In May of this year, Pinterest began allowing affiliate links in posts again. They had previously been disallowed because so many people were spamming the platform with their affiliate links and it was polluting the waters for a lot of users.
However now Pinterest have more sophisticated spam detection procedures in place and acknowledge that bloggers are able to keep providing good content if they have an income from affiliate promotions.
So they have decided to allow affiliate links directly in the pins. This is huge! Before that you would have to write a blog post about the product you wanted to promote and link to that post in your pin. So the new rules mean you don’t need to write a post, however remember your readers may not all be on Pinterest so it will increase your earning potential if you have content that your non-Pinterest readers can buy from.
So if you are going to start using affiliate links in your Pinterest posts there are a few things you will want to bear in mind. Remember they will still ban you if they suspect you are spamming users and not providing value. All the following points are to make sure that the Pinterest community is clear on the purpose of the post and link. Essentially, don’t try to hide anything.
1. You MUST disclose the fact you are using an affiliate link.
This is to comply with FTC regulations and can be as simple as adding #affiliate to the end of your description.
2. You must use the full link, and the link text must reflect the destination link.
This means that you can’t use link shorteners like Bit.ly or Tiny URL. You also can’t use link cloakers that turn the affiliate link into ‘yourdomain.com/link’ or similar. This reflects Pinterest’s insistence that any affiliate links are open and clear, not disguised as anything looking like a blog post for example.
3. Don’t go mad.
If you have been pinning interesting and funny pics linking back to your blog, then suddenly you start adding 10 affiliate links per day you are likely to be setting off red flags. The ability to add affiliate links is supposed to allow you to make occasional recommendations, not turn you into an annoying spammer.
4. Consider creating a board just for affiliate products.
An example might be ‘Tools I use every day for my online business’. That way your followers will know that’s where they can buy stuff you recommend.
5. Give a good description.
This is the part people who search Pinterest will see first so make them good. Tell readers about the product you’re promoting in a few sentences, but don’t be ‘salesy’. Remember your aim is to educate and inform, not ram products down your followers’ throat. Remember to include your disclaimer #affiliate.
6. Create your own images.
If you are linking to a product that has its own images, consider getting your own images created as well to separate yourself from others using the same images. You can do it yourself using a free service like Canva.com, or if you’re not graphically gifted, hire someone on Fiverr.com to do it for you.
7. Look at your existing Pins.
Take a look through your existing boards and decide if any of your pins lend themselves to an affiliate link. Remember the aim is not to flood your boards with affiliate links. Retain the integrity of your brand.
So those are a few things to think about when using affiliate links. I’m sure you agree they make sense. The short version is don’t try too hard. Make any affiliate promotion part of your content strategy.
So how do you add your affiliate link to your pins?
If you are uploading an image, go through the usual process and save your image. When you do you will be asked to go to the picture. Click the ‘edit’ button in the top left of the image. From there you will be able to edit the properties. Enter your affiliate link in the ‘Website’ box. Hit save and you’re done.
What is the right strategy to follow?
So the power of including affiliate links right inside your content is that you can share images on Pinterest which can go viral, and those images will be hyperlinked with your affiliate link.
Imaging you share an image of a cute dog toy, and that image gets 5,000 repins? That means around 5,000 clicks to your offer, or more (since you generally get more clicks than repins).
So from here, you simply need to create awesome images and share them on Pinterest. You can also use the group board strategy, which I am going to cover in a post here very soon 🙂
One final warning:
Some affiliate platforms don’t allow you to add their links to Pinterest. At the time of writing this, Amazon doesn’t list Pinterest in its approved social media platforms. This may change of course, but make sure you check the terms of the affiliate platform before you post a link.
So as long as you don’t see too many dollar signs and keep things simple, informative and educational, there should be no reason why you couldn’t add a nice amount to your income using Pinterest.
If you need further clarification of the rules, the best place to go is Pinterest acceptable use policy page: https://about.pinterest.com/en/acceptable-use-policy