True or false? Find out whether these seven TikTok side-hustle hacks really work

Whether it’s for a second income stream, or to supplement a full-time salary – people are looking for ‘side hustles’ to earn a little extra cash. 

Everyday people are seeking the best marketing and ecommerce marketing hacks as well as inspiration to earn money online. Infact, over the last 90 days the most popular content under #marketinghacks was liked by 5 million people just in the UK. But is the advice credible and reliable? 

Expert in digital marketing and co-founder of marketing agency FatJoe, Joe Davies has delved into some of the most popular TikTok hacks around marketing and ecommerce to reveal if they really do the trick. 

He notes that a key issue we’re seeing in the marketing and ecommerce space is the lack of validated information people are currently being presented with on social media. Lots of creators claim to be able to offer ‘hacks’ and ‘tips’ to earn money very quickly.

But do they really work? To find out, you need to ask yourself questions such as: Does this advice sound too good to be true when it comes to charging people money for a service? And: How much experience do they have in this field?

While it’s great that people can share their personal experiences, more specific advice – especially financial, and technical (like SEO) should be approached with a balanced view. And to help you, in this article Joe looks at seven popular TikTok hacks and reveals whether they are true or false.

1) True: Ensuring your Shopify is indexed properly

@Theecomcoach with 21K followers on TikTok shares regular tips for his followers aimed at helping ecommerce business owners with a range of experience. In a recent video, he talks about how to ensure your Shopify store is properly indexed in order for Google to successfully rank and showcase your Shopify store in its search engine results. 


If you’re setting up an ecommerce store through a platform such as Shopify, it’s important that you follow some essential SEO principles in order to maximise the visibility that your store receives. 

Theecomcoach provides some useful insight and recommends ensuring that your page is properly indexed, and not relying on Shopify automatically doing this for you. He states you could theoretically move your hotel booking to a few weeks later and then call back the following day to cancel the booking within the grace period. 

If you’re setting up a store and don’t have much previous experience in SEO, this is a fundamental tip that’s going to help gain organic traffic to your store. Whilst indexing alone isn’t enough to see your store rank highly, it’s important to ensure the proper set up to be in with a chance of seeing traffic and making money from your ecommerce store.

2) False: Using AI to create high-ranking content

Johanne (@shedoesai) regularly posts tips and tricks on using AI for efficiencies for those looking to grow their websites, blogs, social media or ecommerce stores. In a recent video, she tells her 17.6k followers that utilising specific AI software can create content that ensures it will rank highly in search engines. 


So what’s the truth? This is a hotly debated topic within the digital marketing space. Any web content needs to be written with human intent and be relevant to the purpose of the website it’s part of.

There’s no guarantee this content will ensure high ranking for sites, as there are numerous other factors that Google considers when ranking content and websites. It’s a contentious issue but there is proof that Google isn’t necessarily penalising AI written content, but considering whether it has good intent for end users. 

While there’s nothing to say AI written content can’t help increase rankings for your website, social posts or ecommerce stores – it can be misleading to state this is a guarantee. Content needs to serve human needs and is part of a larger set of ranking factors that also can affect the performance of the site as a whole.

3) True: Use trending keywords as ecom inspiration

If you’re looking to boost sales on ecommerce platforms such as Etsy, it’s important to not get lost in looking for technical hacks to boost your store, and concentrate on what users may be looking for and what trends you can capitalise on.

@katerobllc talks to her 53.2k followers about spotting unique keywords trending on different social media platforms, and using these to attract new audiences on your Etsy store. 


Being on the pulse of search behaviour is key to capturing interest and attention in your products, especially in a crowded market like Etsy. Spotting key words and phrases that are trending on different platforms is a great way to capture audiences that may not be initially apparent just from looking at Google search behaviour.

Kate’s advice combines being savvy with language users are using across different platforms (e.g. Pinterest) with using SEO tools to see how competitive those phrases can be, finding the right balance that is appropriate for your store can definitely set you apart from competition. This tactic works incredibly well for Etsy and fashion platforms such as Vinted or Depop.

4) True: Using longtail keywords on Etsy to capture search volume

TikToker influencer @sjetsyqueen regularly gives top tips to her 41k followers on building and optimising Etsy stores. In a recent clip, she details how maximising the characters and tags on offer with unique pairings will help capture search volume and more traffic and sales to your store. 


Doing good keyword research is incredibly important to capturing attention on all platforms, and Etsy is no different. Whilst this advice is technically true, it’s important to not lose sight of how much search some of these longer tail keyword combinations may capture.

Using all your characters and tags is smart, but make sure you’re not just using combinations that are unlikely to be searched for by potential customers.

5) False: Reselling templates as digital downloads

According to a TikTok influencer Ariana (@thebizmomari) who has over 35k followers, a quick way to earn over $100,000 a year is to take existing planner templates from Canva, and upload them to Etsy as digital downloads for sale.


While there’s no denying some creators have earnt substantial sums through digital downloads on platforms like Etsy, claims that there are the potential of six figure earnings should really be caveated.

The digital downloads market is now incredibly saturated, and whilst there is the potential to make profit from creating online resources – consider what niches may attract more attention and have your products stand out from others. Understanding this will likely be the different of seeing your downloads gather interest than become lost in the Etsy ether.

6) True: Relevant content is key to ranking

When it comes to SEO in particular, creator Mary Anne Damarzo (Your Marketing Mentor) discusses with her 161k followers how replicating content that ranks highly in your niche is essential to influence your rankings in the search engines for your website or ecommerce store.


Although this takes a more complex concept and simplifies it, this creator is right in saying that content is one of the key ranking factors for any website. It’s important that websites have relevant content in order for Google to rank it appropriately for user search queries, but stating that content is all that’s needed can be misleading.

A website also needs to be technically sound, indexed correctly and other trust signals such as backlinks can have an effect on how your site or store ranks in search engines.

7) False: Text is backlinks to your site

Anaita (@sellanythingonline) has 331k followers, giving her a reasonable level of influence over her TikTok audience. However, in one of her videos she details how sites using ‘SEO text’ (what some may consider a form of keyword stuffing) can help as it’s delivering backlinks to your website.


This advice isn’t necessarily best practice. Copy and design of a web page should have the end user and user experience in mind, hiding paragraphs filled with keywords at the bottom of a category or product page doesn’t equate to writing copy for the end user, but is clearly done with an organic search goal in mind.

Additionally, this creator discusses internal linking but refers to backlinks and the equity backlinks have on the performance and rankins of a website – this is factually incorrect. Internal linking is important in order for Google to map site architecture, but this is separate from external backlinks pointing towards the site.

Author: Joe Davies, expert in digital marketing and co-founder of marketing agency FatJoe.

FATJOE was founded in 2012 and has become one of the world’s largest providers of outsourced Link Building, Digital PR, SEO Services, Content Creation and Design and Video services. They are changing the game with their productized link building and SEO services helping SEOs, marketers, and agencies to scale and thrive.