how to make money on pinterest

How To Make Money on Pinterest (Updated for 2018)

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I’ve got a new side hustle to share with you today… And you are going to LOVE it!

Over the last month, I’ve turned my Pinterest obsession into a money spinner.

I’ve been making money with affiliate marketing on Pinterest. This is a fantastically easy and flexible side hustle that anyone can do.

You don’t need to be an internet marketing expert. You don’t even need a blog.

You can get started today, with absolutely no upfront costs.

I’ve been experimenting with this method for about a month. I made my first sale in just four days after following the lessons in this ebook, and I’ve seen growing results ever since.

By the way, this post contains affiliate links. That means if you buy something after clicking one of my links I may receive a commission, at no extra cost to you. Thank you for supporting my site!

Here’s how it works:

Here's how to make money on Pinterest with affiliate marketing! Yes, you can turn your Pinterest addiction into profit and get paid to pin. Get your exact money making game plan on the blog!

Affiliate marketing on Pinterest

So here’s the basic business idea. For the uninitiated, Pinterest is a giant virtual pin board. Users search for ideas, and ‘pin’ images that they love to come back to later. Each ‘pin’ is an image with a link. People can click on the image to visit the site it came from.

We can monetise this with affiliate marketing.

‘Affiliate marketing’ is simply when you promote an item online and get a commission for any sales. You promote the product using your own special tracking link, which is called an affiliate link.

When somebody clicks on your link and buys a product, the seller can see that you sent them, and you get a cut of the sale!

There are many ways to promote your affiliate links and make sales online. The most common is blogging. You can also share your links on social media, or in emails to your friends.

So why I am focusing on Pinterest?

Related post: How to Start a Blog to Make Money

Why it’s easy to make money on Pinterest

Pinterest is often referred to as a social network, but the truth is, it’s more like a search engine.

People go to Pinterest to look for ideas, and specifically to look for things to buy!

87% of users have bought something they found on Pinterest and a whopping 93% say they’ve used Pinterest to plan future purchases.

This means it’s easy and natural to promote great products on Pinterest without looking spammy.

Also, your pins on Pinterest hang around forever. It’s not like Twitter, where your message disappears into the ether just minutes after you tweet it out. If a pin gets picked up and gets a lot of repins, it will keep showing up in people’s feeds without any more effort on your part.

You don’t need a blog to make money on Pinterest. Anyone can create a Pinterest account and starting pinning affiliate links.

(However, there are certain affiliate programs which do require a website, so check with individual programs before signing up.)

And you don’t need hundreds of followers.

Again, Pinterest is a search engine. This means that if you pin fabulous images with good, keyword-rich descriptions, people will find your pins – even if they don’t follow you.

Is Pinterest marketing legit?

You might have heard mixed information about affiliate links on Pinterest. That’s because they were allowed, then banned for a period thanks to abuse by spammers. Now, since May 2016, they’re officially allowed again.

Of course, you shouldn’t abuse the system and you should take care not to across as spammy yourself.

Don’t use misleading images or descriptions to trick people into clicking on your links. Don’t flood Pinterest with hundreds of affiliate pins without repinning other content. And be especially careful to follow the rules if you are invited to any group boards.

You can take a look at Pinterest’s community guidelines for more information.

As long as you follow the rules, there’s no reason not to use affiliate links on Pinterest. Done correctly, you are simply helping people find the products or information that they came to Pinterest for.

So, how can you get started?

Related post: 4 Fantastic Ways to Make Money on Pinterest

Here's how to make money on Pinterest with affiliate marketing! Yes, you can turn your Pinterest addiction into profit and get paid to pin. Get your exact money making game plan on the blog!

Step by step guide to making money on Pinterest

1. Make a Pinterest account

First of all, you obviously need a Pinterest account! If you already have a personal Pinterest account, use that. You don’t need a special account to do this. It’s an advantage if you already have an established account with some followers, even if it’s only a few.

If you’re totally new to the whole Pinterest game, I recommend taking this free ecourse. It explains the basic terminology and shows you how to set up a killer profile.

I recommend having a business account. You can convert your existing personal account to a business account. This is free and very easy to do – just follow the instructions here. It just gives you a few extra features like basic stats. You don’t need to be a business or even a blogger to have a business account.

I currently have two Pinterest accounts: one for Boost My Budget, and one personal account. I’ve used both for affiliate marketing and seen some success on both of them.

If you’ve made a brand new Pinterest account for this, you’ll want to fill it out a bit so it doesn’t look empty. I recommend making about 10-20 boards on topics that interest you and/or that you want to promote products in. This could be anything from baby clothes to interior design to bodybuilding! You can get an idea of the most popular topics here, but really, anything goes.

Then, pin at least 20-30 pins to each board. Don’t worry about affiliate marketing at this point. Just repin other people’s pins to fill out your profile.

2. Sign up with affiliate programs

Now you have a Pinterest profile, you need to find great products to pin – from companies that will pay you!

There are lots of different companies that pay commission to affiliates. Pretty much any large retailer you can think of has its own affiliate program. You can also find programs for individual products such as e-books and online courses.

However, my number one recommended affiliate program for Pinterest marketing is called MagicLinks.

MagicLinks is awesome because it covers literally thousands of different retailers under one program! This means you don’t have to waste time applying to different affiliate programs separately. Through MagicLinks, you can create affiliate links to products in categories from arts and crafts to fashion, pets, weddings, books, food and anything in between.

There are well-known stores such as Target and Bed Bath & Beyond, and hundreds of sites I’d never heard of, such as (tattoos are a surprisingly big market on Pinterest!)

You will need a minimum of 100 Pinterest followers to join MagicLinks if that will be your sole method of promotion, so work on building up your profile first if you’re new to Pinterest.

2018 update: I used to recommend an affiliate program called ShopStyle Collective. While I have received a lot of money from them over the past few months, unfortunately I have also heard some worrying stories such as shutting down accounts with no warning. I also found them to be very poor at communicating and customer support – for example, they changed my payment structure without notifying me.

I’ve decided to move away from ShopStyle Collective and focus more on MagicLinks because I don’t feel like I can trust them any more. Of course, the best thing to do is join several different affiliate programs so you don’t have all your eggs in one basket!

Here's how to make money on Pinterest with affiliate marketing! Yes, you can turn your Pinterest addiction into profit and get paid to pin. Get your exact money making game plan on the blog!

3. Start pinning your affiliate products

Ok, so you’ve set up your Pinterest profile and joined some affiliate programs.The next step is to start pinning images of the products you want to promote to Pinterest!

You can pin the image directly from the retailer’s website, or use a free image editor like Canva to make pretty pins with text overlays and other effects.

Just make sure that the link associated with the pin is your unique affiliate link. This means that you will get paid if somebody buys the product that you pinned.

If you’re using MagicLinks, this is super easy. They actually have a pin button on each product page, which lets you pin images directly from their site with your affiliate link embedded.

Be sure to use the full, raw form of the affiliate link. Avoid link shorteners such as or Pretty Link. Pinterest have advised that shortened links don’t always track correctly, which means you could miss out on commissions.

You can promote any kind of products on Pinterest. I have two Pinterest accounts: one for Boost My Budget, and one personal account. On my Boost My Budget account, I’ve promoted a handful of digital products related to blogging and making money online. On my personal account, I promote physical products such as clothes, accessories and home items. I’ve made sales on both within the first month.

If you already have a Pinterest profile, I recommend pinning products that fit in naturally with your existing boards. So if you have a lot of fashion boards, look for clothes on MagicLinks that fit in with the kind of things you already pin.

This will keep your profile looking natural and non-spammy. It also means that your affiliate pins are more likely to appeal to the people who already follow you.

4. Write a good description for each pin.

When you add a new pin, there is space for you to add a description. Write an accurate, detailed description of your product.

Remember, Pinterest is a search engine. Use lots of ‘keywords’ – the kind of words that people search for. This will help people find your pin, even if they don’t follow you. Look for the suggested search terms that Pinterest gives you when you start typing in the search box for ideas.

For example, one of the boards on my personal account is about stationery. If I pin a notebook, a typical description might be something like: ‘This cute pink notebook would be a great gift for a stationery lover, or anyone into bullet journals, bujo, scrapbooking, writing or journaling.’ This covers lots of key words which people might search.

You should also include a disclosure like ‘affiliate link’ or ‘ad’ in the description. Regulators like the Federal Trade Commission in the US and the Advertising Standards Authority in the UK require a disclosure and it’s just plain spammy if you don’t let your followers know.

Here's how to make money on Pinterest with affiliate marketing! Yes, you can turn your Pinterest addiction into profit and get paid to pin. Get your exact money making game plan on the blog!

5. Pin lots!

Pinterest likes people who pin a lot!

They especially like it when you re-pin popular pins. Repinning other people’s popular pins keeps your profile fresh and interesting for your followers, and it stops you looking like a spammer.

It also means that Pinterest will show your pins more often in other people’s feeds. Pinterest basically rewards people who share popular stuff, because they know you’re sharing things that people want to see.

So the more you re-pin popular pins, the more other people will see your own affiliate pins, and the more clicks you’ll get!

You should try to pin stuff several times throughout the day. The Pinterest app on your phone is great for this.

Also, bear in mind that not every pin will make you money. Some pins take a while to take off, and some just never get shared at all. You can’t just pin one random thing and expect to rake in the cash overnight. You have to share new affiliate pins every day, experiment with new pin designs, and eventually you will see the commissions rolling in.

6. Step it up

Everything I’ve described so far is completely free. Anybody can start working through these steps and start making money on Pinterest, with no special tools or upfront costs.

However, doing all of the above manually can take a bit of time – especially since you need to remember to pin several times throughout your day to see growth.

Luckily, there are tools you can use to automate the process and see faster results.

My favorite site for scheduling pins is Tailwind. You could work just one day a month on Pinterest and schedule all your pins in advance. It keeps your account active even when you take a break. It also has great analytics so you can see what’s working best for you. You can get a free trial of Tailwind and $15 credit off a paid plan here.

If you want some more training in how to make money on Pinterest with affiliate marketing, I recommend this short online course. It’s how I first learned how to do this!

There is training in setting up a Pinterest account, creating pins in Canva, finding affiliate programs, and scheduling using Tailwind. The course even has a resource to point you in the direction of over 1,000 group boards to get even more exposure for your pins.

You can access the course here. 

Golden rules

There’s a lot of information in this article, but here are the key points to remember:

  • Don’t spam
  • Write great descriptions
  • Declare your affiliate links
  • Re-pin other people’s stuff
  • Re-pin popular content
  • Be consistent
  • Don’t give up – allow time for new pins to take off!

Here's how to make money on Pinterest with affiliate marketing! Yes, you can turn your Pinterest addiction into profit and get paid to pin. Get your exact money making game plan on the blog!

Your essential Pinterest toolkit

As I mentioned above, anyone can start using this method by simply pinning manually a few times each day – but it may take a while to see results. If you want to take this side hustle seriously, here are a few tools and resources which will help you out:

How to Make Your First Affiliate Sale in 24 Hours Using Pinterest – this short ebook (now an online course) was my introduction to affiliate marketing on Pinterest. I made my first sale within four days! The book shares the secrets for getting your pins widely shared, which I haven’t gone into in this article. This book will be the most useful for people who are already set up on Pinterest and are members of a few group boards. Beginners will benefit from it too, but it will just take a little longer to make money.

Free Course: Pinterest Affiliate Marketing 101 – I discovered the amazing Christina Root after working through the above ebook and looking for more information on Pinterest marketing. Her site is an absolute goldmine of information. It’s great for beginners and people who don’t have a blog. I strongly recommend signing up for this free course which goes into more detail on lots of the points I mentioned briefly above. You might also want to check out these articles for more information.

Tailwind – the Pinterest scheduling tool I use. It gives you great control over your pin scheduling and useful analystics too. I can schedule a month of pins in a couple of hours with Tailwind. Get a free one month trial when you sign up with this link.

Canva – the image editor I use to make my pins (and all other graphics on this site). They have a free version and a paid version with extra features. The free version is more than good enough to create fantastic pins.

What’s stopping you?

There you go! This article only really covers the basics of affiliate marketing on Pinterest, but I hope it’s enough to get you started. This is really such a cheap, easy and fun side hustle to play with, and I’m really enjoying it so far.

I will report back on my progress with this method next month, and I’ll share more tips if people are keen.

By the way – not keen on sharing affiliate links directly on Pinterest? Here are 4 other fabulous ways to monetize your Pinterest habit.

Have you shared affiliate links on Pinterest? What are your results? Any questions for me?

I’d love to hear how you get on!

Pin this for later

This is a step by step guide for beginners to make money on Pinterest by pinning affiliate links. Anyone can do this to make some extra cash - it's seriously so easy and such a fun side hustle!

I never knew you could use affiliate marketing to make money without a blog.. definitely gotta try this method to make money online with Pinterest!
Full tutorial to make money online using Pinterest starting TODAY - and you DON'T even need a blog! #makemoney #makemoneyonline #makingmoney #workfromhome #girlboss


Here's how to make money on Pinterest with affiliate marketing! Yes, you can turn your Pinterest addiction into profit and get paid to pin. Get your exact money making game plan on the blog!

45 thoughts to “How To Make Money on Pinterest (Updated for 2018)”

  1. This sounds good, I thought Pinterest affiliate marketing was just directing them from a pin to an article with affiliate links in. Do you have an example pin that I can see what kind of thing it looks like please? I definitely want to try it!

    1. Thanks Francesca! Yep you can direct pins to an article if you want, but you are also now allowed to pin affiliate links directly, which means even non-bloggers can do it! Here’s a pin I made recently in Canva to promote the ebook I mentioned in the article:
      On my personal account, I have boards for fashion, dream home, stationery etc and I literally just pin product images directly from ShopStyle Collective. Sometimes I combine 2-4 images into a collage type pin on Canva (depending on the shape of the image) but I usually just pin the product image without making any edits. ShopStyle makes this so easy because you can do it in one click from within their website or app! Let me know how you get on if you give it a go 🙂

  2. Hello how do set up an account to collect the money I make from affiliate marketing.. shopstyle collective I have already signed up but don’t see anywhere for that

  3. I found this article very useful, some great tips that I will be trying out. My blog is very similar to yours about having various income streams online. Mine is only two weeks old, I can’t wait to get to a year a blogging. Looking forward to more articles.

  4. is till now the best tool I have found for managing my Pinterest and the webpage with respect to the schedule and the content. The amazing thing about it is that it is evolving and learning and this is possible due to the sophisticated artificial intelligence that it uses. It analyses the pins, images, the content and the way I set the schedules for the whole week and then it works automatically following the pattern and even saving the account from being banned as it imitates the human-speed…now that is simply amazing.

  5. Hi!
    I went to try and start this up but when I go to join it says website url. I can’t join without this. I don’t have a website what do I do?


  6. Hello, thanks for this useful post.
    Pls can I do this pin affiliate from anywhere? I’m currently in Nigeria Africa.

    1. Hi Funmi! It will depend on the affiliate networks you join. I think Shopstyle Collective accepts anyone with a PayPal account so it depends if you can get one of those?

  7. How do you exactly sign up with affiliate companies? Do you google, browse through Pinterst or search through Shopstyle Collective?

    1. Hi Tiri, Shopstyle Collective is an affiliate company that gives you automatic affiliate access to all the stores that it partners with. I recommend signing up with them first because you can promote so many different brands and you don’t have to sign up separately for each one! If you want to promote a brand that isn’t on Shopstyle Collective, just Google and see if it has its own affiliate program.

    1. Hi Lynda, you should probably check with Shopstyle Collective, but my feeling is it would be better to use your Pinterest profile url if you don’t have a blog. They will want to see that you have a platform where you can share affiliate links and I assume you can’t do that on your ebay store.

  8. Hi!
    I followed your recommendation and tried to sign up with Shopstyle Collective, but their answer was that I need to grow up my Pinterest account although I have 1,673 followers. They also asked me to post content several times a week across all major platforms, including Pinterest, Instagram, and all of your social networking sites. So, people need to work on their social networking in order to get accepted by Shopstyle Collective.
    I think people should know this.
    If you have any suggestions I would appreciate it.

    1. Hi Carolina,

      Thanks for sharing your experience! I really need to update this post now as I’ve heard a few people had problems with Shopstyle Collective.

      Another option is Magic Links! I’m not very experienced with them myself yet but heard good things. They are easy to get into for beginners (minimum 100 followers) and have a wide range of retailers. Some retailers pay per click and some pay commission for sales.

      Good luck!

  9. Hello, I have come across your blog and it has been really motivating seeing your posts especially about starting a blog and tips around that. So much so that I have made the leap to starting my very own blog! I have just written my first blog post and put a lot of time into writing the 3000+ words then even more time refining, proofreading and doing some SEO on it. I have just published it and will be looking to promote it on pinterest tomorrow once I get some time ( Its quite late at night right now 🙂 ). Would you mind checking it out and letting me know what you think? I understand if you don’t get the time 🙂 I enjoy reading your posts very much. Is the site. Only very recently started it and it’s my first website so work in progress still

    1. Hi Jamal! Thanks so much for your comment! Congrats on launching your blog! Blogging has truly been life changing for me and I’m sure it will be for you too if you put in the work 🙂

      I checked out your blog and it looks great! Nicely designed, and I think you have a great potential niche in inspiring young people to learn about personal finance and careers.

      3000+ is awesome. Longer posts usually do really well in SEO. It takes a few months for Google to trust a brand new site but after that you should start seeing great traffic if you keep writing long content. Pinterest has been the quickest way to get traffic in the short term for me so I would recommend getting on that as you said.

      I would just recommend adding some more headers (H2/H3) to break it up, since it’s such a long post. Headers are good for SEO, especially if you use keywords, and it makes it easier for the reader too.

      Thanks for sharing your blog with me and I look forward to reading more from you!:)

      1. Thanks for the feedback I will definitely put that into practise! I’ve setup a pinterest account and currently getting my feet on the ground there. I even happened to stumble across your pinterest by some stroke of luck 🙂

        Most of all thank you for the reassurance that giving a few months at least should allow me to start seeing some results from Google. This should keep me motivated and going 😉

        I’ve been on autopilot in life for the past 6 months just going to work and back. A blog has added a bit of excitement and something new.

        I appreciate you taking the time to give me some pointers and I wish you further success in the future

  10. Hello,
    maybe my question did not go through that I posted on your Blog yesterday. First off, thank you for all the great information. I am also doing your Pinterest Affiliate Marketing 101 course right now.

    I have a question so, I only have had one Pinterest account which was more Personal PIN’s until a few day’s ago. I had contacted MagicLinks but I do not meet all the criteria yet for them to approve me to use Affiliate Links. Since I don’t have many followers yet, how can I get anybody to let me use their Affiliate Links? Thank you so much for her help.

    1. Hi Jackson,

      Thanks for your comment and question! Another affiliate network you can use is ShareASale. It’s not as convenient as Magic Links because you have to apply to each individual company separately, but I know some people are using it with success. It helps to get accepted if you write a personal message, mention which products you want to promote and why.

      I know it’s frustrating when you just want to start earning money but I do recommend taking time to focus on building up your account in the beginning! It will help getting accepted to programs, and also you’ll be in a better place to start earning if you have more followers and a more established account when you start. One tip to grow fast is to focus on trending topics. You can see trending suggestions by Pinterest when you click into the search bar without typing anything.

      I also recommend joining the Organize Your Biz Facebook group for students of the Pinterest Affiliate Marketing 101 course, people share a lot of useful tips there.

      Good luck!

    1. Hi, there’s no limit, but it’s important to be consistent each day, so pick a number you can handle! Also remember to repin other people’s pins more than you pin affiliate pins. If you only pin affiliate links you’ll look spammy. To start you could try for example 5 affiliate pins and 15 repins.

  11. hi,

    great article.

    Curious though…what sort of $ are we talking here per month for this side hustle? As a minimum?


    1. Hi Jane, hard to say because there is no minimum and the speed you see results will depend on your account health, followers, niche, group boards etc to start with. I made very little my first few weeks/months while I put in the groundwork, but then it started to snowball and I reached a consistent £200 per month working very part time. Since then I have focused more on blogging than Pinterest alone so I haven’t seen further growth, but I do know others who are making more.

  12. Hi – I’ve just applied to MagicLinks, waiting to hear back now (fingers crossed!). Any idea how long they normally take to apply? The email says it could be up to 72 hours, but I’m hoping it might be a bit quicker – itching to get started!

  13. Hi there, great post! I just started with Shareasale and wondering.. in the description of the pin, does one have to put something in there to notify that the link is an affiliate link? TIA 🙂

    1. Hi Karen, great question! Yes, you should always disclose. I usually use #affiliate or #ad in the pin description. This is sufficient for most networks. But just in case, check the T&Cs of each individual affiliate program, as occasionally they will have their own recommended wording.

  14. Hi, great and insightful article. Is pinterest better for specific niches? Do you think pinterest is worth pursuing for a golf blog as a way to generate good traffic and monetize?

    1. Thanks! Pinterest is definitely bigger for some niches than others but I think it’s worth trying for any niche. I have another blog in a niche that I thought wouldn’t do well on Pinterest but it has actually really taken off and gets a lot of traffic, possibly because there isn’t as much competition and it’s easier to get your pins seen!

  15. Brilliant post, I loved it! I think that it is a mix of dedication and patience when it comes to Affiliate Marketing. There is so much money to be made with it and if you have a plan and the patience to let that plan formulate, you will succeed 🙂

    I totally agree with your point about pinning lots! That is all I have done on my Pinterest since I recently launched my new site this past month ( )

    Anyway, thanks for the post and keep up with the good work 🙂

  16. Hi There,
    Thanks so much for this fantastic resource. I was wondering… do you use Amazon at all? Would you recommend Amazon products for pinterest and how does it differ from MagicLinks?

    Thanks in advance

    1. Hi Lorena! I don’t use pin Amazon affiliate links directly on Pinterest because their T&Cs are a bit unclear… I know a few people who’ve asked Amazon directly and some have been told yes, some have been told no. Also seems to be different reactions from the US and EU Amazon. So I feel it’s safer to steer clear for now. MagicLinks specifically encourages pinning their links so that’s one of the best networks to start with 🙂

  17. Hi, great content! I read your blog till I fell asleep last night. And started reading again this morning. I signed up for Pinterest about a month ago. I’m not doing anything because I have no clue! Besides, I’m not really sure it fits my blog concept. My blog posts are all over the place right now. Trying to find my voice, working on my writing and pinning down the niche as I go. But, it’s a bit frustrating with zero traffic 🙁 I noticed that you provided quite lengthy and helpful feedback and am wondering if you could pop in and share your wisdom?

    I want to give a go at Pinterest and would appreciate your feedback. It’s always great to see UK bloggers doing well!


    1. Hi Sage, thanks for your comment! I’m glad you’re enjoying my blog 🙂

      I would definitely get started on Pinterest as soon as possible! It can take a while to learn the ropes but it’s still the quickest way to get traffic for a new blogger in my opinion. Way faster than Google. I’ve had a look at your blog and I think your content would do really well – I see you have a lot of list posts and catchy titles, which tend to do well on Pinterest. Once you start to get some traffic it will be easier to define your niche because you can see what’s popular and write more of it 🙂

      I make all my Pinterest graphics for free on Canva. I just use the Pinterest standard size template. You can use their ready-made design templates to start with until you get more confident designing your own. You can get free stock photos from sites like Unsplash and Pexels.

      A couple of important things about Pinterest for bloggers:

      1) Pinterest is a search engine. You need to use keywords (words people search for) so that your pins will be found in search. An easy way to do keyword research on Pinterest is simply type in your main word (e.g. money) and see what suggestions Pinterest gives you in the predictive text or in the coloured boxes under the search bar (e.g. money saving tips, money management). These are all words that people are searching for, so use them in your pin titles, descriptions, board names and descriptions, even your profile page.

      2) also, Pinterest is obviously very visual, so pins really have to be eye catching and text has to be CLEAR. Over 80% of Pinterest traffic is mobile, so when I design on Canva I like to zoom out really small and make sure the text (or at least the key word) is clearly legible even when the image is tiny.

      Also, since you’re in the UK too, have you joined the UK Money Bloggers group of Facebook? It’s a goldmine of info 🙂 There is also a UKMB Pinterest group board you can join – just search within the group for details.

      Hope this helps and good luck with your new blog!

      1. Oh my – thank you so much for your thorough and wonderful reply. I’m trying to get my head around Pinterest. I’ll take everything on board. I’ll be super happy if I can make blogging as half successful as you do!

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