Did you know that you can create a passive income stream without even writing a single blog post? All you need is a Pinterest account and some affiliate products to promote!
Affiliate marketing is truly the easiest way to jumpstart your income if you are just starting out in the blogging world.
If you need to make money fast and don’t have time to wait for Google to let you out of the Sandbox in 6 months then why not try using Affiliate links on Pinterest?
If you are like me and love scouring the income reports on Pinterest, you have probably noticed that affiliate marketing makes up the bulk of revenue for most bloggers.
Did you also know that you can add affiliate links directly to Pinterest without writing a single piece of copy?
You can make money promoting all kinds of products on Pinterest and get paid commission while you sleep!
Read on for all the details on getting started with this lucrative side hustle.This page contains affiliate links meaning I earn a commission if you use those links. Please read my Disclosure for more details.
How To Use Affiliate Links On Pinterest
Once I discovered I could make money with affiliate links on Pinterest, I became really interested in the ins and outs of affiliate marketing and read every article I could find.
Now I’ve put it all together for you in this post so you can get a jumpstart on your affiliate marketing!
How Pinterest Affiliate Marketing Works
First, let’s talk about Pinterest. Pinterest isn’t really a social network in the same way as Facebook and Instagram. In a way, its more of a visual search engine that people browse to get inspiration for home decor, fashion and, well, anything really.
A Pinterest pin is the same as a post on the other social media networks. Content creators add new pins to their Pinterest account with links back to their website or blog.
In the same way, affiliate marketers can use Pinterest to add product pin to Pinterest with their unique link to affiliate offers from different brands.
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When I first head about using Pinterest affiliate links, lots of people were saying they had made commissions within 24 hours of starting. I’ll be honest that I was completely skeptical because it all seemed too easy.
When I didn’t make my first sale within 24 hours, I was a bit disappointed but within two weeks, I was making affiliate sales almost every day. I still can’t believe it!
For those new to this form of marketing, let’s break down some of the basics of using affiliates on Pinterest.
What is affiliate marketing?
It seems like a new and trendy way of making income online but in fact, it’s been around for decades. Any sales person who makes a “cut” or commission from selling a product is, in a sense, an affiliate for that product.
In essence, the affiliate is acting as the agent or representative of the product or company they are selling. Think of travel agents, insurance salesmen or MLM direct sellers.
As an affiliate, you can promote different products on Pinterest, social media or your own blog and make a small commission for every sale you refer.
How do Affiliate Links work on Pinterest?
Since 2016, Pinterest has allowed pinners to add direct affiliate links to their pins instead of having to go through a blog.
This is great news because it means that you can market to the over 450 million monthly active users! For free! Now that’s my kind of marketing.
While the use of affiliate links on Pinterest has been around for 5 years, the Pinterest algorithm has changed a lot so it is important to know how to take advantage of this great opportunity properly.
Without realizing it, you have probably already clicked on an affiliate link for a cute sweater or Etsy printable. Those are affiliate links.
Here is an example from my board “Summer activities for kids”:
You can see that the link to this pin is from shareasale.com. If you are new to affiliate marketing they are a great place to start because they work with tons of retailers such as Modcloth, Shutterfly and DollarTree.
I find it to be a great network for fashion bloggers as there are lots of great brands on ShareaSale.
While adding your affiliate link to a picture of a product is a good starting point, you will likely need to create a marketing strategy in order to grow your Pinterest traffic.
RELATED POST – Top affiliate networks you can join today
Step by step process to your first affiliate sale on Pinterest
Create a Pinterest Business Account
You’ll need a business account in order to claim a website and use all the features you need on Pinterest.
You can convert an existing account to a business one but I recommend you start a new account for ease.
Fill out your Pinterest profile page with a short description and a photo.
You’ll also want to create rich pins which enable you to have more information on your Pinterest pins.
After that you can create some Pinterest boards that match the products you want to promote with affiliate links.
Remember, it is easy to create a new board at anytime but it helps if you make a few now and curate content from other people before you start affiliate marketing.
Learn To Make Beautiful Pins
Just like with a social media post, Pinterest is the king of visual content and you need to produce great content in order to be successful. You can create pins using a free program like Canva.
I personally use Pin templates such as the ones from Mommy On Purpose as they save me a lot of time and help me to create lots of pins quickly.
Click here for some free Pin templates to try (these are the ones in the picture above).
There are also video pins and tutorial pins called Idea Pins that you can use also, however they do not allow you to add your affiliate links so are not as useful for our purposes.
Join Affiliate Programs
When someone clicks on an affiliate link from Pinterest they are redirected to the merchant and the pin owner (you!) receives a commission for each sale.
That means that you need to have a bunch of affiliate links you can use.
Check out this list to find some awesome affiliate networks you can join today
Start Pinning Affiliate Links To Pinterest
Once you have created some cute pins and got your affiliate links ready to go, you can start adding your pins to a Pinterest board. You can also try joining some group boards for even more exposure.
Like the other social media platforms , it is important to appeal to your target audience with content and eye catching pins on relevant boards.
Make sure to read the Pinterest best practices guide which will show you the best way to promote your content on Pinterest.
You can use a Pinterest scheduler such as Tailwind to make sure your pins go out at intervals or you can add your pins directly to Pinterest using the “create” tab.
While you don’t want to add too many pins (Pinterest has a very robust spam detection system), an effective way to boost your account is to re-pin your top pins to different boards a few days apart.
One important rule to note is that you must add a Federal Trade Commission disclosure on your pins that contain affiliate links.
Disclosures on Pinterest
Make sure to disclose on any and all pins that you are acting as an affiliate.
This is true for every social media channel and Pinterest is no exception.
You can do this in the pin description by adding #afflink or #affiliate as you can see on my pin above.
Failure to do this can result in you being banned from Pinterest and even result in legal action.
I have noticed that, when it comes to courses and ebooks, most people do not disclose that it is a direct affiliate link, perhaps because of the landing page.
I would rather be 100% covered and I recommend that you do add a disclosure.
Top Tips For Using Affiliate Links On Pinterest
Don’t be spammy
No one wants to be bombarded with sales pitches on Pinterest so make sure to stay true to the essence of the site.
Pinterest users are searching for inspiration, ideas, and ways to improve their lives. In that vein, remember to pin other people’s stuff and use affiliate links sparingly but effectively.
Keep your content fresh
Look for new products to promote and mix your affiliate content in with regular pins so that your account is interesting and fun to follow.
Experiment with different kinds of pins and make sure to follow Pinterest power users to see the kinds of pins they use.
Use Tailwind Communities
Drive traffic to your pins by joining Tailwind communities for free and sharing your content and others.
This seems too good to be true?
It really is as simple as that but to be honest, just slapping some pins with affiliate links onto your boards won’t make you rich. Trust me, I tried! They say “build it and they will come”.
This is true but you do need to know how to build “it” to be effective.
This is where Get Paid To Pin really came in for me.
The techniques to create, brand and market affiliate links in the book are simple but effective. It’s stunningly easy once you know what to do and it really works.
Dale, the author, makes $500+ a month with affiliate links on Pinterest.
In Get Paid To Pin, she teaches:
- The basics of affiliate marketing and how to be successful with it
- How to optimize your Pinterest account to make money, including “Pinterest SEO” tips to help you get found on Pinterest
- Her exact pinning strategy that allows me to earn passive income every day, including how you can set up the exact same strategy!
- Updated info about the 2021 Pinterest change
- BONUS: A list of 250+ high-paying affiliate programs you can join immediately to increase your affiliate income
Dale shows you exactly how to create affiliate pins that go viral. She also demonstrates how she shared her pins to create a buzz.
You can replicate the method to every affiliate link thus creating many passive streams of income, without a single blog post!
Now if you are wondering whether to purchase the ebook, I totally get it.
It took me a month to decide to buy it. I tried to do my own affiliate links on Pinterest in the meantime but nothing really stuck.
I finally bought the book because I wanted to get serious about my lack of affiliate sales.
The book costs $27 but you can get it even cheaper with my special promo code.
Use code SS20 for an additional 20% off when you buy the Get Paid To Pin using this link.
I think it is a great value for the information and tutorial included.
It’s easy to make back the money once your affiliate links are up and running.
If you are interested in seeing more about what the book includes, check out all the details here.
If you are serious about increasing your affiliate sales and want to know more about harnessing the power of Pinterest, I think the book is a great investment.
Affiliate Links On Pinterest FAQs
Can you use Amazon Associates Affiliate Links on Pinterest?
The Amazon affiliate program is by far the most popular affiliate program on the web and for good reason. Everyone knows Amazon so it is easy to direct sales there.
Plus if someone clicks on a link with your Amazon associate ID and then makes a purchase, you get credit for anything they bought on Amazon, not just the product they clicked on!
But can you use Amazon Affiliate links on Pinterest?
I have seen a lot of conflicting information about whether or not you can use Amazon links on Pinterest. Some sources say that it is fine as long as you add Pinterest to your Amazon profile under ” website and mobile app links”.
To be honest, I see Amazon affiliate pins all the time when I’m browsing Pinterest but personally, I err on the side of caution and do not use them.
For me, it is just not worth losing my Associates account for a few sales plus the cookie is so short on Amazon (24 hours) that it is not a great converter on Pinterest for me anyway.
Bottom line: Use Amazon Links at your own risk.
What affiliate links convert well on Pinterest?
Really, anything and everything! Have a look at your own boards and see what affiliate links you have already pinned without realizing it.
For me, the most popular were clothes and printables followed by e-books on subjects I want to learn about. Baby items are also really popular.
Once you have found some products you are interested in, check out shareasale.com or the other awesome networks in my list of the top paying affiliate networks and get linking.
Does Promoting ebooks work on Pinterest?
Personally, I find ebooks are a great thing to promote as an affiliate on Pinterest because the ebook author often has a landing page that “sells” the product once the pin has been clicked on.
If you have taken some courses or bought some ebooks and want to promote them, it’s worth seeing if there is an affiliate program you can join.
If you want to become an affiliate for my ebook, Affiliate Action Plan, follow the link at the bottom of the product page. I pay 40% commission on all sales.
I also have a Christmas planner affiliate program that you can join if you have seasonal content.
Do I have to buy the ebooks I promote?
Well, yes, in theory it would be nice if you had actually read a book you promoted!
However, sometimes you just want to promote the bestsellers in a category that you may not have even read, hey, thats what reviews are for, right?
I don’t force my affiliates to buy my book because I figure that a lot of them have found out about it from this blog post and I want you to have something to start promoting on Pinterest as soon as possible.
However, many ebook authors will not let you into their affiliate program unless you buy their course or book, so what can you do?
Obviously you could go ahead and buy tons of books so that you can become an affiliate but there is an easier way – the Ultimate Bundles.
What are Ultimate Bundles?
Ultimate Bundles is a company that puts together different “packages” of courses and ebooks periodically and then sells them for rock-bottom prices.
For example, the last one I bought was the Genius Bloggers Kit and for $97 I got over $5000 worth of products. I think there were almost 100 ebooks and courses included. And most of them had affiliate programs.
Do you see where I am going with this?
If you can find an Ultimate Bundle in your niche, it is basically a pot of gold. You can then do two things:
- Buy the bundle and apply to all the individual affiliate programs and start promoting them
- Become an affiliate for Ultimate Bundles yourself and promote the bundle as a whole.
Isn’t it genius?
Can I use Etsy affiliate links on Pinterest?
This is a great question because there are product pins with Etsy links all over Pinterest. Unfortunately the answer is no.
Etsy used to be a complete goldmine for affiliate links on Pinterest. You could promote all kinds of products, printables, invitations and clothing and the sales would just roll in.
The bad news is that a while ago Etsy announced some new Terms and Conditions for their affiliate program which explicably bans Etsy affiliate links being used on Pinterest.
What’s weird is that you can use Etsy affiliate links on a social media network such as Facebook or Instagram.
Here is what Etsy says about affiliate links on Pinterest:
“Social Media and Sharing
Affiliates may only post affiliate links on social media feeds they operate in line with their website URL, such as Instagram, Facebook, or Twitter.
Affiliate links are prohibited on some social sharing sites, such as Pinterest and Tumblr. When posting content outside of Etsy, it is the Affiliate’s responsibility to follow each site’s policies on affiliate link”.
So what can you do now?
Etsy is a fantastic affiliate program to be part of and I recommend you join it even though you can’t use their affiliate links on Pinterest.
What I have done is to make whole blog posts around Etsy products that I want to promote and then created pins for that blog post. That way I am still getting the sales but via my blog instead of directly from Pinterest to Etsy.
Instead of Pinterest > Etsy = $$, the sales funnel looks like this: Pinterest> Blog Post> Etsy =$$
If you want to join the Etsy affiliate program, it is available on both Awin.com and shareasale.com
If you don’t have a blog, your best bet for promoting Etsy is probably on Facebook or Instagram, both of which are allowed.
More Affiliate Marketing Tips
The Top Affiliate Networks for Bloggers
Affiliate Action Plan – How to Monetize Your Blog
Is Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing Worth the Money?
How To Promote Your Pins
Why Tailwind Communities are Awesome for Promoting Your Pins
4 Easy (Free!) Ways to Promote Your Pins
Optimizing Your Pinterest Strategy
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Monday 1st of April 2019
Thank you for the information!! I like how creative you can get when doing affiliate marketing. It's really awesome, I made my first commission recently, feels good haha.
Saturday 30th of March 2019
Hi! Good blog! I have one question. Suppose I create a pin with an affiliate link that directs to the affiliate network landing page. Of course, this is not my site, so I can not put this pin image there - can I normally add my created pin to Pinterest + add a url as a source to this landing page without problems from Pinterest side?
Friday 22nd of March 2019
Very informative article! I have been wanting to get into affiliate marketing for the income opportunities.I wasn’t aware that pintrest made it so easy ! Thats good to know i will put a plan in action!
Monday 25th of February 2019
Thank you so much for these timely tips! :) I am like you. I like to err on the side of caution. (The rules seem to be always changing.) Best, Christina
Sunday 3rd of February 2019
I promote on Pinterest from shareasale but I have been trying to figure am I allowed to use my merchant's photos from the site or no. Can you answer this for me?
Wednesday 6th of February 2019
Hi Ketionee, it would depend on the individual merchant to be honest. Most will probably let you but it's best to reach out to the merchant (you should be able to find their contact on Shareasale.