How to Make Money on Pinterest

How to Make Money on Pinterest

From being a Pinterest creator to promoting a business, here are three ways to leverage the platform for profit.

I’m sure most of us have used the image-sharing platform Pinterest at some point in our lives, whether it is to make a mood board for a wedding, to look for inspiration for a home renovation project, or we accidentally clicked on a Google image only to fall down a rabbit hole of scrolling aesthetic Pinterest boards. 

As of the second quarter of 2022, Pinterest has 433 million monthly active users and is the 14th largest social media platform in the world. While this number might have some people who, like us, use Pinterest casually, a large chunk of people rely on the platform as a source of income. If you are curious about how the platform works and what people do on it, here is a list of the various ways you can use the platform professionally. 

How does Pinterest work?

Before explaining any of the ways people use the platform, I think we need to do a quick crash course on how the platform works. Pinterest is a platform that people typically use for inspiration and ideas for their hobbies. This would be best explained with an example. 

So, let’s say you are interested in fashion and see people discussing a new style of dressing on Instagram. But before you suddenly decide to revamp your closet to fit this new style, you can go on Pinterest. When you search the name of the style on the platform, you will be met with hundreds of outfits that match it. You can then click on the “save” tab and save the images (called pins) you like the best onto your own account. You can also make a specific board (a collection of pins that have the same theme) for this style. Just like other social media platforms, you can follow other people’s boards on the platform and comment on the images they share and send private messages to people you want to connect with. You can also make your own pins by uploading images onto the platform either from your own device or from websites that you browse. 

Now that we have cleared up how the platform is used, here are some of the ways people can make money off of it. 

Becoming a Pinterest creator

Pinterest is a great place for influencers to share their interests with a niche audience. Whether you like books, films, art, fashion or something else entirely, you will find an audience on the platform. To become a paid Pinterest creator, you need to meet the following criteria— be over 18 years old, live in one of the 50 states of the U.S. or the District of Columbia, you must have at least 250 followers, must have created at least three Idea Pins (similar to Instagram stories but instead of disappearing after 24 hours they remain on the user’s profile) in the last 30 days and must have 150 saves of your published Pins in the last 30 days. 

If you meet all these criteria, you are eligible for Pinterest’s creator rewards program. This program gives creators information about new campaigns being carried out on the platform each month. If you post a pin that meets the goals of a campaign (like the number of likes or saves) you will get rewarded for it. Creators can make around US$6,000 each month for meeting the goals of a campaign. 

Going the affiliate marketing route

Going the affiliate marketing route
Image courtesy of Wendy on Pinterest

If you aren’t one of our U.S.-based readers and still want to make money on Pinterest as an influencer, you can use affiliate marketing to earn from your pins. As of 2021, 35% of marketers say that they want to invest in influencer marketing on the platform which gives up-and-coming creators a great source of revenue. There are two ways to go about affiliate marketing on the platform— you can either directly link an image to a brand’s website or you could create your own affiliate website from where you can direct the audience to the brand. 

The best thing about earning money this way is that you don’t need a specific number of followers to join affiliate marketing programs. A typical affiliate earns around 10-20% commission on the purchases made through their links. 

Promoting your business on Pinterest

Promoting your business on Pinterest
Image courtesy of Calvin Klein’s Pinterest account

While the first two sections focused on individual creators, businesses can also benefit from creating their own Pinterest accounts. As of 2021, 70% of Pinterest users claim that they check the platform to find new products. So, if you want your products to reach a wider audience, Pinterest might be a good place to be. It is a particularly good social media platform for companies that are hoping to target a female demographic since 76.7% of the platform’s user base is women. 

Just like we mentioned in the previous section, you can add links to your website to each pin that you share on your Pinterest account. However, there are things to be mindful of when using Pinterest as a business owner. The first is, getting your products to show up on Pinterest’s search engine. You can do so by captioning your photos the right way. For example, if I search “black dress” on Pinterest, the platform gives me additional words like “classy” “short” “casual” and “aesthetic” which I can add to make my search more refined. So, if you are a seller who wants to post a short black casual dress on Pinterest, having those exact terms in your caption will ensure that it shows up at the top of the search results. It is a good idea to perform a search for the item you are going to post so that you can find the relevant keywords to add to the caption. 

The other thing you need to be careful about is how your Pinterest account looks. Pinterest is all about creating aesthetically pleasing visuals. So, to attract customers and get them to follow your account, you need to have a uniform style for your pins. For instance, if you take a look at the brand Calvin Klein’s Pinterest account, all images have either a black, white or beige background which makes all the images look cohesive and match the brand’s overall vibe. 

Overall, Pinterest is a great place to make money, whether through the platform’s creator program, affiliate marketing or showcasing your own products. As long as you are willing to spend time on the platform to get a hang of how things work, you should be able to use it to your benefit. Make sure to focus on your own niche and use the tips we have given above to generate traffic for your pins and grow your following. 

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Header image courtesy of Unsplash


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