Affiliate marketing using Pinterest is not as easy as it sounds.
If you thought you could simply post a pin and change the link to an affiliate link and create passive income, I have news for you, you’re probably not going to make more than a few nickels.
It’s the same with writing a blog article, you can’t just throw 10 affiliate links in your blog post, and hope that someone will start clicking.
There are a few things to take into consideration, and a few rules to follow.
First and foremost, if you have tried using Pinterest for Affiliate Marketing and it hasn't worked for you, start by answering a few questions about yourself and your blog honestly:
Do you have an audience? In other words, how many people are either following you on social media or visiting your blog on a daily basis?
Where is your blog/website traffic coming from? Is it Pinterest? Facebook? Twitter? Organic Google Search? How are people finding and visiting your blog online each day, week, month?
Do you have an email list that you email each time you post a new blog article? If so, how many people are currently on that list?
Now that you have the answers to those questions, consider this:
For the average affiliate sale, it takes about 1,000 clicks to get 1 sale.
GEEZ. Is that really true?
Manage your own expectations about Blog Affiliate Marketing
If you don’t have an audience yet, then scrambling to write blog articles with links to your affiliate products is not going to make you a full time income.
Before you can get hundreds and thousands of clicks, people need to know who you are and be able to trust your recommendations first. That simply won't happen if you only share posts on social media without a big audience, or you only pin your own content.
Pinterest is a content curation platform. That means that people who are searching for a topic don’t want to see just one choice, they want to see everything related to that topic. Here's how content curation works in terms of how you pin your content…
Pinterest is a search engine just like Google.
So think about what you do on Google, you type in a word or phrase and expect Google to search for an answer to your question, and if you only get one choice, its not really what you’re looking for…you want lots of choices.
The reality is when you’re first stating out, you want people to recognize you for one thing that you do best. If you pin about home decor, people don’t want to see SEO or vegetarian recipes, because if you’re an expert at home decor, that’s what you want to be known for.
So how does this translate to your Pinterest profile?
It means I want to see boards and pins organized by topic with lots of different information (not just from you, but from different pinners who have content that compliments yours).
This is why it is recommended that you re-pin other content that is related to your own. Notice how the biggest accounts on Pinterest pin content that is not only their own, but related to their own. Think of it as though you are pinning for your audience (not yourself) because when you are a “business” that's exactly what you're doing…curating content for your audience.
The people who make up the audience on Pinterest are primarily women and they are primarily from the United States, and guess what, they are primarily from educated households.
So while that probably means they have money to spend and they could be a good target customer for whatever you’re offering for sale, it also means that people scrolling through their Pinterest feed are not stupid and therefore they don’t fall for clickbait headlines or offers that are not completely transparent.
Remember, these are educated people, they do their research, if they don’t have a way to qualify that you actually know what you’re talking about, they won’t buy from you.
In other words, they may click on the link and check out what you’re promoting but if they don’t know you or trust you, you’re never going to make an income from them.
So how do you change that?
3 Pinterest Affiliate Marketing Secrets
Here are my best inside secrets that will help you understand how you can get better at affiliate marketing on Pinterest.
Secret #1: Context
Words can make a casual reader open up their wallet and buy something, so writing an honest affiliate marketing review.
Blogging and social media are both forms of online marketing. When you are marketing a product or service that is not your own and was created by someone else, you have the unique ability to influence others perception of that product or service. Is it worth the money? Is it legitimately helpful? Does it provide the solution that it promises to?
I took an online course in 2014 and about a year later, the course creator developed an affiliate program. I wrote an honest review about my experience with that course. Every time people searched for information about it, my post came up organically in a Google search, and I earned a few thousand dollars in affiliate commission. That course has since been discontinued and I took the article down, but writing a review of a course or even software that you use can be an effective way to create a passive income stream.
Instead of just posting an Affiliate Link on your pin, write a blog post and give some context around the reason that you recommend this product or service so highly.
Remember the golden rule, be honest. Share how you personally benefitted from whatever it is that you’re reviewing, and don’t forget that you need to disclose your status as an affiliate (it’s the law!)
Secret #2: Create a Tutorial as an Affiliate Marketer
Another great way to market an affiliate product or service is to create either a blog post or video tutorial that shows people how to use whatever it is that you're recommending. You may have heard of or seen “unboxing” videos on YouTube. This type of “tutorial” works especially well a physical product, when you can actually show people what it looks like (in photos or videos) as well as how to use it. Then, you’ll create a pin that goes directly to that URL.
It's important to leverage the power of YouTube and podcasting for Affiliate Marketing.
If you don’t have much of an audience yet, you can build your network by speaking as a guest on another professionals podcast or YouTube channel. You might even interview the creator of the product or service or interview people who have used and benefited from it on your own podcast or YouTube channel. Just as with guest blogging, this give the host or the interviewee an opportunity to promote it to their audience. Along the same lines, you can also consider making the affiliate a “sponsor” of your show or include an advertisement for the product or service as part of other episodes.
You don’t necessarily have to promote the affiliate offer on the podcast, YouTube video or in the blog post, instead, aim to get the audience to take an action — for example, to join your Facebook group. Then post the affiliate link inside the Facebook Group to an audience of warm leads who already know, like, and trust you.
Obviously you want to be strategic about this, because I’ve also seen people post affiliate links inside other private Facebook Groups that are not their own. This is a big no-no, not only is it bad etiquette, but it may be against that group’s rules. Keep your affiliate links to your own Facebook Group and respect the owners of the groups that are there to support you.
Secret #3: Affiliate Marketing Through Email & Sales Funnels
The secret sauce to making money online, whether it’s selling your own products and/or services or recommending other’s products and services is by using email and sales funnels.
You might think that email is passé, but that couldn’t be further from the truth. In fact, did you know that email marketing has a ROI (return on investment) of 3,800%? (Source)
Yes, it is true. After all, data doesn’t lie, especially online data that can be measured in clicks.
The power is in the email list. While it may seem overwhelming at first, I promise, this is the way you are going to be able to create that coveted passive income stream that you’ve been hoping for.
After starting a blog, beginning to build an email list is the next most logical step toward passive income. It’s not easy to entice people to sign up for yet another email list, so you have to give them some incentive.
You may have heard people talk about “over-delivering” on customer service? Well before someone will trust you, you need to exceed their expectations.
How do you do that?
Online, it happens by giving them an answer to their question, helping them solve a problem, or at the very least, ensuring they make some progress.
What exactly does that look like?
Well, writing a blog post that provides people with the knowledge they need to take the next step of their journey can be extraordinarily helpful.
Think of this blog post..did it answer some of your questions about affiliate marketing? Did I throw in a whole bunch of affiliate links in the hopes that you would click?
Because I’d rather show you that I actually care about helping you understand how to effectively do affiliate marketing on Pinterest so you can move closer to your goals.
On the other hand, if you are genuinely interested in learning more advanced affiliate techniques such as how to create a bridge page, you might decide to you would like a step-by-step video tutorial that shows you how to make money with your affiliate products by using Pinterest. If so, I encourage you to sign up for my Pinterest Marketing MasterClass: Monetization Techniques, it’s free, of course!
But it’s also a way to encourage you to become a subscriber of my email list.
See how that works?
I know that you’ll only subscribe if you actually believe that I’ve given you some helpful information. Otherwise you would just skip over it and not sign up.
So as you can see, when you can enthusiastically and authentically recommend something that will actually help your readers achieve their goals (whether it's your own product or an affiliate product) they will be happy to hear about it!
Now lets get back to the point of this blog post. There are no social media fairies that will pay you to post your affiliate links on Pinterest. So if you want to dive deep into the strategies mentioned above so you can really start increasing your income and your impact, sign up for my Free MasterClass.
Just have a question you want answered instead? Join my Free Facebook Group and just ask. I'll see you there!
Here's how you can Leverage the Power of Pinterest…
When the thought of using Pinterest for business first crossed my mind, I didn’t really believe it would be possible.
But as I scrolled through my feed, I started reading blogs where people were talking about how they made over $10,000 per month (and more) blogging. I remember thinking “that can’t possibly be true!”
Women eventually get to a point in their life where they want (and sometimes desperately need) a more flexible work life.
Whether it’s the need for flexible hours to be more present with your growing family, or the desire to travel and not be tied down by a 9 to 5, we all dream of a balance between career and life.
This blog post is about my personal journey to grow my business using Pinterest
I don't typically like sharing about my own personal journey, but I was encouraged to share the full story because some people I trust believe that YOU can be inspired to create your own empire by reading it! I hope it inspires you!
So lets start at the beginning. I started my first blog while I was pregnant…in 2006. I was absolutely over the corporate stress, and I knew that I was going to need some flexibility.
At first I didn't think the blog would actually be a business, it was just for fun.
I was still looking for a remote job.
The more I searched, the more frustrated and impatient I got. There are a lot of scams out there.
For the love of all things, don't EVER sign up to do surveys!
I don't know why people are still even talking about that junk!
Anyway, I browsed through websites like FlexJobs, Virtual Vocations, Indeed, and even LinkedIn, I just didn’t believe it was going to be possible for me to get a good job and still have the flexibility to work from home.
So I had this blog, but I didn't yet recognize that it could be monetized, and I surely didn't yet recognize that I could gain massive amounts of website visitors and make money by using Pinterest.
Months went by and I didn’t make a dime.
In the meantime, I was doing freelance work and running Facebook ads for others…and literally teaching others how to grow their online business.
But I didn't have the kind of money they did.
Money to spend on paid ads that is.
But I was determined. I knew that Pinterest was different from Facebook.
I finally stopped doing the work for others and started making things work for my own business
Once I decided to focus on my own business, I ended up pulling in a few thousand dollars a month.
It was certainly enough to supplement my husband’s income, so thankfully I didn’t need a full-time 9 to 5, but it still wasn’t generating the tens of thousands that I was hearing about.
I bought a few courses to make sure I wasn't missing anything, but they didn't offer me anything other than completely vague advice.
I knew better.
On two occasions I even emailed a “course creator” after I purchased her course to ask some questions, and would you believe that 2 different people didn't even bother to get back to me?!
I mean seriously.
Now I was even more determined.
After a few more months I decided to really buckle down and get focused. I documented my strategy, interviewed successful business owners, even took a high-ticket, entrepreneural mastermind, and read more books than I ever thought existed about the topic…I finally zero’d in on what actually worked.
In a matter of days, I jumped from making around $200 per day to making over $2,000 per day! The first day, I stared at my real-time analytics and thought it couldn’t be real. Then the next day, and the next. After about 6 months, I knew I had stumbled upon the real methodology. Needless to say, it has completely changed our life.
I just knew I needed to share this experience so that other women could feel this kind of impact too.
It started with my neighbor, then some friends, and finally, women around the world, who all need the flexibility to work on their own terms…just like I did.
I’m giving away the same game-changing insights that I paid well over $7,000 for!
Because I define success as the dreams that you can help other’s achieve, not what’s in my wallet.
I've had students tell me that what I teach in this course is worth far more than I'm charging for it. That's a huge compliment which I definitely appreciate very much, but I just can't raise the price.
I want it to be affordable, yet uncomfortable. What does that mean?
Well if you pay $50 for a course, then you're not really invested in it. You might not take it seriously. But if you spend a few hundred….well then I know you're invested in yourself and in learning as much as you can. I know this from my own experience!
Over many years of the 9 to 5 lifestyle, I experienced way too much “corporate greed” and I wear my heart on my sleeve.
And, I was disgusted at the women who didn't answer my email. I mean…who are these people?
I'll never be that person who doesn't care about the people I inspire.
The bottom line is that I do care.
I care about helping you achieve your goals.
Yes, I need to make a living too, but I don’t believe in ripping you off so that I can live in luxury while you struggle.
That’s why the mini-course is only $40.
I’ve got your back.
Here are a few details, so you can get a glimpse of how the process works:
Part 1. The Story
Telling a story is much more likely to encourage someone to take action because you make a meaningful connection. You can do this through a blog post by writing, or you can do it through video. This is also the foundation of how you can make money using YouTube. If you don’t have a blog yet, don’t worry, the Pinterest Mini-Course starts out by walking you through how to set up your blog or website, step-by-step.
If you want to make money through Pinterest, I highly suggest starting a blog and writing about the products you sell, or the affiliate products you advertise. Otherwise, you’ll just be spinning your wheels. You don't have to be a stellar writer, you just have to connect the dots for your readers.
Part 2. Affiliate Marketing
This can be super confusing if you’ve never heard of affiliate marketing. Most of the “super affiliates” use sleazy tactics and do not share the secrets that you really need to know. This was my biggest pet-peeve when I first started blogging. I absolutely hate “bro marketing” where you get roped into giving up your email address in exchange for a crappy webinar where someone tells you to put away your phone and all distractions and then shows you photos of their expensive car, before launching into a bad power point presentation and an offer to purchase their $900 course at the end. It pisses me off actually, because they never gave you anything of value and expect you to open up your wallet.
Online marketing doesn’t work that way.
At least not successful online marketing.
The best way to use affiliate marketing with Pinterest is to write a blog post about a product and then pin the blog post.
This method generates a lot more clicks and thus, affiliate income, than you would have if you only linked the pin directly to the product itself. Certainly try both, but if you really want to increase passive income using Pinterest, I highly recommend using your blog.
If you have no idea how to get started with a blog, this completely free download (below) will walk you through the process step-by-step.
It was one of the first “free” digital products that I ever created. In fact, I originally put it together for a few friends, because each of them wanted to learn how to get a beautiful blog set up as quickly as possible, but I just didn’t have the capacity to sit down with each of them and walk them through it step by step.
Instead, it led to the creation of this comprehensive guide, where I share everything I learned from spending nearly 14 years in corporate and agency marketing. You can be assured that you’re getting solid information…not just what I learned while creating my own blog. I’ve created websites for literally hundreds of clients.
Enter your email address and you can get started instantly, for free!
If you don’t already have a blog (or if you do but you need some professional advice) here is a glimpse of what’s included in the guide:
1. How to choose your name and topic
2. How to start with the tech (i.e.: WordPress)
3. How to plan your content
4. How to monetize
5. How to increase traffic and ultimately profit
Part 3: Pin Design
Pin design may sound basic, like something you've already heard before. But it's super important. Pinterest is the place to see pretty, feminine pins, but often times people will use a cursive font that is hard to read, or put too much text on their pin design.
If you want to make money on Pinterest you have to use the types of pins that have been proven to generate hundreds of thousands of clicks. In the industry, this is called “click through rate.”
In the mini-course, I go over exactly what a good pin is vs a bad pin.
I teach what I've learned both by marketing my own Pins on Pinterest, as well as what I learned about color and typography after spending 14 years in corporate marketing.
Literally, I know of people who made only $100 with their pin design, and then after a few adjustments, the next day made $1,800. And it was all due to changing what her pin looked like.
Part 4: Pinterest Specific SEO
Don’t let those three letters “SEO” scare you. This is just a fancy way to describe how to choose the right words to write your Pinterest Boards and Pin Descriptions. This is a critical piece of the puzzle.
When I first started using Pinterest, I labeled my boards like this:
But the reality is, having boards like that will not bring in the big bucks. It’s important to have that right kind of board titles and descriptions to generate the right kind of traffic to your blog.
In the mini-course, I provide a series of videos that literally walk you through the process of how exactly to choose the right SEO words to use for your Pinterest board names and descriptions so that you can generate more profit and more traffic.
Listen I’m not a self-proclaimed guru who has some special talent that you don’t have.
I am just a regular person who didn’t give up, even when my husband thought it sounded crazy when I told him I was going to create a business using Pinterest.
You can do this too!
Thanks for reading and I hope you’ll give the mini-course a try! It’s jam packed with everything you need, including links to video tutorials and downloadable worksheets.
Limited Time: Private Coaching Group
So here's the deal, last year I started a free Facebook group, but at the time, I hadn’t yet created my “mini-course” and I wasn’t even sure what I was going to use the group for. I just knew that I wanted to connect with other bloggers, business owners, and online entrepreneurs in a safe and “spam free” environment.
My plan for the future of the groups is this: right now, it is free and open to join, but once I complete the full online course, I’ll only be inviting course members to the group because I already know I won’t be able to keep up with two groups. Between my clients and the sheer number of emails I answer in a day, I know I will have to make a choice. It’s a great time to jump in now (while it's still free!) if you’re interested.
Inside the group, you’ll find a safe place to ask questions, get encouragement, share your dreams and your business with other women, potentially get clients, participate in the share threads and connect and collaborate with other bloggers, social media influencers, and online entrepreneurs.