Earn money with tiktok? Here’s how!

TikTok becomes more and more popular. Already more than 10.7 million, mostly young German users, use the network to upload their videos or watch others do so. Since the outbreak of the Corona pandemic, the number of users has increased even more significantly. Industry tools talk of more than 300 million new installs between January and March, and more than 800 million worldwide during the year. For a long time now, these have not just been dance and music videos: Make-up and baking tutorials or breathtaking action clips also enjoy great popularity. The app is so successful that all major brands and influencers have long had it on their radar. How you too can use the platform optimally for yourself and even earn money with it, you will learn in this article:

How TikTok works

TikTok is a video-only platform. The creators primarily publish funny videos that are meant to entertain viewers first and foremost. As of 2019, TikTok already had over 600 million app installs. Today, it already has over 3 billion downloads worldwide, making it one of the most installed non-Facebook apps at the moment. Just 4 years earlier, the app was launched.

TikTok App

If you want to become active on TikTok yourself, you first have to create an account. To do this, the first step is to download the app. After that you get via video a short introduction to the functions of TikTok. About the navigation point "Profile you can now register.

You can do this with an existing Google, Facebook or Twitter account, or with your name and password. To create a video, users first click the plus icon in the middle of the menu bar.


Now the camera view appears with the round shutter button in the center. If you want, you can add a filter to your video or change its speed. The note icon can also be used to add a song to the video.

Make money with TikTok – is it possible?

And whether! But unlike YouTube, influencers on Tiktok can’t make money directly from advertising. This requires a few detours:

#1 Sponsorship

On TikTok, sponsorship usually takes the form of videos that are labeled "paid content". Influencers who already have some reach are often contacted directly by brands. Of course, this also works the other way around: influencers can write to companies directly and suggest an advertising partnership to them. Platforms, such as Universal Music, Sony Music and Warner Music, support TikTok users when they want to boost streaming numbers for a popular song or re-promote an old one.

#2 Merchandise

Many influencers on Instagram or Youtube earn money by selling merchandise. This also works with TikTok. In the process, the influencers ask their fans to participate in various challenges via the platform. Especially musicians get their fans to upload lip-sync videos to their own tracks this way. The interest of the users is additionally increased, if one makes a competition out of the battle. Merchandise articles are particularly suitable for binding fans even more to the company.

#3 Affiliate marketing

At TikTok, there are several ways to make money with affiliate marketing. On the one hand, influencers can add links to their TikTok videos in the classic way, leading to their own YouTube or Instagram channel. Users who follow influencers on these channels thus automatically become the target group of affiliate links played out there. Another way is to include personal discount codes in your videos. Users can use these for their purchases from the respective brand and the affiliate receives a commission.

#4 Donations from Live Streams

TikTok users can buy so called "Coins" with real money, which they can then donate to another user. If you want to get as many donations as possible, you should go live regularly with exciting content. Optimally, always when most people from your own target group are online. These then donate their coins as digital gifts, which represent different icons. For example, a panda is worth 5 coins. Collected coins can in turn be converted into virtual diamonds. Influencers can then cash out such diamonds in real money via PayPal.

#5 Collaboration with Shopify

In October 2020, Bytedance, the company behind the app TikTok, announced a collaboration with store software platform Shopify. Initially, however, the corresponding tools were only available to Shopify merchants in the U.S. Since February, Shopify merchants in Germany can now also use the TikTok integration. Through the partnership, merchants can now create in-feed video ads directly on Shopify and present them to TikTok’s more than 100 million monthly active users. They can also access core TikTok Ads Manager features without leaving the Shopify dashboard via the new TikTok integration. Other opportunities include:

  • "1-Click"-Pixel: Shopify merchants can install their TikTok Pixel with one click or connect it to their account to make tracking conversions easier and faster.
  • One-stop store for TikTok campaigns: Merchants can create campaigns, target audiences and track results all in one place.
  • Creativity: TikTok integration allows Shopify merchants to create their own native, shareable ads. TikTok’s creative tools are designed to help merchants turn product photos and videos into TikToks in minutes.
  • Enhanced matching feature: The addition of the TikTok Pixel allows Shopify merchants to target audiences more effectively to better match TikTok ads with website conversions and further expand audiences for retargeting.
  • Free Ad Credit: Shopify merchants in the Trial and Basic programs will receive $100 (approx. €82.00) in ad credit after registering and connecting a new TikTok For Business account on Shopify and earning $25 (approx. 20,00 €) have spent.

#6 More marketing tools in the pipeline

Modeled after competitor Instagram, TikTok plans to launch more similar marketing features later this year. In doing so, TikTok focuses on "teleshopping and commission links," the popular social media app explains. TikTok plans to allow users rated as "important" to share links to products and thus automatically receive a commission when they make purchases. There is also an opportunity for businesses to showcase their products in various catalogs. With special teleshopping formats, TikTok tries to link content and purchase even closer together. Influencers play an important role in this: they should be able to showcase products live and then direct their audience to purchase with just a few clicks. This also creates attractive opportunities for affiliates.

Paid advertising? This also works!

TikTok offers its users various paid advertising options. These include:

  • Hashtag Challenge
  • Brand Takeover
  • In-Feed Native Video
  • Branded Lenses / Effect
  • Custom Influencer
  • TopView (in beta testing)

For example, the Hashtag Challenge creates content on a specific topic. Advertisers can then promote them additionally using a hashtag. The costs are based, among other things, on the "Monthly Active Users", i.e. the users who are active every month. As TikTok users scroll through their feed, they are shown so-called "For You" posts. These are 5 to 15 seconds long and can also be advertised for a fee.

While businesses have been able to run paid ads on TikTok for some time, there hasn’t been a centralized platform for the app’s marketing formats. Placing ads on TikTok was therefore rather tedious. The "TikTok for Business" advertising platform now aims to change that.


"We’re excited to introduce TikTok for Business, our global platform that empowers brands and marketers to tell creative stories and form lasting relationships with the TikTok community",Thomas Wlazik, managing director of TikTok, explains.

How to use the TikTok algorithm for you

The platform has long faced criticism for its opaque policies. To help users trust the app more, the company plans to set up a Transparency Center in Los Angeles. Here’s where outside observers can learn about TikTok and check out its trustworthiness. In addition, the social media company explains in its newsroom how the platform’s algorithm works. TikTok writes:

"When you open TikTok and land in your For You feed, a stream of videos tailored to your interests is displayed. Here’s how to easily find content and authors you love. This feed is supported by a recommendation system that provides each user with content that is likely to be of interest to that particular user."

According to the platform, three different factors are responsible for this:

  1. User Interactions: Videos users like or share, accounts they follow, comments they post and content they create
  2. Video information: Videos that include details like subtitles, sounds and hashtags have a greater chance of being considered by the TikTok algorithm
  3. Device and account settings: Language and country settings, as well as device type, also matter. These factors are important for optimally playing out content for users. However, they are weighted less in the recommendation system compared to other measured data points because they are not actively measured as preferences.

TikTok also emphasizes that when users watch a video to the end, it increases its reach. Note: So exciting content of your videos is of great importance. In one respect, however, TikTok differs from other social networks: In contrast to Instagram and Co. The algorithm checks each clip individually and then plays it out in a suitable user feed. The past performance as well as the status of an account would not influence the algorithm.


TikTok has long since become one of the hottest social media platforms. While the app was initially most popular with teens, it now crosses all age groups. Influencers and brands are also using TikTok to increase their reach and tap into new markets. If you want to earn money with your TikTok videos, you can do this in several ways. Authenticity and exciting videos are the be-all and end-all at TikTok. We’re excited to see how TikTok continues to evolve.

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