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TikTok’s popularity is now huge, and of the many social media sites to be launched in the last decade, it’s one of the very few that’s been able to carve out a niche for itself and join the major players to become a must-have app on everyone’s phone.
And TikTok now has around 1 billion monthly active users, which is an incredible sum. So it’s no surprise that creators who put the work in are able to build up impressive followings. Check out some of the TikTokers with fan pages like OnlyFans here.
But how do you monetize that? Is it possible to turn your fans into a cashflow that allows you to focus on making great content as a career?
There are some ways, so let’s take a look now and help you decide which is best for you.
Earning direct from TikTok (Creator Fund)
The most obvious way to earn money from your TikTok account is to apply for the Creator Fund and get paid directly by TikTok as a reward for creating great content.
The fun was established in July 2020 with the vision to “encourage those who dream of using their voices and creativity to spark inspirational careers”, but in reality what it really encourages is creators to keep using the app and creating content that brings in more and more users.
Payments from the Creator Fund aren’t regular and can vary depending on the engagement of the post and a number of other factors. This means it’s certainly not an income stream you can rely on if you want to know how much you’re getting paid, unless you have huge numbers of followers who engage with everything you post.
To join the Creator Fund, you need:
To be 18 years old at least
Live in the US, UK, France, Germany, Spain or Italy
Have at least 10,000 followers
Have at least 100,000 video views within the last 30 days
Have an account that fits with the TikTok Community Guidelines and terms of service
That last point is really important because depending on the type of content you’re creating, you may be ruled out from applying (and you could even draw unwanted attention to your account from the TikTok admins if you’re posting content that’s not in line with the guidelines).
This is particularly an issue for anyone who views themselves as a creator of sexier content, whether it’s fully adult or just suggestive. TikTok can be quite strict on this content, and so the TikTok Creator Fund may not be an option for you.
But, if you create other types of content, then it’s worth exploring once you’ve got a sufficient following – though with the irregular payments, you may want to diversify your income to guarantee regular payments.
Partnering with brands
The other ‘traditional’ way to make money on TikTok, and on other similar platforms like Instagram, is to partner with brands for sponsored content.
Many brands are in touch with the audiences on TikTok and know what they like, and find that the best way to advertise to them is to use established creators who can promote their products or services.
You can still create the content you want to, but you’ll also post content that pushes a brand and speaks about them in a positive way.
And while sponsorship can earn you good money, you have to ensure you have a large following before big brands will want to work with you, and there’s a chance you can alienate your fanbase, either because they don’t like what you’re promoting or because they just don’t like promotional content at all.
Plus, you’ve got to be very careful in how you post sponsored content – you can get into a lot of trouble if you try to hide the fact that a post is an advert. And again, brands will only want to work with creators that match their own values, so TikTokkers posting more risqué content may find opportunities limited.
A lot of people who use TikTok will create their own lines of merch to sell to their fans. Social media followers love to feel like part of a community, and will happily buy into it through t-shirts, signed photos and all kinds of other products.
You’re allowed to sell through TikTok if you use TikTok’s Shop Seller Center, but linking to other stores could get you in trouble.
The biggest drawback here is that you have to produce the merch first in order to sell it or opt to work with a company that creates merch on demand. If you choose this option, then you’re often limited in your merch options and you’ll likely have to pay a premium to get items made as well since you won’t get any discount.
It’s much cheaper to make merch in bulk, but then if it doesn’t sell you’ve lost a lot of money.
Convert fans into paying subscribers
TikTok doesn’t allow creators to charge for content, so if you want to turn a follower into a paid subscriber, you’ll have to look at signing up to another website and then directing your TikTok fanbase over there.
Some of these sites like OnlyFans are only for adult creators (despite what OnlyFans might say about that, and how it welcomes creators of all kinds). There are others that genuinely do serve a wider audience, like Fanvue.
Fanvue’s a great site for creators who want to offer additional content behind a paywall. Plus, it has a ton of other ways you can earn money too, including tips and one-off paid content.
You don’t need to convert every single TikTok follower into a paid subscriber to make a good amount of cash. If you have 100,000 TikTok followers and you convert 1% of them into paying subscribers at $10 a month with Fanvue, that’s $10,000 a month you’re making. And this isn’t fanciful, there are people who have turned TikTok fanbases of 200,000-400,000 into a regular $30k per month salary.
Plus, Fanvue doesn’t have the restrictions of requiring you to post a certain kind of content. Whether you’re someone who posts cookery tips, fitness inspiration or adult photos and videos, you can make money through Fanvue. The hardest bit of making a service like Fanvue’s a success is finding the following, and if you’re coming over from TikTok with a large number of followers then the hard part is already done!
Tips for earning money on TikTok
Here are some top tips for earning the most money you can on TikTok:
You won’t build up a following on TikTok quickly if you’re inconsistent with your posting frequency. Going quiet for days on end will only serve to make people think you’re inactive, and not worth following. Not only that, but most of the earning methods through TikTok require your posts to be engaged with.
It’s not enough to get to 100,000 followers and then stop caring. You then need to keep your consistency up so that your followers know when you’re posting and they engage with your posts.
Shoot shareable content
Consistency of posting is great but arguably even more important is quality. Posting bad-quality video, with poor lighting, is a sin if you want to try and earn a living here. And even if you have the best lighting rig and camera, it’s worth nothing if the content you’re creating is dull or unoriginal.
It may seem obvious, but you have to make sure your content is worth sharing – and for the right reasons. Otherwise, you won’t get that engagement that will drive your earnings.
You need to also make sure you follow TikTok’s community guidelines if you want to stand any chance of earning money. Because even if you aren’t using TikTok’s own revenue streams, you won’t be able to get sponsored if you get kicked off the platform.
Vary your tactics
Relying purely on the Creator Fund, or sponsorship is a risky tactic. If someone goes wrong with one of these streams, or if you need consistent funding, then you’re not going to get it by putting all your eggs into one basket.
Aim to earn money from TikTok in a couple of different ways to maximize your chances of success.
The best way to make money on TikTok
The best way to make money on TikTok is to make money away from TikTok, using your TikTok followers. A site like Fanvue offers you regular subscription payments, additional revenue streams and they won’t kick you off for posting something a little risqué. Fanvue’s only restrictions are on content that’s completely illegal.
Whether you’re an adult creator, a fitness guru or even just someone who posts comedic dance videos, Fanvue allows you to offer a more premium service either for extra content, things that push boundaries, or behind-the-scenes style videos that your followers are desperate to see.
If you plan on posting adult content on TikTok, then you may soon find your account is deleted – which can be extremely annoying if you’ve built up a decent-sized following.
But it’s not just posting content that you need to be careful with. You also can’t link to adult content – including your profile on some websites. And while a site like Fanvue welcomes all kinds of creators, there is a chance that TikTok could see it as being a mature link that goes against their guidelines.
What you should do instead is make sure you’re using a link aggregator (bio link) website. This is a site that collates all your social links in one place, making it easier for your followers to find your profiles and accounts everywhere.
And because you’re linking to an aggregator, and not directly linking to any perceived adult websites, TikTok won’t have any issues.
How many followers do you need to make money on TikTok?
While you can earn money with any amount of followers in theory, you’ll need 10,000 or more if you want to take part in TikTok’s Creator Fund. You don’t need a set amount to set up sponsorship deals, but the more followers you have, the more lucrative those deals will be. Creators with a low number of followers won’t be offered large sums of money for adverts.
How can you make money on TikTok Live?
TikTok Live is the live streaming service that TikTok provides, and you can use it to make money just as you would with non-live content. Just be careful of cross-promoting sites during a live stream that go against TikTok’s terms of service – you can still get a ban.
How many views do you need on TikTok to make money?
To take part in TikTok’s Creator Fund, your videos need to have at least 100,000 views within the last month. If your rolling number of views drops below this, you may be withdrawn from the fund. Make sure you’re posting content regularly, and that the content is of sufficient shareable quality, to encourage more people to watch it and to ensure you meet the minimum view counts.
Does TikTok ban adult content?
TikTok does tend to ban content that is adult, and its guidelines say that anything sexual is banned. In reality, many people post content that is risqué and a bit of a tease, including footage in bikinis or some underwear.
Can I recover my TikTok account if I’ve been banned?
If your TikTok account is banned because you’ve been posting content that goes against guidelines, you likely won’t be able to recover it, which can be a huge financial blow if you were relying on it for income. You can start again with a new account usually, but you’ll need to work hard to rebuild your follower base. If you think your account has been banned incorrectly, get in touch with TikTok’s support network and they may be able to reverse it, but not always.