February 20, 2023

How to Make Money on TikTok: 3 Options for Monetising the Platform

How to Make Money on TikTok: 3 Options for Monetising the Platform

If you’re interested in making money on TikTok, you’re not alone. 

Countless brands and influencers worldwide earn money on TikTok through sponsored content, brand partnerships, and more. If you’re looking for options to monetise the platform, we’ve got you covered.

Why TikTok is Valuable for Monetisation Opportunities 

TikTok is one of the most popular and most often-downloaded social media platforms right now. With 1 billion active monthly users and over 3 billion total downloads, it’s a prime place for brands to connect with a broad audience--and for users to connect with their new favourite brands. 

While TikTok was originally known for dance and lip-sync videos, that’s no longer the case. Brands and users are paying close attention to TikTok, and they’re following diverse accounts and many different types of content. 

TikTok’s audience still skews young overall, with Gen Z dominating its user base. Globally, the majority of TikTok users (24%) are females aged 18-24, followed by males aged 18-24 (18%). 

Despite the large percentage of young people using TikTok, its user base is becoming more diverse overall. That means you have a great opportunity to reach different segments of your audience who have high amounts of disposable income, are active and responsive social media users, and who may not be using other platforms quite as heavily.  

How Much Do TikTokers Earn? 

TikTok earnings vary significantly based on several factors, including what methods influencers and brands use to make money (sponsored posts, brand partnerships, etc.), follower counts and engagement rates, potential deals or sponsorships, and how successful sponsored campaigns are.  

For some users, the higher the numbers, the better. For others, even just making a few extra hundred dollars per month is worth the time investment. 

TikTok’s most successful users are earning significant amounts of money from the app--millions of dollars, in some cases. According to Influencer Marketing Hub, the top TikTok earners for 2022 include: 

  • Charli D’Amelio at $24.9 million AUD ($17.5 million USD) with 135 million followers  
  • Dixie D’Amelio at $14.2 million AUD ($10 million USD) with 57 million followers
  • Addison Rae at $12.3 million AUD ($8.5 million USD) with 86 million followers
  • Bella Poarch at $7.1 million ($5 million USD) with 87 million followers
  • Josh Richards at $7.1 million ($5 million USD) USD with 26 million followers

Top-earning TikTok influencers often partner with brands as one of multiple revenue streams. It’s common to see influencers, such as Charli D’Amelio, using their channels to advertise their favorite brands. 

Of course, the average user isn’t likely to make million on TikTok. Depending on your follower count, you can use a TikTok money calculator to get a rough idea of how much you could earn based on your follower count. 

So How Do You Make Money on TikTok? 

If you want to make money on TikTok, there are several non-negotiables you need to have. 

Typically, higher view, follower, and engagement counts are going to present more opportunities to make make money on TikTok. A high view count is required to qualify for the Creator Fund, for example, although you don’t necessarily have to be part of the fund to make money on the app. 

Having a strategy in place is also important to make yourself appealing to viewers and potential sponsors and brand partners. You’ll need to consistently create content and put yourself out there to reach your audience and get seen. (We’ve created a guide on how to create TikTok videos here.) 

There are a few different options available when you want to know “how to make money on TikTok.” 

Technically, you can “monetise TikTok” by promoting your own products and making sales, but that’s not what we’re going to look at for this post. Instead, we’re going to focus exclusively on three methods that will allow you to make an income using this popular platform. 

1. Making Money as an Influencer/Brand Partner  

Perhaps the most lucrative way to make money on TikTok is to work as an official brand partner. If you’re a larger account or an influencer, you could earn a significant profit from your work on brand partnerships. 

Influencer marketing is one of the most effective ways to get a brand in front of a wider audience. These partnerships can be highly collaborative and rewarding for both parties. 

TikTok monetization example

When you partner with a brand, they’ll give you details on what products to promote and what type of videos you need to create. The brand may want to approve before you post, so make sure you’re following their posting requirements. 

Don’t forget to tag the brand in your post and properly disclose the sponsorship. Check out TikTok’s Branded Content Policy before you get started.

Making money as an influencer or brand partner can also include “account takeovers,” creating a newvideo challenge or dance, or simply raving about and using the product. These approaches translate to massive exposure for brands seeking to connect with new, engaged audiences. 

For example, celebrity baker JonnyCakes from the Netflix series Is It Cake? took over the Dunkin account for the launch of Dunkin’s new Cake Batter Signature Latte.

TikTok influencer monétisation

Top influencers and brands on TikTok can average anywhere from $71,138.50 to $213,415.50 AUD ($50,000 to $150,000 USD) on brand partnerships. However, that only represents a small percentage of users.

How to Get Started 

Want to get started an an influencer or brand partner? 

As much as possible, make sure you account has a defined audience and specific topic focus. For example, if you want to build a brand that speaks specifically to coffee connoisseurs, you want your content to primarily center around coffee.

You can build a reputation as a “micro-influencer” who’s well-known in a particular niche. That could make it easier for you to land partnerships, versus accounts with larger, but more generalised, followings. 

For example, someone who is documenting their cut flower hobby and knowledge can promote their personal brand. But, they can also create content that’s directly relevant to plenty of businesses in their niche, like merchants selling pods, gardening glovers, fertiliser, etc. 

This principle works for B2B brands, too. For instance, an accountant who builds up a healthy TikTok following may be approached by an invoicing software brand. In exchange for promoting the software to their clients, the accountant might receive free access or a discount on the software. 

2. Getting Paid Just for Views 

If you want to get paid just for views, you might benefit from looking into the TikTok Creator Fund. The Creator Fund is an annual pool of money that TikTok pays out to qualified users based on their audience size and number of views.

TikTokers who are part of the Creator Fund get paid $0.028 $0.057 AUD ($0.02 to $0.04 USD) per 1,000 views. According to the platform, creator income will vary from month to month, as it is fluid based on several deciding factors.

According to TikTok, the platform doesn’t limit what kind of content it pays for, as long as the account and content meet its requirements. Some of the factors impacting payout include whether views or authentic, and how many views a video gets. 

TikTok says the total in its Creator Fund varies from one day to the next. It can fluctuate based on how many videos the creator community publishes on any particular day. 

To be eligible, users must be based in the UK, US, Italy, Spain, Germany, or France. They must also: 

  • Be 18 or older
  • Have a minimum of 10,000 followers on their account
  • Have a minimum of 100,000 authentic video views over the past 30 days
  • Be in full compliance with TikTok’s terms of service and Community Guidelines

For large accounts with high views and follower counts, this could translate to high earnings. For the average user, it could be a challenge to make a high income from TikTok views alone. 

Still, even a little extra money every month is a win. You can apply through the TikTok mobile app to see if you qualify. 

How to Get Started 

Prepping your brand to join the TikTok Creator Fund basically comes down to growing your brand and creating compliant content that TikTok likes. 

To grow your brand, it’s important to create consistent, quality content that appeals to your target audience. The more you post and engage with your followers, in theory, the more quickly your account will grow. 

If you want to boost your TikTok follower count organically, here are some great strategies to try:

  • Participate in trending TikTok challenges using popular sounds
  • Post your TikToks on other social media platforms
  • Use hashtags in your posts that are both niche and high-visibility
  • Try posting your content at the best times for TikTok
  • Keep your audience front and center when creating and posting your content
  • Partner with other creators on TikTok whenever possible
TikTok monetization

3. Promoting Affiliate Products 

A third path to TikTok monetisation is to promote affiliate products.

Affiliate products are technically different from sponsored products and brand partnerships. You’re not going to get paid to create a specific campaign or tailored content for the product.

Instead, you’ll get a link or a code from the company (codes are best for TikTok) that users can enter on the brand’s site for a discount. When the customer makes a purchase using your code--or sometimes, when they click on your link--you get a payment from the brand. 

Affiliate earnings are usually a flat fee per sale or a percentage of the sale. You can partner with one or multiple brands that you audience is likely to connect with. 

How to Get Started 

To get started with promoting affiliate products, you’ll first want to find products that are high quality and directly relevant to your brand. This is important, because you want to maintain the trust you’ve already built with your audience.

If you want to keep growing on TikTok, then you’ll need to have an engaged audience that trusts you. You can’t maintain that if you promote irrelevant products. 

You don’t want to waste your audience’s valuable time by linking to every potential product out there, or users will lose interest and trust. 

If you pick a few high-quality and high-value products, however, that you know your audience will like and that you’ve tested yourself, that’s a great way to drive a significant chunk of sales through TikTok. 

Make sure you’re getting an affiliate code that you can drop in the comments AND feature in text overlay on your video so people can screenshot and easily see it. That’s easier than trying to drive users to your profile to click a link. 

What to Know Before Aiming for TikTok Monetisation 

Before you start aiming for TikTok monetisation, you’ll need to get familiar with TikTok’s Terms of Service, Community Guidelines, Branded Content Policy, and Advertising Policy

Your content must comply with each above policy, plus the following guidelines:

  • Your content must be legal to post; you’ll want to follow disclosure guidelines where you live, for example (i.e., if you live in Australia you’ll need to follow ACCC guidance; if you live in the US, you’ll need to comply with the FTC).
  • Enable TikTok’s toggle for branded content on your branded posts (here’s how).
  • Verbally identify the product or service you’re promoting and put it in your caption. According to TikTok, your users should not have to navigate to your profile or an external link to understand what you’re advertising.
  • Don’t share branded content related to TikTok’s list of prohibited products or industries. You can find that list here.
  • Check to see if your country or territory is listed here, where TikTok shares a specific breakdown of country-specific prohibited content.

Of course, be sure to study and follow TikTok’s general user guidelines listed at the top of this section. The last thing you want to do is get 10,000 followers and some promising opportunities just to have your account restricted or shut down.  

Final Thoughts 

When grown strategically, TikTok can be an incredibly lucrative social media platform for brands and influencers. Like many marketing tools and platforms, results are on a case-by-case basis. You’ll likely need to experiment with tactics and strategies that work for you, then work to replicate what’s successful.

Need help growing your brand and sharpening your social media marketing skills? The Social Media Intensive from Social Media College can help. Learn more and enroll here

Ana Gotter

Ana Gotter

Social Media Marketing Specialist

Ana is a strategic content marketer specialising in business, finance, and marketing writing, though she's worked across a range of industries. She works from her home in Orlando with her three dogs.

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