student loans
Want to use TikTok to pay off your student loans? Source: Shutterstock

Gen Z-ers and millennials are redefining entrepreneurship and side hustling – leveraging on the technology they use every day to make money and pay off their student loans.

These generations are also riddled with student debt, more so than previous ones.

Since the 1999-2000 academic year, the net price of tuition, fees, and room and board at a public, four-year college has increased 68 percent. Students are borrowing twice the amount annually too.

This has led to some students coming up with creative ways to pay off their student loans, including by making TikTok videos.

While there are other social media portals such as Instagram and YouTube that can be used to make money part-time, the wildly popular TikTok app is becoming the preferred option by Gen Z-ers as they can achieve a higher organic reach.

Here are some tips from students and graduate Tik-Tok users who are monetising their viral videos.

Be yourself

@alybreannewhitehe comes back on Friday!! Yay!!! joshmandi <3 #foryou #singing♬ original sound – alybreannewhite

Authentic and honest experiences are what Gen Z-ers want. As digital natives in the era of fake news, this is a generation that demands transparency and honesty from consumer brands.

This appreciation for authenticity relates to social media influencers too. The more genuine you are, the more likely you are to build an organic following.

Tik Tok is a good platform to “be yourself” because it encourages users to do just that. It’s a fun and lively platform where you don’t need to be too serious to get followers.

Take 18-year-old Aly White for example. This Tik Tok user with 479,200 followers from Huntsville, Alabama makes videos about her everyday life that other teenagers can relate to, such as how it sucks to have a crush, and sings and dances with her friends, often in sweatpants.

She told Vox, “I try to do as much relatable, original content as I possibly can, whether it’s just telling original stories about what happened in my day or making it funny.”

Treat it like a part-time job

@salinakillaYes. That’s my song. Yes. I just made this on tiktok lol😂 transitions aren’t perfect but hey it’s still good #foryoupage #fyp #gummygame #viral♬ original sound – salinakilla

Investing time and energy just like you would in a part-time job will pay off in the long run. Anybody can make and post a video, but monetising them and building a following takes real effort.

For instance, 22-year-old college student Salina, or “Salinakilla” as she’s known online, currently has 1.3 million followers – and she didn’t get there without putting in the hours.

She told BusinessInsider that she dedicates several hours a day to upload two to four videos. “I watch a lot of TikToks to see what’s on the ‘for you’ page and what’s trending. That takes multiple hours throughout the day. Creating the content itself can take a few minutes, to hours, depending on how complicated the video is.”

Researching trends and other Tik Tok accounts for inspiration takes time too. You want to increase your follower count to get to the point where you can start making money, which often means using a number of different approaches.

Link your other social media profiles

@mamadoctorjones♬ Fight Song – Rachel Platten

If you use other profiles like Instagram and YouTube, you can leverage on your following on TikTok to gain more recognition for these accounts.

Monetising TikTok can be more difficult compared to YouTube where users have Google AdSense to gain revenue if they have more than 1,000 subscribers.

Dr Danielle Jones, a licensed OB-GYN who runs YouTube channel Mama Doctor Jones, uses her social media presence to pay off student loans while sharing her knowledge to educate her viewers.

She uses her Tik Tok channel to post short and informative videos, driving her followers to her YouTube channel where they can view more in-depth videos.

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