Affiliate marketing is one of those avenues of blog monetization that you want to hit from all angles. Often it just brings in little drops of income, but each of those drops will fill a bucket and can turn into a lucrative income stream. So outside of blog posts, you need to make sure you are capitalizing on affiliate linking in your social media strategy: Enter Pinterest.
Pinterest had previously put a ban on affiliate links, but in 2016 they lifted the reins and opened it up again to affiliate linking.
If you haven’t been capitalizing with affiliate links on Pinterest yet, now is the time.
What exactly do I mean when I say affiliate links on Pinterest? Well, I’m not referring to pinning photos from your own blog posts that have affiliate links in them. I’m talking about pinning product images on Pinterest and embedding your direct affiliate link into that pin. When a viewer on pinterest clicks on that product pin, they are taken straight to the product’s website via your affiliate link (and not to your blog).
Pretty sweet, right? We all know that there are tons of folks out there browsing Pinterest for inspiring things to make and buy.
How to Embed Affiliate Links on Pinterest:
Step 1 / Find Product
First up is to find the product you’d like to pin. For this example, I’m going to pin some super fun oversized gold clips from Urban Outfitters.
I go find the product on it’s website, and usually there is a pin-it button somewhere on that page. With Urban Outfitters, you can see that there was a pinterest button on the far right side of the page, and also one that appeared when I hovered above the image.
Step 2 / Pin Product
Click on the pinterest button to pin the image to pinterest.
Fill in the description so that it represents what the product is all about. Throw in as many keywords as you can into the paragraph to increase the chances of that pin being found in a search.
Also *always* make sure to put in your affiliate disclosure into the description of the pin, to comply by FTC guidelines. Something like [affiliate] should be sufficient.
Then choose the board you want to pin it to (if you’re with Tailwind*, you could schedule the pin using their “schedule” button like you see beside the search bar in my example pic, but I’m going to proceed with this tutorial as though you were just pinning it normally).
Step 3 / View Pin
Right after you have pinned something, a screen will pop up that shows other boards where that same pin lives, but in the bottom right hand there is a red “See It Now” button. Click that button!
Do it quickly, since it disappears quickly.
Step 4 / Edit Link
Then you’ll come to this screen, which shows your pin and a few different options.
Click on the “Edit” button in the top left corner.
This second screen will pop up, which gives you the field where the URL for the pin lives. You can see right now that it’s directing viewers to the urban outfitters link where I got the product image from.
So instead of that link, I replace it with my affiliate link that takes the viewer to the same page.
To get your affiliate link, you’ll need to login to whatever affiliate network you work with and get your URL. I use RewardStyle, but you might be with ShopStyle Collective, Affiliate Window, CJ Affiliates, etc. Here is a blog post that outlines a bunch of affiliate agencies and the brands they work with.
Also know that at this time as far as I know, you are not allowed to use Amazon Affiliate US links on Pinterest (something to do with Amazon’s Terms of Service).
You have officially done an affiliate pin.
Oh and I should mention – you don’t have to use the brand’s product photo. If you have an amazing original photo that you took yourself of the product, then totally feel free to use that one instead!
A few things to remember:
One of the big “rules” of creating a great Pinterest feed, which encourages followers, is to have an overall aesthetic to your boards and pins. You want to curate a beautiful experience so when someone lands on your pinterest page, they are immediately drawn to it (if they share the same interests/style!) and follow you.
Keep this in mind when you are pinning affiliate stuff. Don’t pin it just for the hell of it. Make sure it stays true to your look and feel.
I always try to keep to vertical images, so a lot of times a products image just won’t work well with Pinterest. Even if I love the product, if the image isn’t good for Pinterest, I don’t bother.
As with anything, don’t go overboard with this. I don’t have a formula and there isn’t a hard and fast rule, but I keep my affiliate pins to a certain small percentage of my overall pins.
Mix It Up:
You could create a board that was something like “favourite rugs” or “throw pillows” and pin a bunch of affiliate ones in there, but I personally like to mix up my affiliate pins throughout my main boards. For example, I could pin a product image of a gorgeous marble and wood cutting board into my kitchen design board. Or a gold toilet paper holder into my bathroom design board.
Do whatever feels right for your Pinterest feed, and then go in and monitor how your affiliate pins do a few months down the road. Maybe the ones mixed into your main boards will get more repins, or vice versa. Then build on whatever works.
I started doing affiliate links on Pinterest just a few months ago, so I don’t have a lot of data to report back on about whether it’s been very lucrative for me yet, but I’ll keep you posted on how it goes! The thing about Pinterest is that it only takes one pin to go kinda viral, and you may bring home some serious bank.
Let me know if you try out the tutorial, and how affiliate links on Pinterest do for you!
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