How to make money from Pinterest (Step-by-Step)

You’ve probably heard about making money on YouTube, Facebook, and even Instagram but then you hear about people making thousands of dollars a month on Pinterest. Is this not the same image-sharing app that you’re using to find home inspiration, shopping ideas, and style trends? Can people make money from Pinterest?

If you Google “How to make money from Pinterest”, you’ll find various recommendations on how to earn from this app. Most of the existing advice online agree that the ideal way to do this is to establish your own website or blog and populate it with content that you specialize in or are interested in. 

You can then start pinning your content on Pinterest and build a following. This following will be your loyal audience, who will be more inclined to buy the products you’re promoting through affiliate marketing.

The problem with this approach, however, is that we all know that this process can be very time-consuming and even expensive. If you’re not a writer, that means you would have to invest money to get blog posts written for your website. What if you choose a niche that nobody is interested in? Are there even products suitable for the content you’re writing? These are all variables that you need to take into consideration.

So, is there an easier way to make money on Pinterest? The answer is YES. We’ve outlined nine steps on how you can start making money from Pinterest from scratch.

1. Join an Affiliate Marketing Program

There are different ways to make money on Pinterest – affiliate marketing, promoting your own products, or working as a Pinterest virtual assistant for a small e-commerce site. If you don’t have your own product or if you’re not a Pinterest expert (that’s why you’re reading this post in the first place), then you’re left with the obvious, more practical method which is affiliate marketing.

Don’t be intimidated by this seemingly advanced marketing term because in essence, what affiliate marketing means is that you promote a product (market it) and you get a commission for every sale. How do you find the products to promote?

The easiest way is to join affiliate marketing programs where you can find products to sell. But not all affiliate marketing programs are very welcoming to beginners without a website or huge online following. 

For example, Airbnb requires that you have at least 1 million page visits a month to even be considered as an affiliate partner. Amazon also requires that you have an established blog or website to become an affiliate.

However, there are affiliate programs that do not require you to have a website to join. One example is Clickbank. For this step-by-step process, we will use Clickbank as our example as you can easily sign-up for this program without much requirement.

2. Choose Your Niche and the Products You Want to Promote

After signing up for Clickbank, you’ll be able to see products from all the different categories that you can choose from. There are both digital and physical products available for you to promote.

Here are the categories available in Clickbank.

  • Arts & Entertainment
  • As Seen On TV
  • Betting Systems
  • Business/Investing
  • Computers/Internet
  • Cooking, Food & Wine
  • E-business & E-marketing
  • Education
  • Employment & Jobs
  • Fiction
  • Games
  • Green Products
  • Health & Fitness
  • Home & Garden
  • Languages
  • Mobile
  • Parenting & Families
  • Politics/ Current Events
  • Reference
  • Self-Help
  • Software & Services
  • Spirituality, New Age & Alternative Beliefs
  • Sports
  • Travel

Choosing Your Niche

The next step is to choose your niche, meaning you have to decide on what type of products you want to promote on Pinterest and who you are targeting. But when doing so, consider that Pinterest users are predominantly female with stats showing that 71% of Pinterest users are female and 83% of that are aged 25-54. This means it will be more beneficial to choose female-skewed categories. It would also be good to choose categories that you naturally have an interest in because this will make this process easier for you.

 You can choose just one category like Spirituality or Travel, however, if you’re not really an expert on anything, it would be a good idea to choose at least three categories relevant to one another. This will give you the flexibility to choose products that are high-paying in more than one category and add a variety to your content.

 For example, if you decide that you want to target moms, you can choose Home & Garden, Cooking, Food, and Wine, and As Seen On TV. If you look at the product subcategories under these categories, they are all products that a mother would be interested in. It would not be logical to add the category of Politics or Software because that would totally be a different niche.

Home & Garden

  • Animal Care & Pets{“type”:”inserter”,”blocks”:[{“clientId”:”96469603-6780-4326-b955-eb87087a530e”,”name”:”core/columns”,”isValid”:true,”attributes”:{},”innerBlocks”:[]}]}
  • Crafts & Hobbies
  • Entertaining
  • Gardening & Horticulture
  • General
  • Homebuying
  • How-to & Home Improvements
  • Interior Design
  • Sewing
  • Weddings

Cooking, Food & Wine

  • BBQ
  • Baking
  • Cooking
  • Drinks & Beverages
  • General
  • Recipes
  • Regional & Intl.
  • Special Diet
  • Special Occasions
  • Vegetables / Vegetarian
  • Wine Making

As Seen On TV

  • Auto
  • Backyard Living
  • General
  • Health and Beauty
  • Kitchen Tools and Gadgets

Choosing Products

Once you decide on your niche, it’s now time to choose the specific product that you want to promote. When choosing a specific product, you can sort the list based on the product’s popularity or how much commission you will earn. These two factors are usually what many affiliate marketers look for.

Another factor that affiliate marketers on Clickbank look for is “Gravity Score”, which indicates how many affiliates made money from promoting that product. This is a good indication of whether the product is at least “sellable” and worth your time. Of course, you have to make sure that the product you will promote looks legit and does not make impossible claims.

To start, choose 3 different products to promote from different categories. Then generate your affiliate link.

 For example:

  • Crafts & Hobbies
  • Baking
  • Kitchen Tools and Gadgets

3. Create a Profile Relevant to Your Niche

Now that you have your niche and the target products that you want to promote, only then should you start building your Pinterest profile. Instead of using your own name, choose a pseudonym that will be relevant to your online profile. We’re not telling you to create a fake persona because that’s against Pinterest guidelines.

Rather, look at your profile as a microblogging site and you want to give it a name that is appropriate to what content you will be posting. It will also be easier for your audience to know exactly what your content is all about if you create a relevant profile name. For example, for the categories we’ve chosen above, you can use something like “Trendy Homemaker” or “Millennial Mommy”.

4. Create Boards

The next step is to create Pinterest boards. A Pinterest board is like an album where you put together all the pins that you’re saving. This is where you will pin the product that you want to promote. Ideally, you can have one board per subcategory of products that you want to promote, however, it will depend on what products you’re promoting.

For example, you want to promote a product under “Kitchen Tools”. What you need to do is to create a board where you will pin this product. You can name the board “Kitchen Tools” or you can be more creative by naming it “Kitchen ideas” “Kitchen Inspiration” or “Kitchen Wish list”.

5. Start Following Members and Re-pinning Relevant Content on Your Boards

After creating your Pinterest board, the next step is to start following other Pinterest users in the same niche or category. This will make it easier for you to find content that you can pin to your boards. You can also use the Pinterest search bar to look for related items that you can pin into your board.

Next, you want to populate your board with pins. You can’t just include the products you want to promote on your boards because it will look too hard-sell. You don’t want users to immediately know that you’re just there to sell them products. This means that you want to populate your board with pins by other users aside from the pins that you’ve created yourself. There is no right or wrong number but a good ratio is having 20% of your own pins for every board. So, if you have 20 pins in one board, you can only have 4 of your own pins. Try to only pin the product one to two times. Don’t pin it repeatedly on many different boards as this may be considered spamming.

When pinning, don’t just pin anything you see. Choose pins carefully making sure that they fit your board and avoid pinning items that are direct competition to your product. For example, if you have a board called “Kitchen Ideas”, if your product is an egg slicer, don’t populate your board with other egg slicers. Choose other kitchen tools or gadgets that complement your product but do not compete with it.

Don’t go crazy by pinning 200 to 300 pins in one board. Why? Because that will make your board too crowded and it will make it difficult for other users to find the pin that you want to promote. Start with 5 pins from other users for each board.

6. Design Your Own Pins Using a Graphic Design App

Now that you have at least 5 pins in each board, what you need to do is create your own Pinterest graphic. This will be the graphic that you will put into your board and where you will attach the affiliate link. It’s not as simple as taking a screenshot of the product and adding it to Pinterest. While you can definitely do that, it’s better to be more creative to catch the attention of the Pinterest users.

Even if you don’t have any design skills, you can use a free design app like Canva that has many templates available. You just need to drag and drop text and elements to make it suitable for the product. When using Canva, the Pinterest templates are already the right size so all you need to do is add your image, change the text, and download.

If you are promoting a digital product, you can do the same technique. Let’s say you’re promoting a vegetarian cookbook, chances are, you’re not the only one promoting that cookbook on Pinterest if the gravity score is high. But you don’t really want to pin the same image as everyone else. What you can do is create your own graphic to promote that cookbook.

For example, check whether the cookbook has a list of the recipes inside and create a daily menu plan infographic using that list of recipes. The Pinterest graphic can have the heading “7-Day Vegetarian Menu Plan” with the recipe names clearly listed on the graphic. If you don’t have a blog where you can elaborate further, it’s important to make the graphic useful already even if they don’t decide to buy the cookbook. This will encourage them to repin this graphic into their boards.

7. Pin Your Design Onto Your Board, Add a Title and a Description

Once your graphic is ready, the next step is to add it to your board. Open your board and click on the + sign to add your graphic. Type up the title on the given field and you also need to write up your description, which has a 500-character limit. Don’t make it too long because you want to have space for hashtags.

If you don’t have a blog or a landing page, your description must also have “Call-To-Action” or CTA towards the product that you want to promote. This means you have to lead them to click the link to check out the product. This will also tell the user directly that the link that they will be clicking is a cookbook they have to pay for.

For example:

Title: 7-Day Vegetarian Menu Plan

Description: Here’s a 7-day vegetarian menu plan for moms looking for healthy meals for the whole family. These recipes are available on the e-cookbook Veggie for Less. Get your copy for only $5.

8. Add Hashtags to Your Pin Description

Just like on Instagram, hashtags are very important in Pinterest. These hashtags can help users find your pins. You want your hashtags to be a mix of broad hashtags and more specific hashtags. This way, you can cover all your potential audience. Add these hashtags after your description.

For example, if you are promoting the vegetarian cookbook and you have prepared your Pinterest graphic already “7-Day Vegetarian Menu Plan”, some hashtags you can use include: #vegetarian #mealprep #menuplanning #healthyrecipes #plantbased

9. Add Your Affiliate Link to the Pin that you Just Created

The last step is to add your affiliate link directly to the field where Pinterest asks for the website link. As of 2020, Pinterest is now allowing users to directly add affiliate links on Pinterest. This was frowned upon before because many sellers are abusing and spamming the site. Now, Pinterest allows this and has Affiliate Guidelines that you can take note of.

After adding the link, you can publish the pin onto your board and done! Repeat the process from step 2 to 9 to create more boards and promote more products. As mentioned earlier. Don’t stuff your boards with all your promoted products. Make sure that your boards are still tastefully created so you won’t look like a spam Pinterest account. This will help you build a natural following and encourage people to buy the products that you’re promoting.

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