Are you wondering if it is possible to make money on Pinterest? Even without a blog or website? What about using Pinterest to make money with Affiliate Marketing?
Yes! it is all possible!
Some people view Pinterest as a home for recipes and decor inspiration, which is true. But it also is a great place to make money online for many reasons.
Why is Pinterest a great place to make money online?
- Pinterest is a search engine which means you can get really targeted traffic and be in the face of people who are already looking for what you are offering.
- Contrary to other search engines like Google and Youtube, it doesn’t take as long to rank for your desire keywords. It can take up to a year to rank on Google and a couple of months of consistently uploading new videos to rank on Youtube.
- At the moment Pinterest allows using direct links to affiliate offers which is not possible on Facebook, Instagram or Google Ads. This can help you start making some money without a blog or site BUT it is not the safest or most profitable long-term strategy (I will explain why in the article).
- Depending on your strategy, the costs of getting started with Pinterest can be as low as zero. Compared to the thousands of dollars people spend on ads to get targeted traffic, Pinterest is an untapped gold mine so try not telling too many people about it 😉
Ways you can make money on Pinterest
I. Affiliate Marketing
Affiliate Marketing is definitely my favorite way to make money online, including making money on Pinterest.
If you are unfamiliar with the concept of Affiliate Marketing, it basically means you promote other companies’ products and receive a commission for every sale that is is made through your referral.
To better explain how Affiliate Marketing works, let’s see what are the steps to follow to become an Affiliate Marketer:
Step 1: Choose your niche or industry
For the case of Pinterest the industries that work the best are wellness, fitness, food, decor, fashion, beauty and travel.
These are just some examples but if you are interested in a different niche, it is a good idea to check Pinterest for content that is being created and shared on it.
Step 2: Choose and research your Affiliate Programs
Once you have your niche selected, go on Google and search for ‘niche + affiliate programs’ (replace the word niche for your own, eg. travel, fitness, etc.).
You will be surprised by all the options so take your time to go through them all, read the reviews and check important facts as the commission rates and cookie duration.
Other ways to find Affiliate Programs are to check blogs in your niche and look for the products they recommend, most chances are those have affiliate programs.
Or if you are familiar with the niche (which you should be), think of some brands you have used and would like to promote. A quick google search will tell you if they also have a program.
Step 3: Apply to the Affiliate Programs
Most programs will have some sort of form and requisites you’ll need to fulfill so you can join. Make sure to apply to a few since not all will accept you and you want to have some backup options.
Although in this article I am going to touch on some strategies to do affiliate marketing on Pinterest without a website or blog, it is important to mention that a lot of programs will ask for a site when you apply. Others will accept a large social media following instead of a website so if you are #instafamous you can try with that strategy.
Some of the most popular affiliate programs that require no website are Amazon’s, Clickbank’s, Ebay’s and Etsy’s. The fact that they are so widely known also makes them more competitive so it is a good idea to research other not-so-competitive offers.
Step 4: Get your Affiliate Links
Once you got accepted for an affiliate program, you will be able to get your own affiliate link. This will be the URL you will use to promote the offers and which also contains your affiliate id to track your sales and commissions.
Boom! You are ready to start making affiliate money on Pinterest . Now we can finally explore all the great ways you can use this platform to create your income:
1. Direct Linking (No website or blog)
As I have mentioned, if you do not have a website or blog yet, you can still use Pinterest along with Affiliate Marketing to make money.
Back in 2015, Pinterest had banned using affiliate links since “spammers were abusing them” but they claimed their spam detection system is stronger now and are back at allowing affiliate links in your pins.
Here is an example of an affiliate pin that links directly to an eBay product.
When clicking on the link it directs you straight to the eBay product page.
In this case, all you have to do is follow the general pinning strategy outlined in the last section and continually test and optimize your pins and offers based on the results you get.
I do not recommend this strategy for the long term since both Pinterest and the Affiliate Program could change their conditions and any time so make sure to check the following options for a better long-term strategy.
2. With a Bridge Page
Also called a Squeeze or Landing Page, a Bridge Page is a simple site that exists in the ‘middle’ of your pins and your affiliate offer.
The main purpose of a Bridge Page is to collect emails so you can increase your profits. A lot of people won’t buy your offer the first time they see it so by collecting their emails you can follow up with them and get them to but eventually.
At the same time, you will be building your email list. A targeted and well-nurtured email list is a highly valuable asset for your business since you will be able to sell them other offers via email campaigns.
In this example, we observe a pin targeted towards weight loss, that lead to a bridge page (in this case a quiz), and after the quiz results, it directs you to the affiliate offer.
Other types of bridge pages include giving away a free pdf guide to invite people to give you their email or if the affiliate offer has a video you can simply use sign up form as a step for them to access the video.
For more options for your bridge page and learning to create an email list for your affiliate offers, make sure to check out this article
So…how to create your bridge page?
Creating a bridge page nowadays is really easy. There are a few landing page builders that are very intuitive to use and require zero design or programming skills.
My favorite one is Clickfunnels since it is not only a landing page builder but more like a business-in-a-box software that will allow you to scale and automate your income.
It has and drag-and-drop builder interface plus the ability to build complete sales funnels, host webinars, create membership sites and accept payments, among others.
You can download a free bridge page template here
3. With a Blog
Blog + Pinterest + Affiliate Marketing = THE BEST combination.
While creating a blog is not for everyone because it definitely requires a lot of time and patience, if you already have one and haven’t implemented your affiliate marketing strategy yet, get ready for a serious profit increase.
Here are the steps you should follow:
- Find your affiliate programs:
Do your research through Google and other blogs in your niche to find what affiliate offers you want to promote. You want to stick with 3-4 maximum.
After choosing them, apply to their affiliate programs and wait to get approved. Most programs tend to approve bloggers pretty easily.
- Create your content:
In order to promote your offers, you can create different types of content in your blog where you recommend the products.
Depending on your niche, some common options are tutorials, reviews, lists, and problem-solving articles around the offer where you include your affiliate link.
- Pin your content:
After your content is ready, it’s time to pin! Follow the pinning strategy explained at the end of this article, rinse, and repeat.
Check out this example. When looking for ‘Tulum’ on Pinterest we find a pin called ‘The best hotels in Tulum’. The pin directs us to a blog post with a list of hotels where each hotel mentioned is an affiliate link to a booking page.
For a complete guide on Affiliate Marketing for Bloggers make sure to check out this article.
Other blogging articles:
II. Print On Demand
If you have an artistic or creative side, another great way to make money with Pinterest is through Print On Demand.
This business model means you sell your own custom designs on products like mugs, t-shirts, and phone cases but, you do it through a supplier that prints and ships the products directly to your customers.
If you are not feeling too artistic you can always have someone on Fiverr do the design for you. Since the platforms provide the templates all you’d need to do is upload the design and start pinning to send traffic to your work of art!
Some of the most popular designs are those with funny phrases, trendy topics, especial occasions and birthday themes for kids. Think unicorn t-shirt for a unicorn-themed party.
There are many POD companies out there but some of the most known include Printful, Printify, Redbubble, Teespirng, and Merch by Amazon (there is an application and waiting list for this one).
III. Promote Your Digital Products
One of the best ways to make money online is to sell your own digital product. Usually, the only cost is that of the advertisement since you’ll be using Pinterest, you will have 100% profits going straight to your pockets.
If you have an Etsy shop or want to sell anything from a one-page-printable to a five-module course or even an ebook, you can use Pinterest to make money and grow your business.
Similar to how I explain it for Affiliate Marketing, you can directly link to your own products or your blog for making sales. It is said that more people are ready to buy stuff on Pinterest than in any other platform
Note: You can do the same for non-digital products If you have an eBay, Etsy or Shopify store but profit margins are usually lower when it comes to physical products.
IV. Promote your services
While Pinterest is more used to sell eCourses, eBooks, and printables, you can also leverage it to sell services such as graphic design, online coaching and consulting and more.
For example, if people are looking for inspiration for a logo they could also be interested in hiring a professional designer to do it for them. Or if someone is looking for tips on weight loss they could be open to hiring an online personal trainer.
To offer your services you can create a pin that when clicked redirects to your “Hire Me” page on your site or a simple Squeeze Page to leave the contact information.
V. Increase your site’s traffic
If you already have a blog or website, you probably know that Display Advertising is one of the most popular ways for bloggers to generate income.
However, since Display Advertisement is based on views, the more traffic your site gets, the more money you will make.
Using the pinning strategy outlined at the end of this article you will be able to increase your blog’s traffic and consequently, your income.
When choosing your ad network, keep in mind that some have a minimum of page views per month you need to reach before getting accepted.
If you are a novice blogger, Google Adsense or Ezoic would be perfect companies to sign up with since they don’t have a minimum of page views.
As you gain more visitors and page views increase, you could then move on to Adthrive or Mediavine which offer a higher RPM (revenue per thousand impressions).
With Mediavine the minimum page views you need to qualify is 25,000 a month and for Adthrive is 100,000.
Nowadays most ad networks will test the best locations automatically, so you don’t need to worry about where to place ads on your site/blog.
Pinning Strategy to Make Money on Pinterest
Now that we have talked about all the different ways you can use Pinterest to make money, I am going to share the pinning strategy that I have used and have been working for me for the past 10 months.
The Basics (Read if you’re new to Pinterest)
- Create your Business Account and install rich pins. (The easiest way to do that is to go through the Yoast plugin as shown in this tutorial)
- Create 10 boards with topics related to your niche using relevant keywords for the titles and descriptions
- Put 10 Pins on each board to begin with (You can add more later on)
- Create a “Best of [Your Blog Name]” board as your first board and fill it with your most popular posts.
- Put any group boards on the bottom (this will happen automatically as you join group boards from now on).
- Edit the covers of your boards (not the group boards). You want engaging clean images for covers- no text.
- Start getting followers by following people in your niche. You want to get 1,000 to begin with. By following up to100 people per day, you’ll get a 5-15% follow back rate
Create The Perfect Pinterest Image
- Make sure your posts (and pins) solve a problem. (i.e. Not “long-distance relationship problems”, switch that to “5 Ways to Thrive in a Long Distance Relationship”)
- Use an intriguing title that appeals to women. (It can be different from your headline as long as you deliver on your title’s promise).
- Make sure that you don’t overdo your branding. Pins can look similar but should be a little different.
- Scroll through a page of pins with yours in the middle, to test if it sticks out.
- A/B test your images for your top 10 plus any post that you think should have done better than it did. (don’t go nuts on this though).
Getting started on Tailwind
- I will start by saying that you will need to invest in Tailwind if you want to automate your pinning and save you so much time.
- Once you sign-up with Tailwind, you will first need to create your board lists. This will allow you to select a certain board list and just save to all of those boards with one single click instead of me having to pin every board individually with my posts.
- Once you’ve completed the above point, you should then move on to sorting out your Pinterest schedule. After some trial and error, I’ve decided that what works best for me is set on 35 pins per day, but it might be worth it to test different amounts yourself.
- If you’d like to set up a schedule, then it is easy enough and Tailwind is actually clever enough to read your data on Pinterest and even optimizes your pins for the best times.
- This means that there will be some days when your pinning seems to exceed the amount you’d originally set and other days, it won’t reach even half of what you thought.
Getting started with tribes
- You’ve managed to sort out your own schedule and board list, and now there is only one more thing missing from Tailwind starting journey, and that’s tribes.
- Tribes are definitely important and needed if you’re serious about building your Pinterest. Although, don’t be naïve and think that your pins are going to go viral with Tribes.
- Every pin you decide to share, you should re-pin one back. It seems really simple, but if you imagine yourself with a tribe of 100 members, all of those members could pin the same image. This then means that you’d pin someone else’s and get no re-pins of your own image.
- The best tip I can give any new tribes is to be active. Stay as active as you possibly can. You’ll find that bloggers will support bloggers more if they are active and take part in things involved in the tribe.
- Once a month go through and delete underperforming pins. Any pins that get less than the group board average.
- While you’re there deleting pins from your source boards, keep an eye out for any pin that’s doing well enough to be moved into your top ones.
- If you consistently pin your best pins and they get higher repins than your less popular pins…. You’ll get more repins and more clicks from them.
- While this system has led to a lot of success for me, you have to constantly be testing out new ideas and making small changes in order to always be improving.
There are numerous ways of making money with Pinterest and most of them required little to zero investment. That makes Pinterest a perfect opportunity to start and whichever online business you choose to create.
It can take some time to create some momentum and optimize your pinning strategy but once you start seeing your traffic and profits grow, it will be so worth it!