What? Probably the first question that comes to mind when hearing something like this, right? I sometimes can’t believe these stories, although I am quite familiar with many creative ways to earn money online. Let’s dive in.
You probably know TikTok, right? What an amazing success this relatively young social media platform has become. It’s not even 5 years old.
It’s a video platform, where you create video content… obviously. And as (almost) every big social media platform, it earns its money largely through ads… with the addition of premium accounts as well.
But unlike other platforms (YouTube, for example) you don’t get paid through a partner program and ads. You have to figure out other ways. And it always amazes me how people come up with the greatest ideas to make money on social media outlets like TikTok.
Who is this story about
Meet Teresa Caruso (to her TikTok). She’s a married lady from Brooklyn, New York, and her specialty is Amazon products. Not a new idea, but a very lucrative one when done right.
Teresa has had a blog since 2012, and she has an Amazon shop where she shares her favorite products from beauty, fashion, home decor, and more. This is only obtainable with a good amount of followers. But you can do it without an Amazon shop page, no worries.
What is most fascinating about Teresa to me is that she has accumulated over 2.7 million followers on TikTok and gotten around 83 million likes, and she only started out on TikTok in January 2020! She found this amazing success in a YEAR.
What’s she doing exactly?
It is quite simple. She posts short videos featuring her favorite Amazon finds. And then she shares her Amazon affiliate links to those products through her profile and on her blog/website (including her Amazon shop page).
If you’re not familiar with the Amazon affiliate program: You can create an affiliate account with Amazon to share your personalized links to any Amazon product, and you’ll get a cut of the price when someone buys a product from Amazon. It is usually a very small cut. A few percent of the price.
But now think about the following that she gained in a year. With over 2.7 million subscribers and by just randomly calculating that maybe 10 % of those users click on the affiliate link and another 10% of those go to buy something on Amazon afterward, this would still boil down to:
2.7 million / 10 / 10 = 27 000 purchases.
And that is for ONE link, or one product, or one video on TikTok… however, you want to count it.
Now… What she actually does is share a few products in one video. That, of course, increases the likelihood of clicks and purchases. And then she posts at least one video per day.
What does this mean in terms of money? How much does she earn? Well, that is impossible to say exactly because the range of prices for the products she promotes is quite broad. In addition, the cut that Amazon pays varies from product category to category.
With a product that costs $100 on Amazon and a cut of 3%, she would make 3 dollars. If you multiply $3 by 27 000 purchases… your eyes will pop out of your head.
3 × 27 000 = 81 000 dollars
It could also be a product that costs $1 and you’ll get 10 cents. But with 2.7 million followers, that can still add up to a lot of money per video or per day as she publishes each day as I said earlier. Still a great daily income on a 3-cent cut.
0.10 × 27 000 = 2700 dollars
Want to calculate what this means in monthly terms or even yearly? Let’s take a small number. 2700 dollars * 30 days = 81 000 dollars per month.
81 000 dollars * 12 months = 972 000 dollars per year. Now imagine this with the more expensive products or higher cuts. It gets nuts… pretty quickly.
Before you go off to create a TikTok account and try it for yourself, wait one more minute. Teresa is an anomaly in that she did all this in a very short amount of time in a quite saturated niche (beauty, decor, fashion) on a highly trending platform.
She’s also had experience writing blog posts, making videos, and using services like the Amazon affiliate program for years (as I said, she started blogging back in 2012). So this is not as easy as it sounds.
But it is possible to make much money online if you hit a trend. That’s for sure. In this case, the trend is TikTok. Many people do the same on Instagram or YouTube, but these platforms are much older and the competition is (or at least was) much higher. It is a viable income stream, though. Teresa creates short but high-quality content for her followers, and she is very consistent with posting every day. She has found an aesthetic that makes her recognizable. And last but not least, she probably had a lot of luck along the way as well.
Nevertheless, this should not deter you. It is possible for everyone to make money online. It might take a while, it might require some skills, and it might cost you a lot of nerves and even some money in the beginning. But if it works out … well, I guess you know by now.