Why would anyone want to use TikTok for affiliate marketing, and why should you consider it (assuming you’re interested in affiliate marketing, if not why would you be reading this?).

Maybe you’re shy and aren’t so sure about making videos, or TikTok scares you. It scares me. I like making videos, I’m not afraid of the Chinese spying on me. But it scares me because it’s just a bunch of teens making lip sync and dance videos and they can’t pay attention to anything for more than 10 seconds – right, that’s all it is, right bruh. And I’m an old man trying not to be cringe 

OMG, he just said cringe, that is so cringe.

Anyways, in my last blog post, I said that I needed to start generating traffic or else I could never succeed in affiliate marketing (AM). I had decided months ago that short-form videos would be the primary content I would create. But creating content doesn’t do anything unless you get people looking at it (traffic). So last week I committed to picking the platform I was going to use as my Primary Source of Traffic and get started. 

What does “get started” mean? Sounds a little non-committal. 

Was I going to create and post my first video? Well, I didn’t promise I’d do that. But that will happen very soon. 

First I needed to do some prep. That meant I had to start with a little research. That brings us to the question of why TikTok. 

One thing I’ve learned about being successful in AM is that you have to build an audience. That could mean you have a huge email list – but how are you going to build that? You have to build some sort of relationship with an audience that would make them even consider listening to you and opt into your email list. 

No one will show up just because you build it. You have to go out and tell people about it. That’s what marketing is. 

This is Where TikTok Comes In

TikTok has a very unique way of sharing content. A person with zero followers and zero posts can get millions of views on their first video. That is pretty much impossible on YouTube, Facebook, and Instagram. To get 200 organic views on your personal Facebook video even if you have thousands of friends is a triumph. I have 150 followers on my Facebook business page, and I’ll get about 10 views per post (and that’s not actually views, that’s just impressions – people probably didn’t even notice it as they were scrolling by). 

The point is TikTok enables a person to quickly build a following, and get millions of views. You still have to make good content.

I’m not going to get that if I post garbage. But even if my videos are extraordinarily good, if I post them on YouTube very few people will see them if I don’t already have subscribers. 

That’s why a person should consider TikTok if they want to build an audience, which they must do if they want to succeed at AM. And that’s why I’m doing this. 

This is What I Learned This Week About TikTok

  • Define your niche – if you’re making content and want maximum views pick one niche and only post content for that audience. 

If you want to make a video about something else (because you’re human and may be interested in more than one thing) make a new channel.

  • Ultimately the TikTok algorithm cares about watch time, not how many followers you have. You don’t need followers to get views. And especially in the beginning, you should care more about views than followers. (Get views, and followers will … follow). Engagement (likes, comments) and shares only matter in relation to getting more views. 
  • Research your niche on TikTok – if your channel is about affiliate marketing, train the algorithm to show you AM videos. This means searching for the most popular #hashtags in your niche and watching the top creators and videos. (If you want to watch cat videos on TikTok, make another account). Keep your account focused on your niche so you know what the trends are. 

Don’t use generic hashtags like #fyp – generic hashtags will not help your audience see your content. They will result in people who don’t care about your content being served your videos, and they’re going to scroll right past – telling TikTok your video isn’t interesting. Which means TikTok isn’t going to show it to more people. 

And don’t use songs that are trending in other niches – like whatever the trending dance craze is. If that’s not what you’re doing, you don’t want your video served up to that audience because it will tank your views. 

  • In short, you have to know your audience. So dedicate a channel to creating and consuming only content in your niche. 

That’s What I Did This Week

I set up a new TikTok account, using a new email. My nickname, username, bio, and profile picture are all focused on one specific niche, designed to inform people in my niche that my channel exists to deliver content on that specific interest. 

I’m actually going to make at least one other account focused on another interest that is not about affiliate marketing, making money online, working from home, or anything like that. It will be something like sports, pets, drawing. Maybe I’ll make a channel for each one of those passions, because I’m interested in all of those. 

Don’t get too far ahead of yourself and spread yourself too thin. If you do that you won’t get anything accomplished. 

Ok, ok, just one other account for now. But the point will be to see if I can get views and followers (building an audience) and then pepper in some affiliate marketing, making offers to people interested in that topic (people who have no interest in becoming affiliate marketers).

Time to Make a Video

The final thing I did this week was write a rough draft script for my first video. This took a while. I had to brainstorm this, I came up with several ideas, but it took a while to figure out what I wanted to do for my first video. I know, even though I need to get started, there’s no reason to hurry into this and throw just anything on TikTok. 

If I’d never made videos before, and just needed first to get used to everything around making and posting videos, and getting comfortable on camera, then that wouldn’t be a bad place to start. But if I was going to do that I’d just do that on a personal account, and make videos about whatever I felt like, whatever came easily to get practice. 

I’d be doing that with the understanding that once I was really ready to get going with trying to generate traffic on TikTok for affiliate marketing I’d be starting a new account. 

I was not being held back by fear of getting on camera. I didn’t understand TikTok and was afraid of how it worked. And frankly, I was overwhelmed by the randomness of videos shown to me on my personal account. That was holding me back. 

Once I focused on my niche and started watching videos related to that niche I got a lot of clarity and became way more comfortable with what I knew I needed to do, and how I wanted to go about it. 

By this time next week, I’m committed to posting my first TikTok video. I’m not expecting a million views, but feel like I know what I need to do and I’m ready to start practicing. 

Practice doesn’t make perfect, but it does make better.

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6 responses to “Using TikTok for Affiliate Marketing?”

  1. Great article Nathan. I want to do TikToc as well. I want to get good at FB first, but will hopefully move to TikToc soon. It is great to see someone else take the plunge and to see how much of what you are doing or plan to do is what I was thinking.

    1. I’ve done quite a lot with Facebook in the past, for affiliate marketing, and I use it for my brick and mortar business/day job. It can be great. I tried lead ads, but only briefly. I should have stuck with it, and I will come back to it, but it’s been so long, I decided to do something that is just “free” traffic for a while.

  2. Good luck with your first video. I wouldn’t put too much thought into it. Just get it out there. Don’t be discouraged if it doesn’t get the views. Actually, the view count can be very misleading. After a while TT gives you stats on how your video has done. Most people stop watching after less than 2 seconds and the percentage of those who actually watch until the end is invariably less than 3%. That’s what mine have been doing anyway. People seem to be more concerned with getting “followers”. Also I’ve noticed that people will follow you more for your profile picture rather than your content. I had a couple of weeks where my follower count was going up by tens or hundreds a day but I hardly had any videos posted. Go figure. Hope that hasn’t put you off.

  3. Hi, Nathan!
    I love this post! I’ve never heard many of these tips for getting started on TikTok! I love the idea of starting a channel specific to my niche and the tips on avoiding showing up in the wrong video feed. This is excellent! Best of luck to you! I’m looking forward to seeing your channel!

  4. Don’t overthink it! Check out Atif’s TikTok success! He can help you sort things out!

  5. Nathan, using TikTok for affiliate marketing can be very effective because it allows you to reach a large audience quickly, even if you’re just starting. TikTok’s algorithm can help you get millions of views without needing a lot of followers. By focusing on creating good content in a specific niche, you can build an engaged audience. It’s important to understand your audience and stay consistent with your content. Starting with TikTok might feel intimidating, but it’s a great platform to generate traffic and grow your affiliate marketing business. Go for it! Atif

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