For most of TikTok’s short existence, it provided little opportunity to make money. But in June 2020, the company introduced the TikTok Creator Fund, which pays people for video content that goes viral on the app.
Then, in December of 2021, TikTok formed Creator Next — a suite of tools that enable TikTokers who are over 18 and have at least 10,000 followers to monetize their account.
In this article, we’ll talk about what Creator Next is and how to leverage it. But we’ll also go over some of the other (external) ways to make money on TikTok — many of which can be quite lucrative.
Let’s dive right in.
TikTok Monetization Basics
To understand how to make money on TikTok, let’s start by going over a few common terms that you need to know in order to make the best use of the platform.
- The Tiktok Creator Fund: A TikTok-operated method of compensating certain users for popular video content.
- TikTok Coins: In-app currency that can be used to tip creators.
- TikTok Pro Account: A specialized account featuring additional analytics for content creators.
- Creator Marketplace: A TikTok-operated platform that helps brands find content creators to collaborate with for sponsored content.
- Platform Advertising: Users see ads after viewing multiple videos, or when opening the app.
How Much Money Can You Make On TikTok?
Before getting into the specific ways to make money on TikTok, let’s quickly cover how much an average person can expect to earn.
Right off the bat, let’s get one thing out of the way: you probably won’t become a millionaire from the TikTok platform.
The amount of money you can make is also entirely dependent on the strategy you choose to employ.
On the high end is someone like Tori Dunlap, a nationally-recognized money and career expert who decided to launch a TikTok account. In an interview with Making Sense of Cents, Dunlap outlined how she managed to grow her TikTok account from 0 to 350,000 followers and earn $60,000 in six weeks from the platform alone.
At the same time, Dunlap had a following and was well-known prior to getting started. What about somebody who doesn’t already have a fanbase?
Jake Sweet — a.k.a. @Surfaceldn on TikTok — is a 21-year-old university student who has amassed over 3 million TikTok followers. Sweet has reported that his income is steady enough to help with grocery payments, but most of the funds he brings in go towards purchasing props for future videos. Specifically, he focuses on making shorter TikToks that are in the pranking niche (think mini versions of Punk’d), but his following is still low compared to other creators.
Other highly successful niches on TikTok are dancing, comedy and even cooking! These popular niches help creators amass large followings, even for young creators like Sweet.
“Directly, you can make money through the Creator Fund, gifts during live sessions, sponsorships through the Creator Marketplace and apps that pay you to promote new music. Indirectly, I use TikTok to drive traffic to my site, boost ad revenues, drive book sales and make affiliate sales. I got 10k+ views to my website last week alone from TikTok.”
While Ruiz did not specifically mention how much she earns from TikTok, she left a career as a lawyer to become a full-time travel blogger and uses TikTok as a main part of her business strategy.
So clearly, the possibility of making enough money to leave a full-time job — or at the very least, earn some side cash — is more than real on TikTok.
10 Ways to Make Money On TikTok
Here are 10 different TikTok monetization strategies.
1. Get Paid Directly By TikTok
This fund was established by TikTok to encourage users to create viral content, but the specifics of how much it pays are murky. As is the case with Snapchat (which has a similar fund), who is selected for the Creator Fund and how much they’re paid is decided by the company.
That said, a TikTok creator can sign up to be considered for the Creator Fund if they meet the following criteria:
- Are at least 18 years old.
- Are based in the United States, France, Germany, Italy, Spain or the UK.
- Have at least 10,000 followers with over 100,000 video views in the 30 days prior to applying.
- Have an account that meets the TikTok community guidelines.
Becoming a TikTok star with over 10,000 followers can take some time if all you do is record a short video every once in a while, so this direct method of earning is one of the harder strategies on this list. However, it also provides one of the most stable opportunities for income if you’re accepted into the program.
As noted earlier, there is no set amount per view or per video. TikTok claims they decide how much a content creator is paid based on views, engagement and “other factors.” However, some creators report earning around 2-4 cents per 1,000 views.
Pro tip: Curious about how much money your TikTok account could generate as part of the Creator Fund? Get a ballpark figure with these online TikTok revenue calculators.
For perspective, Charli D’amelio (@charlidamelio on TikTok) — who has over 108 million followers and 8.6 billion likes (yes, that’s “billion” with a “b”) — averages around 30 million views per video.
Speculatively, that means she could earn around $600 per video.
It should be noted that Charli D’amelio is one of the most popular video creators on the platform. At that same pay rate, an average person could only expect to make a small handful of change through the Creator Fund.
2. Receive Virtual Gifts
Another (often under-leveraged) aspect of Creator Next is the virtual items offered to users.
There are three types of virtual gifts on TikTok:
- Coins: This is the user-side in-app currency. Users can purchase coins using their own money and redeem them for gifts in the app.
- Gifts: These are virtual items that can be posted on videos or live streams to thank or praise creators for making awesome content. Users purchase gifts with coins, then hold on to them for disbursement when they see a video they like. The bar for getting live gifts is lower than for video gifts: TikTok requires you to have 100,000 followers to receive video gifts, but just 1,000 followers to receive live gifts.
- Diamonds: This is the creator-side currency. Gifts that a creator receives can be converted into diamonds, which creators can then redeem for real money.
As for the price of coins, this is the cost as of March 2022:
Users give gifts to a TikToker when they watch their live stream or video, which is when the conversion to Diamonds occurs. Diamonds cannot be purchased and can only be earned from gifts.
Diamonds can be converted to real money.
At the time of this writing, one diamond is only worth around five cents. With that said, popular content creators with a large audience can leverage this to make a significant amount of money.
Here’s how the process works step-by-step from the creator’s perspective:
- A creator goes live on TikTok and starts making content.
- Viewers who pop in and enjoy the content can donate gifts, which have been purchased with coins.
- Based on the coin value of the specific gift, TikTok will allocate a number of Diamonds to the creator.
- The creator can then redeem those Diamonds for cash and transfer the funds into PayPal or another supported third-party platform. You must have at least $100 worth of Diamonds to cash out.
Note that Diamonds cannot be converted back into gifts.
3. Receive Tips
TikTok’s tipping feature was launched with the December 2021 Creator Next update. While tipping online creators is a much more common practice in Asian countries, the practice is gaining traction in the U.S. and has the potential to become a significant source of income.
Unlike live and video gifts, online creators receive 100% of the money they get from tips (because tippers cover the processing fees).
To receive tips, you must have a Stripe account to process payments. Only personal TikTok accounts are eligible for tips (not business accounts). Tips max out at $100 per transaction.
4. Leverage the TikTok Creator Marketplace
The TikTok Creator Marketplace (TTCM) is the part of the Creator Next platform where brands connect with TikTok creators to boost their sales and/or increase brand awareness. In other words, it’s a built-in tool that facilitates the production of sponsored content.
This platform offers cutting-edge data analytics about creators’ accounts, which helps you see how your audience is growing. It also tells brands about who your audience is and helps them decide whether your account is a good match for their products or services.
The beauty of TTCM is that you don’t need to have a huge following to connect with brands. As long as you have a minimum of 10,000 followers, you’ll have access to companies that may be willing to pay you for a shoutout or a partnership.
5. Promote New Music
For aspiring music artists, TikTok is a fantastic resource for gaining attention. And that means creators can earn money by including certain music in their videos.
Third-party musicians reach out to these promotion apps, which serve as middlemen and get their music on a popular creator’s page.
Alternatively, TikTok musician accounts have been on the rise and many new artists have emerged on the platform, leveraging their popularity to gain followers/streamers on sites like Apple Music and Spotify.
Some have even parlayed their TikTok success into record deals.
6. Become a TikTok Influencer
TikTok is a great platform for influencer marketing, similar to Instagram and Twitter.
Addison Rae (@addisonre) is perhaps one of the best examples of this strategy. While she’s part of the TikTok Creator Fund, she has also launched her own clothing brand (aptly named Addison). Her influencer marketing campaigns often revolve around the promotion of this brand.
However, you don’t need your own product to sell on TikTok; there is plenty of money to be made selling or promoting the products made by others.
A TikTok influencer may be involved in the following activities:
- Affiliate marketing
- Brand ambassadors
- Sponsored events
- Sponsored posts
To connect with brands who are willing to pay for these things, many TikTokers contract with brand sponsorship agencies, which are companies that play matchmaker between online influencers and brands that want to sponsor their content. (This arrangement is similar to TTCM, but the arrangements happen outside of TikTok.)
TikTokers who work through sponsorship agencies typically charge around 1-2 cents per sponsored post view, which is a far higher rate than paid by the TikTok Creator Fund.
Influencers who are not partnered with an agency (which typically have large audiences) are known to make a flat fee of around $200 to $2,000 per sponsored post.
7. Drive Traffic to Somewhere Other Than TikTok
While users don’t typically drive traffic to other platforms within their videos, a content creator can link their Instagram or YouTube to their account profile. For now, those are the only two alternate social media platforms allowed on TikTok.
However, you can also add a link to your own website in your bio. This allows you to promote that link through the content you create, driving users to a platform where you can leverage affiliate marketing (or sell your products and services), such as a blog.
Additionally, gamers will often upload clips of their highlights or live streams from video games in an effort to drive traffic to their Twitch or Discord channel, which is another good example. Since these platforms aren’t supported by TikTok, you’ll have to verbally tell your viewers to find you on Twitch or Discord or put the link in your bio.
See also: Here’s how much you can make on YouTube.
8. Promote a Service
Promoting a service is a great way of making money with TikTok.
One creator, Heather Felix, gives an example of how:
“[A] creator I’m friendly with, who makes fashion videos, offers personal styling advice for a fee and has a sizable client base and income now.”
This unnamed creator learned how to market to their niche and offer styling advice to clients for a fee.
A TikTok user offering a service can work for multiple niches.
For example, graphic designers could feature their work in a TikTok video and offer classes for their followers. Music producers could feature tracks they put together and offer to teach others how to do the same.
This model allows a creator to determine the prices for the services they offer.
Additionally, you could combine this tip with the TikTok Creator Marketplace to bring other creators on board who are willing to advertise your service for a small commission.
9. Manage TikTok Ad Campaigns For Businesses
TikTok is a relatively young platform with a young audience, and not all business owners view it as a viable source of marketing or income. Even if they do, relatively few understand what it is and how it works in enough detail to leverage it for those purposes.
And that’s a huge missed opportunity, because advertisements appear between strings of TikTok videos that don’t allow viewers to skip for about five seconds.
In the U.S. alone, TikTok has over 73 million users watching videos on a daily basis. So from a digital marketing perspective, this is a goldmine for any business owner looking for advertising space.
That’s where you come in: you can make money by serving as a paid TikTok ads consultant. These consultants create TikTok ads for brands and companies to run on their accounts.
This is one of the best social media management jobs for freelancers because the upside is huge. Paid ad campaigns can have a direct impact on a client’s bottom line — which means it’s easy to connect the work you do for them to the amount of money they make. As a result, effective ad managers can command significant rates ($50 an hour or more).
10. Become a TikTok Consultant And/Or Manager
On the same theme as the list item above, some successful TikTok users transition into working as consultants and/or managers for other, less experienced users who want to expand their audience.
For example, people or brands will often hire an experienced TikTok consultant to help them run their TikTok account and grow it to new levels. TikTok managers are in charge of managing an entire TikTok presence for one or more companies. This involves choosing hashtags for them, collaborating with other influencers, and engaging with comments from viewers.
To become a TikTok consultant or manager, you will need some proven experience with the platform and a strong track record of followers, likes and engagement.
Essentially, you need to prove that you can build a loyal, engaged audience for a brand or company by first doing this for yourself.
Tips For Growing Your TikTok Business
Regardless of the TikTok monetization strategy you choose, views are everything. As a TikTok creator, you need eyes in your videos and profile if you want a chance at making money on the platform.
Growing your business and your TikTok followers for your account can be done similarly to other social media platforms with some basic strategies:
- Use popular hashtags (ones with thousands of followers) in your posts as much as possible.
- Collaborate with other users who are in your TikTok niche. By coordinating your efforts, each creator can tap into the audience of the other.
- Be consistent and stick to a theme for your profile and your videos. This will help you build a genuine and loyal audience.
- Leverage effects and other fun aspects of the TikTok video creation screen.
- Make sure your profile picture is friendly and, if possible, reflects what your account is all about.
- Even though you can post videos as long as three minutes (as of early 2022), stick to short video content unless your profile theme requires more detail.
- Use popular songs on your videos. This will increase the likelihood that your video appears on a user’s feed.
Above all, focus on increasing the traffic to your profile. Other helpful strategies center around connecting with your audience on a deeper level. After all, nobody wants to support a person who pretends their following doesn’t exist.
If you’re hitting a creative wall, reach out to your followers. Live stream and talk with them, and ask what content they would like to see created. All of these tips can help you slowly start to grow your TikTok.
FAQs About Making Money On TikTok
Yes. You can earn payment per view through the TikTok Creator Fund. While the actual payment distribution formula is not published by the company, influencers using the fund have reported earning around 2-4 cents per 1,000 views. That would translate to around .00002 cents to .00004 cents per view. This amount very likely increases the more popular your account becomes.
Based on the estimated earning rate for participants in the Creator Fund, the expected payout for a video with 1 million views is $20 to $40.
Yes. TikTok users who have some type of store can put a link to that store in their bio and use their platform to advertise their product. If you use a Shopify store and link it to a TikTok business account, you can put stickers in your videos that link to the products in your online store.
TikTok also recently launched a partnership with Teespring, where platform users won’t even need to leave the TikTok app to purchase a Teespring item advertised by a creator.
While there does not seem to be a clear clause in the TikTok terms and conditions restricting this, it is extremely unlikely that TikTok would sanction it. While there’s certainly a market for selling popular TikTok accounts, know that you’re purchasing or selling an account at the potential risk of it being shut down.
Similar to a private Snapchat account, many people wonder if you can sell access to a private TikTok account, where only approved followers see the content you produce.
While there is no explicit rule against doing so, TikTok likely reserves the right to ban your account if you are caught selling access — especially since these accounts are typically used for hosting explicit material, which is prohibited.
Making Money On TikTok: Final Thoughts
TikTok is a growing social media platform that offers more ways to monetize content than people realize — from the Creator Fund to influencer campaigns to collecting TikTok coins.
At the same time, it’s unlikely that you’ll become a millionaire on the platform overnight — and it could take years before you earn a fraction of that amount.
However, when looking at social media compensation across multiple platforms, TikTok certainly offers a wide array of earning strategies that make it a reliable source of small income for anybody willing to put in the time and energy.