How to Make Money on Pinterest: A Beginners Guide

This post may contain affiliate links.

Have you been spending hours upon hours immersed in the world of Pinterest? It is fun and addictive, as thousands of people have discovered since its inception in 2009. 

What if there was a way to make money on Pinterest and cash in on your favorite hobby? Is that something you might consider?

I am here to tell you that Pinterest offers plenty of business opportunities for those willing to work hard and get to know the platform. I will share some of the tips regarding the platform and how you can use it to create your own Pinterest business or earn some extra cash on the side. 

Whatever your goal, we’ll do our best to explain how Pinterest can help you achieve it. We’ll discuss different tips for making money, starting a business, affiliate marketing, and blogging on Pinterest.

How Does Pinterest Work?

Pinterest is officially listed as a social network platform based around visual content like images and gifs, with more than 300 million active users around the world. In reality, this definition is misleading. 

It’s true that Pinterest uses images and gifs, but the way users are optimizing the platform is much more oriented towards discovering new content—a kind of visual search engine. Pinners are seeking inspiration for decorating their house, planning weddings, and preparing trips, for example. Just the other day, I found myself searching for a set of plans for a planter box. Mission accomplished!

By signing up for Pinterest, you create an account to create pins and add them to either your own or somebody else’s boards. 

  • Pins are visual content, such as images and gifs, that include keywords and descriptions. 
  • Boards are thematic groups of content. For example, a board called “My Wedding” can include hundreds or thousands of pins with wedding-related content, such as dresses, flower arrangements, cakes, and more. 

It sounds complicated, but it is quite straightforward once you become familiar with the platform. We published a post that covers most of the popular Pinterest terminology that you can read here.

There are many tools you can use to make life easier on Pinterest. For example, you can use Canva for creating visual content with its hundreds of customizable templates, or tools like Tailwind for scheduling when to publish your content and identifying your target audience. Used correctly, Pinterest is a professional and effective tool to communicate with other users and drive traffic.

It all sounds amazing, right? But, how do you make any money? 

The answer to the monetizing question is a bit more complicated, as there is no single right or way to make money on Pinterest. There are several models you can use depending on your business goals.

How to Make Money on Pinterest

Where should you start? 

It is the most common question that beginners ask when it comes to Pinterest. The answer is quite simple, but it requires hard work and time to put everything into motion. 

The first thing you should do is to learn as much as you can about the Pinterest platform and try to identify the best way for you to make money using your current online assets. There are no shortcuts here, and it’ll take hours of reading and experimenting. The payoff however, can be huge.

pinterest for business

Pinterest is in a constant state of change. It’s hard for anyone to claim that they are an “expert”, but after spending a good chunk of time on the platform, you’ll be comfortable enough to understand how it works, as well as what you need to do to leverage it into a successful business.

Although there are thousands of Pinterest-related blogs and videos, plenty of it is either outdated or misleading — not intentionally but because things have changed so much.You’ll spend a lot of time combing through content to discover useful and accurate information. 

Offer Pinterest Services to Business Owners

A very popular model and potentially the easiest way to start is by offering Pinterest services to business owners that might not have the knowledge or time to manage their Pinterest accounts. I used these contacts to leverage their business. 

Providing Pinterest services can be a mixture of a virtual assistant and social media or marketing consultant role. You’ll perform simple tasks, like creating pins and boards for companies, and scheduling their publishing. You’ll also perform more advanced tasks, though, like advising business owners on how to reach certain target audiences or giving pointers on the kind of content customers appreciate. 

Below is a quick overview of how to get started by offering Pinterest services to businesses.

Start Your Business

It all starts with a name. 

Don’t spend countless hours trying to come up with a perfect name for your new business. Decide on whether you are going to promote the business around your name or give it a formal business name instead. Both choices work. 

The only advice is to make the name catchy and professional and to check that are no other businesses currently operating under the same name. It’s a crucial step in making the whole idea viable and nothing is worse than having to change your business or website name — yep, rebranding is a pain in the rear.

After you decide on a business name, it’s time to register a domain for your new business. You’ll also need to set up a hosting account for the website. I am not going to go into too much detail about which hosting company you should choose in this post, but rather advise you to do careful research before committing to one hosting provider. 

There are dozens of reliable and affordable hosting companies such as GoDaddy, SiteGround and Flywheel — three of our favorite choices.

Once your website was up and running, it’s was time to build a reputation that you can use for new clients down the road. Creating five to ten pieces of relevant and helpful content in the niche you are trying to target is essential.

Potential clients will do their research, and your website is the first place they will look for proof that you are the person who will help their business.

Begin Marketing and Land Your First Client

The next step is to decide on which services you are comfortable offering to potential clients. 

You can start by offering account management services as well as creating and posting pins. If you’re comfortable that you can do that at a high level and offer value to your clients, then growth should come with ease over time.

You might feel more confident and decide to start with a larger spectrum of services right out of the gate, or focus on the basics such as account setup, designing and posting pins, and so on.

Establish pricing that accurately reflects your experience and knowledge, and is appealing to your potential clients. Virtual assistants and account managers with experience in social media charge anywhere from $25 to $50 per hour. This might not be realistic for a beginner but once you have some experience under your belt, that should definitely be a goal.

The key here is to provide a return on investment. If you can achieve ROI for your clients then you’re golden! 

An alternative is to create fixed-price packages for account management and services. For example, charging a flat fee of $400 per month for managing a single Pinterest account, including design and posting of pins. You’ll find that being flexible is vital to finding clients as is crafting a way to offer them a customized service at a price they could afford.

Since there are so many business niches out there, make sure to focus only on those where you can actually provide value. If fashion is your passion, then targeting clients in the clothing and accessories industry is the smart way to go. Alternatively, you might decide to focus on small family-owned businesses and startups. 

Larger clients either already have social media teams in place or might not be willing to risk their brand on someone with little experience. But don’t let that stop you from pitching them — especially as your knowledge grows.

You should also focus on building relationships with other authority figures in your chosen niche, exchanging knowledge and information, and writing guest posts on their blogs. I used their advice to create focused and effective pitches to potential clients. 

After getting your first client, everything gets easier. Good word of mouth and a solid track record will help you grow your client base quickly from there. 

It is important to keep learning and improving your skills. Refine the services in the niche you have chosen. It is better to be amazing at a few aspects in your niche, than mediocre as an all-rounder. 

Make Money on Pinterest with Affiliate Marketing

If starting a business from scratch and creating your own blog or website seems like a huge challenge or time commitment, consider giving affiliate marketing a try. 

Affiliate marketing is a system in which providers of products and services pay you a commission for successfully promoting their products and services to customers. 

The advantage is that you don’t need to have a website, nor do you need to spend hundreds of hours on networking and client connections. 

  • Sign up for an affiliate marketing network and choose the products and services you can identify with and successfully sell on Pinterest. 
  • Create pins and boards that promote those products and services and associate them with corresponding affiliate links you have received from the network. 

Every time someone uses your link to purchase a product or service that you are promoting on Pinterest, a percentage of that purchase will be credited to your account in the form of a commission. 

Choose Your Affiliate Networks

Steer clear of products or services that you don’t believe in or would not consider purchasing yourself. You need to be passionate about what you are promoting in order to connect with people and effectively promote products.

Affiliate marketing does come with certain risks. Pinterest currently has a policy that allows freelancers to use the platform for affiliate marketing. If that changes in the future, the business model might be in jeopardy. 

There are quite a few affiliate marketing networks and choosing the right one can be a challenge. Awin and Flex are reliable and offer great value to affiliate marketers.

Create Pins and Begin Testing Offers

Once you’ve chosen the right affiliate networks, products, and services to promote, it is time to focus on creating effective content to pin and promote the affiliate links. 

Use software tools like Canva that offer professional templates and customizable designs for all kinds of content. Effective pins will provide necessary information about the products and services, while at the same time being enticing enough for potential customers to click on them. 

Choosing the right boards onto which to pin your content is critical, in my opinion. Doing the research and identifying the boards for your affiliate clients makes a significant difference in the amount of traffic you can drive to the affiliate links. 

Don’t be afraid to experiment and test different approaches. Creating several types of pins for one product and testing them separately will help you understand your target audience better and identify pins that were more effective. Using software tools like Tailwind will help you to increase the reach of you pins, and measure and track the performance of the data accurately. 

A successful affiliate marketing business can net thousands of dollars every month using Pinterest. Achieving those results comes from not only spending adequate time and effort but also selecting the right niche for you and studying the target audience.

These things are the foundation of any successful business model. 

Start a Blog and Drive Traffic With Pinterest

Once you become more experienced with Pinterest and improve your knowledge and skills by working with clients, you can branch out. Starting a blog is a great long-term play and something you should consider sooner than later. 

A niche specific blog can present a fantastic opportunity to leverage your Pinterest prowess and drive traffic.

If you have the experience and the know-how, this is an inexpensive way to start a business, requiring only sweat equity to get it on its feet. It’s exactly how Blogelina got started! 

Use your experience from your work with clients and affiliate networks to identify the most profitable niches in order to generate significant returns. 

How to Get Started

We’ve already briefly touched on how to get your blog up and running. If you’re interested in a more detailed and guided approach, we have an in-depth article HERE.

We can’t emphasize enough the importance of selecting the right niche for your blog. The niche should facilitate a platform where you can represent yourself as an authority, produce high-quality content, and be able to drive traffic through Pinterest but also via organic and paid search.

If your niche is competitive and oversaturated by other bloggers, then chances are that it will be challenging to drive significant traffic.

That said, having no competition is not a good sign either. Would you rather have a small piece of a big pie or a big piece of a tiny pie?

You might ask, “How do I make money from all that traffic to my blog?” There are a few possible answers to this question.

Drive Pinterest Traffic to Monetized Blog Posts

Blogs make money through monetization of their content. The most common ways of monetizing content are via display ads or affiliate links.

For display ads, programs such as Google AdSense or can be integrated into your blog. Whenever people visit the blog, they will see ads from your chosen network. In exchange, you will receive a percentage of the ad revenue. 

Google AdSense is a commonplace to start, but over time you’ll probably decide to explore other ad programs that offer better returns (such as Mediavine).

Do your research and look for the ad network that best suits your niche and the products or services you are trying to promote.

Much like we discussed promoting affiliate offers directly on Pinterest, you can also drive traffic to affiliate offers on your website in the form of content.

This content could take the form of reviews, comparisons, how-to posts, guides and more. The possibilities are endless.

Most importantly though, is that you provide value to your readers. 

Promote Your Products, Courses or Services on Pinterest

Besides writing detailed guides and how-to posts for readers that are interested in your niche, You’ll find there is potential for additional revenue if you’re capable of creating and selling your own courses, coaching, books, or consulting services and then promoting them via Pinterest.

Your readers are already passionate about your content and know that you are knowledgable in the niche. This makes them more inclined to purchase other products or services from you as well.

Don’t Mislead People with Your Pins

The worst thing you can do is create pins with a premise that you fail to deliver upon. Do this more than a few times and people will stop engaging with you and your content.

Your content should help them solve a problem or spark their interest in a new topic. If your pin promises a specific solution, make sure you do your best to deliver!

Promoting useful content on Pinterest is critical to attracting loyal readers and a steady income from different channels of monetization. 

Using Promoted Pins

Ok, yes, it’s true that we’re talking about making money with Pinterest. So what’s with this talk about spending money on promoted pins? Well, sometimes you need to spend money to make money.

You should be able to successfully leverage Pinterest to drive traffic to your website without spending money. That said, once you have some revenue coming in, you should definitely take a closer look at promoted pins.

If you have pins that are doing well organically, how much better could they do with a little promotion?

Pinterest provides an amazing opportunity for you to reach people and create a loyal base of readers — in turn, making your blog or business a profitable venture. It takes time and hard work, but it’s worth it in the end. 

It’s important to research and test new avenues and approaches constantly. Different niches respond differently to varying types of content. Consistency at your point of sale or on your blog is a good idea, but you can use Pinterest to experiment with different lead magnets, content types, colors and more.

Use what you learn in order to maximize the number of potential clicks and visits. 

Always make sure to regularly monitor and track how your blog and content are performing. Identify the content that has received the highest number of clicks and visits and discover why. Then, use this information to create new content. Rinse and repeat!

Measuring results and paying attention to Pinterest analytics is vital to improving the profitability of your business. 

Some Final Thoughts

Pinterest to be an excellent platform for starting an online business in 2020. It’s also important to remember that Pinterest is not a social media platform, but a visual search engine that people use to discover new content, products, and services they like. 

The visual nature of Pinterest increases the interaction between the users of the platform and the content. 

Spend time educating yourself about the platform and how it works, as well as closely following successful Pinterest-based businesses and how they interact with their customers. Once you feel more comfortable with the platform, focus on selecting the right business model for yourself, whether it’s providing Pinterest services to other businesses, doing affiliate marketing, or starting your own blog.

Once you’ve decided on a business model, concentrate on developing several revenue streams and improving the quality of content or product/services that are being offered.  Remember:

  • Interesting and useful content will always generate more traffic than something mediocre. 
  • Products or services that are useful, and solve a particular problem, are more likely to sell.  

Don’t be afraid to experiment with business models and search for the best solution for your venture. Pinterest is a powerful platform that can be utilized in many ways. I firmly believe that there are no rules set in stone about how an online business built around Pinterest should look in 2020. 

Different niches respond differently, and you might find a new way to be successful. Test new ideas and solutions and keep track of your results and revenues. 

Hopefully, this post helped you to better understand the opportunities that Pinterest offers and how you can use it to help build your online business. 

If you have any questions or comments about the information mentioned in the text, feel free to drop a comment below!