Since 2010, Pinterest has been helping people find DIY projects, recipes, products they love, how-tos, and thousands of other random things. It’s both a creative outlet and a marketer’s dream — meaning you can learn to make money on Pinterest in several different ways.
There have been changes over the years to how you can make money on Pinterest, specifically related to affiliate marketing. But Pinterest content is getting so much better, and every user is getting a more authentic experience.
Now, if you want to make extra money fast, most of the items on this list will take time to build. If you're looking for something quick and easy, online surveys through Branded Surveys or Survey Junkie might be a better fit.
However, if you're more interested in long-term strategies for making money — read on. There are opportunities for bloggers, virtual assistants, affiliate marketing directly through Pinterest, and more.
1. Become a Pinterest virtual assistant
Pinterest virtual assistants help bloggers, social media influencers, and online business owners optimize their Pinterest accounts. This includes things like:
- Creating pins
- Using Tailwind for scheduling
- Automating the pinning process
- Doing keyword research
- Working with Pinterest Ads Manager to run Promoted Pins (Pinterest’s version of Facebook ads)
- Creating sales funnels, opt-ins, and more
One of the things Pinterest virtual assistants like so much about the work is that it’s insanely flexible — you work when you want and where you want — and it stays interesting. Most Pinterest virtual assistants have several clients, and they perform different kinds of Pinterest management tasks for each one.
How much can you make as a Pinterest virtual assistant? Each client is worth around $500/month — sweet! If this sounds like something you’d be interested in, the Pinterest Virtual Assistant Course will teach you how to make money on Pinterest as a virtual assistant. You learn about everything in that list above, plus how to find, land, and retain clients.
2. Start a blog
There are plenty of items on this list that will help you make money on Pinterest, but blogging has the highest earning potential of them all.
Over the years, Pinterest has become a massive platform that allows bloggers to reach millions of people on the internet every year. There's a common misconception that Pinterest is just another social media platform like Instagram, TikTok, and the rest — but that simply isn't true. It's much more powerful in terms of helping bloggers make money with their content.
Just like you likely found this article by typing "how to make money on Pinterest" in Google — the same thing happens on Pinterest. It's a search engine, but it's based on images instead of text.
This is why bloggers in many different niches become extremely successful with Pinterest marketing, from food bloggers to personal finance bloggers and more.
Here's the quick and simple version of how making money with a blog on Pinterest works:
- Start a blog! We highly recommend Bluehost, which is the hosting service this blog was built on. We love it because it comes with WordPress, and you can create a professional-looking site for less than $3/month. Learn more in our How to Start a Blog: Step-by-Step Guide.
- Choose a blogging niche (food, personal finance, fashion, etc.)
- Create content and post it on your blog, and monetize it with ads, affiliate products, or even sponsored placements
- Create a Pinterest account
- Create pins for blog posts you want to share on Pinterest (i.e. an interesting image that shows what your blog post is about)
- Post the image on Pinterest
Now there's more to it than that, of course, but that's essentially how it works. When a Pinterest user searches for something that matches your blog post, they'll be able to see your Pin, click on it, and ultimately see your ads or buy products from you — and that's how you make money with Pinterest.
3. Use Pinterest to drive traffic to your eCommerce site
If you have an eCommerce site (selling printables on Etsy, for example), you can drive traffic to your site and make money with Pinterest.
Here’s data that shows why Pinterest is an important tool for your eCommerce site:
- 90% of users say that Pinterest helps them decide what to buy
- 78% say it’s helpful to see content from brands they see on Pinterest
- 66% buy something after seeing it on Pinterest
- Pinterest brings in 33% more traffic to shopping sites than Facebook does
If you’re an online shop owner, you can utilize Pinterest in the same ways that bloggers do. That’s creating pins to promote new products, putting together boards for different styles or themes, doing keyword research, etc.
You can even create Promoted Pins, which look like normal pins but are basically Pinterest’s version of Facebook ads. You can optimize your Promoted Pins to meet different goals (traffic, brand awareness, app installs, etc.) You can choose to place ads in browse mode. But you can also do it in search mode, where you would pick the keywords a user would need to search to see your ads — this is a valuable placement because you’re getting ads in front of people who are searching specifically for your product, or at least ones like it.
4. Affiliate marketing on Pinterest
Affiliate marketing is when you partner with companies to promote products and/or services. The company gives you a unique link (affiliate link) that you insert in your posts or pins. When someone clicks on that link and makes a purchase, you’re paid a commission — this is called making a conversion.
Affiliate marketing is one of several different ways that bloggers make money, but it’s also a legit way to make money on Pinterest. You can find affiliates through networks like ShareASale, FlexOffers, and more. Once you have affiliates to work with, you create pins with affiliate links in the text.
Here are a few really important things to know about affiliate marketing on Pinterest:
- Some companies don’t let you post their affiliate links on Pinterest, so always check with the company’s affiliate manager and read the rules of your contract.
- Some companies will not allow you to take images from their site to be used when creating pins, even if you are an affiliate. Amazon is one example.
- When posting affiliate links, Pinterest does not want you to mask or shorten the affiliate link. They want you to be as transparent as possible.
- You always need to disclose your affiliate relationship. This is required by the FTC. The easiest thing to do is put #affiliate or #affiliatelink in your pin.
If you’re interested in learning more about affiliate marketing, whether it’s on Pinterest or through your blog, we highly recommend that you check out friend-of-the-blog Michelle Schroeder-Gardner’s course, Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing. She regularly makes around $50,000/month from affiliate marketing alone, and she’s done it all without selling her soul.
Learn how to make passive income on Pinterest
Affiliate marketing is one of the best ways to make money on Pinterest if you have a fairly large following, and this course explains how to get started.
5. Gain a skill from Pinterest and monetize it
Another way to think about Pinterest is as a huge learning library. You can put in the most random stuff and find that someone, somewhere has pinned something about it. You can learn how to decorate cakes, build furniture, make origami stars, and much more. Not only can you find all of these different things, but you can also collect and organize them.
But what if you did something with all of that knowledge you’re collecting? There are so many different things you can learn how to do on Pinterest, a lot of them are marketable skills, like:
- Starting a podcast
- Home organization
- Knitting or crochet
That’s just scratching the surface of what you can learn how to do on Pinterest. Rather than focusing on how to make money on Pinterest, think about what you can learn from Pinterest. And here’s the cool part: depending on what you decide to do, you can turn to Pinterest once again to promote your products or services.
6. Do a joint promotion with a brand
This is when a pinner works directly with a brand to create pins that promote the company’s products. It can be product placement things, like “10 ways to repurpose Coca-Cola cans” or “5 epic Airbnb vacations.”
To make money on Pinterest through a joint promotion, you’ll need a successful account and be able to create really awesome pins, which would include:
- The concept of the pin
- Brand placement
- Design of pin
If you’re looking for brands to work with, Pinterest recommends checking out the Pin Collective.
7. Help people shop your look
Shop the Look pins are a really popular way for pinners to earn money by promoting products they are literally wearing or using.
As long as your account is set up as a business account (what you need to do if you want to make money on Pinterest), you can create Shop the Look pins. For items you’ve tagged in your pins, someone can click on that little blue dot, see the item, make a purchase, and you earn a commission. In some ways, it’s similar to affiliate marketing, but it’s with individual products on individual pins.
8. Teach people your Pinterest strategy
When you get really good at any of those ideas above, the next step is to make money on Pinterest by leveraging your Pinterest knowledge.
If you managed to find several brands to work with you, other pinners will want to know how. Create some successful Pinterest campaigns for different clients, and give people that knowledge.
You can monetize your Pinterest knowledge with courses, ebooks, coaching, etc. Having a blog will help you share your journey and reach other people who want to do the same.
Tips for making money on Pinterest
Now that you know how to make money on Pinterest, it’s important to stay on top of growing your Pinterest audience, and here’s how:
Create eye-catching pins
Pinterest is a visual tool, and your pins need to stand out. And if you’re also trying to make money on Pinterest, then they definitely need to look professional.
Fortunately, it’s easier than ever to come up with creative, high-quality images for your pins. Canva is a free tool for creating digital images for Pinterest, Facebook, and Instagram, but you can also use it for flyers, invites, business cards, etc. Canva is super easy to use, and there are lots of free designs that you can edit with your own text and images.
Know how to describe your pins
Pinterest is a search engine like Google, so you want to describe your Pins using searchable keywords. Start by looking at the pins that pop up at the top of your feed. I bet they’re simple and to-the-point descriptions. That’s what you want.
You can do some easy keyword research in the search bar. Start typing something related to your niche. If you’re a cooking/food-based pinner, start with a search for “how to cook” and let Pinterest fill in the rest. What pops up will show you what people are currently searching for.
Using hashtags is also really useful for searching for things, so don’t forget to add those too.
Interact with other pinners
Pin other people’s pins, click their follow links, etc. Pinterest is a search engine, but it’s also a social media platform. This is an overall best practice on Pinterest. It says, “Thanks for following me.” You can always unfollow people if you don’t like what’s showing up in your feed.
Make sure you have a business account
If you want to learn how to make money on Pinterest, you need a business account. This is a must do if you want to reach out to any brands for partnerships, affiliate links, etc. Business accounts are free and give you access to analytics, among other things.
Use Tailwind to schedule pins
Tailwind is a marketing app that was created just for Pinterest and Instagram. It can help you with analytics, promoting Pins, but one of the things it does really well is helping you create a pinning schedule. Tailwind costs $9.99 a month, and pinners swear by it.
Have a press or media kit
Media kits tell potential partners key facts and statistics about your blog, business, or Pinterest following. Having a media kit is one of the easiest ways to tell people what you can offer their business.
You can use Canva for your media kit, and it should include:
- A short bio about you and your business
- A list of your services
- Number of impressions and/or following
- Information about your audience
Always be transparent about your partnerships
This is another one we’ve already said, but it’s too important to overlook. If you are using affiliate links or partnering with brands in any capacity, you have to let your audience know. The FTC has clear guidelines about this. All it takes is a simple #affiliate or #affiliatelink in the text of your pin to fulfill the FTC regulations.
Follow Pinterest’s guidelines and best practices
To stay on the up and up as you make money on Pinterest, respect the platform by following their guidelines. You can find Pinterest’s Community Guidelines here, and it’s for both business account owners and personal users.
Learn about changes to the platform
Pinterest has changed a lot since it first launched in 2010. Those changes can affect the way you earn money through Pinterest. To learn about them, read emails they send and check out Social Media Today.
The final word on learning how to make money on Pinterest
There's a lot of opportunity to make money on Pinterest. You can build a business for yourself by starting a blog and use Pinterest to grow your audience. Or, you can work from existing business owners as a Pinterest virtual assistant and help them grow their business with Pinterest.
Pinterest won’t pay you to use its platform, but you can get paid by bloggers and other business owners to be on Pinterest and help them grow their business. This is the job of a Pinterest virtual assistant, and most Pinterest VAs make $500/month or more per client. You’ll be designing pins, creating a pinning strategy, and more.
Beginners can start as Pinterest virtual assistants who design and create pinning schedules for other business owners.
You’re not paid by views on Pinterest. Instead, bloggers and other influencers who use Pinterest for affiliate marketing or selling products make money when someone clicks on a link and makes a purchase. It depends more on the kind of audience you have, because a small but highly engaged audience can help you make significantly more money than a large audience who doesn’t pay much attention to your pins.