Disclosure: Some links in this post are affiliate links. I may get a commission but it's at no cost to you. Read my full disclosure here.
Editor: This post was originally published on June 8th, 2018, here at E-riches Club. I have updated this post for accuracy and new figures and facts so that you get up-to-date information.
Got a Pinterest addiction? Me too! So, why not make money on Pinterest?
“Oh, brother… another article about using Pinterest for blog success…” – You say. Yeah, I know what you mean, it gets annoying sometimes.
But that’s not it at all! This is not about using Pinterest to generate blog traffic and income. Because you don’t have to be a blogger to make money on Pinterest!
There are many different ways to make money with Pinterest. Blogging is one, e-commerce is another, and today I’ll share with you yet another way that won’t have you opening a WordPress blog or writing a post!
So, for all of you #withoutablog friends, this is a post for you!
- Pinterest is for Everyone, Blogger or Not!
- Affiliate Pinning!
- What is Affiliate Marketing?
- Resources to Learn Affiliate Marketing:
- STEP 1: Create a Pinterest Business Account
- STEP 2: Sign-up for an Affiliate Network
- STEP 3: Apply to Specific Affiliate Programs
- STEP 4: Get Affiliate Links & Creative Content
- STEP 5: Create Your Own Pinterest Images
- STEP 6: Upload to Pinterest & Add Affiliate Link
- How to Automate Your Affiliate Pinning
- Take it to the Next Level: Learn Pinterest Marketing
- Is Pinterest Affiliate Marketing for You?
Pinterest is for Everyone, Blogger or Not!
With more than 367 million users every month, Pinterest is the new powerhouse in website traffic. (That number was 200million when I first published this post in 2018.)
The fantastic thing about Pinterest is that, although we all use it for one main purpose – bookmarking and planning – the niche applications and revenue potential for online entrepreneurs are endless!
We all know that bloggers all over the world are now using Pinterest to drive traffic to their blogs and generate income. So are major eCommerce websites like Etsy and other big brands like Nike.
I’m sure you’ve heard about Pinterest and most likely have an account. But are you using it to its full potential? Because you could be making money!
Here’s a little summary of the different interests and niches Pinterest can tap, published by Pinterest back in 2018:
Since then, Pinterest has honed its features and improved its service significantly. I’d go out on a whim and tell you Pinterest is probably the fastest growing platform for both users and marketers. It’s always improving!
Why use Pinterest as your marketing platform? If the 367million users do not convince you, then here are a few more numbers directly from Pinterest :
- 85% of pinners go to Pinterest to start a new project;
- 98% of pinners try new things they find on Pinterest;
- 89% of people on Pinterest use it to look for stuff to purchase;
So, how exactly can you monetize your Pinterest addiction?
Affiliate marketing is a significant source of income for most bloggers, but also works for non-bloggers!
When I first started reading about affiliate marketing, it seemed to me that the only way to make money with affiliate marketing was to have a blog, or at the very least to have some sort of website where you place your links.
But I was wrong!
Here are 3 little truths about affiliate marketing:
- You don’t need to have a blog to make money with affiliate marketing;
- You don’t need to have a website of your own;
- You don’t need to create landing pages, either!
The trick is to combine affiliate marketing and Pinterest – Affiliate Pinning! Now you have a way to monetize your Pinterest addiction! Ain’t that nice?!
I’ll explain how you can do that in just a moment. But first things first…
What is Affiliate Marketing?
In basic terms, affiliate marketing is when you promote someone else’s product and earn a commission when someone either buys the product or engages with it in some way.
Of course, to receive a commission for promoting someone else’s product or service, you will first need to become an affiliate with a program/company of your choice.
There’s a lot more to affiliate marketing than this simple definition, but for our purposes, affiliate marketing breaks down into a few simple steps:
- Pick a product or program that you like, use and would naturally share with others.
- Apply to become an affiliate for that program.
- Once accepted, you get your unique affiliate link to promote.
- If someone purchases the product, you make a commission on that sale.
Affiliate marketing is a whole industry in itself, and there are undoubtedly many tips and tricks you should learn.
It would be wise for you to go learn a little more about it, like the terminology and all the pro content and marketing strategies you can use to make affiliate marketing work for you at its fullest.
I recommend you read a little more about affiliate marketing and how it works. There is a lot of free information on the basics of affiliate marketing, but when it comes to highly effective strategies and pro tips, of course, you’ll need to take a course.
Below is a list of resources you should check out to really hone down the craft of affiliate marketing and be successful as an affiliate marketer.
Resources to Learn Affiliate Marketing:
- Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing Course – created by the queen of affiliate marketing, Michelle Gardener-Schroeder. I took this course myself and have since improved my strategies, and as a result, my affiliate income. This course is mostly geared to bloggers, but it’s excellent at clarifying terminology and giving you a solid foundation in affiliate marketing.
- The Affiliate Marketing Book – created by Chelsea Clarke from HerPaperRoute, this eBook teaches you the ropes of affiliate marketing. It’s a great investment to learn how to succeed as an affiliate marketer.
- The Affiliate Program Database – also from HerPaperRoute, this database features over 3,000 (no, not a typo) affiliate programs spanning 18 niches.
Related Post: Make Money Online with Affiliate Marketing
How to do Pinterest Affiliate Marketing without a Blog
So, how can you apply affiliate marketing to Pinterest? Here’s the low-down on how to do Pinterest affiliate marketing without a blog:
STEP 1: Create a Pinterest Business Account
The first step of affiliate pinning without a blog is to open a Pinterest business account. You can either open a new business account with Pinterest or switch your personal account to a business account.
Personally, I prefer switching the account because it makes the whole process easier, and you benefit from keeping your followers and already built rapport with Pinterest.
STEP 2: Sign-up for an Affiliate Network
Once you have a business account with Pinterest, it is time to go find products and companies you would like to promote.
Choosing products and brands to promote will depend greatly on your niche. The good thing is that there are tons of affiliate opportunities in almost every niche you can think of.
Here’s a list of the affiliate networks I use:
- Share a Sale – super popular network featuring the most popular programs.
- Awin – best for lifestyle, but there’s a $5 sign-up fee.
- PepperJam – A fashion and lifestyle affiliate network! This one is great for lifestyle, fashion, and home décor pinners.
- ShopStyle Collective – All about fashion and home décor.
STEP 3: Apply to Specific Affiliate Programs
Once you have signed up with an affiliate network, you can start looking for your favourite brands and products.
The great thing about affiliate networks is they don’t ask you to purchase anything, and usually, you only need to make a pitch to a specific program they feature to get accepted. This is how many affiliate marketers can promote dozens of products without breaking the bank.
Word of caution: don’t sign up for and promote everything and anything! You need to know who your audience is on Pinterest.
Once again, which products to choose will depend on your niche. Here are some ideas for brands and products that offer affiliate programs for various Pinterest niches (and their respective networks):
- Lulus (PepperJam [PPJ])
- ChicMe (Share A Sale [SAS])
- Nordstrom Rack (PPJ)
- CupShe (SAS)
- Puma (PPJ)
- Fit & Fresh (PPJ)
- Speedo (PPJ)
- SportsCheck (PPJ)
Makeup & Beauty Pinners:
- NYX Professional (Awin)
- Eyeko (Awin)
- Tarte Cosmetics (Awin)
- NARS (Awin)
Home Decor Pinners:
- Wayfair (SAS, Awin, PPJ)
- Pillow Décor (SAS)
- Blitsy (SAS)
That’s a super short list of niches and programs, but you can get an idea of the possibilities.
For a more in-depth database of highly profitable affiliate programs, check out this affiliate program database.
STEP 4: Get Affiliate Links & Creative Content
Once you’ve signed up for a specific program within your affiliate network, it will probably take a couple of days until you get a response back from the brands. When you get accepted, you get your affiliate links.
Some companies already have Pinterest-worthy images, which you can use right away. Others, on the other hand, only have banners and not so great product images. This is where tools like Canva and PicMonkey come in handy.
That brings me to the next step…
STEP 5: Create Your Own Pinterest Images
This step is not always required, but I highly recommend you create your own pin images if you’re going to truly dive into Pinterest affiliate marketing.
If the brand doesn’t give you good images for their products, you can go to their website and download their product images and then create your own high-quality image for Pinterest.
- Canva – this one of the most popular design tools for bloggers, social media managers and digital marketers. Canva is super easy to use and offers a lot of great features. You can use Canva for free or upgrade for their Pro plan, which gives additional features.
- PicMonkey – another trendy design tool. It also uses a drag-and-drop interface, and you can create beautiful pins for your affiliate pinning. You can try PicMonkey free here.
- PhotoShop – as everyone knows, this is the power tool for all design projects. Of course, with a power tool comes premium prices and a steep learning curve.
- Adobe Spark – I like Adobe Spark and used it quite a lot in the beginning. They have improved a lot since then too. You can use Adobe Spark free or upgrade to their pro version.
For product-based pins, I prefer using PicMonkey. It’s very straightforward to use and has layouts that showcase products better.
Here’s an example of the kinds of pins you can make for your affiliate pinning content:
STEP 6: Upload to Pinterest & Add Affiliate Link
The final step in affiliate pinning is to upload your image to Pinterest. Add your affiliate link where it asks for a website and the description as it shows below.
Go to the create button from the Pinterest main menu and select “Create pin of product pin” as you see below.
You’ll be taken to the form below to add your pin information.
Then, add your pin image, your affiliate link to that specific pin image, as well as a title and description.
The more you know about the product you’re promoting, the easier it will be to create a description that is authentic and helpful. This is why it’s so important to promote things you actually like and use.
How to Automate Your Affiliate Pinning
What I showed you above is the manual way to add affiliate pins to Pinterest. Imagine having to do that for every affiliate product you want to promote on Pinterest!
Fortunately, there is a tool that is approved by Pinterest to automate all your pinning, including affiliate pinning – Tailwind App!
Tailwind for Pinterest is a fantastic marketing tool that cuts down on work time, gives smart features to optimize your pinning and even gives you amazing analytics.
With the Tailwind browser extension, for instance, you can pull up product images directly from the vendor’s website, add your affiliate link and schedule it to pin. Tailwind is a time saver and has made my Pinterest affiliate marketing efforts a lot more efficient and effective.
Tailwind also allows me to schedule my pin to different boards at different times, all with one click of a button! You can’t really do that on Pinterest.
When you sign up for Tailwind through my affiliate link, you get 100 pins for free (no credit card required). It’s a great way to see how Tailwind works and what you can do with it.
When you try Tailwind for free you will also get access to all their amazing features:
- SmartSchedule – a feature that analyzes your Pinterest account and tells you when it is best to pin your content.
- SmartLoop – a feature that allows you to automate drip campaigns throughout the year for all of your evergreen products and services.
- Tailwind Communities – this feature is a major game change all on its own. You can find communities within your niche and even create your own to share your affiliate pins to and connect.
- Tailwind Create – recently (end of 2020), Tailwind created this feature to make it easier and faster to create new pin images for each product or service you promote.
Direct affiliate marketing on Pinterest is a great way to start a fun side hustle without having to start a blog, which is a whole business venture on its own and very time-consuming.
Sure, there’s a lot more to it than just these 6 steps, but just following these simple steps will get you set and ready.
Take it to the Next Level: Learn Pinterest Marketing
For more in-depth details about how you can scale this side hustle into a full-blown, substantial income, you can check out the courses and eBooks below:
- Paid by Pinterest – it’s a great, no-fluff course on making affiliate sales with Pinterest. There’s a strategy to affiliate pinning, and winging it is just a waste of time. This course really helps you hone the craft and become a successful affiliate pinner. Check out this page to see what the course has to offer.
- Pinterest Marketing Course – another great course I strongly recommend to anyone who wants to get serious about Pinterest Marketing. This course teaches you specifically about Pinterest Marketing as a blogger, an influencer and an online marketer.
- The Viral Pin Formula eBook – this eBook goes in-depth on how to create a highly effective, high-converting pin and go viral. It’s super important to know how to create viral pins as an affiliate pinner for maximum ROI.
Is Pinterest Affiliate Marketing for You?
If you love Pinterest and maybe even have a little Pinterest addiction (no judgement), then affiliate pinning can turn a pass-time into a really profitable side hustle.
Affiliate Pinning is especially great for influencers. My first income through affiliate pinning was as an influencer and without a blog.
I turned my personal Pinterest account into a business account and signed up with ShopStyleCollective. Then, I started pinning fashion products and started making money.
What do you think about affiliate marketing on Pinterest? Is this something you would consider?
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