With over 1 billion active users, TikTok has become one of the fastest-growing social media apps in the last decade. With such a large user base, content creators have turned to TikTok to share their creations, as well as monetize them. By the end of 2021, TikTokers collectively earned over 55 million dollars.
What is TikTok?
TikTok was launched in 2016. It was created by the Chinese company, ByteDance. Since then, it has expanded to over 150 different countries, with offices in Beijing, Los Angeles, Tokyo, and more.
With such an enticing amount of earning potential, you might wonder what TikTok even is.
TikTok is a social media app, where content creators can post short-form videos online. A lot of videos are about 15 seconds long, although longer videos can be found too.
The app also supports live streaming for creators who want to actively interact with their audiences in a live environment.
How Do You Earn Money From TikTok?
When TikTok was first started, there was no way to make money on TikTok itself. Creators had to rely on finding deals or sponsorships with companies and brands outside the app. Creators would usually create videos advertising or using their products. These deals could be for a single video or a long-term sponsorship.
Just like YouTube, TikTok has ads within the app, which is one of the ways they fund the running of the application. In July 2020, TikTok established the Creator Fund. This allowed TikTokers to make money from within the app.
To be eligible for the Creator Fund, a creator needs 100,000 views within the last 30 days. The creator also needs at least 10,000 followers and must be a resident of the US, UK, France, Germany, Spain, or Italy.
TikTok is planning on expanding the Creator Fund to other countries as well, but these are the only eligible countries at the moment.
If you are part of the Creator Fund, your videos can be monetized, as well as your live streams. During live streams, viewers can send the creator gifts, which are converted to money later. Recently, TikTok has allowed viewers to be able to gift TikTokers outside of live streaming, which means they can send gifts at any time.
How Much Money Do TikTokers Make?
Now that we have an idea of how monetization on TikTok works, it’s time to take a look at how much money you could make on TikTok. It’s important to remember that there are plenty of things that contribute to the amount of money you make on TikTok.
This means that two videos that are the same length and the same number of views, still might not make the same amount of money.
The reasons that factor in will be discussed later, but for now, let’s look at the different income sources you can use on TikTok.
Earning Money Directly From TikTok with its Creator Fund
In 2020, TikTok set up their Creator Fund allowing creators to make money directly from TikTok.
The Creator Fund is an amount of money set aside for the creators, which is then split up between them depending on the number of views they get within that month.
Unlike YouTube, which pays a percentage of the ad revenue they make, TikTok has settled on a fixed amount. This can cause issues as the app is still growing larger, with new content creators subscribing to the Creator Fund every month.
As more content creators join the Creator Fund, the amount of money divided between the creators should increase, but unfortunately, so far, it has not. This has led some famous content creators like Hank Green, to publicly criticize TikTok's, Creator Fund.
To be able to join the Creator Fund, a TikTok creator needs at least 10,000 followers, to have 100,000 views per month, and be 18 years or older. The Creator Fund is only available to creators in the US, UK, France, Germany, Spain, and Italy.
Thus, it isn't a viable option for most people. But don't worry, there are other ways to make money on TikTok.
Sponsorships – Partnering with Brands
Before the Creator Fund, most TikTokers made money on TikTok with branded sponsorships.
A branded sponsorship is when a company approaches an influencer to promote one of their products on their content.
Sponsorships can range from a few hundred dollars to millions of dollars. Some A-list celebrities make over 5 million dollars for 1 sponsored video on TikTok. Most content creators will never make that amount, but you can easily get paid thousands of dollars for branded videos if you have enough followers and views.
There are some different types of deals you can make with brands. There are branded deals or sponsored videos that usually just include the product or service within the content. Tiktokers will need to disclose that it is an ad or sponsored video.
There is affiliate marketing, which is when a creator joins an affiliate program with a brand. This usually includes advertising the product or service in your video, as well as using an affiliate link. The creator will earn a commission based either on the number of people clicking the link or buying the product or service through their link.
You can also become a brand ambassador. These influencers sign long-term deals with brands to represent their brand and product. This usually includes promoting the brand and keeping them in good light. A brand ambassador could also earn a commission using affiliate links.
There is no minimum or maximum number of views and followers when it comes to branded deals. It depends on your audience and the content you make.
If you're creating videos about video games and computer hardware, then your audience will most likely be interested in those types of products. A makeup company won't approach you with their products. Instead, focus on trying to get a branded deal with companies like Razer or Alien.
If your viewership is large enough, they might take notice and contact you. If you have less than 50,000 followers, you're considered a nano-influencer. At this point, you can already get branded sponsorships, although they won't pay as much.
Content creators with 100,000 followers are called micro-influencers. More than that you are an influencer.
Selling Your Merchandise
Show off your newest merch in a video and start selling those t-shirts.
A lot of content creators create their own brands and images, which are easily recognizable. Once established, it's easy to use a middleman website that prints your designs on an assortment of clothing and accessories and ships them to your fans.
This is not only a great way to make serious cash but also acts as free advertising outside the channel.
How Much do TikTokers Make Per Post?
The amount of money you can make on TikTok varies greatly.
Firstly, if you plan on only relying on the Creator Fund, then you won't be making any money until you meet the minimum requirements. From there on, it will greatly depend on the number of views you get, the number of ads that run between the videos, and how much money is in the Creator Fund to divide between the creators.
The larger amount of views you get, the higher your share of the amount will be.
Recently, Hank Green, a famous YouTuber, and TikToker, with around 6 million followers on TikTok, posted a long video describing the positives and negatives of the social media platform.
Currently, he makes around 2 cents per every 1000 views. This is significantly lower than YouTube, although there are other things to keep in mind. A lot of TikTok videos aren't much longer than a minute, which means view time is much shorter.
Still, considering this, a TikToker with 1 million views over 30 days, will only make around $20.
So, if you post 3 videos a week, each reaching a million views, you would make around $240 that month.
Comparatively, if you had the same number of views on YouTube, you would make around $1440.
The reason for this is that, unlike TikTok, which divides a static money pool, around 300 million dollars, between all of its creators in the US market, YouTube uses a percentage of the ad revenue to pay the creators.
How Does TikTok Calculate Earnings?
TikTok sets aside an amount of money monthly to divide between the creators in each region. TikTok has set aside about 300 million dollars for US content creators and 70 million dollars for European content creators.
These sums of money are then divided between all the creators part of the Creator Fund. This does create a problem though. The more creators that join the Creator Fund, the less the percentage of the money will go to each creator. Between 2021 and 2022, creators went from earning 5 cents per view, down to 2 cents per view.
This is not because TikTok was paying less, but because more creators were joining the creator fund over the course of that year.
Earnings are mostly influenced by the number of views you get. The more views you get, the higher your earnings will be at the end of the month.
How Much Money Can You Make with a Sponsorship?
The amount you make from a sponsorship varies greatly.
There are plenty of factors that will determine how much you can get from a sponsorship. Not only does your TikTok channel matter, but also the brand that wants to give you the sponsorship.
Firstly, you need to make sure your account is in order. Some things to keep in mind when trying to get sponsorships are:
Who is Your Audience?
It is extremely important to know who your audience is. This means the age group, gender, and region. These demographics will help you find a sponsor or brand that your audience might be interested in. Remember that deals like affiliate links will only work if people click on them and buy something.
Create Your Brand
Brand awareness is a large factor in your channel's success. That means recognizable catchphrases, your quirky style of fashion, and maybe even a cool name for your fans!
Brand recognition is important, especially when you're looking for a sponsorship deal. Sponsors and brands are looking for TikTokers who have a fairly large number of followers, anywhere from 10,000 and up, and have their own identities.
If your TikTok channel has a large number of views and followers, but it's all just meme-related reposts, there's no chance a brand would approach you for sponsorship. It would be hard to market something on a channel like this, although not unheard of, just extremely difficult.
Lifestyle vloggers, beauty channels, comedians, gamers, and sketch creators are easy targets for branded deals. They tend to have a select audience that is easy to pick the right market for.
Here are some of TikTok's biggest stars and how much they make.
5 Highest Earning TikTokers
#5: Kris Collins – $4.75M
Kris Collins is one of TikTok's funniest people.
Kris started her career as a hairdresser, but when Covid struck had to put down the hairdryer and clippers.
This inevitably led her to TikTok, where she started off making funny videos pranking her parents and impersonating her siblings. Her antics led her to amass over 42 million followers and earn her over 4 million dollars.
#4: Bella Poarch – $5M
Bella Poarch became a superstar sensation overnight when she posted a video of herself lip-syncing to Millie B's “M to the B.”
Since then, she has posted endless amounts of lip-syncing videos and vlogs. She also stays on top of the latest trends.
Currently, she has almost 90 million followers
#3: Addison Rae – $8.5M
Addison Rae loves dancing, as well as dancing on video. An early adopter of TikTok, she quickly grabbed the attention of viewers with her trendsetting dance routines.
Currently, Addison has just under 88 million followers.
#2: Dixie D'Amelio – $10M
Dixie is most known for her outlandish personality and jumping on trends as soon as they hit the platform.
That said, a lot of her fame might be attributed to her sister, Charli, who is easily one of the most successful TikTokers to date.
#1: Charli D’Amelio – $17.5M
Charli has over 130 million followers on TikTok and earns over 17 million dollars a year. She started out by making dancing routines to famous songs, setting trends for the rest to follow.
Charli has secured some high-profile sponsorships with brands like Invisalign and even Dunkin’ Donuts!
Charli even got her own show on Hulu called “The D’Amelio Show.”
How Do I Grow My TikTok Account?
Now that you have an idea of the inner workings of TikTok and how you can monetize it, you might be wondering how you can grow your channel so you can start making money from it. Fear not, we've thrown together some great tips to get you started.
Who is Your Channel For?
The first and most important part of starting a TikTok channel is to decide who your channel is for.
Sure, some channels get away with doing an assortment of different videos, but even then, those videos are most likely still for the same target audience.
A gaming channel doesn't just have to play games. The target audience for a gaming channel is wider than just that. You can post reviews of current hardware, review games, gaming and tech news, as well as play games.
Knowing your target audience will allow you to create a larger number of followers faster, than trying your hand at a bunch of different things. Not only will it alienate new fans, but will also upset your current followers.
Stay on Top of the Trends
Staying on top of the most current trends, as well as using the hashtag correctly when something is trending is about the most important skill you can have as a TikTok.
The faster you identify a trend and get a video out, the longer time it will have to get views and possibly new followers.
Use Social Media to Your Advantage
Don't just restrict yourself to TikTok when it comes to your image and brand.
Recently, YouTube and Instagram have created their versions of TikTok, even with their monetization schemes.
Use Instagram to keep in touch with your fans as well as keep them up to date on your latest creations and ideas. Use it to promote your brand and possibly your products or branded deals and affiliations.
This way you won't only be growing your TikTok channel, but your brand as a whole. Remember it's not about just you and your TikTok channel, it's about establishing a brand with recognition.
Post Your Videos at the Right TimeS
The best way to make sure your audience sees your videos is to post them at the right times, as well as keep the time the same mostly.
Check your demographic and figure out where most of your views come from. Knowing when your followers will be online is the best time to post. It will take some time to figure out, but keep an eye out for videos that got a lot of views and what times they were posted.
Advice From a Working TikTok Creator
1. Get in the head of your audience.
Think like your viewers. That's who the videos are for, aren't they?
A great way to do this is to spend a lot of time on the creator marketplace. There, you'll find valuable info on all the trending TikTokers, what they're up to and what the latest trends are.
We're not saying that you should just follow every trend on TikTok, you can be the trailblazer and create your trends, but it's important to know what people are watching.
Doing a trend that is “so last year” won't get you anywhere.
2. Get connected.
Once you've got some followers, try to reach out to other content creators. Collaborating with other content creators is a great way to introduce yourself to a new audience, as well as get you some good social rep points.
Not only that, but if you work with TikTokers that are bigger than you, you might get to learn a few things here and there about becoming a more successful TikTok.
3. Track and analyze your analytics.
Content creators have more information at the tips of their fingers than ever!
Keep track of your channel's analytics. Things like your age demographic and geographical demographics are very important.
From there, you will need to adapt. Find out what the age group and countries your most views are coming from. Set out to create campaigns and partnerships that are aimed at these key demographics. Most brands would like to see those statistics anyway.
There is no use in partnering with a makeup brand if your key demographic is males aged 24 to 30. Instead, if this group falls within a first-world country, you might want to partner with a high-end clothing brand, or even a cologne or car brand.
The point is, that if you cannot interpret your analytics and adjust accordingly, your channel will struggle to grow or become properly monetized.
Ready to Get Started Making Money on TikTok?
TikTok is easily the fastest growing social media application this last decade, and seems to still be growing in popularity every day! With such a large audience, a lot of people are interested in finding ways to monetize it.
Now you know how much do TikTokers make. And, hopefully, reading this article will not only help you grow your TikTok channel but help you find ways to make a living off TikTok.
It might take some time, but so does most things in life. If you put in the time and effort though, you will find that the benefits you reap are more than worth the sacrifice.
Now go out there, strut your stuff, dance your butt off, and make some cringeworthy content for the whole world to see, whether they want to or not.
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