Did you know that you can turn your Pinterest obsession into cold, hard cash? This article will explain how to make money with Pinterest.
You probably already know the basics about how to pin - but now you need to twist your thinking and look at Pinterest like a marketer.
How Most People Use Pinterest
Pinterest is a visual search engine.
People go there to find inspirational ideas for whatever is happening in their life.
Birthday parties, weddings, recipes, fashion - you name it.
Pinterest is where people go to organize their thoughts using pictures and boards.
But, that is just the first step.
As their project starts to come together - they also go to Pinterest to shop.
Related Post: How Does Pinterest Work?
Here is Your Opportunity to Make Money On Pinterest
You can use Pinterest to deliver great ideas to your followers and introduce them to products that can help them turn their plan into a reality.
Using something called affiliate marketing, you can link up your product images to stores (for whom you are an affiliate - I'll get to this) that sell that exact product that you picture on Pinterest.
Because you are an affiliate, you make a commission if they buy something through your link.
I know there is a lot to cover, so let's start with the concept of affiliate marketing.
What Is Affiliate Marketing?
Affiliate marketing is how bloggers make money - at least it's one of the ways.
Let me be perfectly clear - to make money on Pinterest you do NOT need to start a blog - but you do need to be an affiliate.
However, I think owning your own blog is always a good idea.
Related: New Bloggers FAQ's
How Does Affiliate Marketing Work?
Here is the short version to help you understand what affiliate marketing is all about.
Basically, when you find a product or a service that you like or that you think will help other people - you kind of want to tell them all about it, right?
If you love the product enough, you can't stop talking about it.
The people that hear you (aka - your audience) may also need a similar product. So, they act upon your recommendation and buy it.
If you have an affiliate relationship with the company that sells the product, then you can make a commission if someone in your audience buys it based on your recommendation.
Now I know you probably have a lot of questions going through your head like:
- How do I become an affiliate marketer?
- How do I join affiliate marketing programs?
- How do I get "credit" for products that I recommend?
The subject is bigger than what I can cover here - remember, this article is about how to make money with Pinterest.
But, if you are a beginner, I really like the Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing course - which explores the topic in depth.
Back to Pinterest ...
Think of Your Pinterest Profile Like a Mall
I like to think of a Pinterest profile like a big, giant store.
Each one of your boards is separate department.
People who come and explore your boards are interested in that specific topic.
Also, keep in mind that if someone pins something from one of your boards - Pinterest will show them more pins from that particular board.
So, if you have a Summer Picnic board - you can fill it up with picnic related pins and products.
The pins might be for picnic recipes, picnic decor ideas, and of course direct links to things like fun melamine tableware, tiki torches, and barbecue accessories.
Alternatively, you could create one board that is completely dedicated to products.
Best Practices to Follow
Not Everything Should Be An Affiliate Link
If your profile is all about fashion - you could do a "Shop My Favorite Outfits" board and include photos and affiliate links to all your favorite products.
However, Pinterest is not a shop.
You should mix up your pins so that not everything is an affiliate link. Include plenty of pins to your own blog or website - if you have one and to other pinners pins as well.
Disclose Your Affiliate Pins
Also, make sure you DISCLOSE your Pinterest affiliate marketing pins.
The FCC wants complete transparency when you post something that you may make money from.
On Pinterest, right now the best way to do this is to begin your pin descriptions with "#Ad".
Put this at the beginning of all your pin descriptions when the url that the pin goes to is an affiliate link.
Make Sure Your Affiliate Program Allows Links on Pinterest
It is very IMPORTANT that you read the terms of your affiliate agreements.
Every affiliate program is different.
Take Amazon Associates for instance. This program specifically does not allow you to promote affiliate links on Pinterest.
I just received an email today about another one of my affiliate programs that does not allow affiliate links on Pinterest - READ THE TERMS OF SERVICE - I cannot say it enough.
Because of state tax laws there are other programs that do not allow you to post links based on where you live.
How to Do Pinterest Affiliate Marketing
Now that you understand how to make money with Pinterest in theory it is time to learn the mechanics of creating an affiliate pin.
There are three different ways that you can do this.
The first way is to upload an image that you created and manually change the link to point directly to the product on the site where you are an affiliate.
The second is to pin an image from the site where you are an affiliate and then manually change the link in Pinterest.
Again, you must make it clear to your audience that this is an affiliate pin.
IMPORTANT: Do NOT use this method with the Amazon Associates program. You cannot post Amazon Associate links on Pinterest. It is agains their terms of service.
Finally, the third way to make this happen is to use a program like RewardStyle.
You can post directly to Pinterest directly from within their interface - which makes it really easy.
If you are not a member of RewardStyle and would like an invite - email me directly using my contact form (make sure to include your website URL and the email address where you would like to receive the invite) and I will have RewardStyle send one to you.
Will You Make Money With Pinterest?
Personally, I have had minimal success with Pinterest affiliate marketing.
I think you need a wide reach on Pinterest to have success.
Obviously, if more people see your pins then you are more likely to make money.
However, I do like sprinkling affiliate pins in on my boards - especially ones that are relevant and highly targeted.
Have You Had Success With Pinterest Affiliate Marketing?
Tell us how you make money with Pinterest in the comments below. Do you have any tips and tricks to share?