Monestising Pinterest: Affiliate Links Are Now Allowed!
Are you trying to monetise your blog or turn your social media influence into cold, hard cash? Then you’re in for a treat, because a new revenue stream has just opened up – Pinterest has recently announced that it will be allowing affiliate links!
This isn’t the first time you’ve been able to do this; Pinterest previously allowed affiliate links but banned them early last year to stop the spammers who were abusing them. Unfortunately, this meant that anyone earning money legitimately through affiliate links on Pinterest also saw this revenue stream dry up almost overnight.
Whilst we wouldn’t recommend suddenly refocusing your entire income strategy on Pinterest in case they change their minds again, weaving a few affiliate links into your usual Pins can’t hurt, and may even boost your earnings! Here’s how to get started.
Hold up, what’s an affiliate link?
If you’re new to affiliate marketing, check out our beginner’s guide here which explains what it is and how to get started. Essentially, an affiliate link is your own exclusive version of a regular link to a brand’s website, which lets them track who’s clicking on it and pay you commissions if any of those people place an order.
How do I add an affiliate link on Pinterest?
When you pin an image to Pinterest, the site will automatically link it to the URL of the page it’s on. Once you’ve pinned something, turning it into an affiliate link is simple – click the little pen icon to edit it, and replace the website link with your affiliate one.
Be sure your affiliate link ends up at the same place as the original link! Clicking on a picture of a dress and ending up on the brand’s homepage instead isn’t a good experience for your followers – don’t make them start hunting for the product themselves as some won’t bother and you could end up losing out on commissions.
How often should I pin affiliate links?
It’s exciting to learn that you can start earning money from Pinterest, but don’t spam your followers with a flood of affiliate links. This is exactly the type of behaviour Pinterest previously banned the links to try to stop – pinning “large amounts of unwanted or repetitive stuff” is not permitted in their acceptable use policy and could land you in hot water if you’re discovered.
Not to mention, appearing spammy could annoy your fans and make them unfollow you. Remember to be authentic – don’t pin something you wouldn’t normally, just because you can use an affiliate link. Keep pinning and re-pinning as you always have done alongside your affiliate stuff, and you’ll naturally maintain a good balance between affiliate and regular links.
Can I shorten my affiliate links?
Affilate links can look a bit long and messy, so some affiliate networks allow you to shorten links by turning them into Bitly ones or similar. You can also do this yourself if the affiliate programme doesn’t come with a built-in option.
Unfortunately, shortened links are not allowed on Pinterest. “Off-domain redirects” are banned under their acceptable use policy, because users don’t know what site they’re going to end up on. If you do post a shortened link and your followers click on it, they’ll get a warning message that says “Suspicious Link: This link redirects to another site, it may link to spam or other inappropriate content” – that doesn’t make you look good!
So stay on Pinterest’s good side and maintain your followers’ trust in you by using unaltered affiliate links – Pinterest will only show the first part of very long links anyway.
Do I need to disclose affiliate links on Pinterest?
Just as you need to disclose affiliate links in a blog post, you need to disclose them on Pinterest too – or wherever else you’re publishing them! You can read the specific rules on affiliate link disclosure in the UK and USA in this blog post, but essentially, just be open and honest with your followers.
Many fans will like for you to earn a little money from an order they were going to place anyway, whereas you may lose fans if they discover you’ve been advertising to them in secret!
How else can I earn money from Pinterest?
Affiliate links are the easiest way to start earning money from your Pinterest following today, but they’re not the only one. Why not try these ideas too?
- Sponsored boards – allow brands to sponsor a Pinterest board, where you curate a board on an agreed theme and include their products
- Original content – just like on Instagram, if you’ve got a large enough Pinterest following brands may be interested in sending you a product to photograph and post to Pinterest
- Consultation and training – if you’ve built up a sizeable Pinterest following, both influencers and brands alike will love to learn how you’ve done it! Why not create and sell an eBook, offer training courses to bloggers who want to become influential on Pinterest, or create a service for brands where you review their Pinterest profile and suggest improvements?
We hope you’ve found this guide useful, but if you still have questions feel free to ask in the comments below. Until next week, happy pinning!
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