Did you know Will Smith earns over $50,000 per sponsored post on TikTok?
Well, he’s also got 72M followers, so don’t be surprised. But you don’t have to be Will Smith to make bank on TikTok.
Thousands of micro-influencers have built a steady stream of passive income while having fun on TikTok — and you can do it, too.
In this guide, you’ll learn 11 ways to use TikTok for making money, beyond obvious influencer marketing techniques like encouraging followers to “swipe up for your exclusive content”.
How much money can you make on TikTok?
As a member of TikTok’s Creator Fund, payouts are between $0.03 to $0.04 cents per 1,000 views.
For example, a macro-influencer with 100,000 to a million followers that receives an average of 38,517 views can expect to earn around $15 per post from TikTok.
Unless you gain millions of views per post, don’t expect to get rich with the Creator Fund.
But, it might become a good source of passive income for those who post consistently and rely on sponsored partnerships to make real money.
Speaking of sponsorships, this is one of the easiest ways to make money on TikTok as a micro- or macro-influencer.
Brands pay TikTok creators between $200 and $20,000 per branded video.
Superstar level content creators earn around $100,000 per sponsored post — such as mega-influencers like Charlie D’Amelio.
Here’s what the top-5 creators on TikTok earn:
- Khabi Lame (151M followers) — from $92,270 per post
- Charlie D’Amelio (148M followers) — from $105,770 per post
- Bella Poarch (92M followers) — from $66,829 per post
- Addison Rae (88M followers) — from $65,194 per post
- Will Smith (72M followers) — $53,741 per post
11 Best Money-Making Strategies on TikTok
- Join your favorite brands’ referral programs.
- Sell products on TikTok (digital or physical)
- Promote brands and other influencers
- Join TikTok creator fund
- Collect tips from your followers
- Enable virtual gifts
- Run crowdfunding campaigns
- Create (and sell) merchandise
- Become a creator on patreon and earn money from subscriptions
- Create a landing page featuring all your initiatives
- Sell your TikTok account
1. Join your favorite brands’ referral programs
This is probably the fastest way to start making money on TikTok.
Affiliate marketing, or referral marketing, allows content creators to earn money by gaining commission for selling products or services from another retailer or service provider.
Affiliate commissions may start at 5% and reach 50% of the product price.
Some of the highest paying affiliate niches are categories like:
- Personal finance / investing
- Top/best credit cards
- Online dating
- Online gaming
- Personal care / beauty
- Software / technology
- Home security
Brands usually offer a very simple process for affiliate marketers to join their referral programs. Most often, you’ll just need to fill in a short form and wait for the company to approve you as an affiliate marketer. When you’re approved, you can access your custom affiliate links and/or unique coupon codes.
Most brands are trying to sell products directly from their eCommerce store on platforms like Shopify or BigCommerce, or directly through Amazon — both which can be done through affiliate links on TikTok.
To promote your deals — create tutorials, lifestyle videos, and other forms of content where you could subtly promote your affiliate products and place affiliate links in the most prominent positions.
While TikTok doesn’t allow personal accounts to include clickable links within video captions, there are plenty of workarounds you can try:
- Most brands are leveraging some type of eCommerce analytics — therefore you should request a unique coupon code and feature it in your videos.
- If your brand provides you with the code, they’ll be able to directly attribute sales coming from people who clicked your link and bought something online.
- Include non-clickable affiliate links in video descriptions. This is the least effective method, but it’s better than nothing.
- Switch to a business account and include clickable product links. It’s the easiest way to promote affiliate products on TikTok.
- Run paid TikTok ads. This way, you can drive sales with shoppable content.
2. Sell your products on TikTok (digital or physical)
What about selling your own products on TikTok? If you don’t have any physical products to sell, you can think of an idea for a digital product. Some of the best-selling e-products are:
- Recipe books
- Relocation guides
- Travel guides
- Skincare guides
- Meal plans
- Educational materials
- Workout plans
- Templates and tools
- Challenges (fitness, time management, etc.)
It’s easier to sell digital products when you have already built authority and your audience trusts you. And the way you get authority and trust on social networks is by pleasing the algorithm with consistent frequency of publishing to earn engagement streaks.
So once you create a product that reflects your expertise: design an eye-catching landing page, and promote it with your TikTok videos. For instance, to promote a cookbook, you may make a couple of free cooking videos that will spark users’ interest.
If you have no previous experience with selling products online, you must be wondering how to manage your digital goods and handle transactions.
To avoid the headache of building your own online store, it’s best that you place your digital product(s) on a marketplace like Podia or SendOwl. With a ready-made selling solution, you won’t have to worry about maintaining a website and managing online payments.
3. Promote brands or other influencers
Aside from affiliate marketing, there’s one more way to earn money by promoting retailers and influencers on TikTok — you can partner with them directly.
Instead of paying for TikTok ads to get traffic, brands and creators often choose to collaborate with other influencers, which adds just one more monetization strategy to your arsenal.
To start receiving partnership requests, consider joining TikTok’s Creator Marketplace. This is the official collaboration platform connecting brands and creators on TikTok.
You’ll need to meet the following criteria to join the community:
- A TikTok creator account
- Over 100,000 followers
- At least 3 fresh videos within the last 28 days
- Over 100,000 likes on posts within the last 28 days
- Over 18 age limit
- Located in one of these 24 countries
Once you’re a member of the marketplace, you can receive requests from brands or apply to open campaigns.
In case you don’t qualify for the marketplace or prefer not to wait for opportunities but create them, you can try to proactively pitch to brands you like. When pitching your TikTok account, make sure to include the following information:
- Your profile link
- Your audience demographics and engagement statistics
- Why you think your audience matches their target customers
- Your video examples
- Your rates
Perhaps you might want to include an idea for a campaign you could create for the brand — it would increase your chances of getting a contract.
Before pitching, make sure to find the right person to send your message to. The easiest way to do so would be by finding a brand on LinkedIn and reaching out to the most relevant person on their marketing team.
If you can find the right person’s email address, a good old fashioned cold email can work wonders, too.
Important: Always enable the Branded content toggle when promoting brand deals on TikTok.
Bonus: Brands are looking for original sound to use in their TikTok content — because licensing popular music has become a major headache.
If you’re a creator with the ability to produce original sound for TikTok videos, this can be a massive value add to the brands you create partnerships with.
4. Join TikTok Creator Fund
TikTok can become a nice side hustle or even a full-time job if you effectively use all the monetization tools the social network gives you.
The social media platform has developed a bunch of programs to support creators, and the TikTok Creator Fund is one of them.
It’s clearly not the highest-paying strategy, but it can be a nice addition to your overall monetization strategy.
The TikTok Creator Fund has been launched to support creators in the U.S., UK, Germany, Italy, France, and Spain. If you’re a legal resident of one of these countries, have a following of at least 10,000 people, generated at least 100,000 video views in the last 30 days, and your content follows TikTok Community Guidelines, you’re eligible to join the program and start earning your commissions from TikTok.
Unfortunately, there’s no concrete way to estimate your potential earnings with the TikTok Creator Fund, so it’s hard to calculate the commission precisely. TikTok claims that “a number of factors influence how funds are calculated for videos under the program.”
Once you join the fund, you’ll be paying a tiny commission for every video you publish from now on.
You can withdraw money ($10 minimum) 30 days after the month ends with your preferred payment method (PayPal or Zelle).
5. Collect tips from your followers
TikTok creators can now receive tips from their audience.
To opt in and start earning tips, you’ll need to apply for Creator Next. It’s TikTok’s portal that enables all the platform’s monetization features for creators. The previously mentioned Creator Fund and Creator Marketplace are also parts of Creator Next.
Tips are a monetization feature allowing viewers to express their appreciation for the content their favorite influencers publish.
When enabled, the “Tips” icon is displayed on your profile page so that everyone can send a $5, $10, $15, or custom tip to you publicly or anonymously. Your number of supporters and tips is public.
Receiving and withdrawing tips is made possible with the Stripe integration. Before you can use the feature, you’ll need to create an account in the system and get approved.
To protect the interests of TikTok users, the platform allows viewers to tip a maximum of $100 per transaction and a total of $500 per day. Also, viewers can make no more than 100 payments a day.
You may also turn to a third-party tool like Buy Me A Coffee to collect tips. Just add a link to your ‘jar’ in your bio, and don’t forget to let your followers know about it.
6. Enable virtual gifts
Viewers can now send Video Gifts to thank creators for their work.
Users eligible for Gift-giving should purchase Coins before they can start sending Video Gifts.
After recharging, they can use these Coins to purchase Gifts. The latter look like stickers and animations and cost differently.
Note: For LIVE streams, the LIVE Gifts feature is available. You can collect Gifts in real time while interacting with your followers.
How can you monetize Video Gifts?
Virtual Gifts are more than funny stickers. You can exchange them for Diamonds, which can be redeemed for money. TikTok’s Diamonds are worth 50% of the value of your Video Gifts, and each Diamond costs around $0.05. It means that when you receive a Gift that costs 2,000 coins, you get 1,000 Diamonds valued at around $50. After TikTok retains 50% of the sum, you’ll get $25 for the Gift.
You can apply to enable Video Gifts if you meet the following requirements:
- Live in a location where Video Gifts are available
- 18 years of age or older
- At least 10,000 followers
- Your account is at least 30 days old
- You published a public video in the last 30 days.
Mind that you can’t receive Video Gifts if you have a business account or your videos include:
- Duets and stitches
- Ads, sponsored content, or promoted posts
7. Run a crowdfunding campaign
Crowdfunding was originally made popular by independent songwriters and musicians, but it’s also a solid move for TikTok content creators.
If you’re not eligible for the Tips and Gifts features in Creator Next or just want to scale your fundraising, you can use a crowdfunding platform.
With a crowdfunding site like Kickstarter or GoFundMe, you’ll get funding for your creative projects, events, or any other need from your fans. This is a great strategy for fundraising when you have a particular goal in mind and need money to bring your ideas to life.
8. Create your merchandise and sell it on TikTok
Do you have a loyal audience? No matter how big your follower base is, you can monetize on TikTok by selling your own merch.
Indie musicians are among the top creators taking advantage of selling merch on social media. Previously, musicians would have to sell physical merch at their live shows — but today, it can all be done on TikTok.
And you don’t have to be a celebrity to create merchandise that people want to buy. You may just have a few phrases that people have caught — why not print those on t-shirts and hoodies?
There’s almost no limit to what you can customize and sell on TikTok:
- Water bottles
- Tote bags
Creators can attach their logo, catchphrase, or artwork on any of these products. Making short videos and featuring merch in creative ways can attract attention and drive sales.
It’s a good idea to release limited merch collections to build hype around the release and create scarcity for each collection.
To sell your merchandise, you may include links to landing pages below your videos or right in your bio or create a TikTok shop and add clickable product snippets in your posts. To create a catalog, you’ll need to have a business account.
9. Become a creator on Patreon and earn money from subscriptions
Patreon is one of the best crowdfunding platforms for creators looking to monetize their content. We’ve already touched upon fundraising through crowdfunding sites, but Patreon is quite different from other platforms.
You can turn to Patreon to offer exclusive content to your TikTok fans for a subscription price. It’s not only a way to raise money but also a powerful method for strengthening relationships with your audience.
What can you offer to your TikTok followers on Patreon? Plenty of things:
- Access to gated content
- Early-access videos
- Member-only live streams
- Limited-time offers
- Q&A sessions
- Personal consultations
- Uncut material or deleted scenes from your videos
- Behind-the-scenes material
You can also create different packages and offer tiered pricing to make your memberships accessible to everyone.
Restrain from tricking your fans into buying Patreon subscriptions while not being able to offer them any exclusive content on the platform. If you aren’t ready to craft quality content outside TikTok, you can still make money with Tips and Video Gifts.
10. Create a landing page featuring all your initiatives
You don’t have to choose only one monetization strategy. You can sell merch, make sponsored content, and run a closed community on Patreon at the same time. But you shouldn’t forget to link to your initiatives on your TikTok account.
Build a simple landing page where all your activities and campaigns are featured so that your fans always know where to go when they want to support you.
11. Sell your TikTok account
If your TikTok profile isn’t built on your personal brand, you can always sell it for great money. With an engaged audience and great content history, you’ll surely find a person or a business willing to take over your account.
Platforms like Fameswap and Social Tradia act as marketplaces where buyers can find TikTok accounts for sale and contact sellers. You can feature your profile there if you feel you’re ready to move on.
Make money on TikTok with no limits
Fifty percent of the digital population in the U.S. uses TikTok. Approximately 131 million active users (and that’s only the U.S.) are looking for fresh content from TikTok creators, and many of them are ready to pay for it.
On the other side, businesses recognize that TikTok is a powerful marketing tool. There are countless brands looking to reach their target audiences on TikTok. They are willing to pay TikTok influencers for branded content that builds awareness for their products and drives sales.
The good news is, you can get money from both. If you’re creative and catch up on TikTok trends fast, the possibilities are endless.