How Kids and Teens Can Make Money on TikTok

Does your teen know every word to “Jiggle Jiggle”? Are they a pro at slow-motion swim-dancing to that viral “Hi, I’m Dory” sound clip? Then they might already be thinking about how to make money on TikTok, the video-sharing platform that launched 1,000 memes—more, actually. The app is an amazing way to find tips for conquering their favourite video game, get fashion advice from teen TikTok influencers, or watch toddlers perform the kind of skateboarding tricks they’ve been practising for years… and nail them on their first attempt. 

It’s also a way for creative kids of all types to make money—and the process is simpler than it seems. So, how do you make money on TikTok? Let’s look at a few of the ways your tweens and teens can earn cash using the app and how to do it successfully.  

Key takeaways

  • There are multiple ways to make money using TikTok, including sponsored content, promoting a business, and from the app’s Creator Fund.
  • The amount of money popular TikTok creators make can vary widely, from a few hundred dollars a month to hundreds of thousands for a single post.
  • The amount of money kids and teens can make on TikTok depends on the number of followers they have and the level of engagement they receive through likes, comments, and views.
  • Some of the ways to make money on TikTok require kids to be 18 or older. 
Smart phone with TikTok logo on red background with white headphones

How much money can kids make on TikTok in Canada?

Good question! The simple answer is that it really depends on the kind of content they’re creating, the number of followers they have, the amount of views/shares/likes their videos get, and the way they’re using the app. We’ll break that down here.

There’s a big difference between what the average TikToker with more than 100,000 followers makes (think between $200 and $1,000 each month) and what a TikTok superstar makes ($100,000 to $250,000…per post). For new TikTok creators, making that kind of bank is probably unrealistic or at least a very distant goal, but since dreaming big doesn’t cost a thing, we’ve got a little inspiration to motivate your kids to get started (if they want). Check out these young and famous TikTokers, and how much they’re making on the app right now: 

Josh Richards: According to Forbes’ rankings, Josh, who is now 22, is the highest-paid TikTok influencer in Canada, earning around US$5 million last year. 

Charli D’Amelio: At just 19 years old, Charli earns the most cash on TikTok, period. The creator pulled down US$17.5 million in 2021. TikTok’s number two earner was a full US$7.5 million behind her, though, we’re sure there were no hard feelings, considering that Charli’s sister, Dixie, holds that second spot. 

Avani Gregg: When she was only 16, Avani began posting makeup videos to TikTok, many of which showed her face painted like Harley Quinn, the comic book character brought to the big screen by Margot Robbie. Now the TikTok influencer ranks among the best-paid creators on the app, making US$4.75 million in 2021. 

Can you make money on TikTok if you’re under 18?

To make money directly on the app, your kid has to be 16 and they must have parental consent. But this doesn’t completely capture the entire picture of how kids and teens use TikTok to earn money. The creators we talked about above make a lot of their cash through brand partnerships, which TikTok will only permit for users who are 18 and over. But wait! There are other ways, too. We’re getting there. 

How many followers does your kid need to make money on TikTok?

No matter what method of money-making your kid is going after, the more followers they have, the better. For TikTok’s Creator Fund (cash paid out by the platform to creators who meet the eligibility standards), they need to have 10,000 “authentic” (read: no bots allowed) followers.

However, if they’re over 18 and have just 1,000 followers, they can go Live on TikTok and receive gifts from their fans that can be redeemed for cash. Even if they only have a few followers, they can use TikTok to connect with customers who might buy the stuff they make or sell IRL (that pristine impossible-to-find LEGO set they got three birthdays ago that’s now a collector’s item, T-shirts they’ve designed and screen-printed themselves, records from their parents’ vinyl library—they better ask permission for this one).

While your tween or teen needs to meet certain standards to sell directly on TikTok, if they don’t qualify, they can still direct their followers to, for example, their Etsy account or eBay page. 

How many video views does your kid need to make money on TikTok?

Like with followers, there’s a magic number here, and TikTok loves to see it: 100,000 video views over a 30-day period in order to qualify for the platform’s Creator Fund. That’s a lot. But remember, even Addison Rae and Khaby Lame started somewhere, right? 

A teen TikTok influencer filming a reel at a train station

Ways to make money on TikTok as a kid

Now that you and your tween or teen know the basics of TikTok, here’s a few tips on how to earn money online with TikTok.

Create sponsored content  

Sponcon may sound like a convention for comic book anti-heroes, but it’s actually content that’s sponsored by a company or brand. TikTok creators partner with businesses to promote their products on the creator’s page. For this to work well, the brand or product being sold needs to fit with what the creator typically does on their channel. Think: beauty influencers promoting makeup lines, fitness influencers partnering with a running shoe brand, or gaming influencers teaming up with a company that makes virtual reality headsets. 

TikTok only allows creators over 18 to enter into sponsored content deals using the app’s Creator Marketplace. Kids under 18 can still work on building a following and creating their own unique content on the app that will work as a kind of resumé once they’re old enough to begin reaching out to brands. 

If your child is 18 or older and interested in brand partnerships and sponsored content, they can start by reaching out to companies that have something in common with the kind of content they create. For example, if they use TikTok to talk about fashion, it makes sense to connect with local designers instead of, for example, a company that sells mini trampolines. If they’re a gamer, they might promote or review a new controller on their account, but they probably won’t get very far with a brand that makes camping gear. 

When it comes to sponsored content, the vibe is authenticity—that’s what both brands and your followers will be attracted to. 

Read more: How to become an influencer as a teen.

Sell your own merchandise and promote your business 

There are two ways to do this. The first way is to sell items directly through the app using TikTok Shop. Again, there are rules about who’s allowed to do this: teens who are 18 years plus with more than 1,000 followers, have received at least 50 video views in the last 28 days, and have posted a video in the last 28 days can sign up for Shop as a creator. Buyers can make purchases without having to leave TikTok thanks to the built-in shopping feature.

Both brands and TikTok creators are fans of this function. Your kid might see businesses like Selena Gomez’s Rare Beauty and creators like musician Bella Poarch dropping links in their bios that lead to shops that are right on the TikTok platform. If, however, your tween or teen doesn’t have the same massive following (yet), they can still use the app to promote their music, clothing line, or other merch by showing it off on TikTok and telling followers where to find their online store elsewhere on the internet. They can also flip this around and promote their TikTok on other internet and social media platforms.  

Promote affiliate products

This is almost like being an advertiser. If your kid’s TikTok page is their channel, a video promoting someone else’s product is like a commercial. You kid partners with a brand or service and creates a video that talks about their product. Let’s say they team up with a snack-food delivery service, and when their followers use the link or discount code they shared, they get a flat fee or a percentage of the sale. 

It’s a little like sponsored content, and your kid will definitely need a big following to enter into these kinds of deals and make money from them.  

TikTok’s Creator Fund

Okay, let’s rewind to this whole Creator Fund business and get into the details about how it really works. Your teen now knows the basic rules: they have to be 18 or over, they have to have at least 10,000 followers, and their content needs to get 100,000 video views over a 30- day period. That’s when they can apply to the fund, which is a pile of money that comes from TikTok itself. It’s there to reward creators for popular content. In 2020, when it was first established, there was US$200 million up for grabs, but TikTok aims to blow up the fund to $1 billion. 

The fund works by paying creators based on views and engagements. The amount is tiny: somewhere between two and four cents for every 1,000 views. But for videos that go viral, those cents add up to dollars very quickly. The money then appears in your kid’s Creator Fund dashboard and can be transferred to a PayPal account. 

Become a TikTok consultant

Is your teen interested in a career in social media? This is a great place to start. If they feel like they have a real talent for TikTok, plus proof that they’re a pro (as in they own and run a popular account with impressive engagement numbers), they could sell their services to other creators on TikTok. What does this look like? Basically, they’ll be assisting brands and influencers in the art of finding more TikTok followers, as well as getting the ones they already have to interact with the content they’re sharing. 

Receive virtual gifts from live stream

They might be called gifts, but creators definitely have to work for them. TikTok’s LIVE video feature lets someone host live streaming sessions for their fans and followers. Maybe they’re having a Q&A session about their area of expertise. Maybe it’s a live baking demo. Maybe they’re doing a live review of a terrible or incredible new movie they just saw.

Whatever form their LIVE session takes, it’s an opportunity for followers to send them virtual gifts that can be converted into, you guessed it, money. Is there a catch? Yes. Once again kid creators are faced with the platform’s rules and regulations: they have to be 18 to send or receive gifts.

The good news is that if they’re 16 and have more than 1,000 followers, they can go LIVE on TikTok and begin to get an understanding of what their audience wants from their live streams. By the time they’re 18, they’re more likely to be an expert. 

Tips to help make money on TikTok 

Now that your kid may have decided which money-making route to take, here are some super- simple guidelines they can put into action: 

Identify their audience

Who do they want to connect with through TikTok? Music lovers? Gamers? Fashion fans? Artists? They can imagine their ideal fan and harness their unique talents to engage with them on the app. They don’t need to comb through TikTok looking for them, but once they have that picture in their head, they can use hashtags that would apply to their interests and to their own creative content. 

Build their brand

Their “brand” is really just what makes them who they are. It doesn’t mean that they’re perfect or that every single one of their posts is perfect. Even celebs make major social media missteps (see: Ava Louise licking a toilet seat). It just means they’re consistent in the kind of content they create. 

Post regularly 

Your teen appearing in their followers’ feeds regularly keeps them engaged and interested in what your kid is doing. Consistent posting also increases their post count if their eventual goal is to apply to the Creator Fund.  

A young teen filming a makeup tutorial for TikTok

Engage with followers and other creators 

Social media is about community, and your kid can’t be a one-person community. They’ll need to comment on and like posts by other creators to build connections and chat about possible collaborations. They can respond to questions from their followers to show them they appreciate their engagement with the content they’re making. Even your teen just liking their comment on their video shows that they’ve noticed them. Of course, this tip only applies to the comments and questions that are kind and genuine. Remind them to avoid the trolls. 

Stay on topic

While it might be tempting for your tween or teen to use their platform to talk about a teacher they don’t like or how their sibling annoyed them at breakfast, if that’s not what your kid is usually about, then it’s probably not what their audience is there for. Instead, remind them to keep doing what they do best!

Learn more: How to make money on YouTube as a kid.

How to manage money earned from TikTok

When it comes to earning money online, TikTok has become one of the top social media channels brands turn to for partnerships with influencers (it’s just behind Instagram’s number one spot in the rankings).

For kids and teens who are interested in creating fun video content inspired by their interests, it’s a one place to start earning some money or laying the groundwork for future income. With guidance from parents, Mydoh is the ideal tool to help manage the money kids earn—whether it comes from TikTok or helping out with household chores

Parents can download the Mydoh app and pair it with a Smart Cash Card, giving their teens the opportunity to earn & spend money online while still under parental supervision.

Tips on How to Manage Your Kids’ Screen Time

It feels like kids and teens are glued to screens more than ever. Digital devices are integrated into just about every aspect of kids’ lives—from doing homework online to texting friends to watching YouTube videos, or playing video games

Parents, you may be worried your kids spend too much time on screens, and you’re not alone. Mediasmarts research on the digital wellbeing of families found that three-quarters of parents in Canada were concerned about how much time their kids were spending consuming media, including social media and the internet.

Screen time can be a good thing and research found it has social benefits like maintaining diverse friendships or co-viewing with family. However, like many things in life, moderation is key. 

Luckily, there are ways to manage and limit screen time, and empower kids to take charge of their own digital behaviours through healthy examples of your own. We’ve pulled together some tips to help you get started. 

What is screen time?

The Canadian Paediatric Society defines screen time as “time spent with any screen, including smart phones, tablets, television, video games, computers or wearable technology.” 

In short, it’s any activity that uses a digital screen. Screen time can be spent watching YouTube videos, playing a game on a cell phone or computer, or playing Roblox on a computer. It also includes time spent texting, searching online, and scrolling or messaging through social media like TikTok and Instagram.

At what age should parents limit screen time?

The Canadian Association of Optometrists recommends no screen time for children under two years of age, except for occasions when there is a social benefit, like video-conferencing with family members. For kids aged two to five, the Canadian Paediatric Society recommends limiting regular screen time to less than one hour a day. 

Two smiling teen boys play video game on screen

How much screen time should kids and teens have? 

There’s no magic number when it comes to the recommended screen time for kids, but experts like The Canadian Association of Optometrists have weighed in with suggestions. The organization suggests no more than two hours per day of recreational screen time for school-aged children like kids and teens.

There are also positives to screen time and digital technology in children’s lives. Learning how to use apps and digital software now can help them learn important skills for the future. And moderate amounts of recreational screen time (such as an hour a day) have been associated with lower depression risks, compared to no screen time at all.

How does excess screen time affect kids? 

Kids and teens spend a lot of time watching screens, and the average screen time for teens is growing. Teens in Ontario and Alberta reportedly spend more than 7.5 hours a day on screens, and 20 per cent of high-schoolers spend five hours or more a day on social media alone.

Too much screen time has been associated with health and mood changes, inactivity, sleep disturbances, behavioural challenges, and families feeling disconnected from each other.

Debates and arguments around screen time usage is normal, especially if you’re establishing limits for the first time, but if you worry that your child or teen is suffering from a screen addiction, enlist the help of a professional. 

8 tips for managing kid’s and teen’s screen time

Here are eight tips to help moderate your kids’ screen time

1. Set expectations

Talk to your kids about how long they can use screens during the day, what times they can use them, and why you have established limits. Setting routines and offering clear guidelines can help them stay on track and practice self-control.

“The best approach is to agree on the rules for screen use that you’ll follow in your home,” says Matthew Johnson, the Director of Education at MediaSmarts. “This doesn’t have to set a time limit but it should make clear what times, like family meals, and what places, like bedrooms, are non-screen zones. You can also discuss the different things you do with screens and consider which ones are more and less valuable.”

Looking for more info? MediaSmarts has also published family guidelines for new tech devices. 

Family with man, girl, woman watch Jenga blocks fall

2. Swap screen time for other activities 

Establishing daily routines for kids and teens, and scheduling special activities and outings, can help keep them busy and away from screens. Plan a family walk or hike, book regular offline activities such as sports leagues or craft nights. Read books together for an hour before bedtime, instead of your kids scrolling through their cell phone.

When it comes to how to limit screen time on a laptop, offer alternatives to the activities they do most, and find offline alternatives. For example, if they spend their time on social video games like Roblox, try a regular family game night instead. 

3. Use a tracking app

Apps to limit your screen time can help you monitor how often your kids are using their phones or other devices. It can also help you limit usage and reduce screen time long-term through a healthy change in habits. While there’s no best screen time app for parents (it depends on your needs and preferences), choose apps that openly track the usage as opposed to lurking in the background, so you can promote trust with your teens and help them learn to monitor their own screen time behaviours.

There are lots of parental tracking apps available on the market. Some popular options include Net Nanny, which can limit and monitor screen usage and block certain websites, or Norton Family Parental Controls, with features that can alert you when your child is online and allow you to check-in on what they’re doing. 

4. Take a digital detox 

Agree to take periodic “digital detoxes” together, by disconnecting from screens for periods of time and spending in-person time as a family. This can help your family rediscover ways to have fun, find new interests and hobbies, and learn more about each other. 

These mini or extended breaks from screens are often referred to as “digital detoxes.” It can be a hard sell to a screen-obsessed kid or teen, but one way to help ease them into it is to offer support along the way. You can agree to do a digital detox together as a family, book a vacation and leave all screens behind, or remove all screens from the home for a period of time. 

Detoxing digitally can even become a gift. For example, you can purchase digital detox-themed gift boxes on sites like Etsy, that include cards and prompts for activity ideas, and ways to soothe your eyes like a silk eye mask.

Phones in woven basket as family takes digital detox and plays games in background

5. Limit screen time before bed

Research has shown that screens in the bedroom, such as TV screens and cell phones, have been linked to disrupted sleep and can cause changes in mood and behaviour. 

The Canadian Association of Optometrists, among others, recommends no screen time for an hour before bedtime. Instead, encourage kids to create a bedtime routine that helps them wind down without the help of digital devices, such as reading a printed book, meditating, listening to calming music, or writing in a journal.

You can also use parental controls on their devices to lock and limit screen time before bedtime. For example, on Android phones and Google Chromebooks, you can lock their devices at bedtime, or limit the types of apps they can use at certain times.

6. Model good behaviour 

Research has found that many parents consider themselves poor role models when it comes to modelling technology for their kids. This isn’t surprising, when so many things now require emails, online forms, conversations by text, or involve working on computers.

However, screen time limits are good for everyone in the family, not just children. Model good behaviour by following the boundaries you set for your kids. For example, if you’ve banned cell phone use at the dining table, make sure it applies to everyone in the family. Be present during offline activities, and turn off notifications that can distract you.

“Managing your kids’ screen time can help you improve your own relationship with devices,” says Johnson. “What’s more important than specific rules is the values that your rules communicate, like being active or wanting to spend time together as a family. While not everyone in the home has to follow the same rules—it doesn’t make sense for a teenager to have the same screen use rules as a five-year-old—you should try as much as possible to model the kind of screen use you want to see in your kids.”

7. Use parental controls

Most digital devices and software come with parental controls that can help you monitor and limit usage. For example, Google Family Link has features that allow parents to limit and schedule screen time to specific times, find their location, and more.

Parental controls can help create boundaries for kids and teens on social media and even help protect their privacy

8. Revisit the rules over time

It’s important to work together with your kids and teens to adapt and negotiate screen time guidelines as time goes on, or as routines change. Open communication can help empower them to manage their own screen time use.

“Generally, it’s valuable to revisit screen use guidelines anytime your household gets a new device, starts a major new screen activity, like joining a new social network or starting a big new video game,” says Johnson. “It’s also useful to revisit them as your kids are growing more independent and using devices with less supervision. That’s a good time to get them more actively involved in developing the rules so they’ll feel more invested in them.”

Embracing tech boundaries, routines and limits in this increasingly-digital world takes time, experimentation, and a lot of work, but it’s worth the effort. By learning healthy digital habits now, it can help kids and teens live a more balanced life in the present, and in the future.

Download Mydoh and help build the foundation of financial literacy for your kids and teenagers.