TikTok has remained a vastly popular social media platform since its inception, capitalizing on its early fame as people gravitated toward its light, short-form content. This surge in popularity means TikTok is ripe with revenue opportunities, something that your TikTok marketing strategy should make room for.
From the #TikTokMadeMeBuyIt trend to devoted subcultures like #BookTok, brands are finding creative and authentic ways to position and sell their products or services directly to TikTok audiences. You can too, by making engaging and helpful short videos that speak directly to your audience’s interests.
But where do you begin? In this article, we break down the top 15 strategies for how to make money on TikTok.
1. Run TikTok ads
About 67% of 18-19 year olds and 56% of 20-29 year olds are on TikTok. This makes TikTok marketing a strong advertising choice for brands wanting to market their products to Gen Z. TikTok ads come with simple, powerful tools to help you advertise to millions of users. Ad formats vary by region, but all let you personalize your targeting by age, location, interest and other factors. You can select one or a few formats that work best for your brand.
The most popular types of TikTok ads include:
In-feed video: Appear on the For You Page of TikTok users who meet your targeting parameters.
Brand takeover: This lets your ad expand to the width of the whole screen for a few seconds. Then it becomes an in-feed video ad.
Hashtag challenges: Create appealing challenges that encourage user-generated content. These challenges appear in the Discovery section on TikTok. This option is only available to managed brands that work in collaboration with TikTok sales representatives.
There are several more types of TikTok ads you can experiment with, but note that some are only available to certain types of accounts.
2. Collect tips or donations
TikTok has introduced a tipping feature that allows select creators to earn money from tips and donations. Fans can use this feature to show gratitude to the creators they love.
Video gifts let viewers send creators virtual gifts and coins. Some creators can collect gifts during a live stream. Gifts can be redeemed for Diamonds—TikTok’s digital currency.
When you save up enough Diamonds, you can trade them for real cash.
Creators can also use tipping platforms to earn money. Tipeee, Ko-fi and Buy Me a Coffee can be connected to your TikTok account to function as a tip jar.
3. Collaborate with a creator
The latest Sprout Social Index™ shows that 33% of Gen Z and 28% of Millennials value brand/creator content collaborations. TikTok’s thriving community of content creators makes it an excellent channel for collaborating with influential people with highly engaged communities.
The key is to collaborate with the right creators who can authentically position your brand to their audience, as creator-made branded content has 83% higher engagement rates.
TikTok’s Creator Marketplace is where you can connect with content creators on the network. In a few steps, you can find influencers and run campaigns with them. Locate creators based on business goals, budget and industry, and find comprehensive performance and audience metrics for data-driven decision-making.
TikTok has some eligibility requirements for the Creator Marketplace, so only select creators can join. This assures marketers that creators they partner with are some of TikTok’s top influencers.
4. Try affiliate marketing
Through affiliate marketing programs, creators and other businesses can promote and sell another company’s products or services for a commission.
To be a successful affiliate marketer, you need to generate sales online. Focus on promoting products that best align with your target audience. Create engaging videos that present affiliate products, showcasing the value and why you recommend purchasing them. Try promoting brands you like and trust, sharing affiliate links or codes to track purchases influenced by your account.
If a follower makes a purchase through the link or code provided, then you will receive a commission from the brand for that sale. TikTok doesn’t allow personal accounts to place clickable links within video descriptions. But you can ask followers to copy and paste links into their browsers, or enter special codes at checkout. Sites like Beacons allow you to create a free webpage containing affiliate links and details for products being promoted. If you have a business account, you can add a link in your bio.
If you’re an in-house marketer, create an affiliate marketing program with clear guidelines and instructions on how to participate. Invite TikTokers who align with your brand values and target audience to participate. Encourage affiliates to promote the products or services that best align with your goals and shared audience. And most importantly, implement a tracking system so you can monitor affiliate performance and commission payments.
5. Grow and sell TikTok accounts
Organically growing a TikTok account could take months. However, you can buy an established account to get an instant boost of followers.
To successfully make money selling TikTok accounts, creators should focus on niche topics that can be sustained by the buyer. This will make it easier for the buyer to continue posting similar content and maintain follower engagement.
Brands considering buying an established account should perform due diligence. An account with a lot of followers but low engagement may not provide the return you’re looking for. Also, ensure the account serves an audience you target and the content aligns with your brand and goals.
6. Publish sponsored posts
For smaller activations, brands can sponsor posts that live directly on creators’ profiles. Similar to creator collaborations, these campaigns allow brands to pay content creators to promote their products in organic posts. Sponsor single posts or create a series. If it starts trending, you can boost the post to expand its reach even further.
7. Create a Patreon account
A Patreon account lets creators generate revenue from fans through memberships that allow exclusive access to content. Use TikTok to promote membership sign-ups.
Try to keep your subscription costs low to encourage subscribers and consider rewarding new subscribers. For example, giving away merchandise or exclusive content access to your most loyal followers. Add the link to your Patreon page in your videos or add it to your bio to make it easy for followers to subscribe whenever they are ready.
8. Sell your products and merchandise
Merchandise, merchandise, merchandise. This tried-and-true strategy applies to TikTok as well. Turn original artwork, quotes or your brand’s logo into merch and promote it on TikTok. Feature your existing products in tutorials or showcase your product alongside a trend.
Listen to your audience if you are unsure what to sell. Create polls or ask them directly to learn what they might buy.
If you have a personal account, create an ecommerce website to process sales transactions and promote it on your TikTok account. Add the store to your videos, and encourage your followers to check out your products.
If you have a TikTok Business account, you can connect platforms like Shopify, BigCommerce, Square Online and Ecwid store to your account.
9. Set up a TikTok shop
TikTok partnered with Shopify to launch the TikTok Shopping feature. Brands and creators can become official TikTok merchants and sell directly in the app.
By creating a TikTok Shop, you can showcase products on in-feed videos, lives and product showcase tabs. If eligible for this feature, you can signup to become a seller in the TikTok Seller Center, where you can manage inventory, orders, creator partnerships, promotions and more. However, the seller center is only available in select regions.
10. Join the TikTok Creator Fund
Users with a creator account can monetize their profiles through the TikTok Creator Fund. Creators need to hit some prerequisites to join the program and begin receiving money from the platform. Creator Fund members earn money based on the number of engagements they get on their content.
11. Offer exclusive content on TikTok
TikTok just launched a new monetization feature in June of 2023 called TikTok Series. This new feature is a way to create exclusive content that lives behind a paywall.
Interested creators can apply to get access to this new feature, but there are other criteria they need to meet as well:
- Creators must be 18+
- Their account must be at least 30 days old
- They must have at least 10,000 followers
- They must have posted 3+ public videos in the last 30 days
- They must have at least 1,000 views in the last 30 days
Creators that have less than 10,000 followers may still be eligible if they can provide a link to premium content they’ve successfully sold on other platforms.
Your Series can include up to 80 videos total, each up to 20 minutes long. This can be a great way to provide valuable educational content to your audience for a one-time fee. You can set the price for each TikTok Series you create, with payment options ranging from $0.99 to $189.99.
12. Provide virtual gifts
Another monetization feature is virtual gifts on your videos. People who really enjoy your content can send you virtual gifts as a token of their appreciation—which can then be converted into actual money.
Turn on the gift option to have a small gift box icon appear next to the comment box. Users interested in leaving a gift can tap it to visit this interface:
Coin packages can be bought in the following increments:
- 20 coins: $0.29
- 65 coins: $0.99
- 330 coins: $4.99
- 660 coins: $9.99
- 1,321 coins: $19.99
- 3,303 coins: $49.99
- 6,607 coins: $99.99
- 16,500 coins: $249.99
These coins can then be used to buy and send virtual gifts to a user’s favorite creators, with gifts ranging from 5 to 3,000 coins. Turn on virtual gifts to offer this option to your viewers.
13. Host live events or workshops
TikTok Live is another great way to make money. Similar to virtual video gifts, users can also send live gifts. The little gift box icon will appear at the bottom of a live video for users to tap and buy different gifts. The ranges on these are even bigger, with some being just a single coin and others going up to 10s of thousands of coins.
Several TikTok creators have shared how live streaming can be used to make money. One creator makes between $20-300 every time they go live and another brought in $34,000 within a single month—just from live streaming.
Make sure your live videos are entertaining and valuable so that users keep wanting to tune in. The more consistent viewers you get, the more likely they are to stick around and send you virtual gifts.
14. Offer personalized shoutouts
If you have a large following, TikTokers who want to grow their accounts may be willing to pay for personalized shoutouts. Pick a price point and sell shoutouts as yet another way to make money. Your price may be a bit of trial and error. If you’re getting no bites, you may want to lower it. But on the other hand, if you’re getting a ton of interest, you might be able to increase your price.
You can then shout these people out during a live video or during a feed video. You might even choose to offer two different price points (with feed videos costing more) so that users can choose where they’d like to be shouted out.
15. Sell digital products
Finally, consider selling digital products. You can create a shop with TikTok and link to your digital products from there, making it easy to make a sale. Promote your products within your videos and include your shop’s URL in your profile so users can easily find it.
How to make money on TikTok FAQ
How many followers do you need on TikTok to make money?
For some of the features mentioned in the monetization strategies above, you must hit a minimum follower count on TikTok. For example, the Creator Fund requires at least 10,000 followers to join.
On the other hand, you need only 1,000 followers to receive virtual gifts on TikTok Live. But to receive tips and gifts from other types of videos, you must have at least 100,000 followers.
How many views do you need on TikTok to make money?
To join the Creator Fund, you must have received a minimum of 100,000 views on your videos within 30 days. Otherwise, you don’t need to have a certain amount of views to share links to your products in videos or your bio.
How do you get paid on TikTok?
Once you meet the criteria for TikTok payments you should see your money in your Creator Fund Dashboard about three days after your videos got views. To get to your Creator Fund Dashboard, just head to your profile, click on “…” to open settings, go to “Creator tools,” and then hit “TikTok Creator Fund.”
Once you’ve got at least $10, you can take your earnings out 30 days after the month they were earned in. You can send the money to your preferred payment method, which could be PayPal or Zelle.