Well, the short answer is yes, you absolutely can.
Unfortunately, the longer answer is a bit iffy. Technically, there are things in place that make it possible for you to earn a lot of money on TikTok. And when we say “a lot of money”, we mean an absolute fortune. Some of the top creators are earning millions a year, with a vast majority of that coming from TikTok itself. Then, you have countless examples of people like Jaden Hossler or Charli D’Amelio who become famous on TikTok and then end up making loads of money through music careers or TV streaming series.
The caveat to all of this success is that it is not easy, not in the slightest. So, today, you’ll see how people make money on TikTok, but also why it’s probably not a smart career or side hustle to pursue.
How is money made on TikTok?
Generally, if you were to make money on this platform, you have three different possibilities:
- Creator Fund
- Sponsored posts
- Selling merch
Sponsored posts and selling merch are pretty much the same ideas you can use on any social media platform. Brands pay you to make specific TikTok posts, usually advertising a product or service. Or, you can create your own merch and sell it to your followers.
The Creator Fund is different, as it’s a way for TikTok to directly pay you for your posts. You then get paid a set amount per every 1,000 views a post gets. As such, you can still earn money from a post you made months ago if it keeps getting views.
In many ways, this is what’s made TikTok so popular amongst creators because they can make so much money from posting short-form content. You don’t have a similar monetization method on Instagram or Twitter, for example.
Why you shouldn’t try to pursue a career on TikTok
All of the above sounds great, but there’s one big problem.
You won’t make money on TikTok unless you have a sizeable following. Most experts suggest you need at least 50,000 followers to start earning real money and getting the attention of brands. This can be challenging, especially when you consider how many people are on the platform right now.
Last September, it was reported the platform reached 1 billion active users. No new data is out yet, but this figure is certainly larger now than it was. Effectively, this means you are a tiny drop in the ocean when it comes to TikTok. It is exceptionally hard for someone to get noticed, and most of the famous people on there either got lucky or were already big names from other platforms.
So, while you can genuinely make a living from TikTok, it’s not a career path or a side hustle you should consider. The effort-to-reward ratio is extremely low, and it’s pretty much all down to luck if you’ll succeed anyway. You’re better off putting the time and effort into other hustles that are guaranteed to help you make money without the need for thousands of followers.