If you’re planning to promote affiliate products on Pinterest, then you are in the right place because I am going to share with you the right method to do it.
I know there are other people sharing various strategies and “effective” tips on how to do affiliate marketing on Pinterest, but they are either not effective or will get your account shut down.
So, what I will be sharing with you today are the best practices on how to do affiliate marketing on Pinterest, the right way. You can think of this as a guide for you to make money effectively without getting your account flagged, suspended or shut down.
I’ve created a detailed video for you about this topic, but the written version is more detailed. Let’s get right into it.
Pinterest Affiliate Marketing FAQ
Is affiliate links allowed on Pinterest?
The short answer is “Yes”, because Pinterest has said it on their “Affiliate Guidelines”. But, there is more to that they didn’t disclose.
Pinterest has a spam detection algorithm that will flag (or suspend) your account if all or majority of your pins link directly to an affiliate link.
And, even if you try to cloak your affiliate links with one of those URL shortener programs to manipulate Pinterest. Your account will most likely be flagged and eventually shut down.
So, can you place affiliate links on Pinterest directly? The answer is yes, but do it sparingly. You’ll most like need a blog or a website to promote your affiliate products more effectively.
Should you use a personal or business account?
You can use a personal account for affiliate marketing on Pinterest, but it is highly recommended that you use a business account.
Having a Pinterest business account gives you access to useful features that a personal account doesn’t have.
A business account can also help you in terms of Pinterest SEO which we will discuss in a moment.
Can you do affiliate marketing on Pinterest without a website?
In theory, yes!
As we have discussed above.
But practically, if you don’t use a website to promote affiliate products, you are restricting yourself to only writing comment on other people’s pin and placing your affiliate link there.
That’s not effective at all, and it takes a lot of time for you to scour through pins and spamming your links on comments.
We are not talking about that strategy here, on this article. We are talking about a long-term effective strategy.
So, to answer the question…
Yes, you can do affiliate marketing without a website, but it is not advisable.
How does Pinterest affiliate marketing work?
Let’s take barbequing as an example.
Look at it in the perspective of:
- a potential customer (Person A); and
- that of an affiliate marketer (you).
If Person A is interested in barbequing, he/she will probably search for the term “barbeque recipes” on Pinterest to get some ideas.
Pinterest will then show Person A all kinds of pins related to barbeque recipes.
Person A then browses through the results and might save or repin (share) some pins that he/she finds useful and helpful.
And although Person A might not be planning to buy anything, Pinterest will understand that Person A is interested in barbequing.
Pinterest will start showing various barbeque related pins (not just recipes) on Person A’s home feed.
On the flip side, say you’re an affiliate marketer who wants to promote products in the barbeque niche, e.g., barbeque grills or BBQ sauces.
What you need to do is create a lot of helpful pins about barbecuing (like barbeque recipes).
Your goal would be for your pins to show on the home feed of Person A and other BBQ enthusiasts on Pinterest.
To accomplish that, you need to have a lot of users saving or repinning your pins. That way, Pinterest will know that your pins are highly relevant to the term “barbeque.”
So what does this have to do about owning a website?
Well, there are three key elements to succeed with affiliate marketing on Pinterest – Targeted Traffic, Trust, and Relevant Affiliate Products.
Pinterest affiliate marketing success formula
Targeted traffic refers to a particular group of people (audience or niche) on Pinterest that needs or wants your product. Some Pinterest users will want to buy health supplements, home decors, online courses, and some might need barbeque products.
Using the same example above (barbequing), your target traffic on Pinterest would be the barbeque enthusiasts, and you need to create pins explicitly created for them.
The next thing you need to do would be to build a relationship and establish trust between your target traffic. People on the Internet wouldn’t just trust a stranger they meet online.
And in most cases, people who will click your pin on their home feed (or on Pinterest search results) simply want to get an idea about their interest, e.g., a barbeque recipe. They might have an idea of different barbequing products, but their original intention for clicking your pin might not be to buy one yet.
Therefore, if you send them directly to a product sales page using your pins, you’re not giving them the information that they are looking for, and they will leave.
Relevant Affiliate Products
So the best approach would be to send them to a page that gives them the information they need; at the same time, educate them about your products and why it can help them.
Give them a reason to buy the product you are promoting – and that’s the role your website (or blog) will be playing.
When people click your pins, they arrive on your website, and they see that you’ve done a lot of homework to help about various barbequing topics like recipes, reviews on barbequing grills, best barbeque sauces/rubs, etc.…
You will prove to them that you’re an authority in this topic, and you will earn their trust and confidence.
And when you recommend a product to them that is relevant to their interests, a barbeque grill for example, there’s a good chance that they will click your affiliate link and buy your product.
That’s basically how you do affiliate marketing on Pinterest.
Now that we’ve gotten our fundamentals right, let us talk about the steps to build an affiliate marketing business on Pinterest.
Step 1: Pick a Niche
According to Statista, out of more than 300 million Pinterest users, almost 90% (83% in the US) are women.
With this demographic, here is the list of affiliate marketing niches that work best on Pinterest:
- Beauty niche
- Health & wellness
- Home Decor
- DIY Crafts
- Make money from home or MMO (make money online)
Of course you can try to promote affiliate products on less popular niches such as extreme sports, fishing or camping. But, it is not as effective, given the demographic.
Step 2: Start a blog
After you’ve chosen a niche that you want to work with on Pinterest, you then need to create a blog.
But here’s the deal. You will create a blog for the sole purpose of providing value to your target traffic on Pinterest, not to rank on search engines.
This is a little different from starting a blog based on your passion that you want to rank on Google or Bing. In this case, you simply want to start a blog to monetize Pinterest traffic.
I know starting a blog may sound daunting and tedious, but the truth is, this is the best way to do Pinterest affiliate marketing. Furthermore, you can easily create a blog within minutes using SiteGround.
Let me show you how it works.
First, you need to choose a hosting plan. I recommend starting with the GrowBig account because it provides you with free SSL and unlimited websites.
Next, you will be asked to provide a domain name.
I recommend that you pick something related to your niche, and in case you need help, here’s a video of how I come up with catchy domain names for my blog, or you can read a detailed article here.
After you’ve decided on a domain name, you will then need to provide your email address, some personal information, set up domain privacy, and pay for the hosting.
Once that’s done, you just install WordPress (don’t worry you just hit an “install” button and all will be done for you via an installation wizard), pick your WP themes, and that’s it!
You now have a blog you can use for affiliate marketing on Pinterest.
But before you start creating any blog content, I suggest that you first create a personal logo to associate with your brand.
Step 3: Create a Logo
This logo will be the brand image that is used across your Pinterest account and your blog.
If you are not a designer, don’t worry! You can create a professional-looking logo for free even if you’re not a graphic artist.
Here’s a step-by-step logo creation tutorial video I created or if you’re fond of reading, you can find the corresponding article here.
Step 4: Create a Pinterest account for your blog
After creating a blog with SiteGround, the next thing to do is create a Pinterest account for your blog. To get started, you need to go to Pinterest and create an account.
Since you will be primarily using Pinterest to promote your affiliate products, you need to use a “business” account.
A Pinterest business account gives you access to useful features that a personal account doesn’t have, e.g., Analytics or the option to run Ads.
It’s free to create a business account on Pinterest. You just need a valid email address, provide your age, and password.
After you fill the required information above, you then need to provide a link to your blog, specify the country you’re in, the language you want to use, and then hit “next.”
You will then be asked about your brand and whether you’ll be interested in running advertisements on the platform.
You can provide the answer you prefer, and then you can start using Pinterest for your affiliate marketing business.
Now that these are all out of the way, it’s time to create helpful contents for your blog.
Step 5: Do Pinterest keyword research
The first step in creating helpful contents for your blog is to log in to your Pinterest account and do keyword research for your target niche.
Pinterest is designed for mobile users, and according to Pinterest, around 85% of Pinterest users are on mobile devices.
Therefore, most users don’t type more than 3 keywords when searching on Pinterest. Sources say that 75% of user queries are between 1-3 words only.
Since people rarely type more than 3 phrases on their phones, you could say that long-tail keywords (precise keywords made of 4 phrases or more) are not ideal for targeting on Pinterest.
Difference between Pinterest Users and People on Google
When people search on Google (or other search engines), they already have a specific thing in mind, whereas on Pinterest, people are looking for ideas.
That is why in the image above, it says Pinterest users view an average of 60 pins per query because they are looking for new ideas and things they might want to buy in the future.
So how do you find highly relevant keywords for your niche?
1. Get keyword ideas on Pinterest search bar – If you type a particular term on the search bar, Pinterest will auto-suggest a bunch of keywords related to your query. You can target those keywords for your content.
2. Get keyword ideas from the suggested coloured boxes – After you enter a query of interest on the search bar, say “barbeque recipes,” Pinterest will show you different keywords that are related to your original search phrase on coloured boxes.
In the image above, the first one is “Korean,” so some related keywords people are searching about barbequing could be “Korean barbeque recipes” or “vegan barbeque recipes.”
3. Use the Create Ad feature – This strategy of Pinterest keyword research is only possible if you have a business account.
But I want to make it clear that you won’t be creating an ad. You will simply get keyword ideas suggested by Pinterest through the ad campaign feature.
Go to “create ad” under the Ads section of your account.
Provide the information required on the fields; you can put whatever you like; it doesn’t matter since we won’t launch the ad campaign anyways.
Your goal is simply to get to the next page, scroll down until you see a section that looks like this…
On the “extend your reach” search bar, you can input your main target keyword, say, “vegan recipes.”
After you input vegan recipes, you will see a bunch of related keyword suggestions by Pinterest, including their monthly search volume.
Browse through and pick the related keywords with high search volumes.
Again, people in Pinterest are just looking for ideas, so the higher the search volume is, the more relevant the keyword is for the users in that niche.
I’ve written a separate article where I laid out different effective Pinterest keyword research that can help you in this regard. Check it out here.
Step 6: Write a Blog
The primary purposes of your blog are to (1) provide value and earn the trust of your target traffic from Pinterest and (2) to promote your affiliate products.
Therefore, you must create original and relevant contents so when people find your blog useful, they will save or repin your pins.
If you remember, this is precisely what we discussed in how Pinterest affiliate marketing works at the start of this post.
If more and more people are pinning and repinning your pins, they will become what’s called a “viral pin”, and they will rank higher on Pinterest search results. They will also start showing on people’s home feeds as recommendations.
With a viral pin, you will get more traffic on your blog, and your affiliate product will get exposed to more potential customers, giving you a higher chance of making money.
And while on the topic of making money, there are also other ways to monetize a blog using Pinterest traffic.
For instance, aside from joining affiliate networks to promote products, you can also join ad networks like Mediavine or VigLink. (I gave an example of affiliate marketers doing this on my video at the start)
Step 7: Create a Board for your Pins
Before you start creating any pins that will link back to your blog contents, you should create a board first.
Pinterest boards are where you save, collect, and organize your pins.
Now when creating a board, make sure to name your board in a way that Pinterest can immediately tell what your board and the pins it contains is all about.
If you’re planning to use your board to promote pins about affiliate marketing, then you can name it Pinterest Affiliate Marketing.
If it’s about barbeque grills, then you can name it “best barbeque grills,” if it’s about barbeque recipes, then name your board as such. You get the point.
It would be best for SEO if you can name your board using the keywords in your niche and sub-niches, e.g., Korean Barbeque Recipes or Vegan Barbeque Recipes.
Step 8: Create highly Pinnable images
Now that you have created your boards, it’s time to fill those boards with relevant pins. You can start filling your boards with popular pins from other people within your niche, or with your own.
Speaking of creating pins, there are ways to create pins that have a good chance of going viral on Pinterest.
The first thing to consider is to make vertical pins. Pinterest favours vertical (portrait) pins rather than horizontal or square ones.
If you don’t believe me, do a quick search on Pinterest about any topic, and notice that a vast majority of the top-ranking pins (if not all) are vertical.
As an example, I searched for “affiliate marketing” (since that’s what we’re talking about here) and here are the top results…
Characteristics of highly pinnable images on Pinterest
A study was conducted by Curalate to determine what kind of images goes viral on Pinterest. These are the findings:
- Red, orange and brown images receive roughly twice as many repins than blue images
- Photos of medium lightness are repinned 20x higher than images that are mostly black and 8x higher than images that are mostly white
- Images with multiple dominant colours have 3.25 times more repins (on average) than images with a single dominant colour
- Images that contain less than 10% background (e.g. whitespace) are repinned 2 to 4 times more than images with more than 40% background
- Brand images without faces receive 23% more repins than images that have the presence of faces
Aside from the things above, I also compiled other characteristics of viral pins according to successful Pinterest affiliate marketers…
- The recommended photo length-weight ratio on Pinterest by affiliate marketers 2:3 or 1:2 (Pinterest recommends that you use a 2:3 image with 1000×1500 pixels)
- Text overlays dramatically improve image click rates so be sure to give your image some context but don’t give away too much that people will not bother clicking the link to your site
- Avoid using script fonts as they make your image text hard to read (you may lose a user’s interest if they can’t immediately understand what your pin is all about)
- Don’t include too many texts on your pin image that you will have to resort into using small fonts
- Always check how your pin looks on a mobile device, maybe your text looks fine on a computer but they might be too small to read on mobile (remember a vast majority of Pinterest user ~85% are on mobile)
And finally, the best way to make pinnable images is to spend time creating original, beautiful, Pinterest-optimized images for your pins.
Now, you don’t need to be a graphic artist (or hire one) to get a decent image for your pin.
A useful tool I found for this purpose is Canva. If you don’t have a Canva account yet, you can create a free account here.
What’s good about Canva is that the app already has tons of ready to use templates for Pinterest that you can choose from.
I also used Canva to create professional-looking logos for my blogs – for free!
Creating highly pinnable pins gives you a better chance of making your pins go viral on Pinterest, and viral pins can take tons of traffic to your affiliate marketing business.
Pinterest is a long term game, and it works well with a blog or a website. This is the best way to do affiliate marketing on Pinterest, whether you like it or not.
Nevertheless, Pinterest is a good way to build your brand as an affiliate marketer, and it could be a potential source of a recurring passive income online.
In case you already have a blog, but you don’t know what to do on Pinterest, you can follow the guide I’ve provided above.
Or if you want a structural way to learn about blogging effectively, then check out this training program. It will save you a lot of money as well on tools.
However, if you still don’t know where to go after reading this, then what I suggest you do is to learn the most efficient and effective way to do affiliate marketing through this course.
Anyways, thank you for taking the time to read this guide to affiliate marketing on Pinterest.
If you have any questions, thoughts or suggestions, feel free to leave them below in the comment section.
All the best and good luck out there!
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