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How to Make Money on Pinterest without a Blog (A Comprehensive Guide)

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    Disclosure: This guide contains affiliate links.

How to Make Money on Pinterest (Comprehensive Guide)

One of the easiest ways to monetize online — without having a blog — is by using Pinterest.

If you don’t own a blog, you may have associated Pinterest with being a place to share recipes, DIY projects, or fashion inspiration — but it’s so much more.

Simply type in the words make money online in the Pinterest search field and watch your feed fill up with tips, strategies, and real-life success stories on the subject.

The point is, Pinterest is more than a social media platform — it’s a visual search engine.

When we think of search engines, we typically think of Google, but today millions use Pinterest to search for products and make final purchase decisions.

Even better, now that Pinterest allows affiliate links, it’s also a place where monetizers (like us) can earn a serious profit from promoting other companies’ products through affiliate links.

Which brings us to the first way you can start making money on Pinterest without a blog…

Join Affiliate Programs

Is there a product you enjoy so much you’d share it with your closest friends? Would your Pinterest audience find that same product useful? If the answer is yes to both of those questions and you’re ready to start monetizing — you should consider joining affiliate programs.

If you’re new to affiliate marketing, it’s simply a way for you to earn a commission from selling a company’s (or person’s) products.

Neil Patel describes affiliate networks as “a database of lots of products, out of which affiliate marketers can choose which products to promote.”

To join an affiliate program, you can send the company an email expressing your interest in promoting their products or you can register through affiliate networks. When applying to affiliate programs, be sure to provide the link to your Pinterest profile or a specific board that most relates to the products you want to promote.

Affiliate Pay Models

Before signing up to become an affiliate for a company or brand, you first need to understand what actions are required to earn a commission.

On the off chance you’re not familiar with what CPC, CPA, or CPS stands for in affiliate marketing, here’s a brief explanation to reference:

  • CPC stands for cost-per-click which means you’ll earn a commission when viewers click on your affiliate link or ad. CPCs are the most ideal for Pinterest if your posts have lots of repins.
  • CPA stands for cost-per-action which means companies will pay you if a potential customer completes a given action (ex. signup for a membership, click on an ad, opt-in for a newsletter, or make a purchase). CPAs are a bit harder to convert unless you have an actively engaged following who truly value what you post.
  • CPS means cost-per-sale and is self-explanatory. Like CPAs, to increase conversions you’ll want to focus on posting valuable content in your pins to build trust with your audience and boost sales. I cover how to optimize your pins for better conversions later in this post.

Once you’ve figured out the products you want to promote and the best pay model for you, you’ll need to start applying to affiliate programs.

Here are the top affiliate networks and programs I use for promoting products on Pinterest:

Affiliate Networks

Share A Sale

Programs offered: CPA, CPS

Commission rate: Varies per company or vendor

Referral Program:  $150 per sale and $1.00 per signup

Affiliate Window (AWIN)

Programs offered: CPC, CPA, CPS

Commission rate: Varies per company or vendor

Referral Program:  $30 per referral (awarded after referred publisher receives 1st payment)

Flex Offers

Programs offered: CPC, CPA, CPS

Commission rate: Varies per company or vendor

Referral Program:  5% based on average monthly sales 

Rakuten Linkshare 

Programs offered: CPC, CPA, CPS

Commission rate: Varies per company or vendor

Referral Program: Not available

CJ Affiliate (formerly Commission Junction)

Programs offered: CPC, CPA, CPS (note: to find out which companies accept CPC, you’ll need to read the “Program Terms” for each company)

Commission rate: Varies per company or vendor

Referral Program: Not available

ShopStyle Collective

Programs offered: CPC

Commission rate: $.05 per click

Referral Program: Not available

Pro-tip: Check out this Pinterest optimized pin created for a Bloomingdale’s product through ShopStyle Collective. Now take a look at the original product to see the difference between an optimized vs. a non-optimized pin. Optimizing product pins are a great way to drive more visitors to the items you’re promoting. 

IZEA

Programs offered:  CPS

Commission rate: Varies per company or vendor

Referral Program: 2.5- 10% per sale

Affiliate Programs

GoDaddy is the web hosting service company used on this website. You can earn up to $100 on new customer signups for 1-year web hosting plans or $25 for repeat customers.

Where to apply: Share A Sale

Namecheap is a great way to buy domain names on the cheap. You can earn 30% per domain name or web hosting service you sell.

Where to apply: Share A Sale

Etsy is one of the top e-commerce sites for handmade products. The commission rate is 4% per sale, however, if you apply through Etsy you’ll need to setup a seller profile to qualify.

Where to apply: Etsy,  ShopStyleAffiliate Window (AWIN), or Flex Offers

Target offers 8% per sale through their direct affiliate program (meaning you can apply through Target without an affiliate network). If you apply through networks the commission rates tend to be lower.

Where to apply: Target, IZEA, or Shopstyle

Nordstrom pays between 2 to 18% commission per sale through Rakuten. Nordstrom offers fashion, beauty, and home decor products which all perform well on Pinterest.

Where to apply: Rakuten or Shopstyle

How have affiliate links performed on my Pinterest account?

One of my highest performing Pinterest boards is this stationary board with over 93,000 impressions for the month.

Pinterest Impressions

Since I know my audience consists primarily of bloggers and creatives, I pin products I know my followers could use (i.e. yearly planners, office supplies, and home office decor).

Why are impressions important?

The more your pins are shared, the higher your impressions will be and the more likely your affiliate pins will get clicked. With CPC affiliate programs, the more clicks you have, the more money you make.

On Pinterest, CPC affiliate links tend to do better primarily due to the platform’s core design which encourages users to repin or save.

Currently, the only CPC affiliate links I  pin to my audience are through Shopstyle.

Remember, when sharing affiliate links to be strategic and not spammy. I aim to share 20% of my own pins and 80% of other pinners’ content to strike a balance and continuously grow my audience.

Ask for Sponsorships

If you have a decent following on Pinterest already, sponsorships are also an option to consider.

Sponsors are easier to snag if you can prove you have a large enough audience or high follower engagement.

The main difference between a sponsorship and an affiliate relationship is a sponsor typically pays you a sum total to display and promote their brand over a period of time.

For instance, if your target audience repins primarily beauty products, a cosmetic company could essentially sponsor you to have their brand on your account for a certain amount of time. On Pinterest, this could be in the form of a board that features only products for that sponsor.

With affiliate links, however, you earn a commission per sale, click, or action.

What to send in a sponsorship request email?

To find the right sponsorship, only seek out companies you genuinely like and want to have a long-term partnership with.

In your email include the following:

  • Statistics from your Pinterest analytics report to let sponsors know how you’ll be of value to their brand.
  • The total number of impressions your Pinterest account is getting — since those numbers tend to be higher than your actual follower count (ex. I have 5,000 followers, but over 70,000 monthly impressions).
  • Audience demographics and their interests to demonstrate why your following is a good fit for meeting the sponsor’s business goals.

To view your analytics reports, you’ll need to sign up for a Pinterest business account — it’s completely free.  Pinterest has instructions on how to get started here.

Sell Digital or Physical Products

Digital products are a hugely popular source of income for monetizers right now.

Before I launched this site, I wrote an ebook on how to become a profitable freelance writer. To promote the ebook, I created a free landing page through Ontrapages and shared the link on Pinterest — without ever needing a blog.

I highly recommend Ontrapages if you’re on a budget, but want to create professional-looking landing pages for your products.

Want more details about how I executed this strategy successfully? Leave me a comment below.

Pinterest makes selling products super easy with their buyable pins feature. To take advantage of this feature, you’ll need to load your products up on an e-commerce site like Shopify and apply to sell on Pinterest using buyable pins.

  Pinterest Buyable Pins

Here are some popular products on Pinterest to help get you started:

  • Etsy shop products
  • Ebooks
  • Workbooks
  • Courses
  • Website templates
  • T-shirts (or other clothing items)
  • Home goods (decor and furniture)
  • Technology

Pro-tip: Post images of you or your customers using the product so your audience can picture themselves with the item. To add overlays and colorful graphics to your images, use PicMonkey or Canva.

Create Pinnable Images

Hands down, well-designed pins are key to selling on Pinterest.

Depending on who you’re talking to, the recommended pin dimensions will vary. I’ve personally found Louise Myers’ Social Media Cheat Sheet to be the most accurate and up-to-date.

According to her cheat sheet, the ideal Pinterest dimensions are currently 736 x 1104px or 736 x ‘infinity.’

For a maximum, 736 x 2000px is the largest you’d want to share for optimal results.

Pinterest Image Dimensions

If you’re not the most creative person, I assure you it’s okay — I’m not either.

The great thing is, you don’t need to be an expert in Photoshop to create amazing Pinterest images.

I use Canva, Picmonkey and — on rare occasion — a free tool called Pixlr.

To start, set aside time to research which pins are performing well on Pinterest and use those pins as inspiration for your own pinnable images.

Pro-tip: Create customized graphics for top performing affiliate links periodically. Posting a variety of graphics will keep your links fresh and pinnable.

Use SEO Strategies 

If you want to make money on Pinterest, your boards need to be found.

SEO will help your profile move up Pinterest and Google search engines (Note: Be sure your privacy settings are set to allow your Pinterest profile to be searched by Google).

One way to improve your SEO is to fill out your pin and board descriptions using keywords.

To find keywords, simply type a topic in the search field and take a look at the first 3 to 5 suggestions Pinterest offers. The top suggestions you’ll see are the most frequently searched terms for that particular topic.

Once you have a few keywords to work with, start to incorporate those terms organically throughout your pins and boards.

Join and Create Group Boards

Group boards have taken my Pinterest account from 5,000 monthly impressions to an actively engaged audience with over 70,000 impressions per month.

To find group boards, you can check out PinGroupie.

The list hasn’t been updated in awhile, but most the group boards I’ve applied to are all still active.

Check the rules before posting affiliate pins to group boards and as always never spam.

Spamming could not only tarnish your brand or get your account shut down but — even worse — it could lead to termination of your sponsorships and affiliate partnerships with companies.

Your pins on Pinterest should always be posted with the intent of being useful to your audience.

Schedule Pins with Tailwind

Posting affiliate pins at the right times improved my commission earnings almost instantly.

You want to make sure your pins are being posted when your audience is online and actively pinning.

Unless you have a lot of free time on your hands, you’ll need a scheduler like Tailwind to post your pins throughout the day at optimum times.

The great thing about Tailwind is it analyzes your pin activity and shows what times your pins perform the best.

Tailwind Scheduler

Once you’ve set your schedule, load 20% of your own pins and 80% of other pinners’ content to the calendar. From there Tailwind will automatically post those pins for weeks if you set it up to do so.

Imagine being able to make money online while you sleep..that’s exactly what adding Tailwind to your affiliate marketing strategy can do.

Tailwind tribes are another option for getting your pins in front of a large audience. I recently started testing tribes and have already seen an impressive growth in the number of repins my new content is getting. If you’d like to give it a try, you might find these Tailwind video guides useful.

Tailwind Visual Marketing Suite

Rinse and Repeat

To maximize results with making money on Pinterest, I recommend being consistent with applying the strategies I’ve shared in this post.

For me, consistency means once per week. For you, it may be slightly different depending on your goals.

Here’s a quick recap of what we covered:

  1. Research and apply to affiliate networks like Share A SaleAWIN, and Flex Offers.
  2. Promote your own digital or physical products.
  3. Create attractive pinnable images in Canva or PicMonkey.
  4. Use SEO strategies to increase the visibility of your pins.
  5. Join group boards and pin responsibly.
  6. Schedule pins in Tailwind.

If you’re interested in learning more strategies to make money on Pinterest, I recommend the following ebook and courses:

How to Make Your Affiliate Sale in 24 Hours Using Pinterest by Elise McDowell 

Learn How to Use Pinterest the Fast & Easy Way  by Anna Bennett 

Pinfinite Growth by Melyssa Griffin 

The Power of Pinning by Melanie Duncan 

The End…sort of 😉

I know that was a lot of information to absorb, but you can always bookmark this page and come back as much as you see fit.

I also hope you’ll stick around and comment on which tips you found the most helpful.

For more content just like this, join The Money Market tribe and learn smart ways to monetize online!

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18 Comments

  1. Krista

    Regina! This is a really remarkable, comprehensive guide to affiliate marketing on Pinterest. Definitely sharing. It’s a great idea to look at which of your boards are performing well in order to figure out what your audience will want to see.

    Reply
    • Regina

      Hey Krista, I’m glad we’ve connected! You’re absolutely right, regularly gauging what’s working in your top performing Pinterest boards is not only important for affiliate marketing but your content strategy as a whole.

      Reply
  2. Kimberly

    Regina!! Thanks for such an informative post!! I’m just starting out. I’m choosing not to blog for now. I have a question. When signing up for Tailwind it’s asking for my ‘website”… which I don’t have.. I have signed up as an amazon affiliate… would that be what I put as a website? What would my domain name be? Any help is appreciated!!!

    Reply
    • Regina

      Hi Kimberly,

      I reached out to Tailwind and here’s how they responded to your question about adding a website:

      “Thanks for reaching out. No worries, the only reason she would need to enter a website would be to pull data from a website. If she doesn’t have one, all the rest of Tailwind will work the same way!

      Let me know if there’s anything else I can help with 🙂

      Mollie”

      In other words, if you don’t have your own website there’s no need to add it to your dashboard. You can still schedule pins to Pinterest without adding your own blog or domain name. Adding your own website is to allow you to view analytics of your website’s performance on Pinterest. Hope that helps!

      Reply
  3. Jenna

    This is such great information, thank you! Tons of value.
    I love the idea of creating our own pin images to be unique.
    My question is, Do I link my pin directly to my affiliate link? In the section where it asks for a website for the pin, I would put the affiliate link? Thank you!

    Reply
    • Regina

      Hi Jenna,

      Yes, add the affiliate link to the website field for each pin. Another quick tip is to opt for using the full url for your links instead of shortened versions (ex. bit.ly/affiliate-name). Pinterest may flag shortened urls as spam over time.

      Reply
  4. Rey Dosdos Jr.

    Hi Regina,

    I search on Pinterest on how to make money using Pinterest and this is 1 of the results I’ve found. So far I love the article very precise. I want to learn more as I really want to earn money using my Pinterest.

    Reply
    • Regina

      Hi Rey,

      Do you have specific questions about monetizing your Pinterest account? Feel free to share them, the answer to your concern could appear in a future post. Thank you!

      Reply
  5. Carrie

    Omg I am so glad I found your blog!!! This is amazing straight forward information. I have been looking for information on how to make money on Pinterest without a blog. Super helpful information!!!

    Reply
    • Regina

      Thanks for visiting Carrie! If you have questions about any of the Pinterest tips I’ve shared, shoot me a message. 🙂

      Reply
  6. Natalia

    Great post!! Thank you so much 🙂

    Reply
  7. Edith

    The most comprehensive overview of Pinterest monetization! So when I try to convert my personal account to business, it asks for my website. What do I enter? Also, how do I keep
    my personal pins from business? I read that it doesn’t affect your personal, but how so? First step would be open a business account, 2)then get tailwind and canva and 3)start applying for afflilates? Thank you so much!

    Reply
    • Regina

      If you’re having issues setting up your business account, I recommend reaching out to the Pinterest support team. To keep your personal pins separate, you can simply set those boards to private if. You won’t lose your personal pins when you convert.

      Reply
  8. Sharon

    I’ve been researching different ways to make money using Pinterest. This information is very detailed and not overwhelming. I think you put a lot of thought into this and i believe i found what i need to get things going in the right direction. Thank you for this info!

    Reply
    • Regina

      Thanks Sharon, I’m glad you found the information useful.

      Reply
  9. Alaina

    This is a very informative post! Thank you so much for sharing this info! I would love to try out these ideas😊

    Reply
  10. Sobia

    Thanks Regina for the so-much-informative post. I have opened the links you have mentioned and was thrilled to know that so much exist in this online world for making money! I have converted my pinterest account to business one and will soon try to monetize it. Thanks again!

    Reply
  11. Viola

    Wow this is really helpful thank you! Can’t wait to implement some of these strategies.

    Reply

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*Disclosure Statement:
Affiliate links or sponsored content may be used on this page. The Money Market receives commission for partnering with select brands and/or corporations. We only recommend products and services that we find useful and helpful to our readers.

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