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How to make money on TikTok – a simple guide

6-minute read

Conor Shilling

24 January 2022

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From funny animal videos and viral dances to creative visual tricks and mimes to popular songs, there’s something for everyone on TikTok.

Like YouTube and Instagram, TikTok is being used by people to generate an income and build a career as an influencer. But where do you begin?

Read our detailed guide on how to get paid on TikTok, including how to get more video views and how to make money from sponsored posts.

  • How to make money from affiliate marketing

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How to make money on TikTok

TikTok has grown rapidly in recent years. It has approximately 17 million monthly active users in the UK, rising from around six million in 2020. Meanwhile, the TikTok app is on course to reach 1.5 billion global users in 2022.

So, how can users make money from TikTok and its fast growing audience?

There are three main ways to make money from TikTok:

  • earning money directly from TikTok through its Creator Fund
  • partnering with brands to post sponsored content
  • selling your own merchandise via the platform

To get in a position where you can start making money, you’ll need to follow these key steps:

  • build your following – you can start attracting the attention of brands with around 50,000 followers
  • identify a niche – if you have a smaller number of followers, developing a niche such as history or fishing can help you to get noticed
  • post regularly – make sure you’re consistent and don’t lose momentum by taking long breaks between posts
  • jump on trends – TikTok is known for its viral dances and music videos – can you incorporate the latest trend into your content?
  • engage with your followers – the more interaction you have with your followers, the better your sponsored posts will perform

How many followers do you need on TikTok to get paid?

As with all social media platforms, the more followers you have the more money you can make.

However, when it comes to TikTok, you don’t need millions of followers to make money. If you have between 50,000 and 150,000 followers, you’ll be considered a ‘micro influencer’, while creators with less than 50,000 followers are known as ‘nano influencers’.

If you want to make money directly from TikTok, you’ll need to meet a minimum follower requirement and have at least 100,000 video views in the last 30 days. Read more about the TikTok Creator Fund below.

How to generate TikTok income with fewer followers

If you can build an engaged following that focuses on a particular activity or topic, you can start making money with around 10,000 followers.

Build trust with your audience and they’re more likely to engage with your sponsored content. As a result, brands are more likely to contact you to promote their products.

If you’re creating sponsored content on TikTok, make sure you follow government guidelines on advertising.

As well as building your number of followers, you’ll also need to focus on:

  • building your video views
  • creating a personal brand
  • building engagement with followers
  • maintaining your audience over time

How much does TikTok pay?

The amount of money you can make from TikTok is unlimited, but it varies.

Some of the world’s best-known creators earn millions of pounds through the platform each year. For example, according to the Digital Marketing Institute, US creator Addison Rae has made around $5 million from her TikTok videos.

It’s estimated that the most popular creators can make up to £10,000 per post. However, it’s unlikely you’ll be able to generate significant income directly from TikTok unless all your videos are getting lots of engagement.

That’s why it’s important to explore a range of revenue streams, including partnerships and merchandise.

You can calculate your estimated income using a TikTok money calculator.

Influencer creating cooking video

TikTok analytics – how is your content performing?

If you want to start earning money on TikTok, it’s important to track the performance of your content.

Analysing data can help you to see what’s working and whether your audience is engaging with your posts. This information could be valuable if you want to show brands why they should partner with you.

To view your analytics on TikTok, visit your profile, tap the three dots in the top right-hand corner, select ‘Creator Tools’ and then select ‘Analytics’.

Your analytics will be split into three sections:

  • Overview – here you can check follower growth, profile views, video views, and engagements over different time periods
  • Content – this allows you to analyse the performance of each video you post, but data is only available for the last seven days
  • Followers – from this tab you can see where you’re audience is from and at what times they’re most engaged

What is the TikTok Creator Fund?

In the UK the TikTok Creator Fund is part of Creator Next, a TikTok initiative that helps creators take their content to the next level.

As well as the Creator Fund, members of Creator Next get access to:

  • TikTok Creator Marketplace – a platform where creators can connect with brands and agencies with the aim of making content together
  • LIVE Gifts – creators who receive gifts from followers during live streams can redeem them for money
  • Video Gifts – a way for creators to make money from their short videos. Any gifts they receive can be exchanged for cash
  • Tips – creators using this feature can receive tips from followers who want to support them financially

How does the Creator Fund work?

So, how does the TikTok Creator Fund work? Once you’ve been accepted onto Creator Next, you can start using the Creator Fund.

The Creator Fund will pay you based on video views and engagement. You can only get paid for videos that meet TikTok’s Community Guidelines and Terms of Service.

Once you start getting paid, the money will appear in a Creator Fund Dashboard. From here, you can withdraw money to a payment platform like PayPal.

What is the Creator Fund criteria?

To join Creator Next in the UK, you need to meet the following criteria:

  • be at least 18 years old
  • meet minimum follower requirements (dependent on region, but usually around 10,000)
  • have at least 100,000 video views in the last 30 days
  • have at least three posts in the last 30 days
  • make sure your account meets TikTok’s Community Guidelines

How to get followers on TikTok

The key to building a following on TikTok is to understand your target market and create content they want to watch.

You’ll also need to post regularly and engage with your audience if you want to attract more followers.

Here are five quick tips that can help you to build your audience and get more views on TikTok:

  • use trending hashtags and recommended or trending songs – using tags and popular songs in your posts increases your chances of being seen on more people’s ‘For You Page’
  • jump on the latest trends – putting an interesting spin on a popular trend can increase your exposure. TikTok trends move quickly though, so make sure you’re up to date
  • build relationships with other creators – cross-sharing content with other influencers can get your posts in front of a wider audience
  • get involved in TikTok challenges – starting your own TikTok challenge or creating a memorable version of an existing one can increase your reach
  • create quality, shareable content – good lighting and clear sound increase the appeal of your videos so people are more likely to share them

What is the best time to post on TikTok?

TikTok allows you to see when your audience is active, so try to base your posts around these times.

As with other social media platforms, some of the most effective times for posting content include mornings, evenings, and Sundays. Think about what times your audience are most likely to be on their phone and build your strategy around them.

How else can you make money on TikTok?

If you’re looking to become an influencer and make money from affiliate marketing, it pays to have a multi-channel strategy. This means building your following across different platforms such as Instagram and YouTube, as well as TikTok.

Developing your online brand across several platforms can help you to get in front of a wider audience, build trust with your followers, and ultimately create more opportunities to make money.

That said, here are some other ways you can make money solely from TikTok:

  • song promotions – record labels and music promoters often pay influencers to promote their artists’ songs
  • collect virtual gifts and tips – you can earn extra revenue by creating content that your followers enjoy. TikTok has some useful tools (see above) to help you collect gifts and tips
  • create in-feed ads - Use TikTok Ads Manager to promote your merchandise or any services you offer
  • become a consultant – if you’re already making money from TikTok, new creators could hire you to offer tips and advice on how to get started

Tips for building your self-employed business

If you want to make money from TikTok, you’ll need to make sure you’re paying enough tax and have the right insurance.

Read our guide to going self-employed to get started and find out more about the type of business insurance you might need.

Here are some more useful guides that can help you build your influencer business:

What are your ideas for making money on TikTok? Let us know in the comments below.

Photograph 1: amornchaijj/stock.adobe.com

Photograph 2: Atstock Productions/stock.adobe.com

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