How To Make Money on TikTok in 2024 [step by step]

By | January 23, 2024
How To Make Money on TikTok in 2024

Learn how to make money on TikTok with our effective strategies and tips. Unlock your earning potential and monetize your TikTok presence with our informative guide.

Despite launching internationally only in 2017, TikTok has become the authority on what’s hot in culture, politics, fashion, and beyond. TikTok is a force, growing rapidly year over year, and is expected to reach two billion users by 2024. The short-form video app has attracted a sizable Gen Z user base, and for entrepreneurs, that’s a lot of marketing potential.

If you want to leverage TikTok’s massive user base in building your audience, here’s a look at the strategies of some of the social media platform’s top creators and marketers. Get tips on how to make money on TikTok, from fan merch sales to paid subscriptions.

8 ways to make money on TikTok

  1. Join the TikTok Creativity Program
  2. Sell merch
  3. Go live for virtual gifts
  4. Affiliate partnerships
  5. Create in-feed ads
  6. Crowdfund projects
  7. Collect tips
  8. Patreon subscriptions

Deciding how to monetize TikTok users becomes easier once you’ve gained a deeper understanding of your target audience. There’s no single approach to monetization, but the highest earners usually maintain several complementary income streams. From sponsored content to organic marketing, the opportunities with TikTok are virtually endless.

8 ways to start making money on TikTok

1. Join the TikTok Creativity Program

Users who’ve built up a substantial following might consider making money through the TikTok Creativity Program. Announced in February 2023 and launched in May, this program replaces the TikTok Creator Fund.

US-based creators with at least 10,000 followers and 100,000 authentic video views within the past 30 days are eligible to join this program, which, as of May 2023, is still in beta. The program should be available to more users in the coming months.

Eligibility:

  • Users must be at least 18 years old to sign up
  • Users must meet the minimum follower and video view requirements
  • User accounts need to be in good standing
  • Creators already enrolled in the TikTok Creator Fund can upgrade to the Creativity Program

2. Sell merch

How To Make Money on TikTok in 2024

Selling your products on TikTok is great for monetizing nearly any type of content. Creators⁠—whether they’re a dancers, a singers, or comedians⁠—can make and sell merch to their most loyal fans.

And with a wide variety of print-on-demand companies on the market, there’s a ton of merchandise to choose from. You might sell t-shirts, tote bags, pillowcases, hats, coffee mugs, stickers, notebooks⁠⁠, or any combination of products.

Selling print-on-demand products even has benefits beyond revenue. Owning branded merch gives your fans a deeper connection to your brand, and every follower who wears your merch spreads the word about your business.

3. Go live for virtual gifts

LIVE Gifting is one of TikTok’s most useful features for creators looking to monetize their content through livestreaming.

Most social networks have a livestreaming feature, but what makes TikTok unique is that it allows followers to show their appreciation in real time by sending virtual gifts, which can be redeemed for payment.

Engaging with users in real-time is great for building valuable relationships with your fans. Audiences that have a strong connection to a creator tend to develop a personal stake in their success, which means going live can help boost other monetization streams as well.

If you create or sell products online, live streaming is an opportunity to showcase your items. Many E-commerce retailers have found that TikTok LIVE generates more interest from shoppers than live features on other social media apps.

For example, Dasha Derkach, founder of hair scrunchie business Enchanted Scrunch, saw a significant increase in sales after switching her social media marketing efforts from Instagram to TikTok.

“It has significantly boosted our sales,” she says. “Before TikTok, we got around two orders a week, then once we started, around 100 a week. Now we also do TikTok Lives nearly every day and get almost 500 orders a week!”

4. Affiliate partnerships

One of the most innovative ways TikTok allows its creators to make money is through its Creator Marketplace.

The Creator Marketplace helps connect the right brands to the right influencers, facilitating partnerships in a way that’s fast and easy for both parties. TikTok makes it incredibly easy to create valuable sponsored content.

Brands looking to run an affiliate marketing campaign can browse the marketplace and quickly shuffle through content made by creators they know are open to collaboration.

The Creator Marketplace acts as an influencer agency, letting both sides indicate their willingness to work with one another. That relieves some of the awkwardness of approaching influencers, which marketers may have experienced with influencer marketing on other platforms.

TikTok Shop

Another way to make money on TikTok using affiliate links is through TikTok Shop. Shop is TikTok’s tool for in-app shopping, allowing users with business accounts to create shoppable videos and livestreams.

Using TikTok shop, you can tag products when they feature in your videos. It’s a natural way to draw your viewers’ attention to an item that you want to promote.

You can also add product information and Buy buttons to your content to drive traffic to your affiliate partner. If you run your affiliate business through a Shopify store, you can integrate directly with TikTok Shop to let users scroll through items from within the app.

TikTok Shop features reduce friction for your audience. Now, they don’t need to leave TikTok to find out more about your (or your affiliate partner’s) products.

Like so many great businesses, skincare brand Peace Out Skincare was created when its founder encountered a problem that didn’t have a solution⁠—until he created one.

@peaceoutskincare

BRB heading to @ultabeauty to snag all the things we need to recreate this amazing makeup look by @anggelzz2 😍 #UltaBeautyMustHaves #SpotTheDot #MakeupTutorial

♬ original sound – PeaceOutSkincare

After struggling with acne and hyperpigmentation, among other skin issues, Enrico Frezza started researching the skin care product development process and building his brand of skin care products. The brand found early traction by partnering with TikTok influencers to build authenticity—and make more sales. The creators involved also monetized their accounts by being paid for content.

5. Create in-feed ads

TikTok has a ton of great organic marketing opportunities, but if you’re willing to spend a little to expand the reach of your content, you might consider creating your in-feed ads with the TikTok ads manager.

TikTok ads appear in users’ “For you” feeds and auto-play like any other TikTok video. With paid ads, you can make sure your videos are reaching audiences that are most interested in your products.

But the best part? TikTok’s ad manager seamlessly integrates with Shopify. That means you can create TikTok ads, select a target audience, and track your ad’s performance⁠—all from your Shopify store. TikTok really can be one of the best online marketing tools at your disposal.

6. Crowdfund projects

Crowdfunding is one of the most accessible money-making avenues for creators. You put a lot of time and effort into creating content for your fans⁠, so offering an easy, no-pressure way for them to give back is great for securing a regular income stream.

Crowdfunding can take many forms, depending on what type of funding you’re looking for. If you’re looking for startup funds for a specific project, you could rally your followers by setting up a funding goal and hosting live fundraising events.

If you’re looking to fund a specific project, here are some crowdfunding sites to explore:

  • Kickstarter. Kickstarter is the web’s most widely used and recognized crowdfunding platform, giving your fundraising credibility.
  • Indiegogo. If you don’t have a set funding target, you might prefer Indiegogo, which offers a more flexible fundraising goal, letting you receive funds after your deadline.
  • Fundable. Fundable lets startups offer equity in exchange for funding, making it a great tool for finding investors. Currently, though, Fundable is only available to users in the United States.
  • Crowdcube. Crowdcube offers companies that succeed in their fundraising goals exclusive benefits from their partner organizations through its Crowdcube Funded Club.

7. Collect tips

For a fast and easy way to accept donations, consider using a tipping platform. Tipping platforms work just like a real-life tip jar, and viewers who like your videos can thank you with a small donation. The option is available to fans, but not mandatory, and they can donate any amount they like at any time they want.

If this sounds more appealing to you, here are some great tipping platforms to check out:

  • TikTok’s native tipping feature. This is the easiest way to collect tips in-app, with a convenient button on your profile users can tap to pay you.
  • Tipeee. Tipeee doesn’t offer subscriptions, but its strength is its simplicity. On Time, creators can set up a page for their fans to directly “tip” any amount they want, whenever they want.
  • Buy Me a Coffee. Buy Me a Coffee prides itself on being built for creators, as opposed to businesses. Like Tipeee, its strength is its simplicity. Followers are sent to a page where they can purchase as many “coffees” for the creator as they like. “Coffees,” in this case, are $1 payments that are transferred to the creator via PayPal or online banking.
  • Ko-fi. Ko-fi offers tips, memberships, and ways to offer users commissions for personalized content, like a custom tutorial or video chat.

8. Patreon subscriptions

Crowdfunding works for big projects, and tipping is the simplest way to collect funds quickly. But what if you’re looking to secure a more regular passive income stream? Try a creator-based subscription platform, like Patreon.

Further reading: What is Passive Income: Income Types and Examples

Subscription-based models of income work great for content creators because you can keep individual subscription costs low and focus on growing your number of subscribers.

A low-cost subscription of, say, one dollar a month is an easy sell to a single dedicated fan. If you have a lot of dedicated fans, those dollars start to add up.

Patreon was the first large platform built to let creators and influencers generate revenue through paid memberships from their most loyal fans⁠. On Patreon, you can set up membership tiers that allow you to offer exclusive content to your biggest supporters.

Alternatives exist (most notably Ko-fi, which also includes a tipping feature), but Patreon has the added benefit of brand awareness, which adds a level of trust from prospective supporters.

If you’re thinking a subscription service might be the best way of monetizing your TikTok account, here are some best practices to keep in mind:

  • Entice your fans with rewards. Audiences are likely to increase their donations if they get something worthwhile.
  • Thank your supporters directly. Make your fans feel appreciated and they’ll be more likely to keep supporting your work.
  • Promote your Patreon page. Fans can’t donate if they don’t know you’re accepting donations.
  • Keep subscription costs low. It’s easier to get $1 from 50 followers than to get $50 from one.
  • Create new content consistently. Paying audiences have higher expectations when it comes to how frequently you release new content.

TikTok Rewards referral program

All active TikTok users who meet minimum age requirements can refer new users to the app in return for TikTok Rewards points.

What are TikTok Rewards?

TikTok Rewards are virtual points that you can earn by persuading people to join TikTok or by completing activities such as watching, creating, and interacting with videos.

Rewards can be converted into small amounts of cash at a rate determined by your location. Once you’ve built your earnings, you can withdraw them to your bank account or PayPal account. In some countries, Rewards can also be redeemed for things like coupons and mobile top-ups.

Check the Task Rules page on your app to see the amount of TikTok Rewards points you’ll be eligible to receive, and the tasks your referred user can complete for extra points for themselves and you.

How do TikTok referrals work?

To generate a referral code, head to Profile, then either Discover or For You. Tap the TikTok Rewards banner, then the coin icon in the upper left corner of the screen. There, you should see a referral link and invitation code.

After that, you and your referred user will need to follow these steps:

1. Invite a new user to join the platform

To begin earning rewards through TikTok’s referral program, all you need to do is ask a friend, family member, or coworker to download and use the app.

2. The new user creates a profile and enters the invitation code

Once your friend has downloaded and opened TikTok, they should go to their Profile and select the icon beside their name. There, they’ll be able to enter the referral code you sent them.

Note: Your friend must enter the referral code within 24 hours to earn invitation rewards points.

3. Optional: the new user watches videos to earn more rewards

When new users watch videos via the Activity page, they and you will earn extra Rewards. The amount of videos they’ll need to watch to get Rewards differs based on location, but TikTok recommends watching videos for a few minutes every day, starting from the first day after a referral code is entered.

As time goes on, new users can also earn points by posting videos and interacting with content.

Note: The new user must watch videos within the time shown on the Activity page to be eligible for Rewards.

Who is your TikTok audience?

To make money from your TikTok audience, you need to know who they are. And on TikTok, users are likely to skew younger. A majority of users (62%) are under 30, and a whopping 32.5% of active users are under 20. Many people think of TikTok’s popularity with Gen Z as its defining characteristic, but this could change quickly.

One survey shows a growing number of millennials joining the platform, and social networks tend to be most popular with teens at their inception⁠—so a head start on catering to TikTok’s older users could give you a big advantage in a few years.

There’s no one-size-fits-all approach to TikTok, but having a solid understanding of your audience will put you in a better position to find the best ways to monetize your following.

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