Do you want to learn how to use Pinterest to make money with Affiliate Marketing?
Then you are in the right place!
I must admit I didn’t ‘discovered’ the benefits of Pinterest for Affiliate Marketing until about a year ago, but trust me, I wish I would have learned them sooner.
I am not new to Affiliate Marketing but before I was using paid ads to bring traffic to my affiliate offers. I can’t complain, I was still able to make some good money but a cut of my profits was obviously being used to pay for the ads.
At the same time, I was using Pinterest to save ideas for my business and even random inspiration for books and home decor.
I don’t know why I didn’t think of using Pinterest before but I can tell you, it has made a huge difference in my business and I can’t wait to share how you can recreate the same for yourself, whether you have experience with Affiliate marketing or are just starting.
Why use Pinterest for Affiliate Marketing?
1. No website needed
I am not judging, I have googled it myself before knowing the benefits of having one.
But I understand that for a newbie in the affiliate marketing or online selling world, the idea of creating a website while trying to learn all the other pieces can be overwhelming.
While this might not be the optimal long term strategy, Pinterest gives you the option to promote your affiliate offers without a website or blog if you are just starting out
This means you can literally create a pin and link it directly to your affiliate link, but you still need to be careful with your images, descriptions, and pinning frequency.
Some time ago, affiliate links were banned on Pinterest because people would use it to spam their links day and night.
However, now Pinterest’s algorithm can detect these types of practices and will ban your account if you don’t comply with their rule.
2. Social Search Engine
Is Pinterest a Social Media? Yes! Is it a Search Engine? Yes!
What is it? A Social Search Engine!
Ok, I might have invented that right now but the truth is Pinterest is both of them which means it combines all the benefits.
On one side, Pinterest works as a search engine, which means your pins can appear on the top results if you do a good job with your keyword research and optimization, even if you don’t have many followers at first. It also allows you to get consistent traffic over time.
On the other hand, it has the social element of share-ability. This means users can share your pins amplifying their reach, showing your content to other audiences and they can even go viral bringing you huge amounts of traffic in a short period of time.
This makes Pinterest superior to other social platforms like Facebook or Instagram where your posts life-spam is 6 hours and where there isn’t much you can do to increase your reach organically.
Another factor that makes Pinterest great for Affiliate Marketing is its audience.
- The median age of a Pinterest user is 40, however, the majority of active pinners are below 40.
- Half of Pinterest users earn $50K or greater per year, with 10 percent of Pinteresting households making greater than $125K. (source)
Put simply, they have a high buying power that prequalifies them as an ideal customer.
While you can probably get more views and visits from platforms like TikTok, it is better to have the right type of audience than to have a huge audience who can’t buy what you are selling.
4. Buying intent
Similarly to other search engines like Google and Youtube, Pinterest user experience is much more active than that of Facebook or Instagram.
Most Pinterest users see the platform as a place to actively seeking for new inspiration and products.
- 83% of weekly Pinners have made a purchase based on content they saw from brands on Pinterest.
- Six out of every ten millennials use Pinterest to discover new products.
- 64% of Pinterest users described the platform as a place to find ideas, products or services they can trust. (source)
In short, Pinterest users are ready to but, which makes making a sale way easier than to someone who is scrolling on their Facebook feed and to whom your ads are a distraction.
In that sense, we could compare it to Google but with less competition and more chances to get your pins ranked.
5. Can be automated
Last but not least, another reason to use Pinterest for your affiliate marketing business is that it can be 100% automated if you use a pin scheduler like Tailwind.
The dream of every entrepreneur is to create some passive income and this strategy makes it possible.
By using a pin scheduler like Tailwind, you can set up all your pins for the month in a few hours and not worrying about it for the next 30 days (or for as long you do the scheduling).
Of course, this means you need to have all your pins ready so you can upload them and forget about but it will save you a lot of time and allow you to focus on other parts of your business.
Additionally, Tailwind has a great analytics feature that lets you see what is working and what is not so you can improve your pinning game and with it, your profits.
How to use Pinterest for Affiliate Marketing?
Now that we have covered all the benefits of using Pinterest for Affiliate Marketing, let’s take a look at how to start implementing this strategy to exploit your business.
1. Choose your affiliate offers
First of all, you want to decide what affiliate products or services you want to promote on Pinterest.
Choose your niche
Before you start looking for affiliate programs, you want to decide what industry or category you want to focus on.
It is important to focus on one niche —at least at first— so t is easier to grow your account, followers, and reach.
While Pinterest has a huge audience of 322 million active users, it has a different demographic than other platforms which means it works better for some niches.
Here are some of those categories that work great for Affiliate Marketing on Pinterest without a blog or website:
- Home & Decor:
- Health & Fitness
These are some of the niches that work well through direct linking specifically. But of course, there are many other ones that are big on Pinterest like blogging, education, and finance.
However, (in my humble opinion), those work better for blogs and websites since people need more information and purchases are not so impulsive.
Get you affiliate links
Once you have decided on your niche, the next step is to join some affiliate programs so you can get your affiliate links for the products you’ll promote.
- Google: do a quick search for “niche + affiliate programs” e.g. “fashion affiliate programs”.
- If you are familiar with the niche and you know some brands you’d like to promote go their website and see if they have a link at the bottom for “Affiliates” or “Partners”. You can also google it like “Fashion Nova affiliate program”
- Join an affiliate network: affiliate networks are great because they give you access to many affiliate programs at once. Some of the most popular networks for these niches are Shareasale, RewardStyle, FlexOffers, Amazon, Clickbank, and CJAffiliate among others.
- Check out what other affiliates in your niche are promoting. Bloggers, influencers, and YouTubers are another great way to find affiliate programs for your niche. Simply check what offers they are promoting and see if you can apply as well.
Some programs will require you to have a website —which is another good reason to create one— BUT if you are still set on not going that route, it is best to apply for many programs in case some don’t accept you.
2. Choose your promotional method
Once you get approved for some programs and you can get your affiliate links, you are ready to start promoting and making money.
(Note: you can find your affiliate link on the dashboard of your affiliate network or program.)
Now, when it comes to your linking strategy there are a couple of options to choose from:
Direct linking is exactly what it sounds like, you link the pin directly to your affiliate URL. This means that when someone clicks on your pin they’ll be sent directly to the page of the affiliate product.
As you can imagine this is a quite fast process, you simply find create the images and pins you want to use, upload them to Pinterest, and place your affiliate link as the destination URL.
While this is a great way to start sending some traffic to your affiliate products and start earning some commission, it also has some disadvantages.
While Pinterest allows for this practice, not all affiliate programs do so your options would be limited. Additionally, some programs like Amazon don’t have a clear policy about it so you could assume it is ok and end up with your account banned if they decide it was never allowed.
Finally, direct linking means your business is not completely safe. Pinterest, like any other platform, can change its algorithm and rules which could mean your pin stop getting traffic or even your account gets closed.
I am not saying this is probable but it can certainly happen so you want to do your best to future-proof your income for the long term. Which is where the next option comes in.
The second option is to use a landing page. I know lots of new affiliates don’t like the idea of having to create a website or blog but a landing page is much more simple, fast, and has many added benefits.
With a landing page you can collect people’s emails before directing them to your offer. This allows you to not only contact them again in case they didn’t buy, but to build a list of targeted customers who are interested in your niche and who you can send any other affiliate offers you choose to promote.
Affiliates like to say “the money is on the list” and while cliché, it is truth. On average you can make between $1-$2/ month per subscriber (and more depending on the niche)
Even more importantly Your email list is your own asset and no one can’t take it away from you so it’s the best way to build a long-term business.
Now to the actual strategy…
When using a method, your pin will direct people to a landing page instead of the affiliate product itself. The whole goal of this page is to collect their emails BEFORE sending them to the affiliate offer.
Depending on the offers you are promoting, you can use a “freebie” or “lead magnet” as shown in the example below.
Then, once they give you their email you send them the free pdf AND use that opportunity to promote your affiliate product.
Of course, now that you have their email you can continue to promote that and other products forever; as long as you also send them useful information so they are happy and willing to hear from you and don’t mark you as spam
You can do this for any niche and you can even place the affiliate links in your free guide itself depending on the offer.
If you are for example in the travel niche, you can make a free guide for ‘Top 10 luxury hotels in Maldives” and place your affiliate links for booking.com for every hotel in the list. The options are limitless.
I hope you can see how simple this method is yet how much potential it has.
I now have been using Clickfunnels to create mine and I have literally zero coding or design experience.
Click here to get a free trial of Clickfunnels and you will automatically get my free affiliate landing page in your account.
Do both! Each method has its own benefits so you might as well try both.
Some offers might convert better when direct linking and some when using a landing page.
The best part? You’ll be making money in no time while building a long-term sustainable business.
Using Pinterest for Affiliate Marketing as a blogger
If you have a blog, you have already won half the game. You can include your affiliate links in reviews, tutorials how-to guides, best-of-list, etc.
Make sure to check out this article later on how to explode your blog profits with Affiliate Marketing.
but for now, pay attention to the following section where I’ll go over setting up your Pinterest account and your pinning strategy for massive (and passive) traffic.
How To Pin For Success
“Do you mean I can’t just share my pins and let Pinterest do the rest?”
I mean technically you could do that but it won’t give you the results you are looking for. If you want to master the Pinterest game and get all that juicy-ready-to-buy traffic to your offers, you need to follow some strategies.
1. Your Pinterest Profile
As I mentioned before, Pinterest is in part a search engine, so you want to optimize all the pieces of your profile so you can appear in the top results when someone searches what you are offering.
To do this, you want to include as many relevant keywords as possible in your profile name and description so Pinterest can begin learning what your profile is about.
Finding important keywords for your niche on Pinterest is actually super easy. You just need to start typing your main topics in the search bar and check what are the suggestions that appear. Those are the main related searches that people are doing so you definitely want to include them.
Let’s say you are in the crafting niche, you would just type “crafts” or “crafty and see what are the related searches.
Then you would try to include the ones you consider more relevant for your content and offers in your bio (while keeping it readable).
2. Your Pinterest boards
The second step to optimizing your profile is creating your boards. A Pinterest board is a collection where you will save pins on the same topic. Let’s say you are in the home decor niche, you will create one board for bedroom decor, other for kitchen decor, maybe one for general inspiration, one for color combinations, etc.
Boards are another way of giving Pinterest information about your pins. Every time you pin something to a board, Pinterest learns what it is about not only based on the pin description but also on the boards description and all the other pins that are on the same board.
When you first began, you want to create between 15 and 20 boards. I know it might sound like a lot (at least it did for me), but Pinterest is a numbers game, the more boards, and pins, the more chances of getting views and clicks.
In a similar way, you can use the Pinterest search bar to learn about the most search terms in your niche and turn those into boards. Then you would write the name of each board in the search bar and use the suggested keyword to write your board description.
3. Your Pinterest Pins
Last but not least… your pins! When it comes to your pins design and optimization, there are also some best practices you want to consider to make sure you get the most traffic to your affiliate offers
- Include relevant keywords in your pin description as well as one or two hashtags. Pinterest is different to Instagram in that sense so you using 30 hashtags won’t give you better results
- The best image ratio for Pinterest is 2:1 so you can make them either 600x900px or 1000x1500px.
- For most affiliate offers, you are allowed to use their own pictures but always double-check with the program to make sure you are allowed to do that. Otherwise, you want to use royalty-free photos to avoid getting into trouble.
- If you are using text in your images, keep it short and big so it catches the attention, and it’s easy to ready. You can use a free tool like Canva to design your pins and make sure they stand out from the rest.
- Try to use similar colors, fonts, and patterns for all your pins so you can start building a visual brand and recognition.
- Warm colors like red, pink and purple have been proven to work better on Pinterest versus cold colors like green and blue so consider that when creating your pins.
- When possible, highlight the problem of your potential buyer in the pin. Every product solves a problem and you’ll get much better results when you speak directly to the frustration of your audience than by showing the solution. E.g. if you were selling a training program, showing a girl unhappy with her weight will work better than showing a girl who is already fit.
4. You Pinning Schedule
When it comes to how often you pin and repin, Pinterest has its own rules on what is considered best practices.
So time ago, people could pin the exact same pin to the same board every day without any issue. But now Pinterest is favoring fresh content and can get your account suspended for those sorts of practices.
So, here are some tips on how to master your pinning schedule to increase your views while keeping your account safe:
- Pinterest considers ‘the same pin’ to the combination of both the same url with the same image. So when it comes to the same pin you should only pin it to the same board once every 6 months (some people even recommend every 12 months).
- You can pin the exact same pin to other boards with a 5-7 day interval. This includes group boards and Tailwind tribes (more in this later).
- So, how can you pin something more than once or twice a year? you create another pin for it! Pinterest considers new images as ‘fresh pins’ even if they link to the same URL. So by creating new images you can share the same affiliate link every 3-5 days.
Please note that these are just estimates I have gathered after using Pinterest for about 12 months and for what other bloggers and marketers are sharing. However, Pinterest has never given an exact recommendation on what it’s allowed and what not since that will lead to people pushing the limits to its maximum.
However, some authorized Pinterest partners like Tailwind, have now a “spam” warning when you are pinning the same content too often and continuously update their recommendations to adjust to Pinterest updates.
So, you could also assume that by using Tailwind scheduler your pinning frequency will be within the accepted practices. You can get a free trial of Tailwind here.
5. Expanding your reach with groups and tribes
When you first get started on Pinterest, you won’t have any followers so you rely only on your keyword optimization to get your pins shown.
However, there are other tools you can use to get other audiences exposed to your content.
Group Boards as the name suggest, are shared Pinterest boards that multiple Pinterest users can Pin to. The Board is owned by one Pinterest user and they decide who else they give permission to add Pins.
They can be a great tool to get your content in front of thousands of followers when you are just starting.
But you want to take your time and evaluate what group boards are worth joining. Some are filled with awesome content and have a great engagement while others have mostly spam and the reach is very low.
You can use PinGroupie to search for group boards in your niche and see how many pins, followers and collaborators it has.
And then you can go to the board itself and check in the description for the information on how to join. Sometimes you will find an email in the description where you can send a request to join the group.
If there is no email you can send a dm or comment to the owner of the group profile and comment in their latest pin asking to join their group board.
The first person in the group board will always the group owner so they are who you want to contact.
Each group has its own rule and some won’t accept new accounts or accounts that don’t have many followers but it is still worth it to try.
This leads me to the next option…
This is another great alternative to get your content in front of a lot of people even if you are just starting out.
A Tailwind Tribe is a group of bloggers or people you connect with to share each other’s pins on a common topic. If you have a Tailwind account they are easier to use than group boards since you can join automatically for most of them.
Not only it is a great way to increase your reach but it gives you more information on how your pins are performing since Tailwind will show you how many shares and repins they are getting inside the tribe.
Pinterest for Affiliate Marketing FAQ
1. Does Pinterest allow affiliate links
By the time of writing this article (August, 2020) using affiliate links directly on Pinterest pins is allowed. However, you must still be careful with your pinning frequency and keep your content fresh so Pinterest doesn’t consider you as spam.
Additionally, make sure to check with your affiliate programs since not all of them allow for this practice.
2. How do I become an affiliate on Pinterest?
In short, you can simply upload your pins and include your affiliate links as the destination URL. For a more detailed strategy, you can review all the content of this article.
3. How do affiliates make money on Pinterest?
Affiliates make a commission whenever someone buys the product they are promoting through their referral links.
It isn’t any different on Pinterest, whenever they upload a pin, it links to the affiliate offer so when someone clicks on the pin and decides to buy the product they have linked to, they receive a percentage of the sale.
4. Can I post Amazon affiliate links on Pinterest?
There is no Pinterest policy that goes against posting Amazon affiliate links and this is what Amazon has to say about it:
“Using your own AssociateID or TrackingID, you can post as much affiliate content as you like – just as you would on your website or other channels…
The content you create can include your Affiliate Link – but not everything needs to have one. Instead, in order to tell your brand story in a natural and authentic way, we recommend you also save non-affiliate content, by saving Pins that already exist on Pinterest or interesting content directly from the web.” (Source)
5. Do I need a website for Pinterest Affiliate Marketing?
Using the strategies explained in this article, you don’t need a website or blog to start making money with Pinterest Affiliate Marketing.
You can link directly from your pins to your affiliate links or you can use an opt-in page to collect emails, build your subscribers list and send them your affiliate offers.
Pinterest for Affiliate Marketing | Takeaway
Using Pinterest for Affiliate Marketing is a no-brainer. The platform has all the benefits every affiliate, especially newbies are looking for.
It is fast, easy, and free to implement PLUS you don’t need a website or blog which is something that can scare most beginners.
All you need to do is optimize your profile and pins so people can find your pins easily and maintain a regular posting schedule to keep getting more views, clicks, and sales.
Do you have any doubts about it? Feel free to let me know in the comments and I’ll get back to you!