You’ve probably heard about using Pinterest to drive massive traffic to your blog. But did you know you can actually make money directly on Pinterest? In this post, you’ll learn how to succeed at affiliate marketing on Pinterest without a blog. Our expert is McKinzie Bean, a mom blogger and Pinterest strategist. Since starting her blog, Moms Make Cents, in 2015, McKinzie has gone from making $0 to between $5k-$10k a month from Pinterest!
For two years, McKinzie has managed the Pinterest accounts of other businesses. I reached out to McKinzie so she could share her best tips to make money on Pinterest using affiliate links. In the end, you’ll get a preview of McKinzie’s Pinterest affiliate marketing course, Pin to Profits – Affiliate Marketing.
Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links as explained in my disclosure-policy
What is affiliate marketing?
If you’re scratching your head wondering what affiliate marketing is, no worries! I, too, had never heard of affiliate marketing until about 9 months ago. Now, it’s one of my main sources of income. In a nutshell, affiliate marketing is when you promote the products of other companies to earn a commission on sales. Let’s say you love MAC Cosmetics and run a makeup blog. You can sign up for MAC’s affiliate program and get a unique link you’ll use to promote your favorite foundations, brushes, lipsticks, and so on. If someone purchases some lipsticks through your link, you earn a percentage of the sale. Affiliate commissions typically range between 3%-40%.
How to find affiliate programs
There are various affiliate networks, such as ShareAsale, Amazon Affiliates, Commission Junction, and Clickbank, that house thousands of affiliate programs. While some businesses manage their own affiliate programs, others join affiliate networks as merchants. There are basically two ways to find affiliate programs:
- Go directly to the company’s website and look at the bottom of the home page to see if ‘Affiliate’ or ‘Become an affiliate’ is listed. You can also search ‘Company Name’ + ‘Affiliate Program’ on Google, and the affiliate program page will come up if the company has one.
- Join an affiliate network like ShareASale and get access to thousands of affiliate programs within their database. Commission Junction, Shareasale, and Clickbank are some of the largest affiliate networks. Through Shareasale, for instance, you can access affiliate programs for Sally Beauty, Booking.com, and tons of other companies.
Here’s a real-life example. I am an affiliate of McKinzie’s course, Pin to Profits, which I’ll talk to you about later. If after reading this post, you decide to purchase her course through my link for $47, I earn a 30% commission for that sale. Easy, right?
Now that you have a better idea of what affiliate marketing is, let’s dive into McKinzie’s tips to crush affiliate marketing on Pinterest.
Interview With McKinzie Bean – Affiliate Marketing on Pinterest Without a Blog
1. Could you give us some background about how you got started with affiliate marketing?
I started my first blog back in June 2012 and that was the start of my fascination with making money online. In early 2015, I took a position as a collaborations manager for a small business coordinating their influencer marketing. During my time with them, I learned a lot about influencers as well as affiliate programs and how many of them were actually able to make full-time incomes from home via affiliate marketing. It blew my mind!
2. What makes affiliate marketing a great way to earn extra income?
What I love about affiliate marketing is it is so easy to get started! You don’t have to have a huge audience and you don’t have to spend hundreds or thousands of hours creating your own products. Plus, for a lot of people, it is a natural fit. Think of how many times a month you refer a friend to a great place to eat, a life-saving toy, or your favorite new mascara. If you are already doing that, chances are you will rock at affiliate marketing.
3. Why do you think you’ve been so successful as an affiliate?
That is a great question. I think it is because I approach it as if each reader/follower was my friend. Would I actually recommend that product to my sister or best friend? Because I am authentic I think my followers can tell that and they trust my recommendations.
4. What is the biggest challenge for those new to affiliate marketing? How can they overcome it?
In the beginning, I think it is getting clicks and views on your affiliate links. That is why Pinterest affiliate marketing works so well! You can drive massive traffic to your blog if you have one or can share affiliate links directly on Pinterest!
5. How do you stay consistent with promoting your affiliate products?
With all of my blog posts, I have them consistently scheduled to share on social media and on Pinterest. This keeps the content in front of my audience. I use the social media scheduling tools Post Planner and Tailwind for this. Many affiliate programs also have great affiliate managers that will send out information with special promotions that you can share. If there isn’t a big sale or promotion going on, I will still try to feature certain high-converting posts on Pinterest, to my email list, etc.
6. What inspired you to create the Pin to Profits Affiliate Marketing course?
I have a blog post on my website called How To Make Money On Pinterest With Affiliate Links. Very quickly it became one of my most popular posts and I found myself getting countless emails from readers that wanted to learn more. In the summer of 2017, I sent a poll to my audience about what course they would be interested in me creating next and the Pinterest affiliate marketing topic won by a landslide.
7. Your course teaches how to succeed at affiliate marketing on Pinterest, with or without a blog. Do you think having a blog helps affiliates earn more?
Yes, I do think that having a blog can definitely help you earn more with affiliate marketing – but with that said you can still make an income from Pinterest affiliate marketing without a blog.
8. What are some of the most common misconceptions about affiliate marketing?
I think that some people still have the misconception that affiliate marketing is scammy or bad. While it can be done distastefully, it is often done with class and provides value if you are truly sharing a product that you love!
9. Could you share some early mistakes you made as an affiliate and what they taught you?
I’ve been pretty intentional about what types of products that I share with my audience, but one thing that I struggled with is that I didn’t want to come off as “salesy.” Because of this I included less affiliate links in posts or avoided different types of posts that I thought would be too pushy. However, it turns out using my affiliate links made it more convenient for my audience. Plus, the tutorial posts and roundup posts that do so well in affiliate marketing still can be super helpful and add value for your readers.
10. What piece of advice would you give someone new to affiliate marketing?
Don’t give up! It can sometimes be slow going in the beginning when you start with affiliate marketing, but that is how it is with any business! Create a plan and stay consistent and eventually those commissions will start to add up and your affiliate link will spread.
There you have it. With some knowledge and consistency, you can definitely succeed at affiliate marketing on Pinterest without a blog! Learn more about McKinzie’s affiliate marketing strategies on her blog, Moms Make Cents.
A quick look inside McKinzie’s Pinterest affiliate marketing course: Pin To Profits
Pin to Profits – Affiliate Marketing is a step by step guide that explains affiliate marketing on Pinterest for beginners. It is a video course with 6 modules covering what affiliate marketing is, how to register for affiliate programs, how to use affiliate links on Pinterest, and how to get thousands of clicks on your affiliate links. Ultimately, the goal is to learn exactly how to make money on Pinterest with affiliate marketing.
Who is this course for? Do you already…
- Have a Pinterest business account with rich pins enabled?
- Understand the basics of Pinterest, such as creating pins, joining group boards, and researching keywords?
- Use Tailwind to schedule your pins? If you don’t, click here to sign up for Tailwind
- Know how to make pins using PicMonkey or Canva?
If you answered yes to the four questions above, then you’re ready to take this course. Here is a break down of the course syllabus:
The course answers questions that affiliate marketing beginners have, such as:
- How do you share affiliate links on Pinterest?
- How do you design affiliate pins for Pinterest?
- What types of boards should you share your affiliate pins to?
- How do you get people to click on your affiliate links?
- What kinds of affiliate products should you promote on Pinterest?
Pin To Profits costs $47, which I think is very reasonable for the information and strategies you learn. Since implementing McKinzie’s pin design strategies, my click-through rates have skyrocketed. In fact, my affiliate pins for the Pin To Profits – Affiliate Marketing course have gotten over 1,000 clicks in a month! Here are my total and unique clicks, according to the Pretty Links plugin.
Lately, I’ve been getting an affiliate sale about every 2-3 days, thanks to promoting affiliate links heavily on Pinterest using Mckinzie’s strategies.
Tips for success
I don’t want to promise you magical results overnight because those don’t exist.
To grow your affiliate income, you have to set aside time every day/week to learn the strategies and implement them.
You can start with as little as one hour a week. Affiliate marketing requires patience and persistence. It’s definitely not going to make you rich by next month.
Many people quit because they don’t see money rolling in after 3 weeks. That’s the wrong mindset. Think long term. Pat Flynn of smartpassiveincome.com, who has made $4.2 million in affiliate sales, said at a recent conference that affiliate marketing is like planting seeds. You need to lay the groundwork to reap the benefits down the road.
The good news is that affiliate marketing isn’t difficult to implement. It just takes time to see results. Like any good thing, it requires dedication. If you’ve read this far, then I’m sure you’re a go-getter who can crush affiliate marketing!