Exploring the TikTok Affiliate Program: Is It a Golden Opportunity?

Trappe Digital LLC may earn commission from product clicks and purchases. Rest assured, opinions are mine or of the article’s author.

I joined the TikTok affiliate program recently and was blinded by the dollar bills in my eyes. I figured it would be another revenue stream similar to the Amazon affiliate program. So, let’s rack up the dough by going live on TikTok!

Once I regained my vision, I realized that I stumbled out of the gate with what I would call limited product inventory available. But let’s look at the TikTok affiliate program one step at a time here and see if it’s worth it for you!

In this article, I discuss the following:

Overview of the TikTok Affiliate Program

You can apply for the program once you have more than 5,000 followers.

Christoph Trappe on TikTok

Once you’ve reached that milestone, enter the Creator Hub settings from your profile in the app and click to join the affiliate program. My application was instantly approved.

apply to tiktok affiliate program

TikTok affiliates can then earn revenues by promoting products from TikTok Shops. For products to appear in those shops, a company has to open a shop via the TikTok Shop Seller Center. I did that, but basically, I would have to run a drop shipping strategy, while a TikTok creator promoting other company products is more of an affiliate marketing play. 

Creators can pick products from TikTok Stores, talk about them, highlight them on-screen, and earn commissions when people click and buy. In essence, it’s very similar to the Amazon Livestreaming initiative.

Pros and Cons of Joining the TikTok Affiliate Program

The limited product availability is likely the biggest con of the program. At least currently. It would be a pro for creators to be able to share external links to products, but I suppose TikTok wouldn’t like that because of lost revenue.

To truly be able to talk about a product, it looks like creators have to buy a discounted sample.

buy sample

A pro is that some livestreaming TikTok creators certainly pull in a crowd for their shows, and being able to monetize that audience is a definite pro of joining the program.

Even if it’s not quite where you would like it, it could grow into something great over time. For example, I signed up for the Amazon Live and Storefront program early on – right after it launched. But then I did nothing with it for years. Then livestreaming took off on Amazon, and it’s become a nice revenue stream.

So, if you qualify, apply, and once you are in, you are in.

Tips for Success in the TikTok Affiliate Program

Product livestreams seem to work best when they go on for a while and when the creator shows off the product and talks about it. As much as I like to talk on livestreamed podcasts, I find it hard to talk about a product or two for an extended period on a stream. It can feel a bit boring – especially early on.

The streams are way more exciting for the creator when the audience comments and asks questions. And, of course, when people click and buy.

Read next: Amazon mobile app: Where to find the Amazon Affiliate link for a product in the mobile app

Who can be successful with TikTok products out of the gate?

Two options come to mind.

One is the creator that already uses the products available in TikTok stores.

The other is the creator with a TikTok store or partners with a company.

Read next: Should my brand create videos for TikTok trends?

Is the TikTok Affiliate Program Worth It for You?

I would say the worth is limited to the two categories I mentioned. But keep in mind that things frequently evolve. So the number of creators this program is worth more to can rapidly change and increase. Right now, I prefer not to have to buy products so I can try to sell them. If a company would reach out, you might consider trying it for a freebie product.

Other ways to make money on TikTok

Even if you don’t get value from the official TikTok affiliate program or through a TikTok store, you can also consider recording short videos that include QR codes for the products mentioned. That’s now possible within the Restream studio; you can even record it with the TikTok dimensions.

Read next: Boosting Your Authority Through a Video Blog

With the right audience, you can also work with brand sponsors – which is something creators have done for years. Or you can build a company’s thought leadership to help raise awareness to sell products and services.

If nothing else, if you qualify, apply and then see where and when it might make sense to include products in your livestreams on TikTok.

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