Most popular social media platforms are becoming irrelevant for affiliate marketers because they are laser focussed on retaining users. Their goal is to sell more through Ads which won’t happen if people leave their platform.
To boost their Average time on page metric, they do not give much traction to the posts with an outbound link. Fewer impressions result in fewer clicks to your affiliate product pages.
Look at Instagram, for example – it allows only one link associated with your profile, and that too on your homepage, not on the image. They want to put more steps in the user journey before showing your links – dissuading them from putting in the extra effort.
But Pinterest is different. It is designed to send traffic away from its domain. Every pin or image allows you to append an outbound link, making it easy for your followers to click on it.
This makes Pinterest an excellent choice for affiliate marketers like you. You get more clicks on your affiliate links and eventually more conversions and revenue even without investment.
The best way to use Pinterest for affiliate marketing is by creating top-quality images for your users and linking them to affiliate product pages. Share minimum information on the image to incentivize viewers to click on your affiliate links to get more information.
Through this blog post, you will learn the exact steps you must take to earn an affiliate income from Pinterest.
What is Pinterest affiliate marketing and how does it work?
Pinterest affiliate marketing is a business model where affiliates can publish images with outbound affiliate links to a merchant’s product pages. Every time a Pinterest user clicks on them and buys the product, the affiliate earns a commission.
Each associated party benefits from this transaction – buyers get a good product, merchants sell more, affiliates earn commissions, and Pinterest gets free content.
How to Make Money with Pinterest Affiliate Marketing?
To establish a profitable Pinterest affiliate marketing business, you must pick the right niche and audience, create quality content, and sell them the right products. However, there are a few more minor aspects that you need to take care of.
Follow these 14 steps to succeed with Pinterest affiliate marketing:
1. Start with a Pinterest business account.
A Pinterest business account provides granular metrics, advanced marketing tools, control over branding, and the ability to create Rich pins. These pins offer more on-page information than a personal account. A business account can help you optimize your campaign better.
Beginner affiliate marketers must start with a business account. They can, in fact, convert a personal account into a business account easily.
But existing Pinterest users should create a new business account if their published content does not align with their brand.
Even a personal account where you promote affiliate products that you use regularly must be converted into a business account to leverage marketing features that come with it.
2. Choose a Niche that is relevant to the platform.
Even though it works for any niche, Pinterest is better suited for visual content.
For example, Pinterest can drive some traffic to a marketing blog, but it can’t be the primary platform. But with the physical fitness niche, Pinterest can work wonders.
You can pin product images with an affiliate landing page and drive sales.
Choosing the right niche will determine your success on Pinterest to a great extent.
3. Identify your Target Audience.
Your target audience is the category of people whom you want to sell your products. Your niche often determines the target audience in a broad, unrefined way.
For example, if you want to promote gas stoves, your broad target audience is – anyone who can cook. That’s a huge audience base with fierce competition.
As an affiliate marketer, you must focus on a segment of that follower base. For example, stay-at-home moms, single parents, newly married couples, corporate employees, weekend chefs, etc. Do not target all of them at once.
4. Create quality content to grow your audience base
After identifying your target audience, you must focus on creating top-quality content for them.
The best way to do that is by identifying what your competitors are doing. Study what kind of images they create and what level of designing goes into it. Check the descriptions they use and the products they link to.
A successful competitor will often have a fixed set of patterns of the images – the background and most design elements would be the same but text in the foreground might change.
Plus, they will write descriptions relevant to their target audience and pin the right products.
You can design top-quality images using Canva. It is a free tool that offers unique templates for Pinterest users. If you do not like any of them, you can create your own template. You can make minor edits to the template for each product you promote.
5. Be secretive with your images.
While editing the Canva templates, make sure you include very high-level information about your affiliate product. Your viewers should want to know more about the product. That way, they are more likely to click on the affiliate link.
Suppose you plan to promote shoes. This tagline – comfort, style, and more… leaves a lot for guessing.
6. Adopt a value-first policy
While getting started with affiliate marketing, your primary goal must be to grow your audience base – money is secondary. You can do that by adding helpful images to your Pinterest account. The more useful your content, the more followers you get, and the more money you make.
For example, if you promote products related to outdoor survival, Pinterest posts on sharpening a knife will get more traction than those on the best trekking shoes. That is because people try to find the solution to their problems online.
When you address one problem, people visit your account for more solutions. If your content resonates with them, you will earn followers who keep coming back and begin to trust your advice. So when you publish your money images, your followers will be more inclined to click on and buy from them.
7. Classify content into Pinterest boards
By now, you know your audience. You have also created pins that are a healthy mix of value add and money images. It’s time to organize your content into Pinterest boards.
You can categorize your content into buckets any way you like. It can be in the form of audience segments, product categories, or any other filter relevant to your business.
For example, if you were to sell eyewear, you can have buckets categorized as shades, lenses, aviators, etc. Or, you can classify them based on audience segments – College, Work, Running, etc.
Each bucket/ category can be segmented to a Pinterest board. So everything College will have images relevant to the 18-24 age group.
This way, you don’t just have content organized but also get SEO benefits. Each board can have a unique title and description that the Pinterest search engine can track and serve when for relevant search terms.
You can also generate metrics based on each board. This way, you will know which category gets the most traction, and you can create more content under it. For example, if Aviators get more clicks than wayfarers, you can look for more Aviator products to promote.
Creating Pinterest boards will help you organize your content and know what content your followers want to consume.
8. Be Consistent
Every affiliate marketing platform is highly competitive. It’s packed with content creators, even for micro-niches. The only way to strive is to create high-quality content consistently.
Pinterest is no different. You must pump out content daily to ensure that the platform algorithm doesn’t push you to the sidelines.
Ideally, you want to pump out 15-25 pins a day. But you need not do it immediately – work your way up. Though 25 pins a day might seem like an impossible task, it’s doable. You essentially need 25 templates which will take some time to be created on Canva.
But once done, you just need to make edits to the template and publish it. This takes much less effort and time than creating new pins every day.
9. Automate publishing with Tailwind.
Tailwind App is instrumental to your success on Pinterest. It lets you schedule your pins while capturing all the relevant information – pin title, description, and landing page URL.
The tailwind browser extension allows you to pick images from any website and use it as a pin.
It’s not a free product but worth its price. You can start scheduling and publishing your pins manually. But you can save a lot of time, planning, and effort with this free tool.
10. Leverage SEO.
SEO, Search Engine Optimization is crucial to do well on Pinterest. When a user keys in the search term, the Pinterest search algorithm will look for pins with related keywords.
For example, on searching for laptop bags, Pinterest serves pins with the exact keyword match first. And then for those with either keyword.
Let’s click on one of the pins and check where the keyword has been used.
It has been used both in the title and description of the pin.
Not just for pins, it’s essential that you use your main keywords in your profile description too.
For example, The Custom Moment used the product names in their profile description.
This tells the Pinterest algorithm what this profile is about. So when someone keys in a relevant keyword, the algorithm will scan this profile too. The keywords mentioned here along with the keywords in individual pins will increase the chances of being found.
You can repeat the process for individual boards too for even more SEO advantage.
11. Choose Affiliate Programs.
You have done the groundwork by now. With a profile with hundreds of helpful pins bucketed into relevant boards, you probably have some engagement and follower-base.
It’s time to start promoting products by appending your affiliate links to pins. The first step to that is by selecting the right affiliate program for your business – one that offers high commissions, pays you on time, and makes campaign analysis easy.
A bunch of programs like ShareASale and CJ, etc. can start generating revenue right away. But I recommend you to start with Amazon because it’s a known brand. When you link to Amazon products, your users know that they will land on a known and trusted website, thus driving more clicks.
12. Pick products that you want to sell.
Affiliate programs host many products sold by different merchants. You must pick and choose products based on these factors:
- How relevant are they for your followers?
- How is the product selling now?
- What’s the brand value of a merchant?
- How much can you make from each sale?
More expensive (high ticket) products may seem enticing but there’s a catch. If you are still new to Pinterest and have just started getting traction, high ticket products may generate few to no sales. That’s because you haven’t developed enough trust in your audience yet for them to heed to your advice to spend so much.
It’s best if you start with mid ticket items. This way, you will make some revenue while you build the brand and trust that comes with it.
13. Create pins showing yourself using the product.
Your followers want to see authentic content from you. They can read Amazon reviews and see images there, so if you say the same thing in your pins, you add no value.
They want to see how you used the product and what you thought about it. Remember, users follow you for you, not for the product. They trust your opinion so give it to them.
The best way to do that is adding pins that show you using the product. It could be images or videos but they must bring out the personal touch.
14. Track your progress.
One of the most important steps of Pinterest affiliate marketing is to track your campaigns. You need to know which category of products is performing well so that you can create more of that.
Also, you get an idea of your audience through metrics. You know what age group they belong to and which locations they come from. This helps you identify content that is better suited to them.
Making Money with Pinterest Affiliate Marketing without a Website
Affiliate marketing without a website is doable but not advisable. A website helps you own a piece of the internet and do wonders with it.
You can write blog posts, create pages for affiliate products, publish subscription forms, etc. It helps you nurture leads and keep them coming back to consume more content before they purchase your products.
But that doesn’t mean you can’t succeed without a website – you just have fewer options.
Here’s how you can become a successful affiliate marketer on Pinterest without money:
1. Run Pinterest Ads.
Pinterest Ads are a great way to increase your reach exponentially. With a small budget, you can get more eyeballs on your product pins and get more clicks.
2. Integrate with other Social Media accounts
With or without a website, irrespective of the platform, affiliate marketers must integrate their accounts. This allows for users to access more content on different platforms. This increases the number of touch-points per user, thus helping they arrive at the purchase decision faster.
Useful Tips to Help you Earn More with Affiliate Marketing on Pinterest
These three tweaks will increase the number of impressions and clicks you get on your pins,
1. Use long images.
Long images occupy more real estate in the Pinterest feed. This attracts more eyeballs and clicks on your pins. Large image sizes – 1000 x 1500 to 2000 x 3000 – are the best for Pinterest.
2. Use keywords in your images.
Pinterest search algorithm can read the text within your images! Adding keywords within the image will boost your search performance.
3. Insert keywords into Alt-Text of your images.
When you download an image on your desktop from Canva, add a few keywords into the backend of the image. Pinterest crawlers analyze the image’s metadata too – inserting keywords there will improve Pinterest search rankings.
4. Create Video Pins
Video pins stand out from image pins. They hold a scroller’s attention for longer than an image can because of how the human eye is designed to function. We instinctively focus on a moving object.
People stop scrolling to check out a motion video. So even if you include a gif, you will get more clicks.
5. Do not cloak URLs
When a user hovers over a URL on a blog page, they see the landing page location at the bottom left of their screen. URL cloaking changes the URL that is displayed there and replaces it with a customized one.
This works well for blogs but not for Pinterest because Pinterest only shows domain name on the pin. If the cloaked URL has your landing page but in reality, it lands on the product page, you will be misleading the audience. This will impact their trust on your content.
Can you do affiliate marketing on Pinterest?
Yes, you can. Pinterest now allows users to use affiliate links. You can now create images and add an outbound affiliate link without violating the Pinterest norms.
With direct linkage to the product page, your audience need not visit your domain page before the product page. By skipping the extra touchpoint for your audience, you can drive a higher conversion rate.
Here are some Pinterest norms.
Does Pinterest allow clickbank links?
Yes, you can link your Pinterest images to clickbank products and make a commission on each sale.
Does Pinterest allow Amazon affiliate links?
Yes, as of 2022, Pinterest allows the usage of Amazon affiliate links. You can now link to Amazon products directly without having to link to your blog that has the links.
Generating affiliate income through Pinterest is possible with or without a website. But you can never succeed without quality helpful content.
Always focus on your user and what they need. Then create high quality content that actually helps them. Money will follow, irrespective of the nice, once you build enough trust and a good follower-base.