How to do Affiliate Marketing on Pinterest: Pinning for Profit

Here is my 2824 word comprehensive guide on How to do Affiliate Marketing on Pinterest: Pinning for Profit

Affiliate marketing is when you promote someone else‘s products or services on your website, social media or other channels and earn a commission when someone makes a purchase through your links. It‘s incredibly popular for making money online because there‘s no need to create or ship products yourself.

Pinterest is an especially powerful platform for affiliate marketing because of how visually-driven it is. Images & videos are key differentiators from text-heavy platforms like Facebook or Twitter. Pinners are there to find inspiration, so quality imagery and graphics get a lot of eyeballs.

In this step-by-step guide, I will explain everything you need to know as a beginner, from setting up your Pinterest business account to optimizing your affiliate pins for maximum profit…let‘s dive in!

Why Pinterest is Perfect for Affiliate Marketing

Pinterest has over 445 million monthly users who are on the platform specifically to discover and consume content. They have a huge variety of interests and are open to recommendations from accounts they see as authorities.

Here are the key reasons why it offers huge potential for affiliate profits:

  • Very image and video-centric, so visually appealing pins get a lot of impressions
  • Allows for detailed pin descriptions where you can insert affiliate links
  • Pinners open to discovering and trying new products
  • Boards allow you to create curated hubs around interest topics and insert affiliate pins
  • Timing is key – you can catch users when they‘re seeking a particular type of product
  • Analytics let you track pin and board performance to optimize

When done right, affiliate marketing on Pinterest can become a steady secondary (or even primary!) source of revenue.

Step 1 – Set Up a Pinterest Business Account

The first step is to sign up for a Pinterest business account. You can either convert your existing personal account or set up a new one from scratch.

A business account unlocks useful features like analytics, promoted pins and account insights that let you track and understand your audience better.

Here‘s how to convert your personal Pinterest profile to a business one:

  1. Go to your profile icon > Settings > Account settings
  2. Under "Account type", click on "Convert to business account"
  3. Select your preferred category (options like Blogger, Coach, Consultant etc.)
  4. Add a business name, website URL and description
  5. Agree to the platform‘s terms and conditions for businesses

Once converted, your profile will now have access to business account features. Time to optimize it for success…

Step 2 – Optimize Your Pinterest Profile

With a business account set up, the next step is beefing up your profile to look credible and authoritative to Pinners who land there.

An optimized profile creates trust and conveys expertise, greatly improving chances that visitors will explore your affiliate pins and boards.

Here are profile optimization tips:

  • Profile picture: Use a clear, high quality headshot so visitors can associate a face with your advice
  • Bio: Write a short but descriptive bio highlighting your niche/expertise area
  • Name: Ideally use your actual name or registered business name
  • Website: Link to your blog or site to indicate authority
  • Location: Helps connect with local audiences

Spend time setting up an optimized profile so Pinners who discover one of your viral pins are encouraged to explore more.

Now it‘s time to pick the right niche for profitability…

Step 3 – Select A Profitable Affiliate Marketing Niche

To maximize success, your niche selection needs to strike the right balance between profitability and passion. Here are key criteria to evaluate:

Profitability Factors

  • High search volume for related keywords (use Google Keyword Planner)
  • Healthy competition but not saturation in niche
  • Enough variety of affiliate programs and products to promote
  • Chance to create visually appealing pin designs
  • Products at reasonable yet profitable price points

Passion Factors

  • Interest area you enjoy creating content around
  • Category you have good pre-existing knowledge of
  • Aligned to audience you understand well already

Ideally find the overlap between profit and passion indicators for long term success. Some evergreen examples are fashion, beauty, food, parenting, weddings, fitness, crafts, gardening, pets etc.

Let your interests and existing expertise guide niche selection but cross-check profitability too.

Step 4 – Find Relevant Affiliate Programs to Join

Once your niche is finalized, the next step is finding relevant affiliate programs to join so you can actually monetize through earning commissions.

Here are top programs Pinterest affiliate marketers typically join:

  • Amazon Associates – Huge range of products though acceptance criteria is strict
  • ShareASale – Over 3900+ merchandisers across categories
  • CJ Affiliate – Links with leading retail brands across verticals
  • Rakuten Marketing – Focused more on digital goods like software
  • RewardStyle – Top network for fashion & lifestyle affiliates

Browse through program catalogs after signing up to shortlist ones most relevant to your Pinterest niche. Ensure to read through terms so you comply with guidelines.

With accounts set up, your Pinterest affiliate marketing foundations are now in place!

Step 5 – Create Eye-Catching, Optimized Pins

Unlike Facebook where text status updates dominate, Pinterest is extremely visual. Pretty, polished pins in the right aspect ratio stand maximum chance of popularity and engagement.

As you curate or create affiliate pins, ensure to:

  • Use top-notch, original imagery – avoid grainy stock photos
  • Optimize images for the 2:3 Pinterest aspect ratio
  • Resize pins to exact 1000 x 1500px dimensions for quality
  • Use attention-grabbing fonts & minimalist design for text overlays
  • Add informative ALT text so images show up in searches

Remember, visual appeal is what makes a pin worth saving and sharing. Craft affiliate pins that pinners genuinely love.

Now let‘s talk about writing compelling descriptions…

Step 6 – Write Persuasive Affiliate Pin Descriptions

Pin descriptions allow you to tell the story behind your affiliate image or video.

Unlike Instagram, Pinterest users actually read this text since they want to understand more before hitting your affiliate link.

Some tips for writing persuasive descriptions:

  • Catch attention with an interesting stat or hook question
  • Highlight benefits using power words like You‘ll learn…, Discover…, Get access to…
  • Use emotional triggers like Save over $100…
  • Mention scarcity to create urgency
  • Add social proof elements like 5-star ratings, expert reviews etc.

Well-written descriptions build enough interest so pinners click through to your affiliate links and make purchases.

Now let‘s explore how to analyze what‘s working…

Step 7 – Use Analytics to Track and Optimize

One of the best things about Pinterest for affiliate marketing is the ability to track pin performance.

Make use of the Analytics feature within business accounts to identify your top pins. You can filter by time range and metrics like saves, clicks, closeups and more.

Key things to analyze:

  • Highest performing pins – Double down by creating more similar pins
  • Lowest performing pins – Take cues to improve strategy
  • Peak usage times and days – Schedule more pins accordingly
  • Top search terms bringing traffic – Optimize for those keywords

Continuous analytics review ensures you create more of what resonates. Tweak underperformers to improve. This data-driven approach is key.

Onto the next tip…

Step 8 – Interact With Your Pinterest Audience

Don‘t just share affiliate pins and disengage. Take time to interact using Pinterest‘s commenting feature.

Building relationships and engaging with pinners boosts credibility as an authority they can trust for recommendations.

Reply when someone comments on your pins. Check who has saved your content recently and visit their profiles to follow or comment.

This community interaction lets pinners discover you beyond just viral pins. Result? More profile views and clicks to affiliate links.

Step 9 – Create Themed Boards Around Your Niche

Boards allow you to create sub-hubs within your niche for laser-targeted content. For example, a fitness pinner can have:

  • Best Home Workouts
  • Plant-Based Protein Recipes
  • Yoga for Beginners

Curating affiliate pin collections to boards multiplier their discoverability in search.

It also positions you as an expert who has extensively researched different sub-areas around the niche.

Ping your boards often with fresh affiliate pin additions. Give them SEO-optimized names using target keywords.

Step 10 – Promote Your Affiliate Pins Outside Pinterest

Don‘t keep your Pinterest affiliate marketing siloed to one platform. Implement a cross-channel promotion strategy to maximize discovery.

You can easily embed Pinterest pins within blog posts/articles relevant to the product. Most blogs allow this.

Share the pins on Twitter, Facebook groups and Quora spaces frequented by your niche audience.

The more exposure channels, the more potential traffic. This indirectly boosts affiliate commissions over time.

Common Mistakes To Avoid As A Pinterest Affiliate Marketer

As a recap, here are some key mistakes that can sabotage your Pinterest affiliate earnings:

  • Cloaking links to hide affiliate URLs – banned by Pinterest
  • Using spammy, low-quality imagery
  • Writing overly salesy, clickbaity pin descriptions
  • Sticking to just one traffic source instead of cross-promoting
  • Not disclosing affiliate links openly

Stay clear of anything against Pinterest policies or perceived negatively by your audience. Be upfront yet subtle with disclosures to build long term trust.

The Pros & Cons of Pinterest Affiliate Marketing

Let‘s summarize the unique pros and cons of focusing your affiliate efforts on Pinterest:

Pros

  • Visually-driven pins build high user interest
  • Can add detailed affiliate link descriptions
  • Boards keep content organized
  • In-built analytics to track pin performance
  • Users active seek new recommendations

Cons

  • Initial account restrictions for new affiliates
  • Relies heavily on creating custom pins vs quick text/link posts
  • Longer sales cycles as Pinners take time to decide
  • Can‘t share links via messaging to followers

Despite limitations, most successful affiliate marketers leverage Pinterest due to its hungry user base open to suggestions.

In Closing

The visually-driven nature of Pinterest combined with users looking for ideas makes it a prime platform for affiliate marketing. As this guide showed, you can absolutely generate full-time income through affiliate pins if you remain focused and consistent.

Remember to analyze pin analytics, stay on top of emerging trends in your niche and interact sincerely with your Pinterest community.

If you focus on value first by providing helpful recommendations vs aggressive selling, the commissions will follow.

I wish you the very best as you begin your affiliate marketing adventures leveraging the highly engaged, recommendation-hungry Pinterest audience!