Pinterest has had a rocky relationship with affiliate links.
Back in the ol’ days of 2015, the company banned them. Linking to one directly went against their terms and conditions, after the site experienced a huge number of “spammy” pins that negatively impacted the user experience.
Understandably, they wanted to keep their pinners happy. Which meant removing any posts containing these links, in order to create a more “authentic” experience.
Since then though, Pinterest have improved their ability to detect spam. What a clever bunch! Luckily for us content creators, they were therefore able to reintroduce affiliate links in May 2019. Whilst you may think this isn’t too much of a big deal, the money making opportunities that this provides for influencers isn’t to be sniffed at!
If you’re not using affiliate links on Pinterest yet, you deffo should be. Trust us on this one.
Why you should be using Pinterest for affiliate links
Pinterest is a goldmine when it comes to promoting content or just generally getting something seen. Unlike most other social media platforms that may show your post for between a day and a week in people’s feeds, a pin lasts much longer. In fact, after originally publishing it, it can show up on explore pages for AGES.
Apparently the half-life of a pin is about 3.5 months. Impressive, huh?
That means that everything you put on Pinterest has a chance of being seen for a long time, including any affiliate links! And it’s this longevity that makes it such an incredible, passive-ish income source.
Whilst creating longer-form content to put affiliate links within is great (and still very important!), there’s no denying that it can be time consuming. On the other hand, you can pin and re-pin a link within seconds, whilst it gets impressions for months
. Now that’s the kind of money making anyone can get on board with!
Finally, Pinterest is a great place for affiliate links since it’s not “niche specific”. People come there for inspo on everything from cleaning to outfits and from cooking to kiddie playtime ideas! Whatever your niche and wherever your affiliate links lead, there’s going to be someone looking for your content.
How to use affiliate links on Pinterest
Step One: Set up affiliate accounts
Obviously, to have affiliate links, you need some kind of membership to an affiliate scheme. Try to focus on joining ones that are the most relevant to your niche, so that you can get as much goodness out of it as possible!
We’ve tried our fair share of programmes over the years and have four main favourites that we’d recommend starting out with: Check out this blog post for a detailed rundown of them all. Plus, access our guide to the best affiliate programmes specifically for bloggers in our free resource library.
Step Two: Optimise your Pinterest account
There’s no point creating affiliate pins if you’re doing nothing to get them seen.
We were lucky enough to partner with Pinterest (Yes. The ACTUAL Pinterest!) for a bundle all about how to get the most out of the platform. That’s why we know just how important it is to optimise your account.
First things first, switch to a business account and enable “rich pins”. Like, right away.
Next, make sure that you’re using relevant keywords in your account name. Take Vix, for example, who uses “Vix | Blogging Tips | Social Media Tips | Influencer Marketing”. On top of this, make sure that you use these types of keywords in board names as well.
To get the best advice straight from the horse’s mouth for optimising your Pinterest account, become a Grow & Glow member to access our “Grow Your Brand With Pinterest” bundle.
Step Three: Create an affiliate-specific board
It’s well worth considering having a board dedicated to affiliate links. Just make sure that it’s relevant to your niche so that people will actually want to look at it! If you blog about cleaning, a board linking to your fave bathroom cleaning products makes perfect sense, but one about your makeup favourites probably won’t do as well.
Again, make sure the name of the board and board description are full of those juicy keywords, without being too spammy about it.
Step Four: Create your graphics
There are two main ways that you can utilise affiliate links on Pinterest: You can either share a link to a blog post or piece of content that contains an affiliate link or you can pin the affiliate link itself.
Either way, you’re going to want to create an eye catching graphic that people will want to engage with whilst scrolling. Make sure that it is optimised to Pinterest’s ideal ratio (2:3) and that any photographs are clear.
If you’re promoting a blog post, include your blog branding and colours in the graphic and the name of the post. We have some editable Pinterest templates for this in the “Grow Your Brand With Pinterest” bundle, if you’re a G&G member!
On the other hand, if you’re posting a specific product and affiliate link, a more simple, close-up photograph may be the way to go.
Step Five: Get pinning
You’re nearly there! You have your account set up for success, know what content you want to share and have a graphic ready and waiting. So, start pinning!
Simply click, “create pin”, upload your graphic and create a title and description that contains keywords related to the product or topic in the pin. Next, add your link – either to your blog post containing an affiliate link or a direct affiliate link – and select the board you want it to feature in.
Most importantly make sure that you disclose if you’re including aa direct affiliate link. As with any social media platform, you should be putting “affiliate link” somewhere prominent, to make your followers aware. We’d recommend putting it at the top of your pin description.
Now you can press “publish” and do a happy dance!
Step Six: Asses what went well
Look at your affiliate-related pins: What had the highest number of saves and impressions? And what is it about this pin that you think made it so popular? Is the graphic different, did you use more relevant keywords or is it the topic itself?
Whatever the answers to these questions, make sure that you use them to guide your affiliate pinning strategy going forward to optimise your success.
The truth is, you’re unlikely to make a living off pinning affiliate links. But that’s true of using them on any platforms! The key to success is to diversify where you are sharing them, ensuring that you have a solid strategy behind you.
Pinterest is just one part of the puzzle, but will be a brilliant addition to your arsenal. We can help you with the rest inside the hub!