Interested in putting your Pinterest addiction to work and make money with Pinterest affiliate marketing?
Is it possible to make money on Pinterest alone?
I don’t want to knock blogging, after all, you’re reading this article on my blog right now. However, blogging is a lot of work. And making an income from your blog requires a ton of time and expertise. When you’re running a blog, you’re expected to create content, promote your content, cultivate an email list, navigate the tech side of blogging and manage multiple social media channels. Creating a blog is not for everyone.
However, making money on Pinterest without a blog is possible.
How do you ask?
Through direct affiliate marketing on Pinterest.
This post probably contains some affiliate links. Click here to read my full disclosure policy.
What is affiliate marketing?
Affiliate marketing is when you promote a product, and you’re paid when anyone purchases that product or clicks through to the product page (depending on the affiliate program). Bloggers use affiliate links all the time in their blog posts – see my 10 Things I’ve Stopped Buying To Save Money post as an example. Most of those products listed are through affiliate links which means if you were to click on the link and purchase the product I would get a commision.
Affiliate marketing is a great way to jump-start your blog income. But did you know that you can create passive affiliate income without writing a single blog post?
How does this work on Pinterest?
While Pinterest initially banned direct affiliate links for being too spammy as of May 2016 they have been allowed back. This means that Pinners can now add direct affiliate links to their pins instead of having to go through a blog. Meaning that it’s possible to market content to over 200 million active Pinterest users. For free! And those affiliate links are what make it possible to make money directly on Pinterest.
Chances are you’ve already seen an affiliate pin on Pinterest before and not even realized it. Here is an example of an affiliate pin on my account.
If you were to click on this pin, you would be redirected to the merchant, and the pin owner (me in this case) would receive income from your click. For some of my other pins, I would receive a commision if you purchased the merchant site.
I get paid on a commision basis through programs such as ShopStyle Collective which in turn functions as a middleman. They partner with large companies such as Nordstroms to provide exposure to those companies. Aimed initially at influencers who use Instagram; ShopStyle Collective is also perfect for monetizing Pinterest content as they don’t require a website. This means that you’re able to post affiliate links directly to Pinterest and when someone clicks through on your pin you get paid. As well, by being accepted to ShopStyle Collective, you’re automatically able to access all the companies they represent.
There are a lot of other affiliate companies such as ShareASale. When you join them you’re able to apply to the affiliate programs of all their partner companies. These companies will then approve you on an individual basis. Be warned that it’s a far more time-consuming process than with ShopStyle Collective. If you’re starting, then I suggest starting with ShopStyle Collective first and when you’ve got the hang of it to branch out of other companies.
What about Amazon Affiliates?
One of the best know affiliate programs is Amazon. However, I do not suggest you use it for direct Pinterest affiliate marketing. While you’re able to share a blog post containing Amazon affiliate links to Pinterest: Amazon does not want you sharing their affiliate links directly on Pinterest. As well, they only give you a 24-hour cookie, unlike the 30-45 day cookie many other merchants provide.
A cookie is a tracking device on the web. When a person clicks through your affiliate link to a merchant site they are tracked with a cookie so that any purchases they make on that site can be credited to your account. Amazon only credits sales to your account for 24 hours. Other merchants, however, will track any sales that person makes for 30-45 days. This means that if they return to the merchant site within a month and make a purchase you get the credit (and commission) for that sale.
How to make money on Pinterest
Step 1. Convert your Pinterest account into a business account. It’s a free feature, and it will give you access to Pinterest analytics. Follow this simple tutorial.
Step 2. Sign up for a ShopStyle Collective account. You can do so on the ShopStyle Collective homepage. Use your Pinterest URL when asked for your website.
Step 3. Search for items which fit your current board themes.
Step 4. Pin items onto your current boards making sure to disclose that it is an affiliate link.
What happens if I’m not accepted into ShopStyle Collective?
ShopStyle’s website tells us what they are looking for in an account.
We look at every account on an individual level to ensure it meets our requirements for original content posted consistently with an engaged and growing audience.
Most importantly, we require members to feature original, shoppable content on their primary publishing channels. This includes articles, photos, reviews, and all media you intend to monetize. As it relates to images, ownership implies you own the rights to that content or took the photos yourself.
“Shoppable” content means we expect that content links to retailers to encourage purchases. We prioritize influencers who promote content aligned with the retailers in our network.
We welcome influencers to reapply and suggest spending the next few months focusing on the following before re-submitting an application:
Consistent posting: Be sure to post content several times a week with links to products across all major platforms, including your blog, Pinterest, Instagram, and other social channels
Quality, original content: Create content that appeals to your audience and drives high, ongoing engagement. Make sure to have a clean and appealing editorial design. You must own the rights to all content you produce
Engagement: We look at your following, how frequently they engage with your content, and how fast your audience is growing
Give yourself the best shot of being accepted by ShopStyle Collective and focus your Pinterest account. Check out the list of supported retailers and figure out what kind of affiliate content you want to promote. Once you’ve narrowed down your focus create at least ten new keyworded Pinterest boards.
Plan on consistently posting new content to your new boards – aim for at least three new pins per board a day. If you can’t manage this manually, then consider using a scheduler such as Tailwind. This should boost your account activity and the number of followers.
Will this make me money on Pinterest?
Yes, but it will require work. To be successful here are some key suggestions.
- Be consistent. You’re going to need to be pinning every day. I suggest using a scheduler like Tailwind if you’re not able to find time to do this manually. Practice proper pinning and make sure you’re pinning a mix of your affiliate pins as well as other quality pins to your boards.
- Use strong keywords and images. Make sure your pin descriptions are SEO optimized and that you’re pinning quality vertical images. Use Canva to create custom images for your affiliate pins.
- Patience is key. Pinterest does not produce instant results, and it will take time to see any return on your efforts. Remember that the average half-life of a pin is three months.
Interested in learning more about Pinterest Affiliate Marketing?
Elise from House of Brazen has an amazing ebook which goes into more detail on how to make an affiliate sale on Pinterest. And, it is a steal at $40 (RIGHT NOW IT IS ONLY $25 FOR THE REST OF JANUARY).
HERE’S EXACTLY WHAT YOU’LL LEARN:
>> Learn the basics you need to jumpstart your success with Affiliate Marketing and Pinterest, find an affiliate product to promote and learn where to find the best group boards to increase your affiliate sales.
>> Follow her step-by-step tutorial on how she creates the perfect affiliate pins from start to finish using Canva. Plus, learn what her not so “secret” strategy is to creating high-converting affiliate product pins.
>> She also shows you her approach for making her pins go viral with Tailwind that not only makes her money on autopilot but has even tripled her income. Remember how I mentioned that Tailwind was amazing for Pinterest marketers.