How I Made My First Affiliate Sale On Pinterest

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Normally when you hear about Pinterest, quick and easy recipes or beautiful home decor come to mind. But what if I told you it’s possible to make money on Pinterest?

This last month, I made my first affiliate sale from a pin I posted 2 weeks ago. I’ve continued making sales from pins I’ve created and have added a few new affiliate products to the list too. So, today I’m going to dish out the exact actions I took to make my first affiliate sale on Pinterest so you can replicate what I did and make your first sale too!

Let’s dive into the steps!

Create an optimized profile

When creating a professional Pinterest profile, here are a few things you’ll want to check off first:

  • Create (or convert to) a business account so that you can use Pinterest analytics
  • Use Pinterest search optimized keywords in your username & bio
  • Choose a niche for your affiliate products
  • Create at least 10 relevant personal boards in your niche

The best free course I’ve found that covers creating a Pinterest presence for beginners is McKinzie Bean’s 5-day course: Pinterest Primer. If you’re new to Pinterest, definitely check this course out!

Join an affiliate program

Have you read any amazing books lately, or taken a super helpful course that you just have to share with somebody? That’s great! In my opinion, that’s the very core of affiliate marketing.

Once you have a product in mind, google around to see if the creator has an affiliate program available that you can join. If you can’t find any info, trying emailing the creator and let them know you’d like to promote their product and would love to apply to their affiliate program.

Here are 3 of my favorite affiliate programs for new bloggers:

  1. Shareasale – get access to thousands of high commission affiliate programs in hundreds of niches once you create an account.
  2. Creative Market – promote templates, fonts, and other creative assets to your audience
  3. Ultimate Bundles – hosts dozens of high quality, low cost bundles in niches like health & wellness, personal finance, homemaking, blogging, home business, and more!

Design beautiful pins

The more attractive your pin is, the more likely people are to click on it and repin. And with more exposure can come more sales. Yay!

I recommend creating at least 2 to 3 pins per affiliate product you promote. This isn’t necessary to start making sales, but it will help you test out different headlines and colors to what performs better with your audience.

Related: How to Make Beautiful Pins that Get More Clicks

Create an SEO rich description

Pinterest is more like an online search engine than it is a social media platform. This means that the more keywords your pin description contains, the more likely your pin is going to be seen when people type in those keywords.

Things like the number of repins your pin has also comes into play, but that’s a story for another day. The main point is that keywords are massively important to get more exposure to your pin.

Use Pinterest’s search bar to scope out the specific keywords you should add in your description. Also, try to add the keywords earlier in the description without making it seem weird or robotic sounding.

Pinterest search bar with keywords: affiliate marketing

This can take some time when you’re first starting, but you do get quicker the more you do it.

Pin to several group boards and tribes

Group boards and Tailwind Tribes are amazing for putting your pin in front of a new audience. The boards/tribes you should join will differ depending on the product you promote, but here’s a list of 175+ different group boards + 100+ Tailwind Tribes you can check out.

To find more niche specific group boards, spend some time searching through PinGroupie. You can adjust the settings to find groups with higher repins and titles containing keywords you’re looking for.

Another quick tip is to find top influencers in the industry and check out what groups they’re in and see if you can apply to them as well.

Related: How To Find & Join Pinterest Group Boards

Schedule to Tailwind

Don’t forget to schedule your post to relevant boards you’ve created. The key to making more consistent sales through Pinterest is through continually promoting your affiliate pins. Tailwind is a great scheduling tool you can use to save time pinning, and they offer a free trial for new users as well!

a few tips and next steps

  • Promote products on your blog through reviews, and on your sidebar
  • Create a content upgrade that includes your affiliate link (only if it’s relevant!)
  • Promote the product to your email list
  • Always add a disclosure text to your affiliate pins/posts
Affiliate Marketing eBook
Get Paid to Pin

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We earn a commission if you click this link and make a purchase at no additional cost to you.

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63 Comments

  1. Using Pinterest as a business tool has always confused me. And it seems to take a long time! The scheduling program you suggested it definitely something I’m going to look into. I’m not currently part of any groups boards either, so that’s a great place to start

  2. I just started using Tailwind and I LOVE it! I hadn’t considered affiliate sales through Pinterest though. Thanks so much for this informative post! Cheers, Mary Jane

  3. Thank you for your informative article! Could you please tell me whether you can follow the processes mentioned if you don’t have a blog as yet? Would purchasing Elise’s ebook benefit you if you didnt have a blog as yet?
    Thank you so much Rebekah.
    P.S. Still a newbie try to find my feet

    1. Hey Dorian! You can definitely follow this process even if you don’t have a blog yet. I just checked and I actually made my first 3 affiliate sales before I started this blog. So it’s absolutely doable! I attribute buying and applying Elise’s book to those first few sales, because I never would have thought to give this a shot without reading it. It’s more than paid for itself! It also gives you a walkthrough on her specific BoardBooster strategy which is really helpful if you’re not sure how to work with schedulers yet. Hope that helps! 🙂

          1. No need to be sorry! I’d recommend starting a business account first so that you can see which group boards are performing the best. So set up a business account and then join group boards. 🙂

  4. Thanx for the info! I started a blog almost a year ago, but there was so much info overload and none of it telling me what I really needed to know that I just curled up in a ball and hid in a closet whimpering for a long time. Your info is clear,concise and not at all overwhelming. Now I have a grasp on what actually needs doing. I’ll get back to my blog (it needs “fixin”) after I get my Pinterest plan set up. Thank you for slaying the big dragon for me– I can handle any others that rear their scaly li’l heads.Will happily be following you from now on.-Maryl

    1. So happy to hear you found this post helpful, Mary! If you have any specific questions on blogging or Pinterest, feel free to contact me and maybe I could create some posts answering your questions! 🙂

  5. This might be a ridiculous question, but alas… Are you deep linking to a product’s website, publishing the pin then editing it to add the affiliate link? Or are you making pins for your own site that promotes the product? Maybe people do a combination of both… I just want to avoid looking spammy and risk losing followers. Your opinion would be greatly appreciated 🙂 Thanks for the amazing article!

    1. That’s a really good question! I usually just link the pin directly to my affiliate link when it’s just going on Pinterest. I’ve tried deep linking a few pins, but I haven’t really noticed a difference in the repin or clickthrough rate so I don’t usually go that extra step of deep linking, pinning and then swapping out the links. And definitely, I also make pins for posts that promote affiliate products – typically 3-5 different pins per post. Hope that helps! 🙂

        1. Hi Gale, something to consider is that when your pin is saved to Pinterest it will show the link’s short code or domain name. But when someone clicks on your link it should be taking them to the link with your affiliate code.

  6. I’m so happy to hear that you made your first affiliate sale on Pinterest. Do you have a separate account where you just post affiliate links or do you have just one account where you post two different pin boards and mixed them up with links to your blog with affiliate links?

  7. I want to get started with affiliate links to make some $$… thanks for the article. I’m still trying to figure out the basics- do you create a pin (like using Canva) and have a link on it to an article you wrote, or just make a pin about the affiliate item itself with no link to anything else except that affiliate link of course? Thanks!

    1. I usually do both, but if you want to increase your blog’s page views as well then I’d recommend writing a review on your blog and sharing it on Pinterest. Hope that helps, Letha! 🙂

  8. Congratulations! That’s so amazing! I love when you can promote a product or service you absolutely love and also profit from that. I’ve just started a new blog where I will eventually be adding more affiliate links. My other blog that I’ve had for a while is more personal and I don’t bother with monetizing it. Anyway, this was really helpful!

  9. hey rebekah…

    dat was an awsome article… was wondering if u can clear some of the doubts i have.
    can i approach amazon associates (as i saw we can make an account for free there)….
    and pin any of the links of the products here ??

    do we need to create any seperate account for pininterest?? how much is the charge?
    i dont have any kind of blogs…
    so can i pin the links in any other ways??

    1. Hey Sumesh, I believe you can post affiliate pins from amazon associates on Pinterest now, but you may want to google it or message amazon reps just to be sure. Instead of creating a whole new account, I recommend cleaning up your account and changing it to a Pinterest business account. Pinterest favors older accounts over newer ones. For links – when you upload the custom image you’ve made, you’re going to put your affiliate link in the link section. Hope that helps!

  10. Great tips , i use both tools board boaster and tailwind for certain purposes of pining on pinterest . Surely following other big boards helps a lot to gain lot’s of exposure. Great tips thanks

  11. Thanks for a valuable post but I’m struggling ! I’m trying to join four affiliate program that You recommend but I haven’t succeed . Do you have any suggestion for me ?
    All the suggestions will be appreciated !
    Thanks in advance !

    1. Hi Mai! I recommend applying to affiliate programs for products, courses or services you’ve personally tried and love. So if you have a blog, you can become an affiliate for your hosting company, or for the theme you use. I’d love to give you more affiliate ideas if you could let me know what your niche is. 🙂

  12. Hi! I have a few questions, though most have already been resolved going through your comment section – but, I was wondering about the affiliate programs. Like the ones you posted, would I just go on like shopstyle collective, get an item I find interesting and review it on my blog and then make a pin about in on pinterest, linking to their site? That bit is just a tad confusing for me. Like the actual affiliate stuff, how to get a foot inside the door, to say it simple, haha. I hope you see this, as I am very intrigued by this, and I think it seems really cool. I am planning to make a new blog, and get into affiliate linking and such, so if you could help then that would be great! Xx

    1. Hi Nats! Yup, you got it – First you find a product you like, review it on your blog, make a pin for your blog post and then pin it onto Pinterest linking back to your post.

      The really cool thing about ShopStyle Collective is that you can use their built-in share buttons too. When you use the search feature and click on an item, it will have some share buttons that automatically share the image with your affiliate link. I always use the Pinterest one and alter the description a bit + add #affiliate at the end.

      Please let me know if you have any other questions! 🙂

  13. Hi, thank you for this very informative article. Well, i dont have a webesite nor a blog, my question is: is it possible to promote directly from affialtest to pinterest?

    1. Hey! You sure can. I actually made my first 2 affiliate sales on Pinterest before I made a blog, so it’s definitely possible. Just be sure to put #affiliate in the description of your pin and use the exact link (don’t use Bitly or any link shorteners) so you don’t get in any trouble. 🙂

  14. I am just now getting into blogging and I am also interested on affiliate marking as well so this is a great start.

  15. Hi, do I need money to start using affiliates on Pinterest? Do I set up a separate Pinterest account first,?
    I am a bit confused. Please help
    Thx

    1. Hey! Pinning affiliate links on Pinterest is completely free. The only cost that could come into play is a BoardBooster or Tailwind membership to schedule pins, but that’s not necessary if you’re manually pinning. Also, instead of starting a new/separate Pinterest account, you could opt to clean your profile. So making board names more findable (SEO titles), updating board descriptions, changing board covers, removing underperforming pins from boards, etc. Hope that helps!

  16. I purchased Elise Mc Dowell book but I also purchased https://justagirlandherblog.com/ book. For the same price!!! Unbelieveable the difference in the amount of information provided in the second book. I felt cheated if I’m honest. Love the look of Elises blog and yours etc and wish you all success but theres 200 pages in Abby’s for the same price with massively more information. No comparison
    Elaine

    1. Hi Elaine,

      I can understand that. Whenever I purchase an ebook or course for my blog, I always think about the return on investment (ROI) it will have over the number of pages it has. I loved how simple and to the point Elise’s book was and using the strategy she shares I’ve been able to make 740x my initial investment, so that’s why I personally recommend it to others. I think it’s a good start for beginners who are new to the concept of making money on Pinterest and want to get their feet wet.

      Thank you for stopping by and sharing your thoughts, Elaine 🙂

  17. I went to the Pinterest Primer (link) where you said it was a FREE course. Once i signed up there goes the fee for it. There is no free at all.

    1. Hey there, you should have lesson 1 for the free course in your inbox and receive the lessons over the next few days. The page that popped up for you was a quick sales page for McKinzie’s paid course on affiliate marketing on Pinterest. So if you already signed up for the free course, you should be good to go!

  18. Just curious, did you link directly to the affiliate or did you link to a blog post with the said affiliate link? I’ve personally found that I earn more when I link to a blog post vs. a direct affiliate link.

    1. Hi Holly! For my first 2 affiliate sales, I linked directly to an affiliate product, but since starting a blog I do both. Thanks for stopping by and sharing what works best for you.

  19. Hi Rebekah,
    Thanks for a great post with loads of valuable information. I’m just sad that none of the affiliates work for my part of the world. Outside of USA, I’ve been with Pinterest over six years then switched to business over 3 years ago. Recently I decided to get a website in order to get affiliates that’s how I got to know that it’s only for certain countries.

    1. Hi Sabra, I’d definitely check out this link: http://www.shareasale.com/international.cfm

      ShareASale accepts affiliates from lots of different countries and has over 3,900 affiliate programs available to join. 🙂 Also, if you do join ShareASale, be sure to read the terms & conditions of the programs you join to make sure they allow pinning affiliate links on Pinterest before following this method. Thanks for stopping by!

  20. Digging these tips Rebekah! I figure I can use some keyword optimizing on my profile, Pinterest-wise. So much success sales-wise happens by getting clear. From the profile on down. I am Pinning like a mad man the last few days. Love it! Definitely in it for the long haul, for affiliate sales, my eBook sales and mostly, to share value and to give folks helpful resources.

    Ryan

  21. Hey Rebekah,

    Looks like I’m (very) late to the party, but it’s great reading that you’d made your first affiliate sale just in advance of this post going live. Hopefully, you’re continuing to find success with it! My number one tip for anyone new to affiliate marketing on Pinterest is to create more than one pin per affiliate product, like wayyyy more. The more pins you have the more exposure you’ll get, and with greater exposure comes a greater chance of making sales!

    Thanks again, and keep up the great work.

    Jonathan

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