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How To Make Money Using Pinterest

What if I told you you can make money with your Pinterest account? 

Pinterest affiliate marketing is THE thing right now. There was a time when Facebook and Twitter were all the hype but now, it’s Pinterest where people go to find and explore new ideas. So now you’re wondering how to make money on Pinterest, right?

Fun fact: you can do Pinterest affiliate marketing even if you don’t have a blog! 

The best part? It doesn’t require an insane amount of traffic, so it’s especially great for new bloggers!

There are so many ways to use Pinterest for affiliate marketing and so much to learn, so I decided to dedicate a whole post to it. 

We’ll start with why Pinterest is great for affiliate marketing before I explain what it really is and how you can make money from it. 

Let’s begin!

making money off Pinterest

This post contains affiliate links, full disclosure here

How To Make Money On Pinterest (And Why Should You?)

Well why not!

Like I said, Facebook and Twitter are no longer the “it” thing for affiliate marketing or advertising in general.

The reason?

Facebook’s unreasonably high ad costs and Twitter’s unreasonably low clickthrough rates.

Facebook used to be the best platform to post ads, but when their algorithm started to show posts by pages lesser and lesser, businesses began to suffer. The only sure-shot way left to show up in the audience’s feed was to buy ads. 

This wasn’t so much of a problem until the prices of Facebook ads shot up by about 122%!

On the other hand, twitter’s disappointingly low clickthrough rates encouraged businesses to look elsewhere.

Meanwhile, Pinterest was gaining popularity. Its algorithm makes your pins reach as many people as possible. This leads to repins and groups, both of which – by the way – multiply your reach.

But the best part? Pinterest affiliate marketing is still a growing idea.

This means that the space is neither crowded nor extremely competitive, making right now the perfect time to step in! 

Making money using Pinterest

Pinterest Affiliate Marketing – What is it & How Does it Work?

Pinterest affiliate marketing works on the same basic principles of affiliate marketing. Don’t worry if you don’t know what affiliate marketing is. Let me explain.

Affiliate marketing means to include links to certain products to your page. Whenever someone visiting your page clicks on that link and makes a purchase, you get a commission. This doesn’t cost extra to the buyer in any way. 

Pinterest affiliate marketing works in the same way. You add an affiliate link to one of your pins and whenever someone views your post and makes a purchase by following through the link, you’ll get a commission.   

Get Pinterest Affiliate Links

The first (and only) thing you need for pinterest affiliate marketing is an affiliate link. 

My favorite way to get an affiliate link is to simply join an affiliate network.

An affiliate network is made up of several affiliate programs. When you join an affiliate network, you get access to all these programs and you can apply to whichever ones you want!

3 of the most common affiliate networks are:

  1. ShareASale
  2. Impact Radius
  3. Amazon Associates
affiliate list

How to Set up a Pinterest Account for Affiliate Marketing?

Here’s how you can set up your Pinterest account for affiliate marketing in 4 simple steps: 

Include Keywords to Your Pinterest Profile

First of all, you should include keywords to your Pinterest profile. This means adding them to both your ‘Display Name’ as well as the ‘About your Profile’.

For example, since my blog is mostly about blogging and SEO marketing, I’ve added the keywords “Blogging Growth” and “SEO Tips and Marketing” to my display name. 

In the about section, there’s more room to play with so use this space to add longer (but relevant) keywords. For example, I’ve added “how to start a blog” and “blogging tips for beginners” in my Pinterest profile’s about section. 

Check it out:

Pinterest SEO keywords

Claim Your Website

The second step is to claim your website. This lets Pinterest know that your account is connected to a website which allows you to get attribution and analytics for your content.

Claim your website in 3 simple steps:

  1. Go to the settings of your Pinterest account. 
  2. Click on ‘Claim’ in the left panel.
  3. Enter your website and hit the Claim button.

Once you’ve successfully claimed your website, a green check mark will appear next to it. Take a look at mine: 

How to claim website on Pinterest

Grab Your Affiliate Link

Click on “Affiliate” in the Dashboard drop-down (if you’re using Teachable or it’ll be “links” in Shareasale) to grab your affiliate link:

Create an Affiliate Pin

It’s finally time to create a pin! Simply click on “Create Pin” in the Create drop-down menu:

create an affiliate pin

Now, all you have to do is add an image, a description and obviously a link for your pin. For example, take a look at this pin: 

affiliate marketing on Pinterest

Make sure to include your link to the pin’s image as well. Also, see that little “*AFFLINK” in the bottom right corner? That is absolutely essential. I’ll come back to this later, don’t worry.

Make Money With Pinterest Affiliate Marketing

Alright, now that you know how to set up your Pinterest profile for affiliate marketing, let’s get down to business. How to make money from Pinterest affiliate marketing? Let me share some insights. 

Use Current SEO Optimized Pinterest Boards

If you’re new to Pinterest and don’t already have boards, feel free to move to the next section. However, if you do have some boards already on your Pinterest profile, I have good news for you. You can use these boards’ followers to make affiliate sales.

Start adding new pins to your current boards that already have a significant following. However, make sure that you add relevant pins. For example, if you have a board about “Fun & Easy DIYs”, adding a pin that has an affiliate link to pet food would not be appropriate for two reasons.

First of all, people following this particular board are obviously more interested to see DIY ideas, not an ad for pet food. Secondly, adding an irrelevant pin to a board with high following will just make you seem less trustworthy to the followers. 

“She really just wants to make money” is what a follower would think before unfollowing your board.

On the other hand, if you add a pin about DIY supplies with an affiliate link where your followers could buy those supplies, it’ll be a win-win situation. Your DIY-loving followers would be able to buy useful supplies and you’ll earn a small commission for showing them what they needed! 

Create New Boards That Your Followers will Love

You can create two types of boards: a board dedicated solely to display affiliate products, and a regular board that shows some affiliate products.

Depending upon your niche, you can create either one of the boards (or both!). For example, to sell DIY supplies, it would be a good idea to first show your followers what they can do with these supplies by pinning some DIY ideas first. 

On the other hand, if your affiliate products are something like throw pillows, creating a dedicated board would not be a bad idea. Such products sell mostly by their looks. Just make sure you pin an awesome, descriptive photo for each affiliate product.

And like I mentioned before, do not add irrelevant pins to a board. Stick to your theme!

Related Reading: How To Niche Down Your Blog

Boost Your Affiliate Blog’s Traffic via Pinterest

If you have some affiliate blog posts or buying guides doing well on your site, you can use Pinterest to boost their traffic.

Don’t worry though, there are no extra steps. All you have to do is instead of pasting an affiliate link in a pin, simply paste the link to your blog. Anyone clicking on the link would be redirected to your blog!

I like to create 5 pins for each post that I want to share. Then, I post these pins one by one after some time. You can do this manually but there are some Pinterest Schedulers (like TailWind) that work great as well. 

With a scheduler, you can create all the pins at the same time, tell the scheduler when you want each one of them posted and then let it take care of the rest. 

Pinterest Affiliate Marketing WITHOUT a Blog

Pinterest affiliate marketing without a blog means to simply add affiliate links to your pins (exactly like we just learned in the previous sections), instead of adding links to your blogs. 

In this way, you can eliminate a blog as the middleman and just list affiliate products on your Pinterest directly. Anyone who clicks on an affiliate pin of yours would be redirected to the product page and if they make a purchase, you earn commission. Easy peasy. 

So, where’s the problem then? 

Well, remember the affiliate networks? 

As we just learned, affiliate links are the heart of affiliate marketing and to get affiliate links, you have to join an affiliate network. However, these networks sometimes require you to have a blog before they let you in. But don’t worry, it’s not the end of the world. 

If you don’t have a blog that’s up and running, there’s still a way to overcome this barrier. All you have to do is create a simple blog to show to affiliate networks. A single “coming soon” or “just around the corner” page would suffice. 

However, I recommend that you add a few posts to your blog before sharing it with an affiliate network. This can increase your chances of getting approved. 

Wait, Didn’t Pinterest Ban Affiliate Marketing?

They did indeed. But this was back in 2015 and later in May 2016, Pinterest announced that affiliate links are now once again allowed on their site.

According to the announcement, the reason behind the temporary ban was their weak detection system that couldn’t stop spammers from abusing Pinterest. They said: 

“Now that our spam detection system is so much stronger, we’re ready to allow affiliate links again. To make way for these changes, we’re making minor updates to our acceptable use policy. We’ll start rolling out all affiliate networks today and over the coming weeks.”

This means that Pinterest affiliate marketing is up and running again but obviously with some guidelines that must be followed. Let me share a few important ones from these guidelines so that you don’t end up getting banned over a little mistake.

Practice Safe Pinterest Affiliate Marketing

I’m sharing 4 most common mistakes that Pinterest affiliate marketers make but you can also read the whole paper on Pinterest’s community guidelines as well.

  • Steer Clear of Short Links – short links look pretty, sure, but please don’t use them on Pinterest. Copy your affiliate link as it is and just paste it in your pin. This means no Bitly or Geni.us. Pinterest wants its users to know where they’re going when they click on a link.
  • Pinterest Affiliate Link Disclosures – This is the most important guideline for an affiliate marketer on Pinterest. Always, always disclose when a pin is about an affiliate product. Adding a simple “affiliate” or “aff” on the image or the description works. 

I recommend adding “#affiliate” at the end of your description in addition to writing “affiliate” somewhere on the image as well.

  • Don’t Overdo it – Trust me, you don’t want your followers to think you’re just greedy to make sales and are not interested in helping them. So, make sure you’re not just hitting them with one affiliate product after another. 

Maintain a balance between regular posts and affiliate posts and always be tasteful when sharing an affiliate product. Don’t ever go against the theme or aesthetic of your profile.

  • Avoid Amazon Affiliate Links – Sharing Amazon affiliate links on Pinterest is a gray area that I suggest you to avoid. If you Google it, be prepared to find lots of contradictory content. Some people say that it’s completely okay while others believe that it’s strictly forbidden. 

My advice is to stay away from Amazon Affiliate links, especially when there are so many other options available.

Pinterest Affiliate Marketing Courses (that I recommend)

Affiliate marketing for Pinterest and turning a profit is a little more in-depth than slapping your link on a gorgeous Pinterest pin and calling it a day. It involves :

Building connection and trust with your audience

Having a solid blog foundation

Removing limiting beliefs about your blogging success

& most importantly finding the right affiliate partners and networks to pair up with. All of which is covered (and so much more) in Ell’s brand new course “Mastering Sales with Ell”

pintrest affilaite marketing course

Affiliate Marketing, Simplified!

What if you’ve mastered your money mindset already? You’re looking for a list of programs to join and want to know what network to be focusing on. You’re ready RIGHT NOW to be making affiliate commissions and what to know how to write blog posts that convert. Cate Rosales leads this action-packed course (with quizzes!) that gives you the roadmap to leveraging your social presence (small or large) to making sales. As well as letting you know the pitfalls to avoid along the way. Case studies included.

Related Reading: The Complete List Of Blogging Tools And Courses I Recommend

How do you feel about making money from Pinterest now?

That’s it folks! You now know everything to start your own Pinterest affiliate marketing and start making some significant $$$! 

Before I sign off, I just want to remind you to be patient when you start pinning affiliate products on your Pinterest. Like any business, affiliate marketing also takes time. Just make sure you follow the guidelines and share what your followers like. 

In fact, if you’re ever wondering which affiliate products to sell on your Pinterest, take a look at what your followers are currently into. You’ll be surprised by how much you can gain by learning a little about your audience’s interests.

How do you find affiliate marketing as a blog monetization plan? Drop your thoughts below !

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16 thoughts on “How To Make Money Using Pinterest”

  1. Thanks for sharing such a comprehensive post on how to do affiliate marketing on Pinterest. I never knew that affiliate links were banned on Pinterest before. Love how detailed this post is, Renee! 🙂 Right now I don’t really use Pinterest so much for promoting my affiliate links, but your post is now reminding me to leverage Pinterest for it. Thanks again 🙂

  2. A decent guide for beginners but you’ve got one thing that needs correcting; you can only edit links on pins that are connected websites you have claimed. You used to be able to edit any pin you created regardless of which site it was linked to. For example, if it was linking to an Amazon product you now would not be able to edit that link because Amazon is not your website. It’s one of the ways Pinterest has cracked down on spammers who just use Pinterest for affiliates.

    So you need to create a pin and add the image and affiliate link per product if it’s not one of your claimed websites. You’ll also not be able to edit the link once it’s been published.

  3. Pinterest is such a whirlwind ! This was such a great post because I didn’t know you could make money using it, great post.

  4. Amazing Post Renee! I love your ideas, especially the one about making your audience know you’re using an affiliate link by directly placing that information on your pin.

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