Sometimes, it's hard to fathom these stories, even though I'm well-versed in the numerous creative ways to earn money on the internet. Let's delve into it.
So, we're talking about TikTok, the widely known social media platform. It's remarkable how this relatively young platform has achieved such tremendous success in less than five years.
TikTok is all about creating and sharing video content, as you probably already know. Similar to other major social media platforms, it generates revenue primarily through advertisements, supplemented by premium accounts.
However, unlike platforms like YouTube, where creators can earn money through partner programs and ads, TikTok requires users to explore alternative avenues. I'm always amazed at the ingenious ideas people come up with to monetize their presence on platforms like TikTok.
Who is this story about
Now, let's meet Teresa Caruso, known as "Teresa" on TikTok. She's a married woman residing in Brooklyn, New York, and her expertise lies in promoting Amazon products. It's not a groundbreaking concept, but when executed effectively, it can be incredibly lucrative.
Since 2012, Teresa has maintained a blog and an Amazon shop where she shares her favorite products spanning beauty, fashion, home decor, and more. Building a substantial following is crucial to accessing the Amazon shop page, but don't worry, you can still make money without it.
What truly fascinates me about Teresa is her astounding success on TikTok. She garnered over 3.5 million followers and amassed around 112 million likes, 3 years after joining the platform in January 2020.
What’s she doing exactly?
So, what's her secret? It's quite simple, really. Teresa creates short videos showcasing her favorite Amazon finds and includes her Amazon affiliate links in her profile, as well as on her blog or website, including the Amazon shop page.
In case you're unfamiliar with the Amazon affiliate program, it allows individuals to create an affiliate account and share personalized links to any Amazon product. When someone makes a purchase through their link, the affiliate receives a small commission, typically a few percent of the product's price.
Number & $$$
Now, let’s crunch some numbers. Considering Teresa’s following, let’s say roughly 10% of her 3.5 million subscribers click on her affiliate links. Furthermore, assuming that 10% of those individuals go on to make a purchase on Amazon, we arrive at approximately 35,000 purchases.
And that’s for just one link, one product, or one video on TikTok, however, you want to look at it. Now, consider that Teresa features multiple products in each video, which significantly increases the chances of clicks and purchases. On top of that, she posts at least one video per day.
Now, how much does Teresa actually earn from this? It’s challenging to provide an exact figure due to the wide range of prices for the products she promotes and the varying commission rates offered by Amazon across different product categories.
For example, if she promotes a $100 product with a 3% commission rate, she would make $3. Multiplying $3 by 35,000 purchases, you get $105,000. Impressive, right?
On the other hand, if she promotes a $1 product with a 10-cent commission, it may not seem as lucrative. However, with her 2.7 million followers, even at that low rate, it still adds up to a significant amount. In this case, $0.10 multiplied by 35,000 purchases would give her $3,500.
If we calculate these figures on a monthly basis, taking the lower number, $3,500, and multiplying it by 30 days, we arrive at $105,000 per month. Multiply that by 12 months, and you get $1,260,000 per year. Now, imagine the possibilities with higher-priced products or more generous commission rates. It can quickly become astounding.
Just a second
But hold on a second! Before you rush to create a TikTok account and try to replicate Teresa's success, consider this: Teresa is an exceptional case. She achieved all this within a short period, in a highly competitive niche (beauty, decor, fashion) on a trending platform like TikTok.
Furthermore, Teresa had prior experience with writing blog posts, creating videos, and utilizing services like the Amazon affiliate program. So, it's not as easy as it may sound.
However, it's important to remember that making a substantial income online is indeed possible if you tap into a trend. In this case, the trend is TikTok. Many individuals pursue similar ventures on platforms like Instagram or YouTube, but these platforms have been around for much longer, with more intense competition. Nevertheless, generating a viable income stream is feasible. Teresa creates short yet high-quality content for her followers, maintains consistency by posting daily, and has developed a recognizable aesthetic. And, of course, luck has played a role in her journey as well.
The bottom line
Don't let Teresa's story discourage you. Anyone can make money online, but it may take time, require certain skills, and come with its fair share of challenges and initial investments. However, if you find the right formula, the potential rewards can be remarkable. You already know the possibilities!
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About the Creator
Dad of 5 | Writer on Medium, Substack, Vocal | Growing a part-time creator business to full-time income in 2023. Follow along in my newsletter "The SoloCreator Hub"! Or join the fun on Fun Facts.
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