Hi guys, I’m going to do a bit of a different post today and am pretty much just slapping together some info for my friends who are interested in how I’ve made money with Pinterest. I know, it sounds like a pipe dream, but this is legit. It’s just regular affiliate marketing with Pinterest as the traffic source. I used to have an anonymous blog where I’d write about my affiliate pursuits but was too busy at my day job to keep it updated regularly.. if this gets enough interest, maybe I’ll start that back up publicly. 🙂
If you stick through the post and really want to get started with this, I’ll even help set up your WordPress site for free as long as you get your hosting through one of my links. (How am I able to do that? Because I’ll get a commission from the hosting company you sign up with, even though you’ll be paying the exact same price if you went to the company directly.) Just keep in mind you’ll still need to learn how to run it etc. If this is something you want to do, my favorite host right now is host4geeks. If you go to Hosting > Shared, you can find the “starter” package which is only 3.95/month. I have my agency website hosted with them and love them so far. If you sign up through that link and send your hosting + domain login info to me at hannah [at] monrogue.com, I’ll get WordPress installed and set up for you within a day or two.
(Also, if you need a domain name, which you will if you don’t already have one.. I really like Namecheap – you can get a domain anywhere like Godaddy etc but I like Namecheap because they offer free domain privacy and are reliable. I think Host4geeks also offers domain names but I’ve never bought one through them so can’t recommend it.)
First: A Word Of Caution.. I’m Not Promising You’ll Get Rich From This!!
As a lot of you know (or maybe don’t know), I work for myself. That’s how I’m able to travel in an RV! I was previously the VP of Operations at an SEO agency and quit my job earlier this year, and now have my own business. The majority of my income comes from providing SEO services to clients (aka working on legitimate local business & ecommerce websites for those who need to rank for certain keywords to keep growing) through my marketing/SEO agency (don’t mind the nice little optimized link I dropped there 😉 ) Then, on the side, I have a somewhat obscene number of dinky little affiliate projects that I have trickled a little bit of effort into over the years which make me a bit of pocket change each month.
This Pinterest pin is one of those side things I did in a couple afternoons when I got the idea for this site.
What I’m saying here is that I don’t make a full-time income from Pinterest, so I don’t want anyone to be expecting that from doing this. Internet marketing in general is usually a long, frustrating road to start winding down for most people, it’s full of a lot of scammy BS, and making money online long term is not easy for most people. The only reason I’ve been able to do it, and the only reason I know SEO, is because when I dropped out of college I literally decided this online marketing was what I was going to do for a living. So even when I was frustrated and wanted to give up, I didn’t have any fallback and had to just keep going. 😀 But you can definitely make $$ from it if you keep at it no matter what your profession is. If you put 2 hours a day into this for a few months, you would absolutely be making a very nice chunk of change, almost certainly much bigger than what you’ll see here. You’d probably even be able to pay your rent with it if you were that consistent. 🙂
With that fair warning, I’m 100% sure I could be making a full time income from Pinterest if I tried – I just have too much crap going on and projects mid-way finished to start up another thing right now. The fact that a single Pin can make almost $500 in a year with 0 effort means that 100 of those pins could make $50k/year especially with some elbow grease. 100 might sound like a lot, but if you created 1 pin-collage per day, or even just 20 per month (if you only want to do it on weekdays), you could have that many published in less than 6 months. If they start generating income within 3-6 months of being published, that means you could be making 50k/year from Pinterest within a year. Theoretically.
Clearly, with that potential, the Pinterest thing is something I might (aka really should since it’s fun and easy) get into a bit more, but right now I’m busy with client projects and wrapping up other loose ends as we move into 2017, so for now I just want to show you how one pin I made in 2014 earned $450 in 2015 and $386 so far in 2016 with 0 extra effort. The screenshot below is filtered out to just the tracking ID for this Pinterest pin, no other affiliate projects:
The pin itself was actually created as an after-thought for a blog post that I planned on getting traffic for through different sources, not Pinterest. The only reason I made the graphic was to have something visual and pinnable on the page to get the Pinterest backlink, and I thought maybe I’d get the bonus of some Pinterest traffic, too.
What I Did
I’m going to really simplify this because you don’t need to know anything about aged domains, optimization, etc so I’m going to try to just give the really bare basics. So here’s what I did:
- Set up a WordPress website
- Made it look pretty
- Researched a trending product category and decided what to write about
- Wrote (or had someone else write, I don’t remember :O ) about the top 10 products of that type that I could find on Amazon
- Published the post, making sure to include my Amazon affiliate links
- Made a long, eye-catching graphic for it using Polyvore and added that to the post
- Created a Pinterest account for the site
- Started the Pinterest account up with some basic boards and pins
- Pinned the graphic from the blog post.
A few months later.. it was bringing in $40-50/month with literally zero more effort. You can see where it started to gain steam in the income screenshot above around March 2015, after it had been published in Sep 2014.
What It Looks Like
I’m gonna do something here that feels really wrong being in the IM space (us marketers are notorious for being really secretive with our projects, because when other sh*thead marketers find out you have something that’s working they usually steal it immediately or do everything they can to sabotage it including getting your site deindexed in Google…), but since I’m mostly sharing this with FB friends, I’ll trust that you guys aren’t going to copy my shizz word for word and instead use this to learn from 🙂
Here is the exact blog post and pin with the site itself redacted:
**For search marketer buddies who might come across this and go pull up the site in 2 seconds since yes, I know, you’re able to do that with what you see here… don’t. I will find you and I will cut you!! JK not really. But forrealz don’t be a jerk, I’m trying to share some legit knowledge here.
A few things you’ll notice:
- The copywriting/content itself is quite literally crap. I’m not exactly proud of that – it’s just important to illustrate that the point here is to get people to click your Amazon links, not sit there and dilly dally reading your content. Most people don’t spend enough time on a page to read the content, they just scan it, so don’t hemm and haww about getting started with something like this if you don’t feel like writing. It really doesn’t have to be impressive at all (for this case, at least) and you’ll notice some parts don’t even make sense for where they’re placed, because I rearranged certain areas without worrying about it. **I would not recommend this mindset at all with a site with your name on it. This isn’t branded to me, it’s just a general beauty site.
- You don’t have to be a subject matter expert to do this. I don’t remember if I actually wrote the content or gave it to one of my writers. What I did do is research the products and make sure they really were the 10 best I could find according to Amazon’s users. 🙂 As long as you’re not giving people health/medical/legal advice etc, this is fine. It’s simply a cute listing of products. The whole reason people click on things like this is because it’s easier to have someone else cut through all the noise for you. It’s the same reason we buy things based off of personal recommendations.
- The links above the graphic stand out and are very clickable. I could probably instantly make more money on this with the same amount of traffic by adding a link to Amazon at the very top of the post, since they’re a little low on the page currently.
- The graphic is “long” relative to most blog images, and the text describing the product collage is very big and at the top. This makes it so that when someone is scrolling Pinterest on their phones etc and looking at tiny pins on their tiny screen, it stands out really well.
- This one is important: You’ll get a commission from everyone who clicks any one of your links and buys anything on Amazon within 24 hours. They don’t have to buy the things you’re recommending. So if they have had $500 worth of stuff in their cart for a few weeks, clicked your link, bought (or didn’t) buy the item along with the other $500 of stuff they’ve been waiting to buy.. you get the commission on all of it.
That’s it! As usual, sorry for being ridiculously wordy and over-explanatory. I just prefer to really break things down since I don’t know what level people are at and I want you to have all the backstory to avoid misleading you.
Questions? Comments? Want to get started and don’t know what to do? Want me to review what you’ve already done and make suggestions? Comment and let me know!