7 Legit Ways to Make Money on Pinterest in 2020

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With nearly 300 million people using Pinterest to find DIYs, recipes, workouts, and more, there are lots of ways to make money on Pinterest.

Pinterest is a cool image-based platform that is a little like social media while still being a powerful search engine. That means Pinterest is a useful tool that bloggers, online entrepreneurs, influencers, eCommerce shop owners, and freelancers can use to make money.

Using Pinterest, you can drive traffic to your site, monetize your Pinterest presence, and even start a brand new business from the ground up.

Alright, let’s dig in! Here are 7 ways to make money on Pinterest in 2020.

1. Work as a Pinterest virtual assistant

If you want to make money on Pinterest but you don’t have a blog, you aren’t an influencer or have a huge Pinterest following, or don’t own an existing business, start here.

The reality is that the rest of the options on this list require one of those things. And sure, you can do something like start a blog or grow your following (more on that in a second!), but if you want the most direct line to earning money on Pinterest, it’s becoming a Pinterest virtual assistant.

Let’s back up a second… what is a virtual assistant?

Virtual assistants, or VAs, work behind the scenes with business owners doing tasks that don’t necessarily have to be done by the business owner. It can be bookkeeping, email management, scheduling appointments, and lots more.

As a Pinterest VA, you specialize in Pinterest specific services, which include:

  • Creating pins
  • Scheduling with Tailwind
  • Implementing SEO strategies
  • Promoting pins
  • Sending traffic back to your client’s website
  • Creating and managing a Pinterest marketing plan

The reason this is such a great way to make money is because Pinterest has become a platform business owners need to leverage. A successful Pinterest game will put businesses and brands in front of a larger audience, and a larger audience generally means more $$$.

But, the problem business owners have is that they lack the time to learn and implement an effective strategy — Pinterest VAs are the solution to that problem.

Pinterest VAs can work on their own schedule, from home or while traveling, and can bring in around $500/month per client.

If you’re interested in learning more, check out the Become a Pinterest VA Today Course taught by Kirsten Larsen and Gina Horkey. You’ll learn over ten different Pinterest specific VA services you can offer, plus there are some great bonus freebies, including client leads and live trainings.

You can learn more about the course at Pinterest Virtual Assistant Course Review: How to Start a Pinterest Management Side Hustle.

2. Use Pinterest to drive traffic to your blog

Bloggers are in a great position to make money on Pinterest because it’s an awesome way to promote your content. You can drive traffic to digital products you’re selling, posts with affiliate links, courses, etc.

Here’s what that looks like in practice:

  • For every new post you publish, create a pin
  • Make boards that are related to your blog’s content and pin to them regularly
  • Pin other people’s pins
  • Create a lead magnet (freebie) and pin it to gain email addresses

When you’re creating pins to drive traffic to your site, they’ve got to be eye-catching. Pinterest, like Instagram, is a very visual place. People will scroll right past anything that doesn’t grab their attention.

The good news is that it’s easier than ever to create pins that will stand out. Canva is our favorite resource — it’s free to use and has tons of customizable layouts. They have designs specifically for Pinterest, Instagram, etc.

3. Make affiliate income from Pinterest

Heads up: This and the next three ways to make money on Pinterest are all best for people who have a fairly large Pinterest following. If you don’t have that kind of audience, we have tips for growing yours at the end of this post.

For any of these options, it’s highly recommended that you put together a press or media kit. This is the easiest way to tell brands and companies about yourself. It should include a short bio about you, a short explanation of your brand or business, audience analytics, etc.

Affiliate income is when you earn money by promoting special links for different products and services. They should always be related to your brand and useful to your audience. So, if your Pinterest page is focused on cooking, make sure your affiliates are. This helps build and maintain trust between you and your followers.

On Pinterest, you can create pins for each of your affiliate products, put an affiliate link in the text, and pin it. The goal is to get people to click on your affiliate link to purchase the product so you can make a conversion.

If you’re interested, you should follow and understand all of Pinterest’s policies related to affiliate marketing. They are:

  • Following Pinterest’s Paid Partnership Guidelines
  • Authentically operate only one Pinterest account
  • Your affiliate content should be original and add value
  • Be transparent and honest about your affiliate relationship — don’t use link shorteners or redirectors to mask your affiliate links
  • Do not attempt to artificially manipulate Pinterest’s algorithm
  • Disclose your affiliate relationship (this is required by the FTC), which can be done in the text with a simple #affiliate or #affiliatelink

There are some companies, like Amazon, that will not let you put affiliate links in pins. Make sure you know and follow the rules for each of your affiliates to maintain a good relationship with them.

If you’re interested in learning more about how to make money on Pinterest with affiliate marketing, check out the course Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing. It’s a great resource for bloggers and pinners. You can read our full review of the course at Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing Course Review.

4. Do joint promotions with brands

If there is a brand you love, you can work together with them to develop pins or work on campaigns. This marketing strategy helps brands reach new types of customers with an authentic approach.

A couple of years ago, Old Spice ran a campaign focused on moms — as in, moms who would be buying deodorant for their teenage sons. They collaborated with Pinterest creators to promote hilarious pins focused on how old deodorant containers can be used in DIY projects, think decorative ponytail holders.

To start working with brands, reach out to your favorite brands and see if they’re interested. Don’t forget your press or media kit! If you need help finding partners, Pinterest recommends looking at the Pin Collective.

Related: 7 of The Best Side Hustles for Moms

5. Curate a shared board to make money on Pinterest

Shared Pinterest boards appear on your page and the brand’s page that you’re curating with. Think of it as you and the brand putting a bunch of ideas in one place. You’ll add a mix of your pins, the brand’s pins, and pins from other pinners.

Brands love this approach because it puts their products in front of the creator’s audience. Creators (you!) will love it because you get to work with a company you love.

Related: Best Side Hustles for 2020

6. Become a ShopStyle Collective Influencer

If you’ve been on Pinterest recently, you’ve probably noticed something referred to as shop-the-look pins. It’s when a creator posts a pin, almost always a photo and no text, and tags the photo with links that lead to where items can be purchased.

Here’s an example:

When your audience makes a purchase through one of those links, you earn a commission. To get started, you’ll need to join the ShopStyle Collective.

7. Teach other people how to make money on Pinterest

If you’ve been able to successfully earn money with Pinterest, then why not teach other people how to do it too?

Seriously, this is exactly why we created the Facebook Side Hustle Course. We realized that running Facebook ads was a marketable skill, so we packed our knowledge in a course to help others.

You can do this with Pinterest, too! Do you know how to grow a Pinterest audience? Are you awesome at affiliate marketing? Do you have a bananas Pinterest strategy for influencers? Those are all marketable skills.

You can even use Pinterest to promote your course… whoa, super meta.

Read more at How to Structure Your Course and Sell the Heck Out of It All Year Long

7 tips for growing your Pinterest presence

Unless you’re working as a Pinterest VA, you will need a decent Pinterest following if you want to make money on Pinterest. It’s really hard to say what that actually looks like in terms of numbers, because it’s about the quality too, but it’s safe to say that your following should be more than just a few hundred folks.

Try the following tips to grow your audience.

Use keywords and hashtags

Remember, Pinterest is a search engine. So to show up in search results, your pins need to be described properly. Hashtags can be really helpful too. If you’re struggling with descriptions, think about how you would describe your pin to a friend, but keep it short and simple.

Another tip is to use the search bar. You can find relevant keywords by going to the search bar and typing something related to your brand. See what autofills and if it’s something you can use in a new pin.

Post original images

There are lots of recycled images on Pinterest, using original images will make yours stand out. Remember, Canva is a great way to make eye-catching pins.

Follow other pinners

Pinterest is unique in that it’s a search engine that’s also like a social media platform. Following pinners in your niche will help you grow your own audience. Make sure you engage with others as you go.

Be active on Pinterest

Using Pinterest on a regular basis is a great way to grow your audience. This includes manually pinning, pinning from the Explore and Trending pages, follow relevant boards, etc.

Start a group board

To start a group board, you can use a preexisting board or create a new one, and then click on the plus sign near the top right corner to add contributors. You’ll obviously add pinners in a similar niche as you, and know that this is helping the both of you gain new followers. You’ll want to put rules on the board that contributors need to follow you and the board.

Revive old pins

If you have pins that didn’t do well the first time you pinned them, you can always try tweaking them and re-pinning. However, make sure the content it’s attached to is evergreen.

Use social media to promote your Pinterest page

Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, whatever — make sure everyone knows that they can find you on Pinterest.

The final word on how to make money on Pinterest

What we love so much about Pinterest is that there is something for everyone. Bloggers can drive traffic to their site with Pinterest. Influencers can earn money selling the looks they’re wearing. And even those without an existing business can make money on Pinterest as a virtual assistant.

It’s a cool platform with a lot of power, but make sure you stay up-to-date on changes and guidelines.

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