Many people believe that Pinterest is simply just another form of social media like Facebook or Instagram. That belief is semi-accurate in the sense that content is shared, however, Pinterest is actually more of a visual search engine than it is a social media platform. Since Pinterest now allows pinners to add direct links to their pins (instead of having to go through their blog), it provides a lot of opportunities for people to make money, now more than ever. If you’ve ever wondered how to make money on Pinterest (hint: it’s through affiliate marketing), this post is for you.
* Disclosure: This blog post contains affiliate links. This means that if you purchase an item or items through one of those links, you won’t pay a penny more, but we’ll earn a commission for the influence of the sale. For more information, please read our disclaimer.
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What Is Affiliate Marketing?
Affiliate marketing is when you get paid a commission to market and sell another company’s products or services.
Think of door to door salespersons. They go around their neighbourhoods to promote and sell goods that aren’t 100% their own. They don’t own the business or the products they’re selling, but they are receiving a commission for every sale they make.
The same concept applies to making money online through affiliate marketing — except unlike the salesmen who depend on their own energy to walk door to door, affiliate marketers make money while we sleep. Sales are made around the clock because someone is always online.
For example, a blogger promotes a product worth $100 from their favourite company. For every sale the blogger makes through their link, they receive a 20% commission. That $20 multiplied by, lets say, 200 sales a month, equates to $4000 in passive income.
Affiliate marketing isn’t limited to how much time and energy you have, it isn’t limited to where you live, and you can work for multiple companies. It is one of the best ways to make money online.
How Do I Create Affiliate Links For Pinterest?
Although it’s not absolutely necessary to have a blog to create affiliate links on Pinterest, it is a good idea to get on board, as many companies require you to have a platform in order to be accepted into their affiliate programs.
So, if you’re not already the proud owner of a website, you can learn how to start a blog here. It’s easy to set up and only costs a few bucks a month. Definitely a small investment to make for the earning potential blogging has as a whole.
The first thing you’ll want to do is figure out what types of affiliate links you can pin to Pinterest.
For example, if you’re a mommy blogger, you can pin links to products that you and your kids have personally used and loved. This could be toys, educational tools, baby gear, and so on and so forth.
You can even take a look at what others in your niche are promoting in order to get some ideas. What are they linking to in their blog posts? What image links are in their sidebar? If you believe in a product, don’t be afraid to promote it.
Next, sign up to be an affiliate. You can either sign up for an affiliate network (such as ShareASale) or through the company you’d like to sell for. If you’re directly signing up through the company, look for a link in the footer of the company’s website that says something like “Affiliates”, “Affiliate Program”, or “Referral Program”.
Affiliates typically receive a payout after you make a certain amount of money through the affiliate program (usually $100). There are many different ways that affiliates can get paid, however the most popular and most preferred form is through PayPal.
Now it’s time to create the pins.
There are a few different methods you can use to create Pinterest images for affiliate links. You can either a) take a photo of the products yourself, b) create a mockup of the products, or c) use the company’s photos of the product.
If you’ll be using a product image courtesy of the brand, the first thing you’ll want to do is download the Pinterest Browser Button. This will input a small icon in your browser that will help you save images to your Pinterest account from around the web.
Next, go to the page of the product or service you’re selling, and click the Pinterest Browser Button. Select the image you’d like to use for your link.
From there, a Pinterest pop-up will appear. This is where you’ll input your Pinterest description. You can simply input the name of the product or go into detail about what you love about it. Make sure you include an affiliate disclosure in the description as well. Once you’ve entered everything in, save it to a board.
Now go to that pin on your account and click the edit icon. In the “website” section, remove the original link to the product and paste the unique affiliate link you received instead. An important thing to note here is that the link text must always reflect the destination link. This means that using short links or link cloakers are a no-go, as these disguise the link as something else (such as a blog post), rather than showcasing that it is in fact an affiliate link.
Once you’ve entered in your link, hit save and voila! Your pin is all set up to begin earning money.
How Do I Get Them In Front Of The Right Audience?
Now that you’ve figured out what you’ll be pinning, signed up for affiliate programs, and learned how to create the pins, it’s time to get them in front of the right set of eyes.
The first thing you’ll want to do is create dedicated boards for pinners to shop.
This is a great way to compile a targeted shopping list for your audience.
On my Pinterest profile, I currently have two boards that allow my audience to shop: One for beauty and one for style. These boards align with my niche and attract the audience I have and the audience I want more of.
You can pin affiliate images throughout these dedicated boards, but you can also intermix affiliate images with your regular pins in any other boards you have, as long as they naturally flow with the rest of the content.
The next thing you’ll want to do is join some group boards.
If you’re not already familiar with what a group board is, it’s simply a board where multiple contributors pin content to. Since group boards have multiple contributors, Pinterest users love to follow along and discover new and different types of content.
This is a wonderful strategy for bloggers because it promotes your pins outside of your own follower circle.
For example, let’s say you have a following of 500 people and you’ve joined a group board that has 5000 followers. By posting to this group board, you have now increased your exposure by 10 times. You then get accepted into 5 other 5000 follower count group boards — This unlocks your pins to 25,000 Pinterest users.
As you can see, this gives you a lot of opportunity to promote your affiliate pins outside of your own Pinterest profile.
There are a few different ways you can find group boards:
1) Visit other bloggers Pinterest profiles who blog about the same topic(s) as you do.
2) Use the Pinterest search engine by keying in your topic and hitting search through the “Boards” option.
3) Look through PinGroupie.com.
Group boards that will be worth your time should have a decent amount of followers, have a great amount of engagement, and have clear instructions on how to join.
Pinning into group boards is the best way to get fresh eyes to see your pins, but to really amplify your exposure, a Pinterest scheduler is a must.
Pinterest schedulers are a vital tool that help you circulate your pins through group boards at all hours of the day. This saves you tons of time and allows you to increase your productivity levels by doing more important things, like content creation.
I personally use and love Tailwind because they offer unlimited pinning, a schedule that tells you the best times to pin, easy scheduling through their browser button, and they’re also very reasonably priced ($10/month on their annual plan).
If you’re not ready to commit just yet and you want to test out the waters first, feel free to click through this referral link for a free trial so you can follow along with this mini tutorial.
Once you’re all signed up, the first thing you’ll want to do is download the Tailwind extension browser button.
To do this, scroll over to the the left-hand side menu of Tailwind, click “Publish” then “Drafts”. The extension download button will be in on the top right of the page.
After you’ve installed the Tailwind browser button, it’s time to start circulating your pins through your group boards.
There are 2 ways you can do this.
The first is through Pinterest and the second is through the company’s website.
To schedule your pins through Pinterest, simply go to the affiliate pin you have already pinned to your Pinterest profile, click the Tailwind browser button, select your pin, and schedule away.
The second way to schedule your affiliate pins to your group boards is directly through the company’s website.
Simply go the website you’re an affiliate for, find the product you’re interested in promoting, and once again, click the Tailwind extension browser button.
Click the image you’d like to use.
From there, a pop-up will appear. This is where you’ll enter in all of your information. So, choose the group boards you’d like the pin to go to, enter in your product description with your affiliate disclosure, remove the pin source URL and replace it with your unique affiliate link for the product instead, and set the date and time you’d like your pin to go out at.
And voila! Your affiliate pins are all set to be scheduled! You’ll now be able to have a 24 hour presence, so while you’re sleeping, someone on the other end of the world will be seeing your pins!