1. Pinterest affiliate marketing businesses take hard work and consistency to launch

One of the biggest things I struggled with is mistaking something simple (sharing affiliate links on Pinterest) as something that’s easy. While the general concept is simple – share affiliate links on Pinterest, make money isn’t complicated… there is a lot of strategy involved behind having any successful business, and Pinterest affiliate marketing is no different.

This mindset also lead me to really struggle with focusing, because as a new Pinterest affiliate marketer I struggled with the feeling of desperation  lefover from all my other previous attempts at making money like direct sales, failed blogs, and then all the other crappy side hustles that dind’t make me any real amount of money.

2.There are no magic shortcuts

People tend to think that there are “magic bullets” and shortcuts to making building and running a business practically effortless. This is not only not true, but it’s one of the most disgustingly deceitful things bloggers can tell their readers who trust them. Any blogger who promises you you can have a profitable blog in 15 minutes, or that you should use Bluehost (hint: DON’T! Read more about that here!) should be banned from the internet. They suck. ANY business takes lots of hard work to build, and anyone who tells you differently is a liar, plain and simple.

Now, with Pinterest affiliate marketing, it’s no less work, but you’re getting paid to be on Pinterest. Like… seriously… it may be work but if you’re going to be on Pinterest anyway, you may as well be making money, right?

3. This is not a cookie-cutter mindless business

It’s easy to Pin things and not think about it, not caring whether what you’re pinning is vertical, whether it has a good description, and if it’s a product you can monetize.

Pinterest affiliate marketing is really nothing like Pinning mindlessly without any strategy. It’s work, but it’s worth it! It always feels like in our Facebook group we have students who want:

  • A schedule they need to follow
  • A list of products to promote on their boards
  • Concrete, cut-and-dry rules for them to adhere to

People want things to be cut-and-dry, easy and mindless, but any business that’s really yours will depend on you to make your schedule, and you’ll have to figure out how which products your audience loves, although there’s a pretty simple way to do that if you’re feeling lost. Really, there are only two things you have to do as a Pinterest affiliate marketer, the rest is completely at your discretion and depends on how much money you want to make, and how quickly you want to make it:

  1. Share affiliate-linked Pins
  2. Disclose those Pins with the correct FTC disclosure

Of course, there is a ton of strategy involved (way too much for one blog post!) and the amount of time you have to

4. You can automate lots of things, but it’s still work!

One of the things I love is my ability to “automate” my business now, but it’s still work to maintain.

Looking back: Mistakes I made

I wish as a new Pinterest affiliate marketer I hadn’t wasted so much time refreshing my analytics. I can’t tell you how many hours I probably spent refreshing the Shopstyle Collective app, hours I could have been spending making Pins.

The next thing I wish I had done more of from the beginning was sharing custom images for affiliate links, instead of just sharing plain images on Pinterest. Sharing custom Pins was what helped me break away from making less than $1 a day to making in the double and triple digits every day.

In addition to that, I wish I had taken more time to make my Pins look nice, instead of just throwing them together so I could meet a quota or goal I set for myself. Once I started putting together my Pins and their descriptions more purposefully, I increased my earnings a lot! Trust me on this: it’s hard to make custom Pins. It takes more time and it’s more work especially if you aren’t tech savvy – I get it. But you’ll also earn more in the long run.

The last thing I regret, is reading (and trusting) resources that promised crap like “make your first affiliate sale in 24 hours” or “make XX a month within your first month” because it gave me a lot of false optimism about how fast I could earn money. Books and blog articles like this one are one of the biggest reason I feel like students struggle – they promote the “get rich quick” mentality I have to fight against every day.

Ebooks with that mentality come highly recommended because they’re cheap and inspire people with hope but not much else, and certainly don’t give you the support you’ll need to make it as a solopreneur. Don’t waste your money buying this book or other cheap ebooks that promise you


Looking back: Things I would do again

These are the things I did right from the beginning… and you’ll notice the list is pretty short. 😉

One of the things I did from day 1, is I had people in my life who I chose to be my cheerleaders and support group. We hadn’t formed our Facebook group yet, it was just me solo. I purposefully chose to have supportive people in my life that I knew would cheer at my small, baby-step style wins.

On the flip side of that, I also did not include some people as my support. People who weren’t supportive of my business and who undermined my success weren’t the people I kept in the loop. Those people will drag you down and will make your losses feel more enormous, and make your little wins feel like nothing. I also didn’t keep the people around who just wanted some benefits from my success, or who were jealous and let my success change our friendship. That was the saddest thing to me, but ultimately my cheerleaders were the ones who kept me going.


Aside from having the right cheerleaders, I also had a “do no harm but take no bullshit” support system, which also happens to be my husband. It wasn’t always easy for us, but we’ve managed to make our marriage even stronger through this crazy adventure of using Pinterest affiliate marketing to replace his income so he can quit his crappy day job and we can move back to his home state inthe next year.  you can see more about how we balance home and family in the video below.

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