Most people think of Pinterest as the place to go for dinner recipes, crafting ideas, or considerations for their next bucket-list trip. That’s all fine and dandy, but you might not know plenty of people use Pinterest for a totally different purpose — to make real money.
In most cases, you need some sort of online platform to make money from Pinterest, but the way people turn Pinterest into profits can vary a lot.
Pinterest might seem like the best place to look for decorating ideas, but this platform has ushered in a wave of opportunity for those who take advantage.
If you’re looking for a way to earn money online and you love being creative and pinning all your favorite stuff in your Pinterest account, then it’s possible you could use Pinterest to take your online hustle to the next level.
9 Ways to Make Money on Pinterest
#1: Drive People to Monetized Pages On Your Website
Whitney Bonds of Tried and True Mom Jobs gets 2.2 million monthly viewers on her Pinterest account. Those viewers are funneled to her website so they can click on her affiliate links and make a purchase. In other words, Bonds makes money via affiliate marketing — a type of marketing that lets you earn income when people click on a link — uniquely created for you — before buying an item online.
If you have a blog and you want to use Pinterest to increase your income, Bonds says strive to make your pins interesting enough to click on.
“My best advice on getting people to click on your pins is to include a teaser to entice people to click,” she says.
For example, for a pin about side hustle ideas, you could say: “10 Side Hustles that Pay Well….I Do #1 and Earn an Extra $2,000 Per Month.”
“Many people will want to know what the top option is, so they click,” she said. “It’s all about getting that click.”
According to Tailwind, Pinterest drives 33 percent more referral traffic to shopping sites than does Facebook, 71 percent more than Snapchat, and 200 percent more than Twitter.
#2: Teach People How to Make Money
It may seem ironic that someone would use Pinterest to make money by teaching other people how to make money, but that’s exactly what Peter Koch of Dollarsanity does. Peter gets 1.4 million viewers on his Pinterest account and he says that, according to Pingroupie, he ranked as the 6th most popular influencer for the keyword phrase, “make money”.
How does he do it? Like Bonds, he drives people to his website using pins.
Koch says that many other bloggers just skip “best work from home jobs”, “make money online” and similar keywords because it is too competitive, but the main competition for those terms is on Google.
“Using Pinterest, you can drive huge amounts of traffic to those posts and make loads of money with zero domain authority,” says Koch.
#3: Market Your Online Courses
Alex Nerney of Create and Go gets 2.9 million monthly viewers on his Pinterest page. His Pinterest posts direct more traffic to his online courses that help people build a blog from scratch.
“This accounts for a large portion of our revenue at Create and Go,” Nerney says. Like others, Nerney also uses Pinterest to drive revenue through affiliate sales. Creating pins that are attractive to click on makes up a big part of the business income, he says.
“I have two very popular courses on this topic, Pin Practical Conversions and Pin Practical Promotions,” Froese says. Creating pins that drive traffic to Froese’s courses worked for her, and she says that “promoted pins” (a type of paid Pinterest ad) can work a lot better than other types of advertising.
#4: Sell Your Favorite Styles
Dave Dowden loves men’s fashion, and he blogs about it on Irreverent Gent. Because fashion is such a hot category on Pinterest, Dowden models the styles and brands he loves and drives affiliate sales for them in the process.
“As a style blogger, I have an affiliate relationship with multiple men’s clothing and style brands, meaning that when a user clicks on one of my unique links to those brands and makes a purchase, I earn a commission,” Dowden says.
Dowden also goes the extra mile to use Pinterest to his advantage. Specifically, he does some basic keyword research into the styles people are looking for, then finds an affiliate relationship for that type of product so to promote it and earn some cash. That kind of creative thinking helped him boost his income, he says.
#5: Become a Pinterest VA
If you don’t want to have a website or create your own products, you can still earn money on Pinterest by becoming a Pinterest VA (virtual assistant). Kristin Larsen from Believe in a Budget offered Pinterest account management services as a VA.
Typically, this involves creating pins for clients, scheduling their pins to go live, and coming up with a comprehensive Pinterest strategy meant to drive traffic and growth.
Larsen now offers a course for aspiring Pinterest VAs, which opens twice per year. Through Larsen’s course, Pinterest VA, she also offers a free training program you can sign up for.
Within Larsen’s first six months, she averaged $3,600 a month from her side hustle as a Pinterest manager, on top of her full-time job income. Since then, Larsen helped thousands of individuals grow their own business as Pinterest VAs.
#6: Sell Your Own Products
Courses aren’t the only product you can market on Pinterest. Becky Beach of the Mom Beach blog uses Pinterest to drive traffic to other products she creates, like printables, ebooks, and spreadsheets.
She also has an online store on her website, making it easy for people to know exactly which products she creates and promotes. For example, Beach is currently selling this budgeting spreadsheet for $17.
Beach is earns around $5,000 per month marketing these products entirely on the platform, but she also uses affiliate marketing to earn another $1,000 to $2,000 per month.
#7: Drive Traffic to a Podcast
Michelle Glogogvac of The MSL Collective has a podcast about living the simple life. Interestingly, Glogogvac uses Pinterest to drive traffic to her website, where she markets services (like podcast production and podcast coaching) and her podcast episodes.
“Ultimately, this additional traffic increases my visibility which in turn boosts my business with more clients and recognition,” Glogogvac says, adding that Pinterest has become more than a place to look for recipes and home decor over the years.
“There is a huge increase in entrepreneurs and business owners utilizing it for marketing tools, business tips and much more,” says Glogogvac. “As a podcast producer, I love to offer tips for podcasters and guests, and as a PR expert, I utilize Pinterest to promote features for myself and my clients.”
#8: Drive Income From Ads
Jenni Madsen, who blogs at The Mommyhood Club, uses Pinterest to drive traffic to affiliate posts on her website like some others we’ve profiled. Madsen also uses Pinterest to drive people to pages on her site where there’s a lot of ad revenue opportunity.
“Making pins is a huge part of my business because Pinterest can drive so much free traffic to my blog,” she says.
There are different types of ads you can use to make money on your website, including display ads that pay based on traffic or a “per-click” performance.
This guide on “How to Make Money Blogging” goes over all of the other ads you can choose from, and other ways to make money from your site.
#9: Market Your Online Skills
Kyle Kroeger of Freelancer Nomads says Pinterest is an awesome way to market your skills as a freelancer, whether you create graphics, write content, or provide virtual assistant services. It doesn’t matter what type of online work you do, as long as you’re willing to learn the ins and outs of Pinterest to make the most out of the platform.
There’s a ton of opportunity on Pinterest, says Kroeger, mostly because potential clients also use the service, so they’re easy to find there.
Whether you’re a freelancer, a graphic designer, or a travel agent, Pinterest is worth exploring if you want a free way to let people know you exist.
Action Steps To Start Making Money On Pinterest
Here are six action steps that you can implement today to start earning money on Pinterest.
Convert to a Business Account
No matter how you plan to make money on Pinterest, one of the most important steps is using a business account. It’s free to set up a business account on Pinterest. You can convert your personal account to a business account or start a brand new account.
Using a Pinterest business account lets you see all analytics associated with your account. You can see how many impressions, clicks and views your pins receive daily and monthly. This data shows you what’s working and what’s not working so you can create content that performs well. A business account also lets you see exactly how much traffic you’re driving to your website.
To convert your personal Pinterest account to a business account, follow these steps.
- Log in to your Pinterest account.
- Go to Pinterest for Business.
- Click Convert now.
- Fill out your info and then click Convert.
Set Up Rich Pins
According to Pinterest, rich pins are “a type of organic Pin that automatically syncs information from your website to your Pins.You can identify Rich Pins by the extra information above and below the image on closeup and the bold title in your feed. If something changes on the original website, the Rich Pin updates to reflect that change.”
Follow these steps to apply for rich pins:
- Add metadata to your site.
- Validate and apply for Rich Pins.
- Create a compelling title and description for every post.
For more technical details, read more on the Pinterest developer site.
Rich pins are beneficial for every niche and industry. For example, if you have a product that you pin and update the listing price or information on your website, rich pins automatically update this information on your pins.
Create a Keyword-Rich Profile, Boards and Pin Descriptions
Pinterest is a search engine. To make your profile, boards and pins searchable, you want to make sure you are using keyword rich words.
If you blog or have a website, you might be familiar with keyword research for SEO. This is a recommended practice for pins as well. The best place to look up keywords for Pinterest is on Pinterest. When typing a query into the Pinterest search bar, you’ll notice that other auto-suggested keywords appear, similar to what Google does. These suggestions are popular search terms.
You can also use the Pinterest Trends feature to see current popular searches. After exploring keywords, add these keywords to your profile, board and pin descriptions.
Create click-worthy pins
Pinterest is a visual platform. You can have the best article in the world, but if your pin isn’t catchy or appealing to the eye, users won’t interact with it.
Here are some best practices for creating click-worthy pins:
- Use a vertical image rather than a horizontal image. Pinterest recommends a 2:3 aspect ratio for best performance.
- Use high-quality images.
- Be sure to add text to your pins.
You don’t have to be a design expert to create click-worthy pins. Programs like Canva have pin templates and ideas for you to use!
Set-up a Pinning Schedule
Setting up a pinning schedule and staying consistent is important to growth, reach, and analytics on Pinterest.
Pinterest’s algorithm is constantly evolving and changing, much like Google’s. It’s important to stay on top of the data and trends to know how often you should be active and pinning content. For example, a year ago, it was considered best practice to pin upwards of 30 pins per day. Now, those numbers are trending lower.
One easy way to set-up a pinning schedule and stay consistent is by using a service, like Tailwind. Tailwind also keeps up with Pinterest’s best practices so you don’t have to. If you’re pinning too often, Tailwind will alert you.
One strategy that works well is batch-creating pins at the beginning of each week and then scheduling them out on Tailwind. This keeps your content consistent, without being active on the platform and creating new pins daily.
Join Group Boards
Unlike social media, you don’t need a large following on Pinterest to be successful. Joining group boards lets you access an entire group board’s followers. For example, if you have 500 followers and you join a group board with 10,000 followers, pinning your content to that group makes your content visible and accessible to more people.
To find group boards related to your niche, check out PinGroupie. After finding and requesting to join group boards, make sure you know the rules that are associated with each board. Some group boards do not allow affiliate links, some have a limited number of pins allowed per day. Make sure you follow the rules so that you don’t get booted from your groups.
What You Need To Know About Pinterest
Now that you know you can make money on Pinterest, there are a few more things you need to know.
- Pinterest is a search engine. You may be surprised to learn that Pinterest is a search engine, not a social media platform. There are over 2 billion monthly searches on Pinterest.
- Your Pins are evergreen. On Pinterest, your pins and ideas live on and on, and provide value long after the day they’re posted. Unlike social media sites, your pins can be found and shared months, or even years later.
- Pinterest users research purchases. 89% of Pinterest users use the platform for inspiration on their path to purchase and 47% of Pinners use Pinterest to shop. This makes it nearly four times more effective at generating sales than other social platforms.
The Bottom Line
Pinterest might seem like the best place to look for decorating ideas or resorts for your next vacation, but this platform has ushered in a wave of opportunity for those who take advantage. It can help you earn a ton of money over time — even enough money to replace your full-time income.
You might think you can’t earn money online, but you’re absolutely wrong. Like any other business idea, you don’t know anything unless you try.
If you’re ready to find an online income stream that works, make sure to sign up for my Make 1k Blogging email challenge.