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Update: I received the following message from Pinterest yesterday. Pin away!
It was just announced that bloggers can use affiliate links on Pinterest again, which means there’s about to be a mad dash to start pinning. Or maybe it has already begun and I’m still at the starting gate!
The reason this is such exciting news is that before Pinterest banned affiliate links in early 2015 there were a lot of bloggers making really good money by posting affiliate links on Pinterest. And by good money I mean that there were bloggers who made the bulk of their income by posting links to Pinterest!
Yes, you read that right. The bulk of their blogging income came from posting affiliate links on Pinterest.
Like I said: Start pinning!
In the blog post where Pinterest announced the reversal of their decision on affiliate links they did mention needing to abide by their Acceptable Use Policy, which includes notes on not being spammy, not using link cloakers, and using disclosures where necessary.
Today I thought we’d take a look at how to post affiliate links on Pinterest that don’t look spammy. If done right, affiliate links on Pinterest can help send some extra income your way. Done wrong and you risk annoying your followers and/or facing a potential ban from Pinterest.
But first: If you haven’t been serious about Pinterest, I highly recommend taking some time now to grow your account. More people seeing your content equals more chances for revenue! If you’re just not sure where to start with the platform, I highly recommend checking out Melyssa Griffin’s Pinfinite Growth Course. It’s only after I took this online course that I began caring about Pinterest and it’s really help set me on the right track… so now I’m ready to rock the affiliate game on Pinterest! (Here’s my Pinfinite Growth review if you want more details.)
If you want to start adding affiliate links to your Pinterest account, here are some tips for how to do so without looking like a big fat spammer.
Adding affiliate links to already-posted pins
Before you go on a pinning frenzy, the first thing you may want to do is take a look at the items you have already pinned. Are there any object pins where you could possibly add an affiliate link? I definitely don’t recommend changing every pin on your boards to an affiliate link, but if you can do so in a natural way? Go for it!
I’ve had a Pinterest account since the platform first launched and at the time I didn’t really know how to use it. I like reading though, so I started a board about books I love. I searched for a bunch of books people had already pinned and – voila – instant board! Over the years I haven’t really kept up with this board, other than pinning the occasional book review I’ve posted. This is a board that’s perfect for affiliate links!
Here’s one of the original pins I posted that I clearly never updated:
Fantastic description, right? 😬 And what the heck is “pinnerly.com”? This site doesn’t even exist anymore! This pin is perfect for an affiliate update, so I headed over to Amazon to grab a new link. I’m in the Amazon Associates affiliate program, which is perfect for things like this, but you could change the link to any book store (for instance, you’ll find Barnes & Noble in CJ).
Per the rules, you can’t use link cloakers on Pinterest, and that includes Amazon’s own short link. Be sure to grab the “full link.”
Now take that affiliate link back to Pinterest and plug it into the website space. While you’re in there you might want to spruce up the description with SEO and keywords in mind. What could people search for on Pinterest that would possibly lead them to find your pin?
And, of course, add an affiliate disclosure.
Hit save and you’re good to go!
How to Post Affiliate Links on Pinterest
Unfortunately, ShopStyle Collective is the only affiliate network that really makes it easy to quickly add items to Pinterest. They just have a button you press and the items post to Pinterest like magic! RewardStyle also has a similar system, although at the time I’m writing this they have not yet reactivated that function.
There are a couple of different ways that you can post affiliate links on Pinterest.
Pin the item and then edit the pin to add your affiliate link
This is just like the book example above, except that you’re starting with a new pin.
Upload from your computer
Save the image you would like to pin to your computer and then use the “upload from computer” function to pin the item. This way you can add the affiliate link from the very beginning.
Invest in a scheduler
There’s no reason that using Pinterest should have to cost money, but the way I plan to tackle adding new affiliate links to Pinterest is by scheduling my pins through Tailwind. Through Tailwind you can save anything you want as a draft in their scheduler. Then you can go back through and edit each pin before it actually makes its way onto your schedule. You can change the description and edit the link so it’s your affiliate link. Tailwind will even let you know if you’re using a link format that Pinterest doesn’t like. Once your pin is set, you can add it to your schedule.
One of the reasons I think Tailwind is the best Pinterest scheduler is because they study your account and base the schedule around when your pins typically see the most traction. You can also shuffle your pins so that you’re not scheduling a bunch of affiliate links in a row.
How to Post Affiliate Links on Pinterest that Don’t Look Spammy
Depending on what you’re currently posting on Pinterest, it might take a little bit of work to start adding affiliate linked images to your boards without looking spammy. The last thing you want to do is annoy your followers with a bunch of products that don’t fit into the niche of posts you typically pin!
Joy Cho from Oh Joy! has one of my favorite Pinterest accounts. It’s full of pretty things to look at and it’s organized nicely. One thing Joy is especially great at is creating boards that complement her blog posts, but then also filling those boards with products that fit the topic. As you can see from her “Oh Baby” board, she has a great mixture of items that are posted from her blog as well as product pins. The individual products that were pinned fit her brand and her style and they could also easily become affiliate links without anyone raising an eyebrow.
Here are a few ideas for adding affiliate links to your Pinterest boards:
Frugal living bloggers: People LOVE Amazon and Walmart deals. The Facebook groups that focus on their deals are hopping! Perhaps you could take this same idea, but bring it to Facebook instead and start sharing the best deals you find at Amazon. Or, maybe you have a board of recommended frugal services, where you could pin not only your blog posts that feature these types of topics, but also include pins that link directly to those services.
Travel bloggers: Add a board of your favorite travel accessories, or start sprinkling those accessories into your current boards. Or perhaps you could have one pin that links to your blog post about a hotel, and then add a second pin about the hotel but this time have that pin link directly to the TripAdvisor review.
Fashion bloggers: Pin your photos that lead back to your blog post but then also pin some of the items you frequently feature directly to the same board for easy shopping. Or, set up a shopping wish list. Or fashion inspiration boards. Honestly, fashion bloggers probably have it the easiest because people are already turning to you for inspiration on what to purchase!
Recipe bloggers: Add a board of your favorite cooking tools and utensils. Have another board that’s just your favorite cookbooks. Or maybe you have a “kitchen tools wish list” or a “what’s in my pantry” board.
Mom bloggers: You could make a board full of your favorite baby items, or clothing your children wear or that you would like them to wear. You could make “mom style” boards that focus on a range of things like maternity style, clothing that’s easy for nursing, stylish outfits to wear to the playground… the sky is the limit!
DIY / Craft bloggers: You could make a board of items you regularly use in your projects, or perhaps a wish list board of products you would love to start using. This is very specific, but let’s say you are a scrapbooker. You could have a board that’s just scrapbook supplies you love (and be sure to add your scrapbook posts as well).
You could also do a combination of any and all of these if it fits what you have been pinning or what you would like to pin. Don’t be afraid to think outside the box!
The key to keeping your Pinterest account from looking too spammy is to keep the affiliate links in moderation. Don’t ONLY post affiliate links from here on out. Continue posting what you normally do and then supplement by adding affiliate links.
Another key thing that will help you post affiliate links on Pinterest without looking spammy is to make sure you update the description of each pin. Don’t just use the boilerplate text. Write a good description that makes it evident why you are pinning that item and why someone who follows you may enjoy the pin or item you are recommending.
Finally, and I can’t stress this enough: Add a disclosure to all of your pins that contain affiliate links! Don’t risk getting banned from Pinterest because you didn’t disclose.
Finally, part two: Have fun! Let me know when you start making money from Pinterest!
Do Tell: Do you have any other tips for how to post affiliate links on Pinterest that don’t look spammy?
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