The beauty of TikTok is that its algorithm gives every new video a chance. That’s true whether you have a million followers or just a handful. As long as you create videos that people love, you can go from having a zero-follower account to being a famous TikTok influencer with sponsorship money at warp speed.
But the advantage of TikTok is also the challenge. If you aren’t making videos that resonate, you’ll never make money on the app. And if you’re not currently earning views and followers, it means your content simply isn’t resonating with people.
Let’s fix that. Here’s how you can earn more TikTok followers—and more money—by making better content.
Track Your TikTok Followers to Keep Count of Content that Works
If you want to learn how to get more followers on TikTok, the first thing you should do is get yourself a map of the terrain. In this case, that means checking your followers.
Tik Tok follower tracker tools like TokCount can give you a snippet of your own following. But they’re just as useful to learn how to gain followers on TikTok because you can browse the stats of the kinds of profiles you want to emulate.
It’s one thing to know your own follower count. But you can also do some handy competition-spying by seeing what the top influencers in your niche are posting.
Look up a familiar hashtag on TikTok and scroll through some popular videos. Find the ones with the highest follower counts. Then browse their five previous videos. Notice any commonalities? Any unique formats that work in your particular niche? Jot them down and start brainstorming ways you can put your unique spin on this content. Congratulations—you now have a list of ideas for future videos.
Consider Upgrading to TikTok Pro to Go Beyond the Follower Count
Keeping tabs on your TikTok follower count is a fine metric. But it’s only one metric. If you upgrade to TikTok Pro, you can get more insights that will help you figure out what your audience wants.
Go to Settings, Manage Account, Switch to Pro Account, and then select an account type. You’re either a Creator or a Business—generally, creators are individuals and businesses are TikTok accounts representing entire brands.
Next, you’ll select an account type that best represents your niche. Voilà! You’re now active on TikTok’s more robust analytics platform. But don’t poke around just yet, because you’ve only started recording your analytics. You’re going to have to wait a while after posting new content to get meaningful data.
Even so, you’ve taken the first step. Now you’ll figure out which content you create is performing the best—and which kind doesn’t resonate as much with your target audience.
How to Get More Followers on TikTok
Optimize Your Posting Times
If you want to learn how to gain followers on TikTok, it starts with putting yourself in your audience’s shoes. When are they awake? When are they busy at school or work? When are they more likely to have their phone out and scroll through the app?
In our post about the best posting times on TikTok, you’ll notice there wasn’t one universal answer. When you post might depend on when your target audience (Eastern United States? East Asia?) is awake.
It doesn’t mean you can’t use some rules of thumb to help, though. A 100,000-post study by Influencer Marketing Hub found that 6 a.m. and 10 a.m. Eastern time on Mondays were great posting times. So was 3 p.m. on a Friday afternoon. Once you know your audience, you can cross-reference it with the TikTok data to schedule each post for optimal performance.
Don’t Buy TikTok Followers
We have plenty of tips on what to do. But if you want your account to remain in good standing, it’s just as important to learn what not to do.
Don’t buy followers.
Yes, buying followers will boost your TikTok live follower count—but only for a short time. Otherwise, TikTok regularly does sweeps of its platform to clean up the fake accounts that many people sell on the platform. You want TikTok real followers here; everything else is susceptible to removal from the platform.
The result is that long after you’ve purchased followers, you may see your follower count shrink unexpectedly.
It’s money down the drain. As it turns out, you didn’t buy followers; you bought the appearance of followers. And that’s no way to earn money on TikTok.
Focus on Real Followers
If you want real followers on TikTok, there’s no getting around one basic principle: you’re going to have to deliver value. Make it worth your audience’s time. Let’s take a look at how two different TikTok influencers do it.
Adam Ragusea (@aragusea) is a home chef on social media who shares tips and recipes with his followers. Notice something strange about his video on cooking fish? There’s no fat. Except maybe in the pan.
But there’s no “fat” in the video itself because Aragusea uses his video production skills to trim the editorial fat away. Consider everything that would make you want to join his 300,000 followers:
- He gets straight to the point. Ragusea drops his tip for cooks who are scared of cooking fish in the first sentence. This is the “inverted pyramid” style of writing that journalists swear by: You give away the most pertinent information first. If you’re looking for cooking tip profiles on TikTok, how could you not want to see more from Ragusea?
- He offers value. Ragusea doesn’t tease you with “the one secret to cooking fish at home” before he asks his followers to check out the links in his bio. He starts with something you can take away first. Anyone who wants home cooking tips is more inclined to follow someone who provides value like that with every post.
Pack Value into Every Post, No Matter What Your Angle Is
Yes. More fish. I swear—it’s just a coincidence.
In this case, it’s a completely different style of video. Kylen of @k_the_1 takes a hilarious idea—a fish giving a pep-talk to another fish who questions why they’re swimming all day—and packs comedic value into it.
He could have done a one-take video of himself speaking the same concept directly into the camera. “Wouldn’t it be funny if one fish said to another fish…?”
But admit it: that sounds bland already.
Think of all the comedy Kylen packs into the post:
- A random side-shot of Kylen mimicking a grab
- The goggles and swim caps serving as “fish” costumes
- Crisp editing for back-and-forth dialogue that keeps the video moving
- Kylen’s acting and commitment to the bit
Don’t just assume people will get your joke. Put yourself into the role and sell it to your audience.
Learn the Keys to TikTok Success
How to Be Successful on TikTok with @ErinMcGoff
How Many Followers Do You Need to Make Money on TikTok?
As we explained in How to Make Money on TikTok, there are generally two tiers of follower counts until you can consider yourself a microinfluencer or traditional influencer:
- Microinfluencer: 1,000-100,000 followers
- Influencer: 100,000 followers or more
To earn money directly from TikTok, BusinessInsider says you’ll need at least 10,000 followers. You’ll also have to be at least 18 years old. They then say that working from the TikTok “Creators Fund,” influencers typically make “pennies per thousand views.”
If that sounds discouraging, keep in mind that this is only one way users make money from TikTok. Some users simply use TikTok to grow their audience online. Other users try leveraging TikTok in other ways, like sending visitors to an income-generating website.
Collect Live Donations
You can go live on TikTok and accept donations from users who are happy to check out your content. The key, of course, is consistently generating enough content that your audience is happy to chip in. Are you consistently providing users with value by giving away good content for free? Once you are, asking your follower community for donations to keep the channel going is much more realistic.
Leverage TikTok Ads
You might use your skills with TikTok videos to create engaging ads. TikTok is happy to sell you some ad space. The question is, can you convert the engagement you get into real, paying customers on your website?
Manage Someone Else’s TikTok Account
When you’ve learned to build a TikTok profile with a hefty following, you’ve acquired a marketable skill. You might even consider renting out that skill on a freelance basis to earn money from using TikTok.
That’s by no means an exhaustive list. Here are some other ways TikTokkers earn money:
- Redirecting their followers to a personal website full of affiliate promotions
- Using TikTok to promote other social media, like YouTube, where they potentially make money by growing a following there
- Promoting a brand that sells its own products, such as merchandise and subscription forums
For that reason, there’s no “set” number of followers that it takes to start making money on TikTok.
One caveat: You do need to make sure you don’t over-monetize your videos from the get-go. It’s better to create a TikTok account with a lot of followers that only delivers value than to lose your audience’s interest because you’re constantly asking for purchases.
Earning Money Using TikTok
TikTok is so fun, it seems odd to think you could be paid for using it. You can! But like anything else, it requires discipline and consistency to earn a following on TikTok—even if you make videos about two fish talking to each other in the ocean.
Learn the Art of Engaging TikTok Videos
From Clueless to Content Creator: Make Engaging Videos that Attract an Audience