If you don’t know what TikTok is, chances are, you’re so out of the loop. Or you live under a rock. Or don’t have access to mobile phones. Because, let’s face it, daily, TikTok has been changing how we use social media.
TikTok isn’t just a social platform anymore. It has become the trend leader, marketing avenue, social connectivity, and revenue generator for many of its users.
Wait. Run that back. You can earn money on TikTok?
As with any social media platform, the popularity of social networking sites has expanded into marketing and selling mainly because of their unprecedented reach to the general public. More than half of the world’s population uses social media, and the focus on content marketing and revenue generation has shifted from traditional methods to digital ones.
So yes, you can get paid through TikTok—and one of them is becoming a content creator or influencer.
What is TikTok?
TikTok originated in Beijing, China (locally called Douyin) in September 2016 until it was launched internationally under the name TikTok in 2017. TikTok allows users to create short-form videos in real time, with different features like filters, edits, time-lapse, voiceovers, and green screens, to name a few.
In 2020, TikTok amassed over 2 billion downloads, a whopping number just three years after its release in the international market.
Why is TikTok so popular?
We can attribute the popularity of TikTok to a lot of factors: its straightforward interface, introducing scroll-to-view video function, intelligent pattern algorithm, and fun and easy-to-use features.
These features make any content fun and less intimidating on the app that you even see Microsoft Excel tips, creating a compelling resume, and even someone’s last day at work becomes a trend on TikTok. By modifying any content with the features that TikTok has, you’ll pull the attention of the avid users of the app—the younger generation.
Take for example this yoga video that’s been garnering attention in TikTok among people looking to increase physical activity outside of workouts:
What is influencer marketing? The magic of content creation and influencer marketing
Influencer marketing is a new marketing method that engages the services of popular influencers for marketing and product placement of someone’s products or services.
Influencers vary from platform to platform. One influencer in one app may not be as famous in another, so brands must find influencers that match their brand voice in the platform they want to market.
TikTok influencer marketing has been increasingly popular in recent years because brands want to reach out to the younger generation. Nothing is infuriating to the younger generation than to be marketed right into their faces—this means traditional text or email spam. They have a very short attention span, and nothing excites them more than fun, engaging content (and quite literally, at that), and TikTok does that best.
When the younger generation content creators of TikTok speak to same-aged users, it resonates better, engages them better, and convinces them better.
In terms of engagement rates, TikTok takes the cake among its competitors. This can be attributed to its fool-proof algorithm that filters and studies user behavior to recommend similar content, making influencer marketing a less daunting task on the platform.
Further Reading: What is a UGC Creator? And How Do I Become One?
All about TikTok trends
TikTok is a trend leader, and that is not an exaggeration. From challenges to filters to music, TikTok has propelled some of the most underrated stars and music to popularity just because of the platform alone.
For example, Gayle’s Abcdefu song propelled to number three on Billboard US.S. Hot 100, months after it was released because it was used as a TikTok trend left and right in 2022. It now has 2.2 million uses as of writing, with a hundred thousand uses for its other TikTok remixes. According to Billboard editors, the song is perfect for a 15-second viral video (TikTok only allows 15-second videos at its initial run) with its catchy hook that is loved by many TikTok users.
Further Reading: The Secret TikTok Emoji Codes: What They Are and How to Access Them
Highest-paid content creators and influencers on TikTok
So how much does TikTok pay content creators and influencers? According to Forbes, the highest-paid influencers on the platform made $55.5 million U.S. dollars in 2021, which is a 200% increase from what they made in 2020.
While many on the list of the highest-paid content creators and influencers have already branched out of TikTok (i.e., having their own TV shows, brand deals, acting, and music careers), it is estimated that 30% to 50% of their earnings still come from TikTok brand sponsorships.
- Charli D’ Amelio: $17.5M with 133 million followers
- Dixie D’ Amelio: $10M with 57 million followers
- Addison Rae: $8.5M with 86 million followers
- Bella Poarch: $5M with 87 million followers
- Josh Richards: $5M with 26 million followers
- Kris Collins: $4.75M with 42 million followers
- Avani Gregg: $4.75M with 39 million followers
How and how much does TikTok pay creators and influencers?
TikTok has ushered in a new way of revenue generation from people who are passionate about content creation and influencer marketing. If you think there’s only one way to earn from making TikTok content, think again. Jakey Boehm, an Australian content creator who earned $34,000 by sleeping, says that TikTok is a “life-changing money.”
Creator fund payout
TikTok pays creative content creators on the platform through creator funds. By meeting specific eligibility requirements, creators are paid based on their engagement, views, and adherence to Community Guidelines and Terms of Service. This creator fund aims to support content creators and encourage more users to use the app.
However, there have been many complaints regarding the meagre payout of TikTok’s creator fund system, with an average of $0.02 to $0.03 per thousand views. Personal finance influencer Preston Seo said he earns between $9 to $38 daily with his content through the fund.
A glance will make you think that this is a pretty bad payout for producing content, but money is money, and those who create content for fun will be pretty satisfied with a $40 daily payout. However, if you’re looking to invest time and energy into making TikTok content and earning from it, you need to master the TikTok game to make a good buck out of the creator fund.
A downside, however, is that TikTok’s creator fund payout is limited to the United States, United Kingdom, Germany, France, Italy, and Spain. Nonetheless, there are other ways to make money through TikTok, which we will discuss next.
Branded content may be one of the most popular ways to get paid by doing TikTok. Macro influencers and micro-influencers benefit from making branded content by getting sent products to use for TikTok content in return for something valuable from a third party.
While macro-influencers (celebrities or influencers with hundreds of thousands to millions of followers) may be the obvious best choice for branded content, one should not discount the marketing power of micro-influencers.
There are many benefits to working with micro-influencers as brand partners, especially when a brand wants to target a specific demographic. Micro-influencers are more affordable yet target a particular niche of audiences. Local brands and small businesses will often turn to micro-influencers as their best marketing tool.
Below is an example of how a website that shares restaurant recommendations does local restaurant reviews. For example, in this TikTok, they are recommending a Chicago restaurant:
Your earnings for branded content or sponsored posts depend on the contract and agreement with the third party, so it’s best to assess your value and reach well when making branded content.
It’s easy to confuse brand content sponsorship and affiliate marketing. After all, they both deal with content creators using a brand’s products with the results of encouraging viewers to purchase the products.
The biggest and easiest difference between both could be how compensation is made to the influencer. While branded sponsorships are a matter of “compensating” an influencer, affiliate marketing often comes in a commission-based approach where the influencer gets a percentage or commission based on the sales made for a particular post.
In TikTok, a commission is given by brands to influencers by using affiliate links and codes where each click or use is equivalent to a certain percentage or amount.
Another way influencers and content creators make money on TikTok is through Live Gifts. You can think of live gifts as a form of appreciation a fan or a live viewer sends the creator while doing live streams. These gifts can then be converted into money the creator can deposit into their bank account.
To give gifts, viewers must first purchase coins which they can use to send gifts in the form of stickers and animations during a live stream. These gifts will be converted into Diamonds, and TikTok will monetize these diamonds.
The animations and stickers sent by viewers all differ in value in coins. For example, when a viewer sends a Thumbs Up sticker worth five coins, this is equivalent to 2.5 diamonds (50% of the value of the sticker in the coin). A Diamond is worth 5 cents, so 2.5 Diamonds should give you $0.125, but TikTok cuts a 50% share, so you get a net pay of $0.0625 for the Thumbs Up sticker sent by a live viewer.
Like live gifts, viewers can give Video Gifts to the posts, and videos content creators make through the comments section.
Further Reading: How to Go Live on TikTok: The Ultimate Guide
Introduced recently, TikTok Shop is the platform’s recent efforts to bring shopping and entertainment into one platform. Like how Instagram Shopping works, TikTok viewers don’t need to go far and wide on another platform to purchase the product advertised in a specific TikTok video.
If you’re familiar with the word Shoppertainment, TikTok shop brings together brands and creators into the app by shopping while scrolling for videos. And this is a desirable deal for sellers, creators, and consumers. While creators get money for brand ambassadorships, sellers make money by getting their products sold instantly. Consumers save time, effort, and worry in getting the exact item advertised in the TikTok video.
A study conducted by Adweek-Consult indicated that 49% of TikTok users buy the products advertised on the platform. In the survey, 15% of adults and 36% of Gen Z have been influenced by TikTok in purchasing decisions.
Further Reading: 9 Proven Ways How To Grow Your TikTok Account
What are the best-paying contents on TikTok?
The top paid TikTok celebrities and influencers earn as much as $500,000 per post, with an average of $100,000 to $250,000. While ordinary citizens are far from reaching that much (but possible, considering how these TikTok stars rose to fame overnight), there’s really no set formula for the best-paying content on TikTok.
The only secret to getting paid on TikTok is to make content. It doesn’t matter if it’s educational, funny, or serious content—anything can blow up on TikTok in the blink of an eye.
One tip, though—keep up with the trends. Use relevant hashtags on your posts and trending music, voiceovers, or audio edits. TikTok’s algorithm is set up so that people who view a certain trending audio multiple times will more likely see the content of people who have used the same audio even if they don’t follow them.
Influencers and content creators utilize trending audio to make their content more visible to the community. More visibility equals more potential sales is an equation that TikTok has never failed any influencer on.
Further Reading: The 15 Best TikTok Watermark Remover Websites and Apps for 2023
TikTok is one of the most profitable social media platforms.
The amount of money you can earn from TikTok vs. other social media platforms cannot be precisely quantified. Still, we cannot deny the power that TikTok has over people’s purchasing decisions. According to Time, TikTok “offers the most opportunities” among all social media platforms in 2022 at 29.2% of respondents. LinkedIn came second at 24.9% and Instagram at 17.4%.
TikTok has recently been the source of the most viral video and dance challenge trends. Instagram, Twitter, or Facebook users would reupload or repost TikTok content, which would still draw people back to TikTok.
By statistics, Instagram has the most users and pays content creators the most. However, in terms of profitability, TikTok will give Instagram a run for its money.
Further Reading: 8 Easiest Ways How To Make Money on TikTok in 2023
Rachel Melegrito left her career as a university instructor to become a full-fledged content writer. She is also a licensed occupational therapist and a budding SEO strategist.
Hero photo by Jonathan Kemper on Unsplash
How Much Does Tiktok Pay FAQs
enerally, the main ways that creators get paid on TikTok are through advertisements, endorsements, or merchandising. Creators can use the platform’s in-app currency system to get paid for participating in sponsored campaigns or brand partnerships. Through merchandising, creators can sell products such as clothing, accessories, and other products they have designed themselves through the app – all while keeping a portion of their profits.
Generally, it varies depending on factors such as audience engagement and demographics, but most sources estimate it to be anywhere from $500 – $900 USD. So there you have it– a rough idea of what kind of income you can expect if you become an influencer on TikTok. Just remember to stay focused, be consistent, and keep creating unique content if you want to get noticed and potentially reap the rewards.
Specifically, when it comes to 100k views on TikTok, it is possible for content creators to receive thousands of dollars in return. The exact amount that can be made per 100k views isn’t set in stone and largely varies based on the country where the viewer is located—content creators living in the United States have been known to make around $250 for every 100k video views.
It is estimated that TikTok pays anywhere between $20 to $50 per 1 million followers – with brand deals, endorsements, and other revenue streams, the amount could be higher or lower depending on the type of deal agreed upon. Whether you want to monetize your casual content or create sponsored content through bigger advertising agencies, it’s safe to say there is earning potential – regardless if you’re a beginner or already established.
Depending on the type of account, 2 million views on TikTok could be worth a lot or a little. Generally speaking, influencers who have monetized their accounts can expect to receive some form of payment for their high view-count. Depending on how they’ve optimized their content, this could range from a couple hundred dollars to tens of thousands. Analyzing things like age, follower count and engagement rate will all go into the final payout amount which can vary greatly.