How to Make Money on Pinterest

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links, which means I may receive a small commission, at no cost to you, if you make a purchase through a link.

How would you like to turn your Pinterest passion into cold, hard cash!?

I'm pretty sure I know the answer already...and trust me, you're not alone. The good news is that making money on Pinterest isn't new, and it certainly doesn't need to be overly difficult.

It's tried and tested too, so regardless if you're a blogger, an online store owner, or someone who just wants to figure out how to make money on Pinterest without a blog, there are options available that other people have already used to make a decent side-income, a full-time income, and in some cases much, much more.

I view Pinterest as the perfect example of something that can be both fun and profitable. You get to discover new content around a topic you love, all the while being able to help other people and building an asset that could help you profit over the long-term. What's not to like!?

So without further ado, let's look at five examples of how to make money on Pinterest...

Pinterest Affiliate Marketing

Before diving into Pinterest affiliate marketing specifically, it's probably a good idea to explain what affiliate marketing is in the first place (you know, just in case you've been living under a rock these past few years!).

It involves promoting another company's product or service, with you receiving a commission whenever you make a sale via your unique affiliate link.

Despite initially banning affiliate links, Pinterest started to allow users to add them to their pins again in May 2016, and as a result, affiliate marketing is fast becoming the go-to option for anyone who is interested in how to make money on Pinterest without a blog or website. In this case, a person who clicks your link would likely land on the company's homepage or the product's landing page, and their click would be registered against your profile so that commission could get paid in the event of a sale.

As an example, the following pin sends anyone who clicks on it to Teachable's homepage:

Affiliate marketing is a great example of how to make money on Pinterest without a blog, and this image shows an example of a pin that has been used to promote an affiliate product. Once clicked, the user is sent to the company website direct from Pinterest, eliminating the need to click a link within a blog post or article.

Affiliate marketing is also used by a lot of bloggers to boost their online earnings, as it isn't just a great example of how to make money on Pinterest - it's one of the best ways to make money online full stop! Bloggers will often pin images which link back to affiliate-link-containing review articles, or to other content which recommends products or services to help readers solve specific problems.

How much can you earn?

It's difficult to put a figure on how much you can earn from affiliate marketing on Pinterest alone, but when comes to promoting affiliate products online as a whole, the sky really is the limit.

While there are plenty of people who only earn a few dollars here and there, clicking even a few of the blog income report pins on Pinterest will reveal people making thousands of dollars per month.

If you're after a few more inspiring examples though, here are the single month earnings for a few people who have found what works, stuck with it, and who are now reaping the rewards as a result:

$27,507 - Just a Girl and Her Blog

$65,439 - Making Sense of Cents

$105,619 - Smart Passive Income

Still not convinced? Here are a few other benefits of affiliate marketing on Pinterest:

  • There are thousands of products and related affiliate programs that are well suited to promotion on a visual platform like Pinterest;
  • You don't have to spend ages writing a blog post to get your affiliate links in front of potential customers;

  • You get a lot of bang for your buck from a relatively small amount of work upfront, as your affiliate pin will continue to show on Pinterest over the long-term;

  • You don't have to worry about creating a product or service;

  • You don't have to worry about storing products, delivering products or handling customer service requirements.

Let's look at how you can get started step-by-step:

How to Make Money on Pinterest Step by Step
with Affiliate Marketing

Choosing Something to Promote

The first step is to find a product or service that you'd like to promote, and I'd recommend only choosing things that you've personally used and that you've benefitted from.

If you're interested in promoting blogging related products or services specifically, you can find a lot of 43+ of the best blogging affiliate programs that should provide some inspiration. I've summarized these not only by product/service type but also by the programs which pay the most and the programs which offer one-off and recurring commissions.

Alternatively, if blogging about blogging doesn't float your boat, click here to check out a list of some of the best affiliate programs for Pinterest across all sectors, including fashion, electronics, food, and cosmetics to name a few.

I've also included a few top tips for playing by the rules and also maximizing your earnings when it comes to affiliate marketing on Pinterest - you can skip directly to these by clicking here.

Create Your Pins

The more engagement you get from your affiliate pins, the more potential sales you can make. The next step, therefore, is to create pins that people can't help but click.

There are plenty of ways to do this, including using Canva (an online service that I've used to create quite a few of my pins). You don't need to install any software as everything is online, and they even provide royalty free images and filters to let you quickly and easily modify how your pin looks, making it a relatively hassle-free way to create quality pins.

I've created a list of top tips to help you create the best pins possible, which you can read here. I'll summarize the key points here for convenience though:

  • Quality matters - While quantity goes a long way on Pinterest (the more you pin, the better generally), it's hugely important to also focus on the quality of your pins. The following quote sums up what you need to aim for: "The best pins represent the best ideas - they're inspirational and actionable. Create pins that have a clear audience, and are engaging for that audience." (source)
  • Avoid horizontal pins - The consensus is that you should avoid horizontal pins at all costs, with even Pinterest admitting that vertical pins work better.
  • Size matters - Pinterest prefers an aspect ratio of 2:3 for vertical pins (typically 600px wide by 900px high).
  • Inspire action - Create headlines and sub-headlines that people can't help but engage with. They should be short, eye-catching, and intriguing.
  • Add keywords - Pinterest operates more like a search engine than a social network, so it's important to put keywords in your pin's description, your board titles, your board descriptions - basically anywhere you can to increase the likelihood of your pin appearing for a related search query.
  • Have at least one call-to-action (CTA) - A CTA is something that prompts a user to complete a specific action, for example, text which says, "Click here to find out more." You can add CTAs to a pin's image (as shown below), its description, or ideally both.
Image showing a call to action that has been included on a pin, which is important because it helps to boost engagement and this is a vitally important thing for someone who is interested in how to make money with Pinterest.
  • Make it readable - If someone can't understand your pin instantly, they'll skip straight past it. Choose a font that's simple and clear, colors which stand out against your pin's image/background, and text that is large enough to be readable to boost engagement.
  • Rely on science - Some pins naturally perform better than others, and it isn't just a matter of luck. Successful pins nearly always include characteristics or features which have been found to perform better on Pinterest. Check this article out: This is the Perfect Pinterest Picture, According to Science.
  • Create multiple pins for each affiliate product - Create multiple pins for each affiliate product - The more pins you have, the more chance you have of being noticed on Pinterest, which in turn increases your chances of making affiliate sales.

Pin, Pin, Pin!

Once you've joined a few affiliate programs and created a few pins, the next step is to start pinning relentlessly.

Pinterest is a platform that relies on quantity, so you need to pin consistently every day if you want to see engagement, growth, and ultimately affiliate sales.

Here are a few tips to help you get it right:

  • Pin regularly - Pin regularly - Buffer saw a 150% increase in engagement from upping their previous 1-2 pins per day to 10 times per day. A lot of people increase this further though, pinning between 15-30 times per day for the best results.
  • Don't pin in one solid block - i.e., pinning 15 times in one go on a particular day. Instead, regularly pin throughout the day every few hours or so.
  • Add new pins to the most relevant boards first - Pinterest partially gauges the topic of a new pin based on the board it is added to first, so stick to boards that are highly relevant to your niche and not general group boards to help boost visibility against related search terms.
  • Don't spam - For example, don't share one pin ten times in a row to different boards, which can usually happen with new pins that people are excited to share.
  • Take advantage of scheduled pinning - I don't know about you, but the thought of stopping what I'm doing to regularly pin, or pinning throughout the night for that matter, does NOT appeal to me. Thankfully, you can overcome this by using a service like Tailwind which helps you put your pinning on autopilot:
Image showing the Tailwind app Pinterest scheduler which allows users to schedule their pins. Pinning more often, and at the best times, are a couple of the most critical factors for someone who is interested in how to make money on Pinterest, and the Tailwind app helps you do this easily.

Tips to Keep You on the Right Side of Pinterest / Affiliate Companies / Your Audience

  • Don't forget to disclose the fact that you're using affiliate links on Pinterest. In addition to being a legal requirement, it's good practice to be as open and honest as possible.

  • Be honest and trustworthy by only promoting the products that you've used and that you recommend.

  • Make sure you're allowed to promote your chosen affiliate products and services on the platform - Etsy, for example, doesn't allow Pinterest affiliate links. Read every affiliate program's terms and conditions and those of Pinterest itself carefully (I know...I know...it can be boring, but it's important!) so you're aware of what you can and cannot do.

Tips to Maximize Your Pinterest Affiliate Marketing Earnings

  • To help you earn more, you'll want to choose an affiliate program that offers high commissions and/or recurring payouts (i.e., you continue to get paid for however long a referral remains a customer). Now, one out of two isn't bad, but there are quite a few programs out there that offer both, and you can use these to increase your earnings massively. Check out the following list of 43+ blogging affiliate programs which categorizes each of the schemes to help you quickly choose a higher-paying option.

  • Don’t just sign up to one affiliate program, as you'll want to promote multiple products and services to maximize your earnings.

  • As mentioned above, it's a good idea to create multiple pins for each affiliate offer and also to pin as often as possible to boost exposure and engagement. You can use the Tailwind Pinterest scheduler and its awesome Tribes feature to help get your pins in front of as many people as possible.

  • Also, it's important to realize that affiliate marketing on Pinterest is a long-term thing. Don't expect to be earning loads to start with (it isn't uncommon for it to take a few months to see any income at all), as it takes a long time to get enough pins out there that rank well enough for people to engage with them on a regular basis. Don't give up too soon!

Being a Pinterest Virtual Assistant

If you're a blogger or a website owner, there's a good chance that you've spent a lot of time on Pinterest trying out every feature and trialing what works and what doesn't in your quest to build a loyal following. You've likely kept up to date with all the latest Pinterest-related updates too, and you're probably well on your way to developing a freaky sixth sense about what types of images and group boards provide the best engagement at first glance.

If this sounds like you, it probably wouldn't be a stretch to say that you're more informed than 99% of other Pinterest users. You might not have realized it either, but these skills are highly valuable!

I know I used to dismiss the value of everything I'd learned, assuming that these skills are a dime a dozen and that every other business owner could match my Pinterest prowess. This couldn't be further from the truth though.

Think about it for a second...There are plenty of people who know next to nothing about Pinterest (and who aren't interested in learning for themselves), and other people are just too busy to dedicate the time needed to see meaningful results.

These are precisely the types of people you can help out by providing Pinterest-related services, and you could earn an excellent side-income while you do it.

How much can you earn?

According to the Horkey Handbook, the average North American virtual assistant earns between $35 to $50 per hour.

I mean...it makes sense. If you're running your own Pinterest account for your own blog or small business, and you have the time available, why not get paid to help someone else generate sales on their blog or website on the side!? That’s a win-win right there, and it’s the true definition of entrepreneurship; taking the skills you’ve learned along the way and using them to make money!

Here are just a few examples of how to make money on Pinterest by being a virtual assistant:

  • Creating pins.
  • Creating boards.
  • Pinning on a regular basis on their behalf.
  • Managing group board applications and moderating pins.
  • Managing their promoted pins.
  • Managing a company's Tailwind account and their pin schedule.

If you like the sound of this, click the banner below to learn more:

Virtual Assistant Success in 30 Days or Less.

Selling on Pinterest

While you can't sell directly on Pinterest, it's an excellent way to lead to sales indirectly.

Instead of promoting another company's product or service as you would with Pinterest affiliate marketing, you can create pins that help boost brand recognition, drive traffic, and ultimately increase sales on your online store, website or blog.

There are several ways to do this. One option is to create pins that contain a single high-quality photo of your product (see the image below for examples), which will benefit not only potential customers who will get to see your product at its best but also Pinterest's visual search algorithms will be able to determine better what your product is so it can be categorized correctly.

Alternatively, you could create pins containing a collection of images, for example, a selection of animal-related prints that you offer, with this pin then linking back to the relevant category page on your online store or blog.

Image showing a few examples of products that users are selling on Pinterest.

How much can you earn?

As with Pinterest affiliate marketing, the sky really is the limit.

The average order value from Pinterest referral traffic is $58.95, and when you consider the fact that around 5% of all online referral traffic comes from the platform, and that 93% of people use it to plan purchases, it's clear that there is some serious money-making potential from selling on Pinterest.

Haven't started an online store or decided what to sell yet?

Not a problem.

Besides how much money you can potentially make, another awesome advantage is the fact that selling on Pinterest is now so accessible to everyone, as it couldn't be easier to start selling own-branded products and services.

Gone are the days of it being difficult to create online store thanks to services like Shopify and Etsy, and with services like Merch by Amazon, you can start a hassle-free side business minus any of the distribution, shipping or customer service headaches, and all with traffic conveniently funnel from Pinterest.

Going back to that last point for a second...Pinterest is one of the best ways to drive free traffic to a new online store or website, meaning you don't need to miss out on sales and revenue while you wait for your business's online presence to rank on Google. Awesome, right!?

For inspiration, here are just a few examples of products that are already being promoted and sold successfully on Pinterest:

  • T-shirts
  • Shoes
  • Jewelry
  • Prints
  • Workout supplements
  • Phone cases
  • Online courses

If you're keen to get started and you want a few handy tips from a marketing perspective, everything from step two onwards on the 'affiliate marketing on Pinterest' section will apply here, so review this first.

If you're looking for more in-depth Pinterest marketing tips, check out this post: 21 Steps to Supercharge Your Pinterest Marketing.

Pinterest Influencer Marketing

Even if you only dabble in social media now and again, you've probably come cross influencer marketing at some stage - likely on Instagram where every other post seems to be a brand shoutout! It's big business too, with it being projected to be a $5-10 billion industry which is already growing year-on-year.

It's also something that is up and coming on Pinterest, with plenty of brands being keen to collaborate with popular pinners given the highly-shareable and visual nature of the content that they share with their audiences. It's becoming so popular that Pinterest has recently launched a new influencer marketing program which is designed to make it easier for brands to link up with creators on the platform.

How much can you earn?

It's difficult to put a figure on how much you can earn as there are so many variables, but if Instagram influencers are anything to go by, a good rule of thumb for sponsored posts seems to be $10 per 1000 followers or between $250-$750 per 1000 engagement.

Influencer marketing will probably only be a good option if you've built a loyal (and large enough) following, and your Pinterest metrics will need to show a high enough level of engagement in terms of monthly views, repins and comments.

If you have these though, it would be silly not to capitalize on your success! You've created an asset which will be valuable to businesses relevant to your content, so now is the time to take advantage of it tastefully in the pursuit of growing your income.

One of the best ways to get started is by sharing your account's statistics with businesses that closely align with your content, and negotiating deals in exchange for exposure to your audience.

Here are just a few examples of how to make money on Pinterest with influencer marketing:

  • Repin their pins.
  • Create new pins for the brand.
  • Allowing them access to one of your group boards.

Teaching Pinterest Strategies to Others

I've saved this suggestion for last, because, as with Pinterest influencer marketing, you'll need to be able to demonstrate that you've reached an enviable level of success on Pinterest for it to work effectively.

Once you have proof of this though, there's no reason why you can't create and sell an online course or eBook to help those who are willing to pay to find out the secrets of your success. Given the size of Pinterest's user base too, and the obvious business benefits of the platform for bloggers, small business owners, and larger companies, there's a virtually endless supply of potential customers for whatever Pinterest-related teachings you decide to create.

Here are a few examples of pins that are promoting courses and eBooks that teach Pinterest strategies:

Another example of how to monetize Pinterest is through creating Pinterest-specific ebooks and courses as shown in this image.

How much can you earn?

It's no secret that digital products, for example, eBooks and online courses can be a huge revenue source for blogs and websites, and there's no shortage of blog income reports showing earnings of several thousand dollars per month from sales of digital products as a whole.

The earnings potential is virtually limitless too, as shown by Melyssa Griffin who (prepare to have your mind blown) earned a total of over $258,000 from e-course sales alone in a single month. Wow!

With services like Teachable (see my full review here), you can quickly and easily create online courses without any of the usual headaches such as complex hosting, enrolling students, managing payments. You can even create an affiliate program for your content from within Teachable, allowing people to promote your Pinterest-related products to a broader audience in exchange for a commission whenever they make a sale.

The best part? Once you’ve created your course, it’s a case of following the same steps for Pinterest affiliate marketing to create quality pins and then promoting them relentlessly. Combine this with a dedicated affiliate program, and you'll be set up with potentially one of the most lucrative examples of how to make money with Pinterest.

Essential Resource - Tailwind Pinterest Scheduler

As I've mentioned in this post, you need to pin anywhere between 15-30 times a day to see the best results. Now, I don't know about you, but I'd struggle to do anything 15-30 times a day consistently, day-in-day-out without a little help.

It's not due to a lack of commitment either; it's just the simple fact that life always manages to get in the way.

Tailwind's Pinterest scheduler is my secret weapon to help me keep pinning no matter what urgent requirements or distractions come my way, and in turn, it helps me maximize my Pinterest-related income.

Here are just a few of the benefits:

  • Fit Pinterest around your busy schedule thanks to the automated, hands-off pinning process.

  • Target the best times to bit that will help maximize your chances of getting as much engagement as possible.

  • Fill your pinning schedule for an entire week or month in just a few minutes.

  • Widen your pins' reach, exposure, and impact through exposure to new audiences using Tailwind Tribes.

  • Add new content quickly and easily on the fly from outside Pinterest.

  • Relax knowing you're in good hands thanks to the software's official endorsement from Pinterest.

Start experiencing these benefits for yourself by taking advantage of a Tailwind free trial. There's no time limit, and you can schedule up to 100 pins to make sure it's the right choice for you. Click the button below to get started!

I hope I've not only helped you answer the question, "Can you make money on Pinterest?", but also provided you with some actionable tips and inspiration to get started.

Let me know in the comments if there are any other examples of how to monetize Pinterest that you've found success with and that you think I should check out.

Thanks,

- Jonathan

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