TikTok is a popular social media app that has taken the world by storm and has been the center of meme culture and viral dance challenges in the past few years.
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Ever heard of the “Renegade” viral dance step or the Wipe It Down challenge?
TikTok fame has also catapulted creators like Charli D’Amelio, Addison Rae, and Bella Poarch to stardom beyond TikTok.
And as with everything on the internet, it has people looking for ways to get rich off this app.
In today’s blog post, I’m going to discuss how to make money on TikTok.
What Is Tiktok?
TikTok is a video-sharing social network that allows you to create and share 60-second videos on an app. They’re now rolling out longer videos, and eventually, all users can share videos up to 3 minutes long.
It was formerly known as Musical.ly, which mostly featured videos of users lip syncing to popular songs.
Today, TikTok offers an extensive selection of sounds and song snippets. You can also add special effects and Snapchat-like filters.
A unique feature of TikTok is the Duets feature, which enables users to lip-synch or dance to their favorite song side-by-side with another TikTok user.
Another often-used feature is the Reactions feature, which allows users to record themselves while watching a video and publish the original video and their reaction on the same screen.
TikTok also allows its users to go live so viewers can watch them in real-time.
What sets it apart from other social media networks is that, unlike Instagram and Facebook, TikTok is more of an entertainment platform rather than a lifestyle one.
As of January 2021, TikTok has over 689 million users worldwide.
The app is still overwhelmingly more popular among teens and young adults, but the use of TikTok among adults has been increasing among older adults, especially in the US. In 2020, 62% of TikTok users in the US were aged between 10 and 29, but as of March 2021, only 47.4% of them are in the same age range.
Set Up Your TikTok So You Can Start Earning Money
When you’re getting ready to make money on TikTok, every piece of content you’re posting should be geared toward entertaining your current followers while getting new followers interested in you and your content.
Here’s how you set up your TikTok so you can start making money from it.
1. Set up a TikTok Pro account with a unique profile.
When you first sign up with your phone number, email address, or registered social media account, the first thing the app will ask for is your username and profile photo or video.
Your TikTok username and profile photo/video are the first things people see when they browse, so make sure you come up with a username and an eye-catching profile photo, or better yet, a profile video that captures your personality.
Your bio is another place where you can persuade people to follow you. Be as inviting and welcoming as you sincerely can.
Make sure to link your Instagram, YouTube, and Twitter to your TikTok account, so you can promote your TikTok on these other accounts, and vice versa.
TikTok designates all new accounts as Personal, and you’ll need to change this to Pro in your account settings under Manage Account > Switch to Pro Account.
Select Creator as your account type (Business is for brands, retailers, service providers, organizations, and the like), and then choose a category that fits your planned content.
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Why do you need a TikTok Pro account?
Because you get access to your analytics plus the Creator Portal, which opens up a lot of monetization options for you (more on this later).
2. Start posting compelling videos.
If you want to be popular on TikTok, your content needs to be captivating, interesting, and shareworthy.
Here are some ideas for TikTok videos that you might want to use.
Lip sync videos. This was what the Musical.ly app was originally known for. Lip sync to a currently popular song and put your own creative twist to it.
Duet videos. There’s an option to share a non-private video and take a video of yourself singing along with it or interacting with it.
Reaction videos. React to a viral TikTok video or trend.
Pet videos. If you have a cute pet dog or cat, or any other adorable pet, videos of them just hanging out and being cute can become highly popular.
Challenges. When there’s already a viral challenge going around, it pays to hop on the bandwagon and do your own version of it. Remember, you want to create videos that your audience will like.
It has even more potential to be found by new followers when there’s a hashtag associated with the challenge, because your video will be “filed” under that hashtag, and can be found by those who are tapping that hashtag.
Dance videos. From time to time, viral challenges involve dance crazes, and you’ll probably need to practice a lot if this isn’t your strong suit.
But posting your version of a dance challenge is one of the easiest ways to be found by TikTok users.
Events. If you’re in a highly popular event, like a music festival or a convention, take a video of yourself in the event while it’s going on.
Your talents. What unique talents do you have? Can you trap rap? Or do spoken word poetry? Or do calligraphy? Or paint? You can use TikTok to show off these talents.
Whatever’s trending. Pay attention to trending catchphrases, memes, concepts, and content on TikTok, as well as on other social media, YouTube, and Google Trends.
3. Boost your popularity on TikTok.
To be able to earn at least a few dollars of side cash on TikTok, you need to aim to have over 10,000 followers and a high engagement ratio; that is, the number of likes and comments over the number of views should be a high percentage.
Be consistent. If you need to create a schedule and an alarm to remind you, do it. Users need to consistently see quality videos on your TikTok profile.
Consistently doesn’t necessarily mean every day. If you commit to posting twice a week, for example, every Wednesday and Friday, make sure you stick to that such that your followers come to expect it.
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Promote your TikTok on other channels. Link to your TikTok profile from your other channels: Instagram, Facebook, YouTube, etc. Also, if you already have a website, you can promote it there as well.
Connect with other popular TikTok users. You don’t need to pander to them, but if you network with other TikTok users who are popular, you might be able to get into duets with them and you might be able to get more exposure to their followers.
Engage with your followers. Reply to comments on your videos, and at the same time, like and comment on your followers’ videos. Showing that you’re interested in your followers as more than just spectators makes them more loyal to you.
Be positive. Steer away from negative or controversial content. You’ll hear that “bad publicity is still publicity,” but given the current climate, users don’t want to see negative content on a platform where they expect to be entertained.
How To Make Money On TikTok
The main ways you can earn money on TikTok are dependent on your popularity on the platform, and this is why you need to have an extensive follower count first before you even think of monetizing.
Here are a few ways you can make money on TikTok.
1. Earn TikTok Diamonds
Even though getting TikTok Diamonds isn’t very lucrative, this is probably the easiest way to earn some cash from your followers.
How TikTok’s virtual items work is a bit complicated, so I’ll try to break it down.
TikTok users can buy TikTok Coins with their actual money. Then, TikTok users can send TikTok Gifts (equivalent to a certain number of TikTok Coins) to other TikTok users on a live broadcast.
When you’re on a live broadcast and your followers send you Gifts, these Gifts become TikTok Diamonds that show up on your profile. The number of Diamonds you have is an indicator to other TikTok users of how popular you are.
When you make enough diamonds, you can collect the cash via PayPal or another credible payment service. The minimum withdrawal amount is $50 and the maximum amount you can withdraw is $1,000 per day.
To be clear, only TikTok Coins can be used to send Gifts, only Gifts can be converted to Diamonds, and only Diamonds can be converted to cash.
The cash value of Coins, the Coin value of Gifts, the Gift value of Diamonds, and the Diamond value of cash are all at the sole determination of TikTok and may change from time to time.
2. Get paid to create by TikTok
Aside from your fans, it’s now possible to get paid to create by TikTok itself.
The newly released TikTok Creator Fund aims to support and reward creators for their creativity and enthusiasm.
The funds per creator depend on factors such as video views, engagement, and whether you adhere to Community Guidelines and TikTok’s Terms of Service.
If you meet the eligibility requirements, you can apply to participate through the TikTok app.
3. Become a TikTok influencer
If you’re popular enough on TikTok, and if your followers are part of a certain target market, interested brands can work with you and pay you for directly or indirectly advertising their products or services through sponsored videos.
Indirect advertising or product placement is more subtle and feels like an organic part of your videos.
On the other hand, brands can ask you to be a brand ambassador, wherein you actively talk about the product or service and recommend it to your followers.
The good thing is that you usually don’t have to change your personal style of creating content. In fact, it’s discouraged because then you alienate the very followers you and the brand you’re working with are trying to reach.
Recently, TikTok created a Creator Marketplace where brands can connect with creators who are likely to reach their target audience.
If you’re eligible, it’s worth joining for the sponsorship opportunities and the additional chances to make money on TikTok.
Once you’re part of the Creator Marketplace, brands can then send you invitations to collaborate.
If you do participate, remember to toggle the “Sponsored Video” status so that brands can get data about the video, including its reach and impact.
4. Advertise your music
If you’re an aspiring music artist, songwriter, singer, or musician, TikTok is a great way to start putting your talents out there and getting a few (or plenty) of fans.
First off, find a distributor that works with the popular streaming platforms, as well as TikTok. Not only can you use your own music as a soundtrack for your own content but other users can also use it for theirs.
As your music gets used by other users, you earn royalties from it (obviously you won’t earn from your own TikTok content).
5. Sell your merchandise
Traditionally, only rockstars and pop musicians had their own merchandise. T-shirts, caps, bags, and other apparel are the most popular ones that are sold with the artists’ likeness or logos.
Now, social media celebrities produce and sell their own merchandise, and their most loyal followers buy them.
When you become extremely popular on TikTok, you may want to work on launching your own merch line.
Make sure you’re protected by copyright law; if you need to register your brand and trademark, do it.
Then, decide what type of merch you want to sell. Do you want to start small, like with pins or stickers? Or do you want to go with apparel? Or maybe souvenirs, such as mugs, keychains, or magnets?
If you yourself are an artist or calligrapher on TikTok, you may want to sell your creations themselves, or your artwork or lettering printed on merchandise.
Once you’ve decided what you’re going to sell, partner up with a brand that you trust to produce high-quality merch.
Don’t forget to ask to see a mockup of your merchandise first before you order the first batch that you’re going to sell.
Once you have the merch in stock, you can now promote on your TikTok profile and videos the website where your followers can buy your merch, whether it’s on a third-party e-commerce website, like Facebook Marketplace, or on your own website.
6. Promote affiliate links
Whether you’re already an affiliate marketer or just starting out, promoting on your TikTok can help you increase traffic to your affiliate links.
TikTok is currently rolling out a feature that allows users to add one link on their TikTok bio so that viewers can click on the links and be directed to the page of the product or service they’re promoting.
This rollout is taking longer than expected, and this feature isn’t available for all TikTok users until now.
If this feature isn’t available for you, you’ll have to display a URL as text on your TikTok profile as well as on your videos. For your viewers to go to the link, they’ll have to type it out on their browser.
It isn’t very straightforward, but if you’re persuasive enough, you just might get it to work.
One thing you can take advantage of is that your Instagram and YouTube accounts are linked to your TikTok profile, so you can direct traffic to those social media accounts instead and do affiliate marketing that way.
The surefire way to get to add links to your TikTok bio is to switch to a TikTok Pro: Business account. You’ll lose a lot of songs that can’t be used for commercial purposes, though.
If you have plenty of affiliate links, the smart way to go about this is to look for “link in bio” tools that can display a landing page for a list of links displayed attractively.
For more information about how to start affiliate marketing, read this article.
Start Making Money On TikTok Today!
TikTok is one of the fastest-growing social media platforms in the world that provides an alternative way for users to express their creativity.
It has great potential to be as popular as other video-sharing apps like Instagram and YouTube, as long as the platform continues innovating and growing its user base.
Thus, the potential for earning money from TikTok is also great for you.
Make no mistake, however. There’s no shortcut to making money on TikTok. It requires hard work, creativity, creating value, and a little bit of luck.
Other Ways To Earn From Social Media
- How To Make Money On Facebook
- How To Make Money On YouTube
- How To Make Money On Pinterest
- How To Make Money On Instagram
- How To Make Money On Twitter
- How To Make Money On Twitch
Are you currently a TikTok user? What do you think about using it to earn some cash? Tell us in the comments!