Making money online with social media giants like Facebook, Youtube, or TikTok is everybody’s thing. Yet, as an affiliate marketer, you might be missing out on the potential of Pinterest as a powerful source of passive income.
Many Pinterest users are curious about getting new ideas and ready to spend on products found on this platform. That is why it is a fantastic opportunity to start doing Pinterest affiliate marketing right away with all you need to know in this article!
Pinterest is a popular social media network and visual search engine for people to explore various topics using images. On this platform, users can find content in the form of a “pin”, a photo attached to an external link. They save these pins to their personal boards as virtual inspiration mood boards.
You would be surprised by the ongoing success Pinterest has with its users. According to Data Reportal, this social media had more than 460 million monthly active users in April 2023. Most importantly, these people are highly intent on purchasing, as 89% use Pinterest for purchase inspiration.
Are these statistics not appealing enough for your affiliate plans? Read more to learn how Pinterest affiliate marketing can benefit your income.
What is Pinterest Affiliate Marketing?
Affiliate marketing on Pinterest is similar to other platforms, as people purchase via your referral, and you gain commissions for each sale. But the twist here is that most affiliate marketers use Pinterest to drive traffic to their other channels due to its users mainly seeking inspiration.
Yet, you can easily convert sales by adding affiliate links directly to your pin. This is because shoppers spend twice as much shopping on Pinterest than on other social media platforms. You just need to know the way around it – and we will be your dedicated tour guide.
Pinterest is a valuable channel for affiliate marketers to drive traffic to their content on another platform. This includes Youtube videos, blog posts, or affiliate landing pages. The more people view your affiliate links, the more chances you have of generating leads and earning commissions.
It gets even better if your niche is visual-related products. Research claims that most Pinterest users look for ideas within the visual category. Health and beauty products, home decor, and sporting goods are regularly pinned to one’s boards. Making this platform a wonderful place to promote your products from affiliate programs.
Why Choose Pinterest for Affiliate Marketing?
Choosing a platform to do affiliate marketing involves various factors. That is why you should consider the pros and cons of affiliate marketing on Pinterest to decide if it works for you.
Pros of Pinterest Affiliate Marketing
Attractive visual with high user engagement
Being a visual-focused platform makes Pinterest an ideal place for product and service promotion.
Since its users actively look for inspiration with 75% claiming to always be shopping, you can get good engagement and conversion rates.
Easy to generate traffic
Thanks to its search functionality and vast user base, you will find driving traffic to affiliate links on Pinterest simple. Though seem hard to believe, its search engine witnesses an average rate of over 5 billion monthly searches.
Furthermore, this platform has a Smart Feed algorithm that extends your content reach to larger audiences.
Tip: Optimize your pins with relevant descriptions and keywords to increase visibility.
Evergreen content with considerable longevity
The best thing about Pinterest is how long-lasting its content can be, whereas it is passed by quickly on other social media channels. Did you know that pins can circulate for years and continuously drive traffic to your links?
If you advertise evergreen content such as product reviews, guides, and tutorials, they will always generate sales.
Most Pinterest users visit this app to search for specific interests, topics, or hobbies. This allows you to target a narrower audience and tailor your strategies to that niche.
Knowing what your target audience is interested in can help produce engaging content that converts better.
Cons of Pinterest Affiliate Marketing
Strict guidelines for pinning
The platform has strict guidelines for affiliate marketing. It does not allow you to post direct links to affiliate product pages or redirect other users only to these links.
Instead, you have to deliver valuable content to enhance user experiences. It does improves user engagement rate, but you must deal with extra complexity in Pinterest affiliate marketing.
Limited organic reach
Fresh content is highly prioritized on Pinterest, limiting your pin visibility over time. Moreover, the platform emphasizes new, trending content. So you may struggle to gain exposure unless you consistently produce fresh pins.
Unlikelihood of immediate purchases
Pinterest users might fancy products on the app, but most use it to get ideas and inspiration rather than immediately buy something. Thus, obtaining the desired customer conversion will take longer. Plus, these users may have to reach many touchpoints before purchasing.
How to do Affiliate Marketing on Pinterest?
It is not demanding to do affiliate marketing with Pinterest, but the process includes many steps for you to complete. Try to follow our detailed guide for each stage to have a hassle-free start with this channel.
Pinterest affiliate guidelines
Before getting into work, get to know the Pinterest affiliate marketing rules and guidelines. Some include:
- URL shorteners are not allowed for affiliate link cloaking, such as bit.ly. Your links need to be completely transparent.
- Do not create repeated or many pins at once, as it may look like spam.
- Only use one Pinterest account for affiliate link promotion.
Knowing and following its affiliate guidelines is essential. You might be suspended from the platform if you fail to comply with such rules.
Before getting into work, get to know the Pinterest affiliate marketing rules and guidelines. Some include:
- Post content that follows their terms of service and policies, is lawful, and does not violate anyone’s rights.
- Your ads should not give the impression that Pinterest is affiliated with or sponsoring your promotion. Feel free to use the word “Pinterest” but not the wordmark.
- Disclose and get legally-required consent when collecting data used with a Pinterest ads service.
- Upload professional images that are neatly edited regarding text and element displays.
- Provide quality landing pages that do not require users to visit another page, take action before seeing certain content, have pop-up ads, or start automatic downloads.
- Some categories are not allowed for promotion, such as adult and nudity, endangered species, drugs, counterfeit goods, political campaigning, etc.
Knowing and following its affiliate guidelines for advertisement is essential. You might be suspended from the platform if you fail to comply with such rules.
Identify your niche
In case you have yet to select an affiliate marketing niche, it is time to find a specific one to promote on Pinterest. The most recommended niches are fashion, beauty and health, art, graphic design, or photography.
Focusing on a particular category helps narrow your target audience and provides insights into their needs. Consequently, what you are promoting can easily solve their pain points.
Having a niche also ensures relevant content creation on your blog or website that attracts these audiences. And being passionate about your niche is even better. You will have the opportunity to express your interests and add value to the promotion.
Determine your goals
What do you aim to achieve with Pinterest affiliate marketing? This is a foundational question you should ask yourself in the initial stage.
It is crucial to have clear, realistic, and measurable goals. Apart from keeping you on a focused track, goals are beneficial for setting targets and measuring your progress.
For instance, as an affiliate marketer, do you wish to drive more traffic to your personal channels and the brand website you are working with? What criteria are there to help measure the progress?
Setting up your account
First, sign up for a Pinterest business account, which is 100% free. You can also turn an existing personal account into serving affiliate marketing tactics.
A business account is necessary for many reasons. It makes your profile more legitimate and professional. At the same time, you can access detailed analytics on pin and board performance to adjust your strategy if needed.
Create a professional-looking profile
Like many other social media networks, your words matter more when Pinterest users see you as professional and legit. Thus, fill out that bio and get a high-quality logo or clear profile picture to let everyone know you are serious about doing Pinterest affiliate marketing.
Optimize your boards for Pinterest SEO
The current trend is to combine affiliate marketing and SEO for your promotions to be seen more online, and this also applies to Pinterest SEO in boosting your content visibility. Proper SEO work lets the platform knows what your content is about and then distribute and rank it in relevant places.
Pinterest board SEO is the most important part of this process. It optimizes data from the board title and description, as well as pins saved to this board, to better understand your content.
Create helpful content on your website
If you already have a website, create content relevant to the products you are promoting, such as blog posts, how-to guides, or videos. Refreshing old content is simple by adding more updated information or inserting keywords to improve the SEO score.
Besides that, consider using infographics, which are highly visual and easy to read, to relay information to your audiences effectively.
Join an affiliate program or network
The next step is to find a suitable affiliate program for your niche and audience. Joining an affiliate program means you become a brand’s partner and promote their products/services via unique affiliate links.
Affiliate programs are split into 2 main types:
Individual affiliate programs
These are operated by the product or service owners, requiring you to apply directly on their website or via email. Some popular individual affiliate programs are Bluehost which sells web hosting providers, and Amazon Associates, where you earn money from generating Amazon sales through your links.
On the other hand, affiliate networks allow both publishers and advertisers to gather in a community of diverse opportunities. Here, people can look for affiliate programs to work with or represent a business to find potential affiliates.
Well-known and large-scale affiliate networks include ShareASale, Awin, UpPromote, and CJ Affiliate.
If you are in the dark about deciding whether a program works for you, our beauty affiliate program selection criteria might be a good reference.
Finding products to promote
Next up is to find products you wish to do affiliate marketing with Pinterest. Remember these factors when you research:
- Who your target audience is (that is why having a niche is essential);
- Who the Pinterest audience is;
- Popular topics, trends, and keywords on Pinterest;
- Things that pique users’ interest and make them want to purchase.
For example, advertising makeup products or clothing will likely get you more traffic on Pinterest.
Images for your Pins serving as thumbnails should be visually engaging. Popular graphic design tools like Adobe Photoshop or Canva will help you with the DIY route, or you can collaborate with a professional designer.
You can use 3 main pin formats to share affiliate links on this social media: standard, video, and idea pins. The former 2 are pretty similar, but idea pins are greatly different.
Each of these types works for specific purposes, like Standard pins that are original and easy to drive traffic, while Video pins are the same but a little trickier for users to click through.
Idea pins are the new video pin format in multi-pages and are available for business accounts. They are fantastic for reaching new audiences and operate similarly to Instagram stories.
Add affiliate links to pins (steps)
Here is a quick and simple guide on how to add affiliate links on Pinterest:
Create a new pin
Log into your Pinterest business profile > Go to Profile page > Create > Create Pin.
Insert pin details
Insert more details, including title and pin description, and apply SEO practices to optimize your content. This involves incorporating specific and relevant keywords. For instance, if you promote apparel, adding keywords like “Y2K clothing” or “gym outfit” will narrow the product search. Take 2-3 relevant keywords and avoid stuffing them into your post.
Make sure that you provide detailed and insightful descriptions. Because Pinterest users visit the platform to look for ideas and inspiration, give them what they need with your pin descriptions. You can also use hashtags to increase your pins’ discoverability.
Quick note on using hashtags on Pinterest: there is a chance its algorithm will hide posts including hashtags since spammers often use and abuse them.
You might receive a pre-made affiliate pin if you have joined an affiliate program or network. If not, you can make your own as long as it adheres to your affiliate network and Pinterest guidelines.
Add an affiliate link
The next step is to Add a Destination Link for you to insert an affiliate link. Instead of direct links, consider adding links to landing pages. Now, it does not mean that you should not use direct affiliate links at all because, in a way, they are easy to use and take users where you want them to visit.
Nonetheless, some users are more cautious in clicking links that direct them to unfamiliar sites. Sometimes, direct affiliate links might take them to pages with irrelevant information and potentially drive users away.
Publish your pin
There are 2 publish options: publish immediately or schedule your pin for later.
Pinterest Affiliate Marketing Tips and Tricks
All done with the necessary steps to start with Pinterest! These are some extra tips and tricks to optimize how to use Pinterest for affiliate marketing.
Create several pins per post
The best strategy is to create several pins for each blog post or affiliate link. New pins are necessary for old content and links. The more pins you display for a piece of content, the higher chance it gets to be clicked and viewed.
Schedule pins in advance
Scheduling pins allow you to approach potential audiences in optimal time ranges of the day and, thus, expand your reach and strengthen brand awareness. Plus, scheduling limits the possibility of forgetting to publish your new pins.
Build an email list through Pinterest
A disadvantage for Pinterest affiliate marketers is that most users visit this platform aspirationally and do not often intend to solve an immediate problem via purchasing. So you need to find another way to maintain your customer connection at other times.
Have you thought of integrating email marketing into your plans? Capturing Pinterest visitors’ emails will help you promote affiliate products via email campaigns and encourage them to take your offers.
The easiest approach is to include an email opt-in on your account bio or landing page. You can invite these users to join the mailing list and receive an incentive, such as a discount code or some freebie. Now, it is easier to communicate directly with potential customers and improves your chance of earning commissions in the long run.
Promote high-performing pins
Sharing affiliate content in an organic way is always the best method, but investing money in your pins will let you see better results and conversions faster. People will likely purchase from a promoted pin, so consider this in your Pinterest affiliate marketing.
If one of your pins performs well in terms of clicks, conversions, and engagement, promote it further for the pin to display prominently on others’ feeds. Those high-performing pins have proven to gain good click-through rates and drive more traffic, making them a brilliant choice for your Pinterest advertising plan.
Enable rich pins
Rather than standard images on Pinterest, rich pins provide additional information in the description section and demand greater attention among a crowded feed. Therefore, they may increase your traffic on this platform.
Enable rich pins for these content types:
- Products: Show the latest prices and availability in the rich pin.
- Articles: Show their headline, author, and description in the rich pin.
- Recipes: Show rating, ingredients, serving sizes, and cooking time in the rich pin.
Pin to group boards
Not all boards on Pinterest have to be individual. There are group boards that let many users share content on a single board. Such a community-style board enables better awareness as you promote pins to each other’s target audiences.
Look for relevant mood boards in your affiliate niche and contribute to that group. There might be certain terms about posting content on a group board. Because some admins do not allow direct affiliate links to product pages, you can try a landing page from Youtube videos or blog content.
Analyze pin performance
The better you understand your pins, the more you can optimize your Pinterest affiliate marketing strategies.
Note that pin performance should be examined once every month using specialized tools for enhanced analytics, such as Google Analytics. This tool also provides insights into people who visit your website via Pinterest and analyzes their behaviors throughout the process.
Remember to check out your affiliate dashboard to see how many customers purchase your shared items on this social media. After all, it is your ultimate affiliate marketing goal.
Be intentional with what products you promote
As you select products to promote on Pinterest, consider your target audience, the general Pinterest audience, popular Pinterest topics, trends, and keywords. If your product advertisement does not make users want to purchase, it will be challenging to make sales.
Respond to questions and comments about the product
Any content creator on this platform can benefit from responding to comments, but it would help you a great deal when trying to make sales. You can build a strong connection with customers by answering product-related questions or discussing their experience in the comment section.
Avoid Link Cloaking
One of the strict regulations you must follow as a Pinterest affiliate marketer is not to cloak your links. Any link redirection tools or shorteners go against its community guidelines.
As a result, you must add the full versions of these links. Pinterest wants to be clear about letting your audience know – or have an idea of, at least – where your links direct them.
Use High-Quality, Paid Stock Photos
As mentioned before, Pinterest captures people’s attention with innumerable eye-catching photos. Consequently, those who want to thrive on this platform must focus on delivering high-quality visuals.
This platform has millions of displays, so what makes yours stand out? If your product photos happen to make someone skip just after a glance, end of the story.
So the least you can do is to post nice and clear images, even better if they come from your personal shoot. But whether you are an expert photographer does not matter. Pay for online stock photos you fancy and use them without worrying about copyrights.
Pinterest Affiliate Marketing Examples
Need further evidence to prove the magic of affiliate marketing on this platform? Here are some notable successful examples of how to start affiliate marketing on Pinterest from scratch:
CabyCades is an Amazon affiliate that sells products using Pinterest video pins. They receive a commission whenever someone purchases a product via the Amazon links in their pins.
This profile has around 16.5k views a month, compiling super short video pins attached with Amazon product links. Below is an example of what they are selling: the item creates a “shushing” noise to sleeping babies using a real human voice.
They describe how this product works in a 14-second video and earn money each time a customer buys it. Regarding Amazon’s 3% commission rate for this category, including baby products, they will make a $1.05 commission for each sale.
Although it might not seem much, CabyCades uploaded hundreds of similar videos. Even if a video can only bring them an average of 50 cents for commission, assuming they post 200 videos, these short videos will likely get them $100 daily.
Stephanie Sweet Treats
Stephanie Sweet Treats, a food blogger, knows how to use social media and Pinterest traffic to improve content visibility. Its 15,000+ pins are estimated to gain 7.7 million views a month.
Stephanie’s blog focuses on visuals to attract people who look for diverse baking recipes. She even uploaded a food blog income annual report in 2022 to explain how she earned $128,000 from the blog. In this report, she mentioned using Pinterest to drive people to her blog.
This is one of her viral posts on Pinterest and Instagram about s’mores cookies, resulting in more social visitors. On top of this pin states that the post “may contain affiliate links,” but it only includes one link to buy a cookie scooper. You can add more links for other products, such as cookie trays, cooling racks, marshmallows, etc.
But all in all, Stephanie Sweet Treats has succeeded in getting attention from Pinterest and directing that traffic to her blog.
How to sell on Pinterest without a website?
Yes, you do not need a website to sell on Pinterest if you already do affiliate marketing on this platform. Insert affiliate links to the URL box in your pins, and you will earn a commission once a visitor purchases something.
How many affiliate pins can I share on Pinterest?
There is no fixed limit on the number of affiliate pins allowed for sharing, but you need to avoid spamming. Posting too many pins or the same links excessively may risk your Pinterest account being flagged or banned.
Should I use Pinterest ads for affiliate marketing?
Using Pinterest ads can help you boost your pin visibility and reach more audiences. However, always try your best to provide valuable, genuine content and not just for promotional purposes.
Pinterest is a fantastic platform for users looking for inspiration and marketers aiming to improve their exposure and create more revenue.
That is why Pinterest affiliate marketing can easily become your new income stream. Utilizing your performance properly on this channel will help you drive traffic, generate conversions, grow sales, and build a solid customer base.