I worked for a long time at “the blogging thing” without really making any money, so I decided to try something different last summer, and agreed to work on it for three months. I ended up getting sidetracked and not being as consistent as I liked. I was spending a lot of time on my blog, focusing on sharing my passion instead of creating a profit. I ended up learning some things about Pinterest and getting some new tools to help me market better, and my blog traffic exploded.
Instead of using my newfound Pinterest skills just for blogging, I decided to apply it toward making money right away. I didn’t want to start marketing a ton on my blog, so I decided to start sharing affiliate links. I wanted to be able to share what I did, and then keep my blog ad-free.
What I Pinned
I pinned a ton of products, and painstakingly kept notes of what worked and what didn’t. I figured out how to use analytics to see what my Pinterest audience loved, and what my most profitable boards were.
After that, I started Pinning products from affiliate programs that paid per click, as well as per sale so I started bringing in really good money. I had a few Pins go viral and they continue to make me $300 a month on average months.
Affiliate programs I use
I started off using Shopstyle Collective, and used to like them a lot. Then in our Facebook group, we started to hear about SSC closing accounts randomly and not giving people the money left in their accounts, so I definitely don’t recommend them anymore. I don’t like to send people to companies who are unprofessional and take people’s money.
Magic Links is my new favorite company that offers both pay-per-sale and pay-per-click commissions, which is a great way to make money. You can check them out here. They don’t mind if you use your Pinterest profile to apply (so you don’t need a website or a blog!) and they’re great. I heard back very quickly when I applied, within a business day!
What I did to make consistent sales
I played with Pinterest marketing for several months before I really figured out what worked for me. These were the things that really sent me over the edge from making less than $5 a month to making well over $10 a day.
- Signed up for a free Tailwind account. I upgraded pretty quickly because it was useful for running my blogs, and for just the Pinterest marketing, but I did stick with the free plan for quite a while before I started making money. I highly recommend anyone who is interested in Pinterest marketing for any purpose uses Tailwind. I recommend it to my students so often that I actually created a free course called Tailwind Mastery for them so they wouldn’t feel so overwhelmed using it when they first started.
- Pinning consistently to my top-performing boards. Before I used Tailwind I pinned 5-10 times a day, 1-5 pins each time. After I started using Tailwind I went to 10, then 20 times a day. Now I typically have 50 Pins a day in my queue.
- Sharing in-use images. One of the biggest things you can do as an affiliate marketer is to share in-use images that look like “normal” Pins, with the product as a natural part of the image. These kinds of Pins perform better than images on a plain white background, so definitely share from retailers who have these kinds of images!
My consistent results from Pinterest affiliate marketing
My Pinterest following went from growing by 1-3 followers a day to 10+ a day. I started with less than 1,000 Pinterest followers in March of 2017 (when my first Pin went viral) to having over 5,000 followers (since this number is always growing, you can check to see the number of followers I have below.
How I get my income numbers
I want to take a second to be really, really clear here about how I arrive at my income numbers:
- I do not count any affiliate income I make through my blog in these numbers
- Some bloggers pad their income reports and make it look like they’re “making money” when it’s all them referring people to programs like Awin, then count that as “affiliate income” – so I don’t include my referral program fees here because I feel like that’s dishonest
One question I get a lot is “do you publish income reports?” and the answer is no . I don’t publish regular income reports because I feel like it’s hard to give a big picture of your business and the time and effort it takes to get to that point in a single blog post. Most income reports make it look unreasonably easy to make money online. It isn’t. It takes lots of time, strategic hard work, and I don’t ever want someone to think I’m giving the “anyone can do this with little work!” scam marketing message. That’s not who I am.
I absolutely love Pinterest affiliate marketing. It’s a blast, and as far as online business go, it’s simple to implement and it’s very lucrative. It’s definitely a ton of work, and it’s not a get-rich quick scheme. I tested my theories on what would work and ideas for shortcuts and hacks that I hoped would be the quicker road to more profits… most of those ideas weren’t great, but I did learn a lot about what not to do for a year before I had my first batch of Pins go viral.
Want to grow your Pinterest following?One of the biggest things you’ll need if you want to use your Pinterest profile to build your business is more followers.
Yes, you can get viral Pins with a tiny number of followers, but let’s be honest here: that doesn’t happen to most people. Let me walk you through four days of emails where I’ll show you how I’ve grown my following steadily and consistently over the past year!