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Pinterest users love how easy it is to find (and organize) interesting content on just about any subject you can imagine. Several years ago Pinterest was great for certain things like DIY projects, recipes, style and fashion… but not as useful for other types of topics.
Today, it seems like Pinterest has something for everyone.
Bloggers and marketers love Pinterest because of the opportunity to reach millions of targeted users. For many bloggers, Pinterest is the leading source of traffic. While new bloggers typically struggle to get visitors from Google search during the blog’s first year, with a few popular pins it’s possible even for new blogs to get loads of traffic from Pinterest.
Social networks like Facebook and Twitter are great for communicating, but Pinterest is better suited for sending traffic to other websites and blogs. When someone is on Facebook they’re probably interested in seeing what their friends have posted. They’re not really looking to click on links to external websites.
But Pinterest users are looking for ideas, inspiration, solutions, and products. Clicking to a blog post or a product sales page is a lot more natural with the mindset and intent of the typical Pinterest user. This is why Pinterest presents such a great opportunity for marketing and making money.
Accoring to Pinterest, 40% of Pinterest users have a household income of $100,000 or more, and 72% of users say Pinterest helps them find ideas for everyday life (source). Numbers like that prove that Pinterest is a platform worthy of your attention.
In this article, we’ll look at some different ways that you can make money on Pinterest. If you’re already an avid Pinterest user, why not put that experience to work and make money doing something that you enjoy?
And if you’re not already an avid Pinterest user, it’s worth taking the time to learn more about the platform and how to get the most out of it. All of the opportunities and ways to make money covered in this post will require you to be familiar with Pinterest.
How to Make Money on Pinterest: 6 Different Ways
Now, let’s take a look at several of the best ways that you can go about monetizing your activity on Pinterest.
1. Offer Services as a Pinterest Virtual Assistant (VA)
Virtual assistants help with all kinds of tasks (see my article How to Become a Virtual Assistant). In many cases, this will include administrative tasks that business owners prefer to outsource. Some VA’s specialize in Pinterest and providing services to companies and bloggers who want someone else to handle their Pinterest marketing.
As a Pinterest VA your tasks could include:
- Creating attractive, pinnable images
- Optimizing your client’s Pinterest profile for SEO and keywords
- Developing a Pinterest strategy, including board topics and board names
- Manually pinning your client’s content
- Managing your client’s Pinterest account and activity (including pinning other people’s content)
- Setting up an automated pinning strategy with Tailwind
- Evaluating analytics to gauge the results and make needed adjustments to the strategy
Many bloggers and business owners recognize the tremendous potential of being active on Pinterest, but don’t have the knowledge or experience to get results on their own. They may prefer to hire an expert to handle everything for them.
Other bloggers and business owners may feel more comfortable with Pinterest, but they may choose to outsource to a VA because they don’t have the time to do it themselves, or it is not the best use of their time.
Some Pinterest virtual assistants charge their clients an hourly rate, and others offer different packages with flat monthly rates. Either way, with just a few clients you can make some decent money as a Pinterest VA.
Rates for Pinterest VAs can vary greatly. Some are as low as $15 per hour, while the higher-priced VAs may charge $75-$100 per hour. Of course, in order to get in the higher bracket and retain clients, you’ll need to be able to get results for your clients.
Pros of Being a Pinterest VA:
- Flexible schedule.
- Potential for a good hourly rate.
- Plenty of potential customers.
- Use your expertise to help other businesses.
Cons of Being a Pinterest VA:
- You’ll have to find the clients.
- Trading your time for money.
2. Affiliate Marketing
Another popular way to make money with Pinterest is to use affiliate marketing. As an affiliate, you can promote products and services and earn a commission whenever someone purchases through your unique referral link.
There are affiliate programs available in just about every industry, to promote just about any type of product you can imagine. You can sign up with large networks like CJ, ShareASale, and FlexOffers, or use private affiliate programs from individual companies or brands. Amazon’s affiliate program (they call it Amazon Associates) is probably the most popular affiliate program in the world.
When it comes to using Pinterest as an affiliate marketer, there are a few different possibilities. In the past, Pinterest did not allow pins that used affiliate links, but they have changed their policy. You can create pin images and link them directly with your affiliate link, so when a visitor clicks on the pin they will go straight to the sales page for the product or service and you will be tracked as the affiliate.
By using affiliate links on Pinterest, you can make money without even needing your own blog.
The other approach is to use affiliate links in your blog posts, and then use Pinterest to send traffic to those blog posts. If you already have a blog, this is a great option. The articles that you write can help to sell the products or services, which can improve conversion rates and allow you to make more money.
In order to make money on Pinterest as an affiliate, you will need to have a decent Pinterest profile. You don’t need to have a huge number of followers, but you do need to create boards and pins that use the right keywords and give your pins a chance to be seen. You’ll also need to create pins that grab attention and get clicks.
Pros of Affiliate Marketing on Pinterest:
- You don’t need to have your own website or blog.
- If you do have a blog you can promote affiliate products within your posts.
- Affiliate programs exist in just about every industry.
Cons of Affiliate Marketing on Pinterest:
- You’ll need to build a good following or have several viral pins to make much money.
- Without your own blog you will be dependent on Pinterest and the affiliate programs that you are in.
As a blogger, you can make money by getting a lot of traffic from Pinterest. Many bloggers get 75% or more of their traffic from Pinterest (although I recommend a more diverse approach to have more security) and that traffic helps bloggers to make money in several different ways.
Many of the bloggers who get large numbers of visitors from Pinterest choose to monetize their blogs with advertisements. Networks like Mediavine and AdThrive can be excellent options, since you can make far more with these networks than you could with AdSense. Ads can be disruptive to visitors, but as a blogger it’s a passive stream of income. All you need to do is focus on traffic and continuing to publish new content.
If you’re going to use Pinterest to send traffic to your blog you’ll need high-quality pin images that attract clicks and re-pins, and you’ll need to create boards and pins that are optimized for your keywords in order for your pins to be seen. You can use Tailwind to automate a lot of the pinning and save time, but I recommend manually pinning sometimes as well so you stay up-to-date with what is working.
Pros of Using Pinterest for Blog Traffic:
- Potential for lots of free traffic.
- Pinterest traffic tends to be higher-quality than other social networks.
- Your blog is an asset that can increase in value.
Cons of Using Pinterest for Blog Traffic:
- Building a successful blog takes time.
- Ad revenue is generally not the most lucrative monetization method.
4. Publish Sponsored Content
Another great way to make money with a blog is to publish sponsored content. If you have a strong Pinterest profile and if you’re able to use Pinterest to send traffic to your blog, you should be able to charge more for your sponsored content.
You can use Pinterest to send visitors to your blog posts, or you could even create pins that go directly to the website or landing page of your sponsor.
I don’t have a ton of experience with sponsored content, but I did publish a few sponsored posts a few months ago with one of my blogs, right before I sold the blog. The pins that I created for those sponsored posts were some of the most successful pins I ever created, and Pinterest sent a significant number of visitors to my blog as a result. Some of those visitors clicked through to the site of the sponsor. The more (quality) traffic you can send to a sponsor, the more you can charge for a sponsored post.
If you have a strong Pinterest profile you can include some details about Pinterest promotion in your media kit or the proposal that you send to the sponsor. Explain what you will do to promote the content on Pinterest, and give some statistics of other pins for similar content so the sponsor sees what you’re able to do on Pinterest.
Pros of Sponsored Content and Pinterest:
- It’s an easy way to make money if you have a decent-sized audience for your blog.
- Good income potential.
Cons of Sponsored Content and Pinterest:
- Better as a supplementary source of income than a primary source.
5. Build an Email List
A way to make money indirectly with Pinterest is to build your email list. You can create pins that lead to landing pages or optin pages. This approach typically works best when your landing page is offering some freebie that visitors can get if they subscribe to your list. Then, your pin will usually mention this lead magnet, so Pinterest users who are interested can click through and get it.
Aside from landing pages, you can also build an email list by sending Pinterest traffic to your blog posts. Then, once the visitor is on the blog you can work to convert him or her to an email subscriber. You can use a popup, embed an optin form with the post body, or use a content upgrade that offers readers some sort of free incentive (related to the post content) in exchange for their email address.
Building your email list won’t directly make you money, but if you are nurturing that email list you’ll be able to make money from affiliate links and sales of your own products.
Pros of Building an Email List with Pinterest:
- Your email list is an asset that can help your business to grow in many ways.
- Potential to get free email subscribers.
Cons of Building Email List with Pinterest
- Getting re-pins and clicks to landing pages can be more difficult as compared to blog posts.
- Doesn’t directly make you money. You’ll still need to sell something in order to make the money.
6. Sell Your Own Products
Another good option for monetizing a blog (and my personal favorite blog monetization method) is to sell your own products. Digital products are the most popular option, but selling physical products is also possible.
Pinterest can be a great source of traffic if you are selling products. You can create pins that lead straight to your sales pages or landing pages. You can also use Pinterest to drive traffic to your blog posts that mention or promote your products.
Pinterest also offers the option to pay for traffic through sponsored pins. One of the cool things about Pinterest’s advertising program is that your ad can be re-pinned by other users, and those re-pins can generate even more traffic to your site. With the right ad you can use a sponsored pin to gain traction and get a viral effect, and then get much more free traffic as a result of all the re-pins. I’ve used Pinterest ads in the past for some of my digital products and I’ve had pretty good results.
→ Related reading: How to Sell Your Own Digital Products the Easy Way
Pros of Using Pinterest to Sell Your Own Products:
- High income potential.
- Sponsored pins make it possible to reach a larger audience.
- Many users go to Pinterest to find products.
Cons of Using Pinterest to Sell Your Own Products:
- Getting re-pins and clicks to sales pages can be difficult.
What’s Your Decision?
In this article we looked at 6 great ways to make money with Pinterest. There is no right or wrong way, but some of the options may be more appealing to you.