Hey there! Have you ever wondered how much money your favorite TikTokers actually make from the app? As TikTok has exploded into one of the biggest social platforms, top creators have found ways to generate real earnings from their large followings.
But how much can you realistically expect to earn on TikTok? In this in-depth guide, I‘ll break it all down for you – from how creators make money to estimated incomes at different follower levels. Let‘s dive in!
The Basics: How Do People Make Money on TikTok?
The first question to tackle – how do creators actually make money on TikTok in the first place?
Unlike YouTube, TikTok doesn‘t directly share ad revenue with TikTokers. So you might be wondering – how do these influencers generate income from the platform?
There are a few key ways:
The most popular money-maker is through paid partnerships with brands. Companies will pay influencers to promote or integrate their products and services in TikTok videos.
These sponsorship deals work similar to influencer marketing on platforms like Instagram. However, on TikTok the fees are based on engagement rates rather than follower counts.
For example, an influencer with 1 million followers but low engagement may earn less than someone with 500k very engaged followers. Brands want to see you have an audience that actually interacts and converts.
According to a report by Buzzfeed, rates typically range from 10 cents per view for smaller nano-influencers, up to $2 per view for mega-stars.
TikTok Creator Fund
For larger accounts with at least 100,000 followers and 10 million monthly views, TikTok offers monetization through its Creator Fund program.
The Creator Fund sets aside around $200 million per year for eligible creators to earn money from ads shown alongside their videos.
TikTok keeps the specifics private, but estimates suggest creators earn around 2-4 cents per 1,000 video views from the program. So high-traffic channels can generate substantial passive earnings on top of any brand deals.
TikTok LIVE allows creators to stream real-time videos and engage with viewers. Fans can purchase "coins" during LIVE videos and use them to send virtual gifts and donations to creators.
TikTokers then earn a cut of the coin purchases, so top influencers with highly viewed LIVE sessions can earn significant money this way outside of prerecorded videos.
According to TikTok, top creators are earning over $1 million per month from LIVE alone – so it‘s big business!
Many creators also direct viewers to other platforms and websites where they actively monetize their audience. This includes YouTube channels, online stores, paid subscription services like OnlyFans, and more.
While they may not make money directly on TikTok, creators leverage their TikTok fame to cross-promote their other money-making channels and products.
Now that you know how TikTokers can make money, the next obvious question is – how much can you realistically earn? Let‘s break it down.
Follower Count Earnings: Estimated Income for TikTokers
How much you can make on TikTok varies widely depending on your follower count, typical engagement rates, niche, and business savvy. But we can roughly estimate earning potential at different follower milestones:
At 10k followers you‘re still learning the ropes. Focus on building your audience for now rather than monetizing. Potential Earnings: $20 – $500 per month.
Now you can start experimenting with minor brand sponsorships, but you likely won‘t be earning a living yet. Potential Earnings: $500 – $5,000 per month
Half a million followers means more substantial brand deals in the thousands of dollars, as well as eligibility for the Creator Fund. Potential Earnings: $5,000 – $25,000 per month
1 Million Followers
Welcome to the big leagues! At 1 million followers, you can score 5-figure deals and likely earn a comfortable full-time income between brand sponsorships, LIVE, and Creator Fund revenue. Potential Earnings: $30,000 – $150,000 per month
10 Million+ Followers
Only the top elite creators reach 10 million+ followers – but if you do, massive earning potential unlocks through 7-figure brand partnerships, millions in merch sales, and more. Potential Earnings: Over $1 million per month
As you can see, while it takes time and effort to build a monetizable following, the earning potential on TikTok is huge, especially when you hit the 1M+ follower tier.
But potential is one thing – how much are creators actually making? Let‘s look at real-world numbers from TikTok‘s highest earners.
Case Study: Real Top Earner Income Breakdowns
To make these earning estimates more concrete, let‘s break down what some of TikTok‘s biggest stars are raking in:
Charli D‘Amelio – 133M Followers
As the most-followed creator on TikTok by a massive margin, Charli likely makes multiple 7-figures per month through:
- Sponsored Content – Up to $200k+ per branded TikTok
- YouTube Revenue – Over $100k per month
- TikTok Creator Fund – Likely in the mid 6-figures per month
- Merch – At least $300k+ per month in sales
Per Forbes, Charli earned $17.5 million in 2021. So with 133 million engaged followers, her earning power is nearly limitless.
Addison Rae – 95M Followers
The 2nd most-followed creator, Addison likely earns 8-figures annually through:
- Sponsored Content – Around $150k per sponsored post
- Merch – $200k+ per month
- Acting Gigs – Over $1 million from Netflix‘s He‘s All That
Addison earned $8.5 million in 2021 per Forbes. Her massive popularity has unlocked lucrative opportunities within and beyond TikTok.
Bella Poarch – 92M Followers
With 92 million loyal followers, Bella Poarch banks multi-millions through:
- Sponsored Content – Approximately $125k+ per branded TikTok
- Music – Her debut single "Build a Bitch" has 484 million Spotify streams
- Creator Fund – Likely a mid 6-figure monthly income
Bella earned $5 million in 2021 according to Forbes estimates, leveraging her influencer fame into a thriving music career.
Kris Collins – 28M Followers
With a moderately-sized (for TikTok) following of 28 million, Kris Collins earns an enviable living:
- Sponsored Content – Around $30k per branded video
- YouTube – $5k+ per month in ad revenue
- Affiliate Marketing – $15k+ per month
While smaller than the top creators, Kris earns a comfortable 6-figure annual income from his combined channels.
Key Takeaways: How to Maximize Your Earnings
While breaking into the multi-millionaire influencer tier takes immense success, these case studies prove that significant earnings are attainable for creators who achieve growth and master monetization strategies.
But to maximize your income, keep these tips in mind:
Focus on engagement & quality over follower counts – Highly engaged followers are more valuable than passive followers for brand deals. Create content that connects with your audience.
Diversify your income sources – Earn from brand sponsorships, LIVE, Creator Fund, merch, affiliates, cross-promotion. Don‘t rely solely on TikTok.
Provide value to brands – When doing sponsored content, ensure your promos genuinely resonate with your followers and achieve results. This makes brands want to partner with you again and again.
Develop your niche – Establish a distinct brand and identity that makes you an attractive partner for sponsors in your niche.
Interact heavily with followers – Comment back, go live often, hop in duets. The more you engage, the more likely fans will be to support you financially.
The key is persistence. With consistent, high-quality content and smart monetization strategies, TikTok can provide full-time incomes for creators who put in the hard work.
The Bottom Line
While going viral and earning Charli D‘Amelio money is not realistic for most TikTokers, you can build a monetizable following, take advantage of TikTok‘s built-in monetization programs, and partner with brands to earn an income from the platform.
If you can grow and leverage an audience of around 500,000 engaged followers, you can expect to generate thousands per month. Once you hit 1 million+ followers, the possibilities expand even further.
But above all, remember creativity and passion should drive your content – not dollar signs. Engage with your niche, produce content you love, and the rest will follow.
I hope this gives you a helpful overview of real TikTok earning potential at different milestones. Now get out there, start creating, and build that growing, engaged audience!