What is Affiliate Marketing
If all these sounds new to you, let’s clear out what we mean by affiliate marketing.
Affiliate marketing is when an affiliate promotes other companies’ products for a percent in commission. So it goes like this: content creators link their favorite products or their outfit of the day so you can shop directly from that link.
This way, creators get a commission each time someone purchases something using any of their affiliate links. That commission always comes out of the company’s pockett. So, the company gains more customers and the content creator gets a commission for that sale. Essentially, this is how affiliate marketing works and it is a pretty useful way to make money while blogging.
Why Affiliate Marketing?
One of the best things about affiliate marketing is that it is a 100% free approach. If you are already an online content creator or an influencer you have a lot to gain adding affiliate marketing to your Pinterest winning strategy.
We always say “Your content on Pinterest lives forever” so, why would you miss the opportunity to take your affiliate links to future customers. As your content on Pinterest never dies, you’ll be able to reach more and more people everyday with your affiliate links and make an income from that.
Where do I Get my Affiliate Links?
So, there are a lot of companies that have affiliate programs. Some companies offer their own affiliate programs as Amazon does and there are also affiliate networks such as LTK (formerly Rewardstyle & LiketoKnow.it) Now, let us walk you through some basics so you can get your affiliate links.
LTK affiliate links
About LTK we made a whole post where we explained how it works and how to use their affiliate links on Pinterest, click here to read it. There is a lot of confusion around RewardStyle, Liketoknow.it, so let’s clear out some things first. Ten years ago the company started as Rewardstyle with the intention of encouraging influencers and bloggers to start earning money for their work. Years laters they created LiketoKnow.it, an app to allow people to shop directly through Instagram. Recently, Reward decided to do a rebrand and they renamed the whole business as LTK.
Essentially, LTK works as an affiliate network where you can find different products and brands in one specific place so you can link to all of those products LTK has on its platform. It actually includes more than a million brands and more than 5000 retailers and over a hundred countries. So, yes it is a pretty huge company. In fact, Pinterest encourages influencers to pick this company to generate affiliate links:
“Pinterest recommends using rewardStyle, the first and largest invitation-only end-to-end content monetisation platform for top-tier digital style influencers and brands around the world”
In order to get your affiliate links on LTK you need to apply to join the program. If you are not part of it just yet but you are interested you can apply here. Once you’re approved you can start using their affiliate links.
Amazon affiliate links
The other huge company that has its own affiliate program is Amazon. People oftentimes wonder whether they can use Amazon affiliate links on Pinterest or not and the answer is: yes, you are allowed but there are some things you should pay attention to when you use your Amazon links as not all of them work.
To promote amazon affiliate products you need to go here where you can sign up to become an Amazon associate.
According to Amazon, to qualify for this program you need to be a content creator with a qualifying website. Make sure to read the Amazon Participation Requirements. However, if you meet the qualifying criteria you’ll get approved to join the program. Once you’re inside you can promote any product on Amazon and make a commission for it.
Affiliate Marketing for Pinterest
Now you may be wondering: can I use these affiliate links on Pinterest? the answer is yes, you absolutely can. Pinterest for affiliate marketing is within the platform’s terms of service which is great news for content creators who want an extra income for their work.
In fact, when it comes to Pinterest, affiliate marketing can be a pretty useful way to make money. As you know, Pinterest is a powerful source of traffic and new audience to your business. This means referring piners to products and services you recommend could easily mean an extra income to you. Plus, it represents very little risk to you and you help others to promote their services or products.
But, how does affiliate marketing work on Pinterest?
There are two ways you can use affiliate marketing on Pinterest…
Affiliate Marketing With a Website
So, a great way to make money on Pinterest as you may know, is to use your Pinterest business account as a referral traffic source for your blog.
It could be your blog or any landing page on your own domain that contains the affiliate links so Pinterest is a way to get people to these affiliate links and also get them to a place where they are ready to shop. This way the links you share on your pins will first lead to a blog post, an article or any landing page where you include a link to that product or service.
Is that landing page where you could provide more helpful information for users about that product or service you are promoting. For example it could be a “Top best dresses for this summer” or ”My five personal Amazon finds” post. We really want to encourage you to do this.
Adding your personal experience is key. The thing is, you should be adding more context about the product. When you review a product or you explain your reasons to buy something, you are giving additional value to your affiliate link and to your content overall. When you take your time to review a product and write your thoughts about something you use or like, when you share your personal experience it helps to build trust with your audience and shows transparency.
Affiliate Marketing on Pinterest Without a Blog
So, many people use Pinterest to drive traffic to their site or their blog. However, Pinterest is still a great place to make money if you don’t own one. How? with direct affiliate links: links that directly lead to an affiliate product
This way you could just add your link on your pins and those pins will track your affiliate link so when someone purchases that product you’ll receive a commission for that.
Create a regular Pin
This is the easiest way of using your affiliate links on Pinterest, just create a Pin and add your affiliate link to it. For example, if you have an LTK account you can upload your LTK images as any regular pin and then add the affiliate link.
To create your Pin and add the affiliate link:
- Click the + icon at the bottom-right of your home feed
- Click Create a Pin
- Add an image and then select an image from your computer or drag and drop an image into the uploader
- Fill the info about your Pin: Title, Description, Alt text and Destination link: here is where you add your liketoknow.it link
- Choose to publish your Pin immediately or schedule it
- Choose a board to save your Pin or select Create board to create a new one
- Then click Publish
Two things to keep in mind when you do this: You won’t be allowed to tag your referral links.
The other thing is, be careful with imagery. All images enabled with LTK should be original and created by you. This is what LTK says about this point:
“Enabling a single product as an LTK goes against our Terms of Service as it is not an original image, in fact it belongs to the retailer”
About this, we highly suggest you to create your own images or collages on Canva to add a unique touch to them. Something like this should work.
Trust us, it will work better when you show people how they could use the product in a different and personal way and after all, Pinterest is a place to encourage people to try things so make sure you are keeping your pins and content inspiring.
If you need some background to start with Canva check you could read our post All About The Pinterest Tools You Need In 2022 where we covered the basics about Canva and other super helpful tools to grow and manage your Pinterest Business account.
Remember we offer, as part of our service, pin and graphic creation for your Pinterest or LTK account. Click here to learn more
Something to keep in mind when you add a link is that you don’t own that domain. Which means the service could be canceled or the link could stop working for any reason and your pin would then lead to a dead web in that case so make sure all your links work as it could harm your performance on Pinterest. You have already spent time and effort creating your original content, it would be such a pity for you to lose all your hard work. This is why we think creating your own web is the best way to take control over your content.
Create Idea Pins
If you are not familiar with Idea Pins just yet, we suggest you read our post Everything you need to know about Pinterest Idea Pins and you’ll get why we love them so much. Not only are they a great way to gain exposure on Pinterest but you can also monetize them.
Idea Pins are a super powerful pin which you can tagg with shoppable products using affiliate links.
Tag your affiliate links on an Idea Pin
- Open the Pinterest app on your device and log into your Pinterest account (this won’t work on desktop, you need to use a mobile device)
- Tap the + icon and then tap Idea Pin
- Tap the record button to record up to 60 seconds of video or select photos or videos from your device
- Tap Stickers
- Tap the tag icon product
- Tap Use a link and enter the affiliate link (Sometimes you will have to add the direct link to the product)
- Toggle This is an affiliate link or sponsored product
- Select the image for the product Pin and then tap Create
- Select a color and duration and then tap Done
- Tap and drag the tag to reposition it in the Pin
- Tap Done, then Next
- Enter the details for your Idea Pin, then tap Publish
Even though you can use your affiliate links when you don’t own a website, here are some things we want to point out about this strategy.
First of all, you should be conscious about only sticking to your affiliate links. If your goals are all about growing your business you should broaden your strategies and your platforms. We know creating content is the most laborious part of building your business, but when you already have it, you can start extending and sharing that original content to other platforms. This would be all genuine content from a domain you own so you could share it on Pinterest to help your traffic numbers go insanely high and build awareness on Pinterest.
We also must warn you that directly linking a Pin to what you are promoting could not always work. Why? Pinterest is a huge search engine and your pin will reach a lot of people who might not know you so why would they just buy something they see on a Pin? You must build trust in order to convert. This is why we recommend adding value to it. We know it will take additional effort but it will pay off in the long run.
Another thing to keep in mind is, not all the affiliate programs will allow you to do this because many of them require a website upon registration.
Pinterest Affiliate Guidelines
When you own a business and your goals are to earn money you definitely can not miss this part. Make sure you are not breaking any rule when you share your content on Pinterest to avoid trouble or even get sued by a company. Pinterest could remove, limit or block the distribution of content or accounts that violate their Affiliate Guidelines. You can read Pinterest affiliate guidelines here
but we want to emphasize some points you should specially keep in mind when you share your affiliate links.
- Be Clear to Your Audience:
It is required by law to let people know those you use are affiliate links and what they mean. Don’t forget this point as you could get fined if you don’t specify you are making money with that product and that there is a paid partnership.You could either use a #Paid Partnership or #Ad or explain what an affiliate link is. Just make sure people know they are clicking on an affiliate link.
- Don’t Manipulate Pinterest Algorithm
Make sure to use your affiliate links in moderation. This means you should avoid spammy behavior such as using fake accounts or asking other users to create pins with your affiliate links. Remember Pinterest is the place people seek to get inspired so Pinterest wants to make sure your content doesn’t interrupt any pinner’s experience.
This is what Pinterest says about this point:
“Don’t try creating affiliate Pins repetitively or in large volumes – marketers should follow our spam policy and use affiliate links in moderation”
- Follow Pinterest Paid Partnership Guidelines
Paid Partnership is any sponsored content on Pinterest influenced by a business partner so, when you participate in a paid partnership you are responsible for complying with all applicable disclosures needed to indicate the nature of that content and to prevent any inauthentic content on Pinterest.
- Use the Pinterest Brand Correctly
Make sure your content and your ads don’t suggest in any way that Pinterest is sponsoring your promotions or formally affiliated. Here are some things you should keep in mind to avoid common mistakes and some advice to use the Pinterest badge. Here you can find the Pinterest logo assets Pinterest provides to us with color changes so it feels cohesive with your brand but make sure you are not altering the logo with filters or other elements.
Best Practices for Pinterest Affiliate Marketing
In order to avoid some common mistakes we could mention some of the best practices that will help you if you are new on the affiliate marketing world
- Use a Business Account: Using a Pinterest business account is just key to make money here so don’t skip this step, getting a Pinterest business account will unlock a goldmine of perks you can use to grow your business. If you want to read more about this and convince yourself why you need a business account, don’t skip our recent post about Pinterest for business Pinterest for Business 101
- Check First
If you are trying to join an affiliate program or network to share on Pinterest you should check first if that specific program allows using direct affiliate links from social media as some of them specifically focus on affiliate links on social media but some others don’t.
- Choose a Niche
You don’t want to get too broad here, niche is better so we don’t mess with the Pinterest algorithm. For example, if you went with the cooking niche you can promote different types of products inside that specific niche such as kitchen tools and promote your current favorite products from your favorite organic food store.
- Be Authentic
Don’t use clickbaiting techniques here, be authentic to organically include your affiliate links to your content. Think of this: when someone taps through your affiliate links, they are half way of purchasing something. Avoid linking trending products you don’t own or products you don’t even use personally. This will build confidence between you and your audience.
- Optimize your Pins for SEO
This point is crucial. If you want to reach the right audience, optimizing your Pins will be necessary. Do your keyword research and use the right words to describe the product. Otherwise, how could Pinterest know what your content is all about? However, to read more about this topic you can check our post you can read our post Pinterest for business Pinterest for Business 101. Optimizing your Pins and your Pinterest account will help you grow your business. We know this could take time and probably a lot of work but you don’t necessarily need any ad budget to do it. Plus, Pinterest will certainly give your online business real and organic growth.
- Make Sure Your Links Work
Sometimes Amazon links don’t work so make sure they do when you’re adding it to your Pin, you don’t want to miss that sale. Also avoid short links like bit.ly or pretty links. Copy and paste your ugly long affiliate link so you are 100% sure there will be no misunderstanding about the commercial nature of your Pin.Try different amazon links until you find the one that works for you. Don’t give up, they do work
- Give it time
Be patient, give Pinterest it’s time to match your affiliate products with the right audience. If you blast a bunch of affiliate products you won’t see results just tomorrow and that is very important for you to keep in mind.
We know this could sound like a lot of info but we promise Pinterest pays off. If you are just starting with your Business Pinterest account or if you are wondering how to start with it and you are looking for some extra help remember Fresh Pins Creators helps entrepreneurs like you to stand out on Pinterest and grow their business so if that’s a goal you are aiming to you should go check out our services and get started! We can help you decide which one suits your business best!