Affiliate Marketing on Pinterest For Beginners (2024)

Pinterest has changed a lot in the last ten years. It began as a social media platform and has now become a vital tool for marketing.

Pinterest has a whopping 482 million active users globally and a healthy growth rate of 7.5% each year. If your business is in the U.S., Pinterest could be a great choice. Most of Pinterest’s users, about 84.6 million out of 450 million, are in the U.S., making up 18.8% of its total user base.

What sets Pinterest apart is that it’s not just another social media site. It’s like a big inspiration board and a visual search engine. People use it to find ideas for projects, vacations, outfits, and more. It’s also where people plan their purchases and make buying decisions.

Because of this unique aspect, Pinterest is great for affiliate marketing. Your target audience is already there, actively looking for or thinking about making purchases. You just need to guide them in the right direction.

This guide will show you how to use Pinterest for affiliate marketing and earn extra income.

What is Pinterest Affiliate Marketing?

Pinterest is a visual search engine and social media platform where people find and pin ideas about different things. It’s a place to discover and share stuff related to your interests, hobbies, and goals.

Everything is in the form of a “pin,” which is basically a picture with a link attached. People save these pins on their boards, creating their own virtual mood boards.

Affiliate marketing on Pinterest is similar to other platforms. With this business model, digital marketers share pictures and videos on virtual boards and add affiliate links to products and services. If someone clicks on those links in the “affiliate pins” and makes a purchase, the affiliate earns a commission for bringing in the sale.

As an affiliate marketer, you can use Pinterest to send people to your affiliate content, like blog posts, landing pages, or YouTube videos. It works a bit like other affiliate programs on platforms like YouTube and Shopify – the more eyes on your link, the better chance you have of making sales and earning a commission.

Right now, the trendiest things on Pinterest are nails, easy dinner recipes, and outfit ideas. And according to Pinterest, beauty, celebrations, fashion, hobbies, and home are about to become the next big things.

Why Use Pinterest for Affiliate Marketing?

With its unique features and engaged user base, Pinterest is more than just a place for recipes and DIY projects—it’s a great platform for affiliate marketing. Here’s why:

  • With over 482 million monthly users, Pinterest is buzzing with people looking for inspiration, solutions, and products.
  • Many Pinterest users have a good income. Stats show that 41% of US Pinners make over $75,000 annually.
  • Pinterest users are keen on making purchases. A whopping 89% use the platform for shopping inspiration.
  • Your Pinterest pins stay active for a long time, bringing in traffic months or even years after you post them.
  • Unlike some other social media platforms, Pinterest lets you add affiliate links directly to your pins—no restrictions or bans.
  • It’s easy to use Pinterest, and you don’t need any technical skills or investments to get started.
  • Pinterest is like a visual search engine. About 80% of pinners discover new brands and products weekly, making it a valuable channel for affiliate marketers.

Affiliate Marketing on Pinterest

How to Use Pinterest for Affiliate Marketing

  1. Set up and optimize your Pinterest business account
  2. Understand Pinterest rules
  3. Choose affiliate programs to promote
  4. Create and share pins with affiliate links
  5. Drive more traffic to boost income

Let’s dive into each step in detail.

Step 1: Set up and brand your Pinterest business account

Having a Pinterest business account is different from a personal one. With a business account, you unlock additional features like analytics and ads, essential for selling on Pinterest.

If you already created a personal profile, no worries! You can easily switch to a business account by logging in and converting it.

Alternatively, follow these steps to create a new Pinterest business account:

  1. Go to business.pinterest.com and click “Sign up” in the top right corner.

  2. Enter your business email, preferred password, and age, then click “Create account.”

  3. Fill out the profile fields and click “Next.”

  4. Describe your business and click “Next.”

  5. Choose whether to run Pinterest ads and click “Next.”

  6. Select where to start or go to your Pinterest profile to begin saving Pins.

The first step to having a presence on any social media network is to brand your profile. Here’re some tips to help you:

  • Use a high-resolution logo or headshot that matches your brand across all platforms.
  • Keep bios consistent with the character limit of each platform (e.g., 160 characters for Pinterest).
  • Clearly communicate your brand’s mission and offerings in your bio, using relevant keywords naturally.
  • Choose board covers that align with your branding.

Last but not least, you’ll want to claim your website. This grants you access to Pinterest analytics for your website and activates the Rich Pins feature, providing more information about your link, be it an article, product, or recipe.

Step 2: Understand Pinterest rules

If you’re planning to share content on Pinterest, it’s important to be aware of the rules for creating, pinning, linking, and tagging. Here’re some guidelines for affiliate marketers on Pinterest to keep in mind:

  1. No cloaking: Avoid disguising affiliate links with tools like Bit.ly. Pinterest prohibits this in its community guidelines.

  2. Disclose affiliate links: Follow FTC rules by clearly labeling affiliate content as “sponsored” or “affiliated” in both the pin description and on the landing page.

  3. Single Pinterest account: Stick to one account to avoid violating Pinterest’s guidelines. Operating multiple accounts for manipulating the platform is not allowed.

Remember, violating these guidelines may lead to your Pinterest content being suspended. For more information, you can check out Pinterest’s community guidelines

Step 3: Choose affiliate programs to promote

With a Pinterest business account, it’s time to choose affiliate programs that align with your niche and audience. Affiliate programs are where you sign up as an affiliate partners with a company and receive a unique affiliate link for tracking each sale you make from selling their products. 

Affiliate programs come in two main types:

  1. Individual Affiliate Programs: These are managed directly by the product or service owners. To join, you can apply directly on their website or through email.

  2. Affiliate Networks: These are platforms that link affiliates with various merchants or advertisers. To get started, sign up on the network and then apply for specific programs within it

Here’re some popular individual affiliate programs:

  1. Wayfair (Home Décor): Ideal for both DIY enthusiasts and professionals seeking inspiration. Whether you run a blog or focus on Pinterest, Wayfair’s extensive product range, from rugs to refrigerators, offers diverse opportunities to earn through affiliate marketing. 

  2. Priceline (Travel): Despite travel not being an obvious Pinterest niche, the abundance of vacation photos creates a unique opportunity. You can utilize your Pins to show exotic locations and help users find their dream vacations through the Priceline affiliate program. In return, you can earn a 3% commission for guiding them to their perfect getaway.

Here’re some popular affiliate networks:

  1. Awin: You can apply to various affiliate programs on Awin and promote products on Pinterest to earn commissions. There’s no requirement on owning a website. With over 21,000 advertisers on Awin, it’s easy to find the right one for your audience. Based on the joined program, commissions usually vary. Also, please note that there’s a refundable $5 registration fee for an Awin affiliate account.

  2. Amazon Associates: You can use Pinterest to pin Amazon affiliate links and make money through the program. In the Amazon Associates program, you can select various products to promote, such as books, electronics, games, and household items. Some product categories like Amazon games even offer up to 20% commission per sale. Given that 70% of Pinterest users make purchase decisions, presenting offers from a trusted brand like Amazon makes perfect sense.

Before joining any affiliate program or network, take a moment to understand their terms and conditions. Here are some aspects to check:

  • Commission rate and payment method
  • Cookie Duration (the timeframe during which you still receive credit for a sale after someone clicks on your affiliate link)
  • Approval process and requirements
  • Rules and restrictions on promotion methods

Step 4: Create and share pins with affiliate links

To sell your affiliate offers on Pinterest, you have to create compelling pins with direct affiliate links. Pins are essentially the images or videos you share on the platform.

You have two options for creating pins on Pinterest:

  • Idea Pins
  • Pins

Idea Pins are Pinterest’s new multi-page video format for Pinterest Business accounts. With Idea Pins, you can:

  • Publish content directly to Pinterest.
  • Record and edit videos for up to 20 pages of content.
  • Add interactive elements, music, and voiceovers to enhance your Idea Pins.

Pins are the posts you see when searching on Pinterest. To create and share an affiliate Pin, follow these steps:

  1. Log in to Pinterest and select “Create Pin” from the “Create” drop-down menu.
  2. Provide Pin details such as title and description.
  3. Add images (appearing as thumbnails).
  4. Include your affiliate link in the “Add a destination link” section.
  5. Select a board to save your pin
  6. Click Publish

The images you use for your Pins will serve as thumbnails. To make them visually appealing, you have the option to create them yourself using graphic design tools like Canva or Adobe Photoshop. Or, you can collaborate with a designer to produce impressive visuals for your Pins.

Apart from using high quality images or videos, you should:

  • Add text overlays or captions that highlight the benefits and features of the product or service.
  • Make sure that your pin details, including the title and description, contain keywords relevant to what your target audience is searching for on Pinterest.
  • Incorporate relevant hashtags in your pin description that align with your niche or topic.
  • Include a call-to-action (CTA) in your pin description, encouraging viewers to click on your affiliate link.

To streamline this process, you can use tools like Tailwind or Canva Pro for quicker and more efficient pin creation.

Step 5: Drive more traffic to boost income

In this final step, focus on growing both your traffic and income. Consistently share top-notch, valuable content to attract and engage your audience.

While Pinterest is a social network, it also serves as a visual search engine. You can optimize your profile for search engine optimization (SEO) to reach existing and potential buyers actively searching for content.

Follow SEO best practices, like using keywords with purchase intent and rich pins that automatically update metadata. This approach can drive more traffic, enhance user engagement, build brand awareness, and strengthen audience loyalty by providing current and useful information through your pins.

You might also consider using Pinterest ads to further increase brand awareness, reach, and engagement. It costs some money, but only a fraction of the price you’d pay for advertising on a platform like Google Ads or other online platforms.

Best Practices for Pinterest Affiliate Marketing

1. Schedule pins in advance

You can save time and boost your Pinterest strategy using tools like Tailwind, Later, and Hootsuite to schedule pins in advance. These tools enable you to create a custom posting schedule, add new content to your queue, and automatically pin to your boards. This can increase the likelihood of reaching users when they are most active online. 

2. Enable Rich Pins

If you want to optimise your Pinterest presence, try enabling rich pins. They offer more detailed information and stand out in the crowded feed, increasing your chances of driving traffic. Here are the content types that can reap the benefits of rich pins:

  1. Products: Display current pricing and availability.
  2. Recipes: Show cooking time, rating, ingredients, and serving sizes.
  3. Articles: Highlight headline, description, and author details.

Here’re the steps to enable rich pins: 

  • Add rich meta tags to the relevant pages (e.g., a blog post review).
  • Use the rich pin validator to ensure correct tag uploads.
  • Choose your method for adding rich meta tags: HTML, oEmbed, or Shopify.
  • If everything checks out, hit “Apply now” and wait 24 hours for approval.

3. Create multiple pins for each post

By creating multiple pins for each affiliate marketing post, you can read a wider audience. The more pins you have, the higher the chances of audience interaction (saves, clicks, video views, comments, follows). Aim for at least 1% engagement for optimal results.

You can search for relevant pins on Pinterest using keywords related to your industry. Explore the visual content in your niche, ranging from black and white photos to colorful graphics.

There’s no set limit on the number of affiliate pins you can make for a single content piece or link. Focus on producing high-quality graphics that stand out. Feel free to use DIY marketing tools like Canva to experiment with different pin templates:

  • Vertical vs. horizontal images
  • Colored vs. black and white photos
  • Stock imagery vs. graphics
  • Text-heavy vs. visual-only

While creating new pins can be time-consuming, you can use automation tools to streamline the process. 

4. Build an email list

If you want to build a sizeable audience, there’s nothing better than an email list. Pinterest users often plan for the future, making impulse purchases less common. To overcome this challenge, you can include an email opt-in on your landing page and encourage Pinterest visitors to join your mailing list. Some common incentives include content-centered lead magnets, discount codes, or other freebies.

To pitch your offer, you need to create a drip email campaign to educate and warm up readers. Avoid spamming them with affiliate links. It takes time to build a lasting and engaged relationship with your audience.

Read more: How to Build an Email List for Affiliate Marketing

5. Use Pinterest analytics to review your performance

Don’t waste the data you can collect from Pinterest analytics. It gives you insights into the performance of your pins, user engagement and topics of interests to your audience.

When evaluating your overall performance, consider these metrics:

  1. Click-through rate: What percentage of people see your pin and click it? Are certain pins getting more clicks? Do pins endorsed by well-known bloggers or influencers drive more traffic?

  2. Time on site: Compare Pinterest users to visitors from other sources. Check ecommerce analytics for a high time on site and low bounce rate, indicating your pin aligns with your landing page content.

  3. Conversions: Pay attention to your conversion rate, especially for heavily promoted items with minimal sales or items not promoted with high conversion rates.

Final Thoughts

Pinterest and affiliate marketing go hand in hand in the world of digital marketing. The visual aspect of the platform, along with users having a strong intention to buy, makes it an excellent space for affiliates to succeed.

Follow the advice in this guide to craft eye-catching pins that are optimized for search engines. Your goal is to drive traffic to your affiliate content, and with a bit of initial effort, Pinterest can become a reliable source of commission for you.

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