Pinterest affiliate marketing: 16.5 tips to grow your income 

17 min
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The digital marketing landscape is in constant evolution. Google is rolling out algorithm updates more frequently than ever before, and social media platforms regularly tweak their algorithms too. As a result, affiliate marketers need to always be on the lookout for new channels to expand their reach and drive additional traffic to high-paying affiliate programs.

While email marketing remains a highly valuable asset for businesses and affiliate marketing, Pinterest presents a potential goldmine of opportunities, relevant traffic, and conversions that shouldn’t be overlooked. Leveraging Pinterest for affiliate campaigns can open up new audiences, increase website traffic, and boost conversion rates and brand awareness if done right.

This article uncovers pro tips to help affiliate marketers maximize their success on Pinterest.

First, let’s talk about Pinterest and what makes it special for affiliates.

What is Pinterest?

Pinterest is more than just a platform for DIY crafts, recipes, and fashion ideas. It’s a visual discovery engine that millions of users turn to for inspiration, advice, and product recommendations. In order to successfully promote accounts and share affiliate links on Pinterest, you need to study Pinterest SEO and develop a strategy. Everything is the same as with regular promotions on Google or Bing.

What is Pinterest affiliate marketing?

Pinterest affiliate marketing is a form of marketing where an affiliate marketer, blogger, or business owner promotes affiliate products or services of affiliate partners on Pinterest through visual content and earns a commission when users purchase via affiliate links

How Pinterest works

At its core, Pinterest revolves around ‘pins’ – visual bookmarks that users save while browsing the web. These pins are typically attached to images or videos and link back to their original sources, such as a blog post, product page, or tutorial. Users organize these pins into ‘boards,’ which are theme-based collections.

For example, one might have a board for ‘Summer Outfits’ or ‘Healthy Breakfast Recipes.’ The more appealing and relevant your pins are, the more likely content will be saved (or repinned) by other users, increasing your content’s visibility. Pinterest users can also follow other accounts, be it individuals or brands, to get their latest pins directly in their feed.

Pinterest feed with organic and promoted pins tailored to the user
Pinterest feed with organic and promoted pins tailored to the user

Pinterest’s demographics and why it’s lucrative

Pinterest boasts a diverse user base, but several characteristics make it particularly lucrative for affiliate marketing. Every month, the platform is used by 465 million people globally. 60% of Pinterest’s users are women, many of whom are decision-makers when it comes to household purchases. The male part of Pinterest’s audience is growing too. Currently at a 40% year-on-year rate.

Since Pinterest is a visual search engine and not just a social media network, people use it to find inspiration about future purchases. And they’re not just passive browsers; they’re active seekers, ready to discover and buy new products. As reported by the platform, 46% of their weekly Pinners have discovered a new brand or product on Pinterest. This proactive intent makes Pinterest a great platform for affiliate marketers, as your content won’t interrupt users’ experience, but enhance it instead.

Organic vs. paid pins

While the majority of pins on Pinterest are organic (created and shared by users or creators), the platform also offers ‘Promoted Pins,’ which are paid advertisements. Organic pins rely on the natural interest and engagement from the community, while promoted pins get a visibility boost based on the budget set by the advertiser. For affiliate marketers, organic pins are usually the starting point, but as we’ll explore later, investing in Promoted Pins can amplify your marketing efforts significantly.

Example of a promoted pin (left) and an organic pin (right)
Example of a promoted pin (left) and an organic pin (right)

Pinterest affiliate marketing: 16.5 tips for making passive income

Affiliate marketing and Pinterest go hand-in-hand, and we reveal practical tips and strategies that help affiliate marketers strategically target an audience that will be interested in affiliate products or services.

Tip #1: Review Pinterest’s guidelines

Before creating your Pinterest account for affiliate marketing, read through Pinterest’s guidelines. This is crucial since Pinterest places restrictions on the types of services and products that can be promoted on their platform. Some offers are completely forbidden. Ensuring you understand and comply with these policies from the start will help avoid account suspension down the road.

Tip #2: Target your primary market

Decide which market should be the priority for your affiliate programs. If you are focusing on the U.S. market, all of your Pinterest settings should be tailored to the U.S. (pinterest.com).

Tip #3: Verify affiliate program guidelines

Before investing significant time and resources into Pinterest, check the guidelines of your chosen affiliate programs to see if Pinterest promotion is allowed, and what specific requirements you must meet. For example, when promoting Amazon products, be aware you cannot create collage images for pins.

Tip #4: Evaluate required resources

Before setting up the Pinterest account, assess the human and financial resources you can allocate. Pinterest functions as a visual search engine with its own SEO rules and pinning strategy. 

Unlike other social media platforms such as Instagram or Facebook, consistent pinning is a must—for example, 2 new (fresh) pins every other day or at weekends. To schedule pins, affiliate marketers can use Pinterest’s native scheduling or tools like Tailwind that optimize pin timing.

Pinterest scheduling tool – Tailwindapp.
View from Tailwindapp, a Pinterest scheduling tool.

Pro Tip: If you cannot regularly produce or source good amounts of fresh, high-quality video and text pins, you may want to reconsider focusing your effort on Pinterest.

Tip #5: Leverage business analytics

Convert your account to a Pinterest business profile to unlock analytics and audience insights. Study your audience’s secondary interests and create boards that align with them. This helps expand your reach to users who may find affiliate services and products relevant.

Categories and interests in Pinterest analytics
Categories and interests in Pinterest analytics

Tip #6: Learn Pinterest SEO 

Invest time into learning Pinterest SEO, which is less complex than Google or Bing but still critically important. At its core, Pinterest is a visual search engine, not social media. If your account is managed by a social media specialist, ensure they fully grasp Pinterest SEO requirements. 

Similar to classic SEO, you may encounter numerous strategies for account structure and pinning cadence. Implementing a consistent strategy, even if imperfect, will be more effective than pinning randomly.

Before launching and running a Pinterest account, decide crucial elements like your pinning frequency, content types, account structure, etc.

Pro Tip: For more information about Pinterest SEO, check out social media strategist Nadalie Bardo’s YouTube channel. Even a basic strategy executed consistently will outperform disorganized efforts.

Tip #7: Optimize pins 

One of the biggest advantages Pinterest offers is the ability to create multiple unique pins optimized with different relevant keywords all linking back to a single article or landing page.

For example, pins focused on “best books for entrepreneurs,” “must-read books for startup founders,” and “top business books 2023” could generate traffic to an article titled: Top 10 Books For Entrepreneurs.

Search bar with the keyword "books for business"
Search bar with the keyword “books for business”

When researching keywords for affiliate products, use Pinterest’s search bar to find product-related searches.

Also analyze keywords related to characteristics of affiliated products/services such as customer age range, price points, size options, styles, colors, etc. 

Next, build boards optimized with keywords related to occasions for purchasing gifts, pain points your products solve, trends, etc. Including trending topics helps boards gain quick traction. 

Tip #8: Follow promotional guidelines

When creating pins, follow Pinterest guidelines regarding disclosing paid promotions. Sponsored (affiliated) pins must include the relevant hashtags #ad or #sponsored in the pin description.

Also, affiliate marketers cannot use shortened affiliate links directly in pins description. You will find more information here.

Tip #9: Use the power of  Pinterest ads

Pinterest isn’t just an organic platform – their PPC ads can be a cost-effective way to drive traffic to the site or landing pages when optimized properly.

For larger budgets, work directly with a Pinterest account manager to refine keywords and campaign settings tailored to your goals.

Tip #10: Plan seasonal content in advance

When promoting affiliate products or services related to holidays and events, ensure you have relevant pins scheduled and posted well in advance—at minimum 4-6 weeks beforehand.

Tip #11: Avoid over-pinning

Pinterest’s spam filters may restrict accounts that pin too much. Most experts recommend a safe pinning of 10-15 relevant, high-quality pins daily.

While some marketers think joining group boards can increase reach and boost brand awareness, this is only effective if you can curate what gets published. In most cases, it’s better to join relevant Tailwind communities with high number of monthly active users where you control content. Tailwind communities allow you to:

  1. Curate which pins from your account get shared
  2. Access established Pinterest accounts or target audience
  3. View analytics on communities and published content performance

Rather than passive group boards, actively curating content through Tailwind communities gives you more control over the number of pins you publish and share.

Tip #12: Grow your email list

Leverage Pinterest not only for traffic and lead generation but also to expand your email list. Promote lead magnets such as free ebooks, whitepapers, consultations, and trials via pinned content. 

Pins promoting free ebooks to grow an email list.
Pins promoting free ebooks to grow an email list

Read on to learn other ways you can build an email list for affiliate marketing.

Tip# 13: Craft winning Pinterest strategy

Before diving into Pinterest affiliate marketing, do your research. Explore popular niches and analyze successful Pinterest profiles in your field. Pinterest offers flexibility — you can archive boards, create private boards, switch to a Pinterest business profile or change target countries. But having an intentional strategy will accelerate your progress.

One key decision is whether to have one Pinterest account or multiple niche accounts. Large Pinterest presences take different approaches. Some niche down (e.g. this account) while others combine topics more broadly e.g. Nancy Badillo. Evaluate the pros and cons for your goals.

Example a Pinterest profile targeting a broad niche
Example a Pinterest profile targeting a broad niche

Many affiliate marketers also consider whether to focus exclusively on their own pins versus repinning others’ content. Most experts recommend emphasizing original pins. If repinning, maintain an 80/20 ratio – 80% owned pins and 20% repins.

While Pinterest allows flexibility, a focused strategy will help you achieve your affiliate marketing goals more efficiently. Define your niche, establish your brand voice, and plot your path to success.

Tip #14: Promote new sites

Pinterest is a great channel for new affiliate sites to start driving targeted traffic while still building organic visibility and authority.

Don’t wait until your site is established — use the power of  Pinterest to kickstart affiliate earnings.

Tip #15: A/B Testing—the key to going viral

When creating affiliate pins for Pinterest, A/B testing is key for driving high-converting traffic. Test different pin title wording to determine which resonates most with your audience. Experiment with pin description by highlighting affiliate product features, pricing, special offers or addressing customer pain points.

To increase viral potential, A/B test visual content as well. Try images with and without text, different layouts or collages (if allowed by the affiliate program), lifestyle imagery, flat lay product shots, and more. Analyze which visuals garner the most repins, clicks on the affiliate link and conversions.

For example, one campaign used a vintage car with flowers image that went viral for the keyword “flowers for girlfriend”, while pins with only flower images had moderate success. The evocative lifestyle visual clearly outperformed the simpler product images.

Consistently A/B testing your affiliate pins will help drive higher click-through rates and maximize conversions from Pinterest traffic.

Tip#16: Automate Pinterest tasks

To maximize productivity, use third-party automation tools to publish and create affiliate pins. Scheduling tools like Tailwind allow you to plan posts in advance while leveraging AI to determine optimal timing.

Marketers can also use templates to maintain brand consistency at scale. Though most automation software can post to various social media platforms, Tailwind’s Pinterest-specific timing algorithm provides an edge.

Before selecting any tool, ensure it has official Pinterest authorization. Automated posting has not been proven less effective than manual pinning.

For ecommerce brands, integrate your CMS with Pinterest to create the feed so new products are automatically pinned. This saves time while keeping Pinterest presence fresh.

While Pinterest automation enables you to scale affiliate marketing efforts, find the right balance of automation and personal touch for Pinterest affiliate marketing success.

Extra tip: Grow your bond with Pinterest

Like any relationship, getting the most out of Pinterest requires investment. Its features may work differently across markets and updates can bring imperfect changes. Some functions may not always perform as expected.

Yet when you commit to understanding Pinterest’s core principles, you’ll start to see results. As your experience grows, so will your appreciation. Bring an open mind to Pinterest and unlock a world of possibilities.

FAQ

Get answers to the most common questions about promoting affiliate products on Pinterest.

What are some effective Pinterest affiliate marketing strategies?

There is no one-size-fits-all approach to Pinterest affiliate marketing strategy. Success depends on many factors like your business type, target audience, and content quality and quantity. However, some best practices can boost your affiliate sales on Pinterest: a) strategically plan and organize Pinterest boards b) SEO optimize boards and pins c) pin content to relevant boards d) switch to a Pinterest business account and check Pinterest analytics e) create pins consistently f) always disclose affiliate links by adding relevant hashtags g) follow Pinterest community guidelines to avoid account bans or other penalties h) incorporate trends and seasonal keywords to promote affiliate programs i) diversify your content formats by publishing videos and text pins

How can I drive high-quality traffic to my affiliate links on Pinterest?

To attract visitors, you need to create an effective affiliate pin with an eye-catching image or video of the affiliate product—videos tend to perform better right now. Optimize pin details such as title and description, and add direct affiliate links with the disclosure. Publish or schedule content on Pinterest or use a third-party tool like Tailwind.

What types of affiliate programs work best for promotion on Pinterest?

Marketers can find success with any affiliate program by following the tips covered in this guide. Some popular affiliate programs that tend to see good conversion rates on Pinterest include: a) Amazon Associates, CJ Affiliate, Awin b) home decor affiliate programs (furniture, accessories) c) travel sites (hotels, flights, tours, house sitters, etc.) d) diet/fitness e) parenting affiliate programs f) pet affiliate products (food, supplies, vet services, insurance) g) online business or education h) healthcare/beauty and fashion, and more. The key is choosing reputable affiliate networks that offer products or service Pinterest users will genuinely be interested in.

How many affiliate pins should I be posting on Pinterest?

To succeed with Pinterest affiliate marketing, commit to regularly publishing high-quality content. The key is consistency and pinning valuable affiliate pins, not just the quantity. Rather than sporadically pinning or creating high volume of low-quality pins, focus on building a regular schedule. Pinning 1-2 excellent pins a few times a week is better than pinning randomly.

Check pins performance, Google Analytics or Tailwind analytics to know when your audience is most active on Pinterest, publish or schedule great affiliate pins several times a week during those high-traffic periods.

How can I get my affiliate Pins to show up in search results on Pinterest?

Since Pinterest is a visual search engine, you need to optimize Pinterest profile, pins and boards for SEO. When starting out with a new account, use long-tail keywords—for example “yellow roses for wedding” rather than just “roses.”

Incorporate the target keyword in the board description, pin title and description, and even on the image itself. Then post the pin in the most topically relevant board, like “Roses” or “Roses for Weddings” in this example. Doing keyword research to identify relevant keywords, and optimizing affiliate content around those terms, is key to getting affiliate pins discovered by potential customers searching Pinterest. In addition to optimizing pins for keywords, it’s a good idea to create pins in different formats. Right now, video pins tend to perform very well on Pinterest.

How important are affiliate links in Pin descriptions on Pinterest?

When including an affiliate link in pins, you have two options: 1) you can include a direct affiliate link in the pin, provided it meets Pinterest’s policies and the affiliate program’s requirements. Be sure to check the guidelines before using direct links and to disclose affiliate links 2) link to a product review or other content featuring the affiliate link. This could be on the website, blog, Instagram, YouTube, etc.

The goal is to create compelling pins that pique interest so Pinterest users click through to the affiliate content and complete the desired action, like making a purchase, upload, or book a consulting session.

What are some common mistakes to avoid with Pinterest affiliate marketing?

One mistake many affiliate marketers make is treating Pinterest like other social media networks, without optimizing for Pinterest SEO. Some other common pitfalls that can limit success include: 1) lacking a focused strategy for the account, boards, and pins 2) not incorporating trending or seasonal keywords 3) using personal Pinterest account for affiliate marketing 3) not regularly analyzing performance with Pinterest or third-party tools 4) posting low-quality pins that don’t engage 5) using outdated or ineffective Pinterest strategies 6) not utilizing Pinterest’s full capabilities like paid advertising 7) not revealing affiliate partnerships in pin description 8) focusing too much on pin quantity over quality 9) posting affiliate pins in irrelevant boards that don’t reach the target audience 10) creating pins unrelated to the affiliate product you’re promoting 11) having a non-working destination link. To see the best results on Pinterest, avoid these missteps.

How can I use Pinterest to grow my email list?

Create pins with opt-in offers or links to lead magnets such as freebies, discounts, free trials, etc. and encourage Pinterest visitors to join your email list.

How can I grow my Pinterest account as an affiliate?

When starting out with Pinterest affiliate marketing, strategize and thoughtfully plan your account. Research your niche, define your content pillars, establish your brand voice and aesthetic. Design eye-catching pins using various formats—static images, video and more. Use SEO strategies to optimize pins and boards for discoverability. Closely monitor performance data, engagement metrics and conversion rates. Identify high-performing content to replicate and low-performing areas to improve.

Collaborate with communities or curated group boards to expand your reach, cross-promote the account across other social media channels.

Is repinning allowed for affiliate marketing on Pinterest?

You can repin your own affiliate pins and third-party affiliate pins. However, Pinterest focuses on fresh content, and repinning your own pins used to be an effective strategy but is no longer as impactful. When repinning third-party pins, follow Pinterest’s guidelines and publish less than 20% of your total pins.

Where can I find key Pinterest information?

For important business-related information on Pinterest, check the Pinterest for Business section directly on the Pinterest homepage. This covers advertising options, best practices and more. Additionally, visit the Trends section to get insights into current popular content areas and engagement trends across the platform.

Final thoughts 

Each marketing channel that drives sales and conversions requires resources to reach its full potential. Integrating Pinterest into an affiliate marketing strategy allows marketers to tap into a new promotional avenue.


Oksana Kosachenko
Oksana Kosachenko
Oksana Kosachenko, a seasoned Pinterest expert with nearly a decade of experience, is the driving force behind Dreamglue, a boutique agency renowned for its innovative approach in connecting brands with global audiences. At Dreamglue, Oksana and her team specialize in painting brands' stories using the vibrant palettes of Pinterest, strategically engaging each brand's target audience. Her passion for sharing extensive knowledge in the field has made her a pivotal figure in linking brands with a worldwide reach.