Pinterest Affiliate Marketing

Learn how to use Pinterest affiliate marketing techniques to drive more traffic to your business. Do you want tons of free targeted traffic to your website? 

Then read on.

If you want a refresher or introduction to affiliate marketing before continuing on, then read my affiliate marketing article.

What is Pinterest?

Is Pinterest a search engine or social media site?

DigitalGYD (pronounced as Digital Guide) marketing blog ranks Pinterest as the #5 best search engine

Lifewire ranks Pinterest as the #7 most popular search engine

Kissmetrics calls Pinterest, "The ultimate image platformPinterest allows you to search for anything visual – clothing, cars, floors, airplanes, etc and pin it to your favorites."

Yet, Pinterest is also ranked as a social media site.

Statista ranks Pinterest as #19 among social networks as of April 2018.

Alexa ranks Pinterest #4​ behind Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn 

Regardless where Pinterest ranks among search engines and social media sites, the fact that it is highly rated in both categories is quite remarkable.

Pinterest is a social search engine with the focus on images! 

What is Pinterest About Anyway?

Pinterest members share interesting things they have or find by sharing (pinning in Pinterest parlance) images or videos to Pinterest boards. A “pin” is an image or video that links back to its originating website.

I optimize my web page articles and posts using Search Engine Optimization (SEO) techniques. I also optimize my Pinterest “pins” (post) using SEO techniques.

Getting followers in Pinterest is not important. I only have 166 as of this writing. My Pinterest “reach” is much greater as you can see from this chart.

Current Pinterest impressions for the previous 30 days.

The end of May shows an anomaly as a result of recent pinning and repinning activity. One of the best practices is pinning consistently.  

Whether PInterest is a search engine or social network, people use Pinterest to find products to buy.

Pinterest demographics are improving across the board. 

72% of Pinterest users say that Pinterest helps them find ideas for everyday life. And 1 in 2 have made a purchase after seeing a promoted pin.  

Why affiliate marketers should use Pinterest

As Pinterest usage continues to expand, especially outside of the United States, you will see more visitors to your business. It is becoming more than just about Pinterest home decor or Pinterest recipes.

In other words, Pinterest helps you get more targeted traffic and sales to your business.

With the introduction of the Pinterest Lens, Pinterest has developed their visual discovery technology into a mobile app. Lens will enable Pinterest users to create pins directly from their phones as well as search for information based on images. The Pinterest Lens application already recognizes objects in 750 categories.

Plus, Pinterest has introduced buyable Pins - the simple, secure way to buy your favorite Pinterest finds, right from the app. Buyable Pins simplify the customer shopping experience. Users can easily buy products without ever leaving the app.Right now, Buyable Pins are only available to a select group of retail partners and U.S. merchants with Pinterest business accounts.

Pinterest now has buyable pins connecting directly to product sales pages.

Pinterest is rolling out Buyable Pins. Selected retail partners and merchants are authorized to provide buyable pins linking to their product sales pages.  

Now people have more than just simple text-based searches available for use.

This new tool makes Pinterest a visual search engine!

How to use Pinterest for Business

This section will cover:

  • How to set up a Pinterest account
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    How to set up your Pinterest boards
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    How to organize your Pinterest boards
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    How to create Pinterest pins
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    How to create Pinterest images
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    When is the best time to share on Pinterest
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    How to share other pins

How to set up a Pinterest account

  1. Join Pinterest. It is free. Follow the step-by-step instructions.
  2. Set up your business account. The Pinterest terms of service require the use of a business account if your intent is to use Pinterest for commercial purposes. The business account gives you access to Pinterest Analytics.
  3. Read and accept the Pinterest business terms of service.
  4. Complete your business profile. Include your picture or logo. Select a user name. (I chose my website name as a way to brand my Pinterest account.) Include a biography.
  5. Enter your website information. Pinterest will access you to verify your website.

TIP: It is important to have Pinterest verify your website!

How to set up your Pinterest boards

Setting up a Pinterest board is easy.

1. Start by finding "the create" board button within your account. The button looks like this.

Creating a Pinterest board is click-a-button easy.

Clicking "the create" board button will open "the create" board window. 

The create board button triggers a popup screen to add board information.

2. Fill in the name of your board and save. The name of the board should reflect your website or business niche, preferably using a keyword. Using keywords helps Pinterest users find your boards and pins when they do a search. This example shows the title of my web page, which is one of the main pages on my website. You are given the option of making the board secret. This prevents anyone from finding and viewing your board until you are ready. I have several secret boards I am building out first before making them public. 

3. Edit the description of your new board using keywords to help people find your board. Save. 

4. Your board is ready for you to start sharing

How to organize your Pinterest boards

Start by setting up one primary board for your niche or topic. And then several secondary boards that relate to your primary board.

The hierarchical structure would look something like this.

Diagram of Pinterest boards for a website.

Organize your pins in a top-down hierarchical manner with the website main page on the first level. The second level of Pinterest boards contains your pillar or foundation pages. These are the pages that should be on your main navigation menu. The third level boards are for related sub-topical pages should you desire them. 

Here is the taxonomy of my Pinterest boards, which is a textual display of the organization.

Weight Loss 
Weight Loss > Healthy Diet Plans 
Weight Loss > Healthy Diet Guidelines 
Weight Loss > Healthy Recipes 
Weight Loss > Weight Loss Products

Pin only items from your website on these boards. The pins should point to your website pages and posts. You add every article and post to the main board. Pin articles and posts related to a secondary topic to the appropriate secondary board.

You will also want to set up some additional boards related to your niche or website. The purpose of these boards is to cross-pin other Pinterest pins as well as you own.

For example, I have a Pinterest board labeled “Healthy Foods” to which I post pins from my Weight Loss website. I will also add other images I find on Pinterest as well as other interesting, related websites.

Note: The reason for creating multiple boards is to further define specific audiences. For example, members may follow my “Recipes” board, but not have any interest in following my “Diet Plans” board.

How to add items to your board

There are several ways to add an image to your Pinterest boards. Use an existing Pinterest share button found on a web page or use a browser extension button.

Typical social share buttons including Pinterest.

Occasionally, you may find a web page without social share buttons. The major browsers (Google Chrome, Firefox, and Microsoft Edge) have browser extensions to add Pinterest “Save” buttons to your browser. This enables you to share interesting content.

This image shows my browswer menu bar with the Pinterest extension button enabled. Whenever I "mouse" over an image, a Pinterest save button appears.

Web browsers may have extensions or functions that may be added to help with user experience.

The third way to add an image is to upload it from your computer. Pinterest has an "add" image function which enables you to select an image from your computer and save it to a board. Pick the board and add a description of the image.

Another method is for website owners or developers who prepare or develop their own images. There are third party graphics application vendors who have created the ability to directly add created images onto the applicable Pinterest board.

The Stencil graphics application has a built-in social share function.

This image shows a pin graphics I created using the Stencil application. Stencil includes the ability to directly download/pin an image to one of my Pinterest boards.

How to create Pinterest images

Not all images or videos are Pinterest worthy.

Every post or article you create should have an optimized Pinterest image. A standard size Pinterest image dimensions are 735 x 1102 pixels.

In other words, Pinterest likes long images.

Besides, long images look better on a mobile device.

Depending on how a web page has been developed, not all images on a web page are worthy of sharing. The following is an example of a page I wanted to pin. By clicking on an image, the Pinterest share button opened up a window with several images to pin. Obviously, I would select the one on the left as it was optimized for Pinterest.

Choosing a pin to save.

To make Pinterest worthy images for your website, there are a number of free graphics applications available online.

I frequently use these two free tools:

Canva – is an award-winning app that has a million image library, templates, icons, standard image sizes for you to create almost any kind of image.

picresize – is a handy app to crop, resize, and edit images.

For my heavy lifting, I use Stencil. It is a real time saver as it lets me change my image sizes to meet different social network or website posting needs. Plus, it allows me to post directly to social media sites like Pinterest and Facebook.

When is the best time to share on Pinterest?

Studies about the best practices of social media networks show us the best times to post. The research sources included Hubspot, Forbes, Neil Patel, Kissmetrics, Buffer, Fast Company, and others.

Posting at the optimal times to social media sites help get more traffic, more engagement, and more followers.

For Pinterest, the consensus is Saturday is the best day as well as late at night.

The best times daily are between 8pm and 11pm.

Using Google Analytics helps identify days and times you get the most traffic.

How to repin other pins

While browsing the Pinterest home page or boards, you may find images and related stories you like and want to “share” with others. 

Mousing over an image will show a red Pinterest Save button. Clicking on the button will open up a list of boards to select for saving the pin.

Saving a pin to one of your boards is a way of sharing content that may be of interest to people who follow your boards.

Actively sharing content encourages people to share your content as well. It is the old mutually beneficial “scratch my back and I will scratch yours.”


Hopefully, this article has answered the questions of what is Pinterest all about and how you can get started using Pinterest with your affiliate marketing efforts.

Pinterest is a social network or a search engine or both. And as I like to say...

Pinterest is a social search engine with the focus on images! 

Used as a social network, members can view, follow and share friends’ pins (posts).

Pinterest can also be used as a search engine. Members with business accounts can optimize their Pinterest boards and pins to increase their business visibility and traffic to their website(s).

Pinterest Success Strategies 

Pinterest Success Strategies will show you how to get more website traffic and sales. This is an easy-to-follow guide to creating a Pinterest strategy, setting up boards, knowing what, when, and why you should be pinning. The guide shows you a powerful repinning strategy for maximum effect.

If you have any questions or comments about Pinterest, please fill in and submit the form below. I love comments.

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