How to Make Money on Pinterest in 2021
One of the most common questions I get asked by newcomers to Pinterest marketing is how do you make money on Pinterest? In one sense, the answer is simple — you don’t. Pinterest won’t pay you to pin, doesn’t have an affiliate program or a referral scheme.
But that doesn’t mean you can’t make money with Pinterest. The trick is to understand how to make money online and then how Pinterest can help with that. Let me explain a bit more about what I mean.
How to earn from Pinterest — in reality
Bet you’ve seen the questions in a Facebook group or even asked them yourself. People seem to go on about making money on Pinterest so how do you do this?
The reality is that while they are making money from Pinterest, it isn’t directly from the platform owner. You won’t see ‘payment from Pinterest’ on their bank statement. Instead, they are doing one of those things that makes them money and Pinterest helps with it.
Make money from the traffic
The most common way that people make money on Pinterest is to make money from the traffic they get from Pinterest. I’m going to go into a little about what I mean by this in a moment and the different options. But essentially, they make money from the people that come to their website in various ways. They can also make money from organic and other types of traffic.
Offer services doing Pinterest management
The other way to earn from Pinterest indirectly is to offer Pinterest services. From monthly management packages to various standalone services, there are plenty of options and ways to package what you know and what you are good at into something that other people need. Simple Pin Media is a great example of a company doing this.
How to make money from Pinterest with a blog
Now, setting yourself up as a Pinterest manager isn’t going to be something that everyone wants to do. You need a lot of Pinterest knowledge, experience and also to set up the business side of things to showcase your packages, take payments and all that fun.
The majority of you are going to be looking to make money from Pinterest with a blog. So let’s take a moment to see what kind of options are available. Remember, this is based on getting traffic to your site and then looking at how to make money from there with that traffic.
One of the simplest ways (on paper, nothing is ever entirely simple in digital marketing) to make money on Pinterest is with affiliate marketing. This is where you join affiliate programs, promote products or services and receive a commission payment when someone buys through your recommendation.
Amazon has one of the best-known affiliate programs although it is also one of the more complex and not the best paying. However because Amazon stocks so much, there’s something for almost every niche.
Another idea is to join affiliate networks such as ShareASale. They have a range o different programs within it. For example, I’ve joined the Tailwind affiliate program as well as the one for themes I use, Restored 316.
Some companies and even individuals will have their own affiliate program. I have an affiliate program for my digital products and I know lots of other bloggers and online business owners who do the same.
How you make money — Pinterest pins to blog post > people click affiliate links in post > you make money from affiliate commission
Build an email list to sell things to
This one takes a bit more work and probably a bit more time but can also deliver a really good return. Email marketing uses the idea of having people sign up for your email list, usually to get a freebie and to hear from you.
Once they are on your list you can then email them. There’s a lot more to it but one of the things you can email them about is something that makes you money. This could be affiliate products, services, your own products. Or even to send them back to the blog to read a new post and get ad income.
How you make money — Pinterest pins to blog post with an email opt-in > people sign up for list > you build a relationship with them and sell affiliates/products/services to make money
Selling products works in a similar way to affiliate marketing with regards to Pinterest. You can either include links to your products within blog posts or just make pins that go straight to them. These can be physical or digital products.
You can send pins to sales pages for a course, eBook or other digital product. You can send them to shop pages for planners, printables and other smaller digital products. Or you can send them to product listings on your website, Etsy, eBay or other e-commerce sites.
How you make money — Pinterest pins to product listings or sales pages > people buy the item and you make money
Selling services is a lot like selling products but there can be a little more communication involved. Again you can directly send people to services pages from Pinterest. But sometimes it works best to send them to a blog post that advertises your services and then to the services pages.
How you make money — Pinterest pins to blog posts featuring services or services pages > people either purchase or make an enquiry about service > you make money from completing the service
Lastly, the most ‘passive’ of the ways to make money from Pinterest is ad income. You can start with something simple like Google AdSense and as your blog grows, you can qualify for one of the bigger networks such as Mediavine or Monumetric.
Then the people coming to your site are making you money, albeit potentially just small amounts. This is when ‘the more, the better’ comes in and you want to grow both your Pinterest and organic traffic to increase your income.
How you make money — Pinterest pins to blog posts featuring ads > make money from people being on your site or interacting with your ads
How to make money from Pinterest without a blog
The other question people ask is whether you can make money from Pinterest without a blog. Now I’m a content marketer through and through but I understand not everyone wants to blog (or has the time). So there are a couple of ways to start an online business that doesn’t directly use a blog.
If you are selling products, blogging is a great way to attract customers but you don’t have to do it. You can simply use Pinterest to send traffic to your product website or to a store like Etsy or eBay.
The more people you can get to your site, the more conversions you will get and that’s how you can make money. It can get a little tricky if you only have a small number of products as this doesn’t give you as much to pin. But using pin templates to create pins from lots of different photos of them can help.
Selling services works much the same way. Rather than blogging, you send pins straight to services pages and therefore have a chance of selling your services to the people visiting.
I will say with the services option, this can be tricky, simply because you don’t have a lot of places to send your pins. Repeatedly pinning content to the same URL isn’t good practice and can even lead to a spam ban on Pinterest. That’s why many service providers do use blogging so they have more to offer their audience.
Dispelling the myth
I’m not sure where the idea of making money on Pinterest came from but it confuses people. Even with places like Facebook and Instagram, if you make money from them it is indirectly. Sponsored posts, for example, might involve posting on the site but the money comes from the sponsor, not from Facebook.
However, there are lots of ways to make money from the traffic you can drive to Pinterest. I use almost all of these on my different blogs, in different ways. Email marketing is a longer-term game but definitely worth using. Products can be a fun avenue to go down and profitable as you build traffic. And ads are always a good backup as your blog grows.
What’s your favourite way to make money from the Pinterest traffic you get?