Each day, over one billion people spend an average of 90 minutes scrolling through TikTok. In just a few short years, TikTok has become one of the top social media platforms for performance marketers around the world.
As of 2023, TikTok ad revenues are predicted to hit a staggering $18.04 billion. So, how can you make money on TikTok with affiliate marketing?
This article will walk you through all the necessary steps to start monetizing TikTok through affiliate marketing. This is a beginner’s guide, so we will cover everything from setting up your TikTok ads account to finding products to promote and creating engaging ads without any prior design or editing knowledge.
How Does TikTok Affiliate Marketing Work?
As an affiliate marketer, you promote a product or service, and receive a commission for each sale or conversion made through your unique tracking code.
There are a large number of brands that need help promoting their products, and whether you have an existing following or starting from scratch, you can help these brands in return for a commission.
Affiliate networks facilitate the collaboration between affiliate marketers and brands.
Assuming you have no existing TikTok following, you can buy traffic from TikTok through paid advertising, and direct users to the website or sales page of the product you are trying to promote.
Before you dive deeper into the top affiliate networks and best practices to create high converting TikTok ads, you will first need to set up your TikTok Ads Manager account.
Step 1: How to Set up an Account on TikTok Ads Manager
If you already have an account on TikTok Ads Manager, you can skip this part and jump ahead to Step 3.
To get started, go to TikTok Ads Manager and choose Get Started to create an account. You will be asked to write down your email and create a password.
Then, you will need to add some information about your business, such as business name, industry, region etc. If you do not have an actual industry in mind yet, you can leave it as “Other”.
Next, you will need to set up your billing information, such as company registration number. You can also do this part later if you do not have this information yet.
Step 2: How to Set up Your TikTok Pixel
In order to track your conversions, you will need to set up your pixel on TikTok. You can do this by going to Assets, and then Events.
You will then choose Set Up Web Events, choose a pixel name, and select “TikTok pixel” under Connection Method.
Next, choose “Manually Install Pixel Code”. You will be provided with a pixel which you can copy.
You will choose “Click Events” on the next step, and now you can start adding web events you want to track, such as “add to cart”, “complete payment”, “subscribe” etc. You can add multiple elements.
TikTok recommends that you install the TikTok Pixel Helper, a Google Chrome extension that will help you check whether your pixel is firing correctly.
If you already have a website you wish to drive traffic to, you can submit the URL here, and you can choose which elements from the website you want to track. If you do not have the target website at this point, you can also place a random website here, just in order to be able to continue forward. You can always change the website URL and pixel at a later point.
Your account is now ready and you can start finding affiliate products to promote!
Step 3: How to Find Products to Promote as an Affiliate Marketer on TikTok
Affiliate networks are the best way to find products to promote through TikTok Ads. Generally, you need to sign up for these platforms and wait one or two days to get your account approved.
Once you are approved, you will be able to select from a range of products, and most platforms show you data on which products are performing better in terms of sales.
Here is a list of three of the top affiliate networks you can sign up for:
•Amazon Associates: via this platform you can find Amazon products to promote online. This is one of the most popular networks, and you can choose from a vast selection of high quality products. On the downside, commission rates are relatively low.
•Clickbank: this platform is very popular for social media performance marketers right now, because they offer high commission rates. It is especially known for health products related to diet, fitness, and wellbeing.
•ShareASale: another popular platform with a large variety of products, reliable quality, and good commissions. Getting approved for this program may be a bit more tricky since they have a stricter approval process.
There are other popular affiliate network platforms out there, such as Commission Junction and Transparent Affiliate. TikTok has even created their own affiliate program, but it is mostly meant for creators with an existing follower base.
Please note that the applications, guidelines, and payouts of these platforms are constantly changing. Before signing up for each platform, make sure to double check their requirements and commissions.
Step 4: How to Create Engaging TikTok Ads
Naturally, the best way to create video ads that stand out on TikTok is by creating your own. If you have an in-house creative team, or if you have some basic understanding of shooting and editing videos, it is better to run original ads. You do not need fancy videos, shooting them with your phone and editing them directly through TikTok or editing apps such as CapCut also works.
TikTok’s Creative Center offers inspiration on what type of ads are performing well. You can search for specific niches or topics based on which product you need to promote.
If you are just getting started and you do not have a creative team, there are free platforms that provide stock videos, music, templates etc. You can use these platforms, such as MixKit, to obtain creatives without investing a lot of time and money.
You need to keep two things in mind when using such platforms. First, you always need to check the video licenses. You can find this information when you click on a video. The license will let you know whether or not you can use this video for commercial purposes, whether you can edit it, etc. In order to avoid any possible copyright infringement, always make sure to check the license.
Second, since MixKit is a free platform, chances are that a lot of other marketers are using them. To stand out, you will need to edit the videos and personalize them for your specific product. Free design tools such as Canva can help with editing your stock videos and adding customized text to them.
If you need help with your video copy, you can use ChatGPT to help you with text inspiration.
For more information on different TikTok ad formats and trends, do’s and don’ts – we have a full article about how to create the best TikTok ads here.
Step 5: How to Monetize Your TikTok Ads
Now that you have your traffic source set up, you have a product, and you have created an engaging TikTok ad, all you need to do is upload the ad to TikTok and add a link to the affiliate product.
Your affiliate link will be provided to you by the affiliate network you are working with (for example, ClickBank or Amazon Associates). You will only need to copy it and save it. It is very important that you promote this link, because this is the only way to receive your commission.
All your affiliate links should go in your profile bio. In order to keep your bio clean, you can use the free platform Linktree to create a landing page with all your affiliate links. That way, you only need to place your Linktree link on your TikTok profile bio (see example below).
Step 6: How to Optimize and Scale Your TikTok Ads
To start earning six or seven figure monthly revenue from affiliate marketing on TikTok, you will need to scale.
That means running a large amount of campaigns with several ad groups, promoting different products across various niches, and working with bigger budgets. This process can become complicated and time consuming, so you should consider using an automation tool that can help you scale efficiently.
Tools such as TheOptimizer allow you to manage all your different ad accounts and campaigns from a single dashboard, and you can set a number of automated rules to make the most out of your campaigns. You can automatically pause or activate campaigns, adgroups or ads, change bids and budgets, clone top-performing adgroups and more.