When you start using TikTok, you might be taken in by stories of famous TikTok stars who get paid large sums of money for just creating short videos for entertainment purposes. It is tempting to start a TikTok channel yourself, in the hope that you will also find the secret formula and build an empire of your own. After all, if they can do it, why can’t you?

The truth is that an enormous part of whether you end up making any money out of your hobby or not is luck. There isn’t any fixed way of knowing if your content will take off in the way you hope, and you may well spend a lot of time on something that you can’t actually make money from. This means that there isn’t a specific number of ‘likes’ you need to get in order to be financially successful on the platform.

The vast majority of TikTok content creators never make any money at all, so you must be prepared for this eventuality. However, if you are truly serious about trying your hand at a TikTok career, we can give you some tips to help you get there. Read on to find out how many likes your favorite TikTok stars get and how much they really earn from their exploits.

What Is TikTok?

To start with, it’s important to understand exactly what TikTok is. Unlike most other social media platforms, TikTok focuses on giving users the chance to create short videos or lip-sync songs. In contrast to YouTube, TikTok is only available through mobile phones; you can use an Android phone, iPhone, or even one of the latest smartwatches like Apple Watches or Samsung Galaxy Watch.

TikTok was created in 2017 by ByteDance (now known as Toutiao), which is China’s biggest online video app company. ByteDance originally developed Douyin (Chinese: 对话) – a similar platform that allowed people to upload short videos from their phones.

They then launched TikTok after combining several features together and adding new ones including the ability to add filters and share them. Now, more than 1 billion people use TikTok every month around the world, sharing in a brilliant creator community.

So far, TikTok has been hugely popular in China, but its use has also become widespread outside its native country since the launching of an English language version in 2018. Since then, the app has been downloaded over 100 million times globally. As of July 2019, there were over 300 different language versions of the app. It is estimated that TikTok accounts for 80% of the total video views on Chinese social media apps, showing that it really has taken over in a big way.

Just like with other video-sharing platforms, creators on TikTok can earn money from their channel. It may seem crazy that 15-second videos can be lucrative, but that is the reality of the digital age: anything is monetizable. Many hours’ worth of original content is shared over TikTok every day, and engagement rates across the platform are increasing all the time.

Read more: How Many Views Do You Need To Make Money On TikTok?

How To Make Money From TikTok

While we can’t tell you a surefire way to create a successful TikTok channel that gets you rich quickly, we can give you an overview of what you need to have in order to start making money from it. All social channels will have their own guidelines to determine when a creator’s engagement level is high enough for them to receive payments from the channel itself.

The TikTok Creator Fund is a program the platform has in place to enable this. To apply for the Creator Fund, users must have at least 10-20k TikTok followers and have amassed 100,000 views in the preceding 30 days. They also need to be over 18 and agree to the community guidelines and terms of service. You can apply directly through your account settings, which will tell you if you’re eligible.

The amount of money available in the Creator Fund varies a lot, so your earnings per view depend on how much is in it at any one time. Estimated earnings are usually 2-4 cents for every 1,000 views, so the average person would have to put out around 10-20 videos before they even started to notice they were making any money. For example, if a video was viewed 50,000 times, you’d earn $1-2, while a 1.6 million-viewed video could earn up to $64.

You can use a TikTok money calculator to estimate how much money you could earn and if it’s a worthwhile investment for you. Top creators, like Addison Rae, can make around $70,000 in earnings per post, but thousands of creators don’t receive anywhere near this much.

Some people resort to buying fake likes to boost their perceived levels of engagement, and therefore their earning potential. However, while this will increase your total views and engagement level, fake accounts are likely to be deleted by TikTok admin and your own account may be flagged. You should focus on getting authentic video views by creating engaging content instead.

Read more: How To Find Phone Contacts On TikTok

What Makes A Video Go Viral?

One of the most valuable tools you can have in your quest to earn money off any social media platform is a viral video. The more video views you get in a short space of time, the more audience you are reaching, and the higher your follower count goes up. Viral videos can accrue thousands of followers for a channel in just a few days, as people share them with all their own followers and friends.

While there is no magic formula for making a viral video, they are usually short, entertaining videos that have memorable lines – that way, people are likely to quote them to each other and instantly know what they are talking about.

Obviously, with TikTok, videos are short anyway; the success of this format relies on the modern viewer’s attention only being held for a limited period of time, since it is so easy to scroll through to the next video.

The two elements to knowing you have made a viral video are total views and duration of time – if you manage to get hundreds of thousands, or even millions, of views in less than a week, that indicates that you have ‘gone viral’. This contrasts with a video that has millions of views, but they have built up steadily over the course of a few years. Any viral video reflects the social landscape at a given moment in time.

Creators don’t need a viral video to earn real money from their chosen social network platform, but it always helps in building up a fanbase. Hard work and consistent content can achieve the same results, but you might have to wait longer to see the fruits of your labor in terms of the level of interaction you are hoping for.

Read more: How To Get Paid On TikTok

How Do TikTok Creators Make Money?

The question of how many likes you need to earn money from social networks is a simplistic one that doesn’t take into account all the different revenue streams people can access. It is not just a case of the platform deciding that you are worth paying for your content based on the number of views, since this usually doesn’t generate a significant profit – even a very high-profile star may only make a few dollars per month in direct channel revenue.

The more profitable avenues available to them are things like sponsorship, affiliate marketing, and donations from viewers. Many companies strike content deals with influencers to help advertise their products, knowing that they will reach thousands of dedicated viewers. Making content for brands is a popular way for full-time influencers to boost their income, but you must prove you have a certain level of influence first.


Sometimes, you will come across a donation page, which is a form of crowdfunding whereby viewers can support their favorite influencers by donating money to their channel. While this is not strictly income, it does give the creator access to a separate pot of money so they don’t have to rely on their own savings to finance their projects.

TikTok users donate to creators through the app itself. If someone buys some kind of item within the app, they can choose to use the donation option when choosing to pay with a credit card or Paypal. A lot of times, donations are tied to an event or holiday and relate to the content you post during that period. For example, if you want to raise funds for charity, you could create a campaign asking for donations while posting about a specific cause.

Brand Partnerships

In a similar vein, you can become an ambassador for a brand and receive free goods in return. These campaigns are often organized around holidays or events, such as Black Friday or Valentine’s Day, but can also just be general products that the company sells. The influencer tries out and reviews the goods they are sent and promotes them on their social media network.

Affiliate Marketing is where affiliates can advertise and promote the product by connecting the advertiser’s website to the influencer’s channel via a clickable link. A percentage commission of sales is paid to the advertiser. Affiliates sometimes refer to themselves as “brand ambassadors”, although there is no clear definition of what this role entails.


If you have a large community of followers, companies will be willing to stump up big bucks to sponsor your project because they think your audience will appreciate the exposure.

Sponsorships are sometimes offered purely as advertising opportunities, where companies will pay you between $1,000 and $10,000 to promote their brand. You should carefully vet any potential sponsors before signing on for anything, however, since companies can offer you money in exchange for promoting their product regardless of whether you actually deliver.

Read more: How Many Followers Do You Need To Get Verified On TikTok?

How to Earn Money From Other Social Media Accounts For Free?

It isn’t necessary to go out and create a whole new product before you can start earning online. There are plenty of ways to earn an income from existing products or services on the internet today – just look around.

If you want to start selling, eBay is probably the best place to begin. But, if you want something simpler, then YouTube could be a great option, especially if you already have a large following.

You should also explore the possibilities offered by affiliate marketing programs. These allow you to promote someone else’s product or service while keeping track of commissions earned. Affiliate marketing platforms such as Shareasale and Clickbank let you design your own links in order to target specific interests, while other sites simply offer ready-made partner offers. Find a platform where you feel comfortable with the company policy and the controls they provide to ensure your clicks are attributed properly. As you venture into the realm of social media to build a lucrative career, considering various investment avenues can also be fruitful. One such avenue is the stock market, where ‘trade ideas‘ can significantly impact your financial growth. For comprehensive insights into leveraging stock market trends and tools, visit Modest Money, where you can find expert advice on stock scanners and trading strategies tailored for beginners and seasoned investors alike.

Read more: How To Make Money On TikTok?

Final Thoughts

Hopefully, we have given you at least a little bit of insight into this complex issue and shown you that it’s not as straightforward as it may seem to earn money from TikTok. It is not enough simply to have one 1,000,000-viewed video, for example, as you need to have engaged followers and keep your content relevant to the current market. The level of engagement you generate is surely a large part of it, though.

You don’t necessarily need to create elaborate content, but there is a combination of factors that makes a successful channel. Whether you are a fashion influencer or any other type of creator, you will need to know how to appeal to your fan base and expand it constantly. In terms of video-sharing platforms, TikTok is probably the easiest one to use to turn into a business.

It is possible to generate a full-time income from this hustle, as long as you are willing to commit hard work – this means coming up with original content ideas, editing videos, interacting with millions of followers, and following the content guidelines. Alternatively, you can keep it as a source of passive income if you have several videos that will continue to receive views over time.

You can read additional TikTok articles here.