and engagement you have, the more opportunities you have to monetize your content and build stable income from your work on the platform.

Create the right content

Creating high-quality video content is essential for growing your TikTok audience. The platform is highly visual, and users are drawn to content that is visually appealing.

To create high-quality content, use good lighting, clear audio, and interesting visuals. Utilize editing tools to crop and resize, as well as add effects, transitions, and text overlays that will enhance your content and make it more engaging. You should also be sure to create content that is relevant to your niche and audience, and that showcases your unique skills and personality.

When creating content, be sure to include relevant hashtags in your captions and video descriptions. Using hashtags is another crucial aspect of growing your audience. Hashtags help to categorize your content and make it more discoverable to users who are interested in your niche or topic. Use popular hashtags that are related to your niche, as well as more specific hashtags that are unique to your content. Also, create your own branded hashtag that users can use to find your content.

TikTok is known for its viral trends, and users are often drawn to content that incorporates popular songs, sounds, and effects. To stay on top of the latest trends, browse the "Discover" page to see what's popular and incorporate those trends into your content.

Also, be sure to use special effects and filters to make your content more aesthetically pleasing and engaging. Experiment with different effects and sounds to find what works best for your content and audience. By incorporating trending songs, sounds, and effects into your content, you can increase your chances of going viral and attracting new followers.

Consistency is key when it comes to growing your TikTok audience. To build a loyal following, be consistent in the quality, schedule, and messaging of your content. Inconsistent quality can quickly cause you to lose followers. Offering consistently excellent content builds trust, while it takes very little weak content for followers to move on.

Be sure to post content on a regular schedule, whether that's daily, weekly, or monthly. This consistency helps to build anticipation among your followers and ensures that your content remains top of mind.

Be sure to stay true to your messaging and branding so that your followers know what to expect from your content. Making content with too many messages feels confusing, and it can quickly damage your brand. By staying consistent, your followers will learn to trust what you say and know they can turn to you for information on their interest.

Varying the types of videos you post is an effective way to keep your audience engaged and interested in your content. While it's important to stay consistent in your niche and messaging, it's also important to mix things up and try new things.

Experiment with different types of videos, like tutorials, duets, behind-the-scenes glimpses, and Q&A sessions. You can even repost content from other creators that you think will connect with your viewers. By varying the types of videos you post, you can keep your audience engaged and interested in your content, and increase your opportunities for attracting new followers.

Lastly, it's critical to take advantage of TikTok metrics, as they’re an important part of growing your audience. TikTok offers a range of metrics and analytics tools to help you gauge the impact of your content and adjust your strategy accordingly. You can track metrics like views, likes, shares, and comments to see how your content is performing with your audience.

You can also use these analytics tools to see data on your audience demographics, including age, gender, and location. This information can help you tailor your content to better meet the needs and interests of your audience.

Drive sales with TikTok Ads

TikTok's Ads Manager is a powerful tool that can help you drive sales and grow your business on the platform. With Ads Manager, you can create and manage ads that target specific audiences based on factors such as age, gender, location, and interests. This allows you to reach potential customers who are most likely to be interested in your products or services.

Plus, you can use Ads Manager to track the performance of your ads and adjust your strategy, like deleting videos that miss the mark, accordingly. You can keep track of metrics like click-through rates and conversions to see how your ads are performing and make adjustments to improve their effectiveness.

TikTok Ads also includes a range of creative tools that help you to make engaging and visually interesting ads for your target audience. These tools include a variety of ad formats, including in-feed ads, brand takeovers, and sponsored hashtag challenges. It also offers a range of creative tools, like filters, effects, and music, that help you create ads that stand out and capture the attention of your audience. By using these creative tools, you can make ads that not only look good but are also engaging and memorable.

This feature also includes ad performance reports that help you track the performance of your ads so you can make adjustments to improve their effectiveness. These reports provide detailed information on metrics such as impressions, clicks, click-through rates, and conversions, allowing you to see how your ads are performing with your target audience.

TikTok Ads also offers a range of optimization tools, such as auto-bidding and auto-optimization, that can help you enhance the performance of your ads and drive more conversions. These performance reports and optimization tools help you identify areas for improvement and make adjustments to your ads as needed.

Engaging in TikTok's Partner Program is a great way to monetize your content and earn money from your work on the platform. The Partner Program is designed to help creators earn money through a variety of monetization features, including in-app purchases, brand partnerships, and live streaming.

To be eligible for the Partner Program, you must meet certain requirements, such as having at least 100,000 followers and meeting TikTok's Community Guidelines and Terms of Service. Once you're eligible, you can start earning money from your content.

In addition, TikTok allows businesses and marketers to view and manage their accounts from third-party marketing platforms, making it easier for you to manage your advertising campaigns and track their performance.

By using a third-party marketing platform, you can view and manage your TikTok account alongside your other social media accounts, like Facebook, Instagram, and X. This allows you to streamline your marketing efforts and track their performance across all platforms in one place. Third-party marketing platforms may also offer additional features and tools that help you optimize your campaigns and drive more conversions and sales.

Overall, TikTok Ads provides the opportunity to share in the success, reach, and strength of another brand by allowing them to collaborate on sponsored ads and campaigns. By partnering with another brand, you can tap into your collaborator's audience and reach new users who may be interested in your brand. Collaborations help build brand awareness and credibility, as well as showcase a brand's unique personality and values.

Collaborating with other brands on TikTok Ads is a great way to expand reach and build your brand's reputation. By creating engaging and authentic content that accurately represents both brands, businesses can build a successful partnership that benefits both brands and drives engagement and sales on the platform.

TikTok provides a remarkable avenue for content creators to showcase their creativity, reach a global audience, and monetise their efforts. The platform offers various programs such as the TikTok Creator Fund and Partner Program, which not only provide financial support, but also encourage growth and diversity within the community.

Growing your audience involves crafting high-quality, engaging content, effectively utilizing hashtags, keeping up with viral trends, maintaining consistency, and diversifying your video offerings. TikTok's metrics and analytics tools can help tailor your content strategy, while the Ads Manager serves as a powerful tool for driving sales and growing your business. Lastly, collaborative opportunities offered by TikTok Ads allow you to tap into the reach and strength of other brands, expanding your audience and establishing your brand's reputation.

By leveraging these features and practices, you can turn your passion for content creation into a sustainable career on TikTok.

This post was updated on August 17, 2023.

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