What is TikTok?

TikTok has very quickly become one of the most popular social media apps in the world, with just over 850 million active users every single month. TikTok is an application that provides a space to create and watch and share short videos that can range in length between 3 seconds and 3 minutes long. 

The entire concept of Tik Tok, originally originated from a very similar application called musically. Musical.ly was also a very popular platform to share short videos, but in August of 2018 the app was completely taken over by a Chinese company called ByteDance. Almost immediately, all Musical.lys users transitioned over to TikTok. 

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How Does Tik Tok Differ from Musical.ly?

Although Muscial.ly was widely known as a short video sharing platform, most of these videos were created by lip syncing. Tik Tok has branched out into a far wider range of creative options. Creators on Tik Tok are using it to come up with some innovative videos that can involve dancing, singing, their own voices, acting etc. You can pretty well get away with sharing whatever you want on Tik Tok with the most common content being challenges, dances, magic tricks and comedy. 

Another key differentiator between the two apps, is that on tik tok there is a very wide selection of various filters and effects a creator can choose from to edit their videos directly from their phone/app. 

One of Tik Toks more recent features was also the addition of the digital-well-being feature. What this does is it ensures that people are aware of how much time they are spending on their phones on tik tok by alerting them every 2 hours. 

How Does Tik Tok Differ from YouTube?

TikTok and YouTube are the two most popular video sharing platforms in the world and although people use the two platforms for similar reasons, they are still quite different. Both platforms are used for sharing video content, but TikTok is known for its short video content. Creators on TikTok are sharing videos that are no longer than 3 minutes long, with most videos being under 30 seconds long. TikTok videos tell the viewer a story very quickly whereas on YouTube, creators tend to create much longer videos that can really last anywhere from 30 seconds long to hours long. The average YouTube video is about 12 minutes long. Another key difference between the two platforms is that creating videos via TikTok is a fairly easy process as all you need is a smartphone and somewhere to put it. Whereas to make a good quality YouTube video you need a high-quality camera, good lighting, a great microphone and preferably some good editing skills. 

TikTok and YouTube are both great platforms for creators to earn money as you can build up a strong audience on both platforms. Some may say that YouTube is a tougher place to build up your platform since it doesn’t have the same unique algorithm as TikTok, but this is highly debated. As long as you are producing high quality, educational or funny content on either platform and you have set up your YouTube channel correctly, you are headed in the direction of success.

You should also note that with the recently introduced YouTube Partner Program, you can now make a lot cash from making and uploading videos. You will receive a percentage of the advertising revenue collected every 1,000 views, which does add up very quickly!

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How did Tik Tok Soar to Popularity so Quickly?

Tik Tok has gained popularity so fast that it has become the most downloaded video and photo sharing app to date. There are plenty of reasons as to why Tik Tok has risen to fame and become the most used social media app for the younger generation globally, but here are a few of the most common reasons for the sudden popularity:

Celebrity Endorsements

Not only did Tik Tok initially partner with a ton of celebrities for promotional purposes, but it also was able to create celebrities very quickly. Charlie Damelio is a prime example of someone who acquired the overnight fame on Tik Tok. Charlie is a 16-year-old girl who was using the platform to create fun dance videos. In just one year, Charlie has gone from having essentially 0 followers on tik tok, to now having 125.5 million as well as various partnerships with brands such as Hollister and Morphe. The Damelio family has recently put out a reality TV show as well to showcase how drastically their lives have changed from the fame. These huge names on the Tik Tok platform have lead millions of other (particularly young) people to join as well so that they can follow them and learn from them.

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The Algorithm 

The Tik Tok platform uses a different algorithm than the typical social media app such as Instagram when it comes to pushing your content out to the public eye. As we all know, on Instagram, when you post a photo or video, your content is generally only shown to people who already follow you unless you use hashtags, and the content finds people that way. Even when you use hashtags though, it doesn’t just magically appear on someone’s page, they would need to be actively searching in those hashtags. Tik Tok on the other hand will push out your content to a very wide audience that doesn’t even necessarily follow you! With this method, your videos are seen by far more people so it’s a lot easier to go viral. What’s cool about this is that anyone can become famous. You do not have to fit any specific criteria. 

Ease of Use

Tik Tok is also incredibly easy to use due to its hundreds (if not thousands) of filters and effects. The average person can create a high-quality video with some cool effects that make the video look as though it’s been edited by a professional. These will take the average person no more than 10 minutes to figure out! Even kids as young as 5 years old are making cool videos!  

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Since people have been growing on video sharing platforms such as TikTok and YouTube at such rapid rates, it’s important that they utilize all relevant resources that can help them track their following. For TikTok, ViralStat is a great site that will aid creators in tracking viewership, engagement rates, your campaigns etc. YouTube has it even better with TubeBuddy. TubeBuddy is a research and planning tool for YouTube creators. The software connects directly to your YouTube account to give you real-time suggestions on videos, keywords, ranking and just about everything you need to grow. TubeBuddy has helped me to soar from having just 25 subscribers to having 22,500 subscribers in just 10 months!

Create your account on TubeBuddy for free to see the features that will help grow your channel!
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How do People Make Money on Tik Tok?

Making money on Tik Tok can be a lot easier than people may think. Since Tik Tok has become such a popular platform and companies are choosing to spend good chunks of their marketing and advertising budgets on this platform, a lot of creators have been able to make enough to quit their full-time jobs and pursue Tik Tok as full-time career. Making money online is starting to become the new normal for a lot of people. Below I have listed out the top 5 ways that creators are taking advantage of this platform to earn money:

1. Get Paid by your followers

If you have a large follower base on Tik Tok and people choose that they want to support you, they can do so while you are on a live video. The way that this works is that your followers can pre-purchase coins from Tik Tok and then those coins can be used to purchase virtual gifts. Once you have these gifts you can then purchase virtual diamonds which people often choose to gift to creators because the diamonds can be converted into real cash. 

This does seem like a very long-winded way of getting paid and it is. A lot of people won’t even bother purchasing the gifts due to the annoying number of steps you have to go through before being able to give your favourite creator a diamond (cash) bonus. Thankfully there are plenty more ways in which you can be paid as a creator on Tik Tok. 

2. Sign up for the TikTok Creator Fund

TikTok began paying creators for their content through a new addition called the Creator Fund. Unfortunately, the Creator Fund is only given to creators who meet a certain criterion:

  • Must be based in the US, UK, France, Germany, Spain or Italy 
  • Must be at least 18 years old
  • Must have at least 10,000 followers 
  • Must have at least 100,000 views in the last 30 days.
  • Must have an account that fits with the TikTok guidelines and terms of service. 

If you do meet these criteria, you can sign up for the creator fund and begin receiving money directly from tik tok. The reason you are paid is because this uses a revenue-sharing model, so TikTok will pay you a portion of the profits that they earn via ads on your videos. The amount of money you receive is based on the engagement levels of your audience.

3. Create Sponsored Videos 

Many Youtubers and TikTokers will make money by creating sponsored videos and posting them to their desired platform. Sponsored videos on TikTok specifically, is probably the easiest and most lucrative way that content creators can be paid. If you have built up an engaged audience that tend to watch all your videos, you have the attention that many companies wish they had. To switch this attention to the company, they will pay TikTok creators huge sums of money to simply mention their brand or product in a video. The amount that that these companies will pay a creator is dependent upon their following, their niche and their engagement levels. If a creator has one million followers, but is only receiving 1000 views on their videos, chances are a company won’t want to pay them much. 

To give you a frame of reference for what creators are being paid for sponsored posts, Charlie Damelio (125 million followers) can charge anywhere from $40,000 to $100,000 per post. A smaller creator who has 100,000 followers might charge anywhere from $250 to $1000 per post. 

4. Promote Affiliates

Similarly, to YouTube, if you have a decently large following base on TikTok (10,000+) then you can promote products and services that you are affiliated to. An affiliate will make a percentage or a flat rate for every item or serviced that is purchased through their link. 

When a creator becomes an affiliate of a brand, it is generally up to them how often they post content directly related to that brand to promote it. The more work they do, the more they will make. 

Just like many Youtubers, you will often see creators making videos for their Amazon haul or a “get ready with me” video. These posts are generally sponsored, or they have affiliate links for the products they are showcasing. 

Watch this FREE two-video series on finding the best affiliates and making money!

5. Sell your own products 

If you are familiar with some of the more famous TikTokers, you will notice that many of them have either partnered with huge brands to create their own product line, or they will come out with their own products completely. Some great examples of this include:

  • Charlie Damelio and Dixie Damelio partnering with Morphe to create their own makeup line
  • Hyram partnering with The Inkey List to create his own skincare line
  • Addison Rae create a completely new makeup line which is now being sold in Sephora called “Item Beaty”
  • Charlie and Dixie Damelio creating their own Ring lights 
  • Charlie and Dixie Damelio partnering with Hollister to create their own clothing line 
  • Mikayla Nogeuira partnering with GlamLite to create her own makeup palette. 
  • Charlie Damelio partnering with Dunkin Donuts to putt a new drink on their menu called “The Charlie”
  • LilHuddy (Chase Hudson) partnering with Burger King to create a new meal called the “Keep it Real” Meal. 

If you have a large enough platform with a cult following, selling your own products online or using the power of TikTok is one of the most lucrative ways for content creators to make money. Fans also really appreciate when a creator can create authentic videos talking about their products and everything that’s gone into creating it. It makes the consumer experience far more personal and enjoyable. 

Read the Entire Making Money Online Series

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