Pinterest: if you haven’t heard of it you’ve been living under a rock. Or you simply don’t speak to anyone of the female persuasion. Pinterest is the fastest growing social sharing site on the web right now, and it has a distinct demographic: women. More so, women in the 20-40 range who love shopping, cooking, or anything visually appealing. Of course, as with any rising star, there are some who view it as an opportunity to latch on and make some money. So we’re here to answer the question: Can you really make money from Pinterest?
Make Money with Pinterest
Have you ever heard of affiliate marketing? If you’re a casual web surfer, you may not have. It’s simply when a link is placed which directs the customer to purchase a product (say, from Amazon.com), and it contains a code so that the person who placed the link receives a commission. Generally the commission varies anywhere from four percent to well over fifty percent with some programs. Other programs will pay a flat fee per lead, even if no purchase is made.
So how does this work with Pinterest? Pinterest is a gold mine for affiliates because its traffic is targeted and for the most part is made up of women who enjoy shopping for clothes, baking, etc. It is then further targeted by categories, so that searches can find exactly what interests them. This makes it easy for an affiliate to come along and “pin” pictures of items that other Pinterest users may be interested in purchasing. Under the picture, the affiliate places their affiliate link, to show the user where they can purchase the item from.
The Finer Points
It’s important to cloak your affiliate links so that they are attractively displayed. Affiliate links can be long and contain odd strings of numbers, which can turn some would-be customers off. It’s important to properly cloak your link so that it looks like something the average Joe (or more like Jane if they’re on Pinterest), would want to click on.
You can use a program called LinkTrackr to cloak your links effectively.
This is very important. You need to host the images that you use on your website or server. This is because otherwise Pinterest makes the images click-able to their source. If their source is, say, Amazon.com and not your website, then you won’t be able to enjoy any benefit from those who simply click on the image.
Also only use photos that you have rights/permissions to use, as you don’t want to get into any trouble.
Have Fun and Refrain From Spamming
The folks at Pinterest have developed intelligent methods of detecting spammers, so it’s unlikely that you’ll last long if you go hog wild posting over there. Make it look natural, which means you can still do decent volume (and make some money), as many of their users are addicted to the service and in fact some of them spend all day posting pictures on Pinterest.
Editor’s Note: Kyle Taylor from The Penny Hoarder blog writes in to add that another great way to leverage Pinterest is to send traffic back to your blog by posting your articles. It’s targeted traffic and you’ll likely increase your Adsense earnings.