Last Updated on August 20, 2019 by Kelly L. This post may contain affiliate links. Regardless, I only recommend sites I've researched and/or used and trust.
An Easy, Basic Guide to Making Money on Pinterest
These days, where the majority of people are relying on the most popular social media outlets like Facebook and Instagram to make their money, many are overlooking the most promising opportunities on a more specialized platform like Pinterest.
With an admittedly smaller, but more focused and committed membership, this intimate setting encourages sales in a big way. Instead of getting lost in the sea of blogs, ads, articles, and posts on a huge platform, your targeted efforts will get far more attention from a client base who tends to be more willing to buy.
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So, how can you make money with Pinterest? We’ve brought you various ways you can make money on the platform before, but here is a complete 9-step strategy that will lead you to Pinterest success:
Step 1: Start a Blog
No, you do not need to spend tons of money on a fancy blog and take a huge gamble hoping it works out, but we recommend going with a cheap self-hosted blog to start out with a web hosing company like Bluehost that includes a free domain name.
You can go the free route, using WordPress or Blogger, but it can be more difficult to make money because companies, affiliate programs, and ad networks, as well as your target market demographic, are less likely to take you seriously. It can still be done but will require much more work, time, and expertise to begin making money.
For a step-by-step guide to starting your own blog, read my post, Create My Own Blog? (Yes – YOU Can!) Step-by Step Help — you will be shocked at how easy and fast it is to get started.
So, what should your blog revolve around?
Step 2: Build an Audience by Living Your Passion.
Are you a gaming fanatic? An avid Crossfitter? A true horror novel junkie? An inspired painter? Do you live for breathing new life into old objects? Whatever it is you love, I guarantee there is a target audience waiting to read your thoughts. All you have to do is find your niche. This is your key to making money.
Determine your target audience, say women in their twenties who live for Crossfit, and think about what else might inspire and attract them. Then create a Pinterest account and boards that cater to this demographic. Obviously, you’ll create a CrossFit board, but consider about a juicing board, a cleanse board, a supplemental health board, a workout-wear board, and maybe an inspiration board dedicated to bad a** women smashing gender stereotypes. These boards should be full of links to your blog on related subjects.
How will you make money with no products to sell? Don’t worry. Once you’ve built a following of a few thousand, marketers will begin to approach you with offers. This kind of targeted Pinterest account will attract followers on its own, but how do you gain more?
Step 3: Be a Re-Pin Queen
The fastest way to gain followers is to follow others with similar interests. Most of them will follow you back when they see you share hobbies or lifestyles. Similarly, the best way to get followers to re-pin your pins is to re-pin theirs. On a site like Pinterest, flattery will get you everywhere.
And there are actually tools out there to make pinning easier and more automated. But you'll want to go with ONLY Pinterest approved tools like Tailwind. This is what I use to automate some of my Pinterest pinning when my weeks are work-heavy and I don't have a lot of time for manual pinning. Tailwind is affordable and trusted. Their “tribe” feature can garner your pins even more exposure too!
Step 4: Utilize SEO Strategies
To make money with Pinterest, you have to use keywords and phrases that your target market will search for.
Every pin allows you to write around 100 words in the description, so take advantage of that with keywords, hashtags, and links to your blog. Another great place to use SEO is your “about” profile. Here you get around 50 words to use those target keywords in a descriptive and natural-sounding way. Not only will this help you become more visible on Pinterest, but you’ll also be found more easily on Google or Bing.
Step 5: Sell Your Own Products
Whether you make things to sell, upcycle old things, or sell the products of others via sites like Etsy, Ebay, or Amazon, don’t forget to provide links to your products in your blogs and pins. You can even create buyable pins using Pinterest Business.
Step 6: Create Contests to Win Your Items
People love entering contests. This provides a fun, lighthearted way for potential customers to engage in your brand and familiarize themselves with your products. These giveaways help your client base, and potential sponsors and brands see you as a savvy business owner and thought leader in your niche.
Step 7: Become an Affiliate
Now that you’ve gained a following and established yourself as an authority in your field, businesses and brands are much more likely to accept you as an affiliate. There are many companies out there who are eager to give a small commission to affiliates who promote their products and drive their sales. You can do video product reviews or just informally mention how much you like the products. Every time you provide an affiliate link on your board, and follower clicks on it to buy something, you get paid.
You want to make sure that your affiliate products fit within the niche you’ve created, or at least are something your target market demographic is likely to want. The finer details often vary widely; some companies pay every time someone clicks through to their site, while others only pay when a purchase results from the click-through. Make sure to read the fine print.
Step 8: Gain Sponsors
Once you’ve been a successful affiliate for a brand or company, you may be approached for sponsorship. If not, take the initiative and contact. Companies love confidence, so you’ll want to leave your modesty at the door and boast the impressive statistics about your following as well as your success as an affiliate.
How does this work? The companies pay you to use their branding on your site for a year.
Step 9: Teach a Pinterest Course
Now that you know exactly how you can use Pinterest to make money and you have the success, backing, and money to show for it, people will listen to what you have to say. Set up a webinar class that people will pay to enroll once they hear your impressive story and stats.
This can include your own personal trials and tribulations of trying to make money online and then an outline of the steps you took to get you where you are today. Include tips and tricks that you wish you would have known and don’t forget to use clever sound bites to hook your clientele and include a Call to Action (CTA).
If your first class is a success, you can teach other classes within your chosen niche, such as Crossfit for Beginners.
Become a Pinterest Virtual Assistant
None of this appeals to you — but you LOVE Pinterest. That's ok too — you can make a nice income from becoming a Pinterest virtual assistant for others. And if you're scratching your head thinking — wait, how can I do this? Well — as I mentioned above, creating Pinterest courses is certainly something that can be done. And others have created very successful Pinterest courses. Gina Horkey, the creating of 30 Days to a New Freelance Writing Career, partnered with Kristin Larsen of Believe in a Budget. Together, they created the very popular online course, Become a Pinterest VA TODAY!. There is typically a waitlist for this class — be forwarned. BUT – you can absolutely sign up for the waitlist if they aren't currently taking students. I don't either Gina or Kristin knew how popular this course was going to be — and they have testimonials that you can read and watch.
Ready to Dabble Into Making Money on Pinterest?
Now that you know what you need to do and the general order of operations that will lead to those Pinterest dollars, get out there and try it. Though the general order of events is chronological, the timeline can be rearranged to suit your needs. This is not necessarily a one-size-fits all guide, so don’t be afraid to customize it so it makes sense for you.