Do you want to learn how to monetize your blog right from the start? Using affiliate links combined with Pinterest is one of the best ways.
If you’re wondering if it’s even possible to monetize your blog with a small (or even no) following I’m going to show you the proof.
Yes! You can monetize your blog from the very beginning.
Affiliate marketing is one of the most popular ways bloggers make money.
First of all, if you’re not on Pinterest you’re missing out on some amazing free advertising.
Bloggers and biz owners are using Pinterest to drive traffic to their website, promote their products/services, grow their email list and earn money on auto pilot.
The best part, Pinterest will help you get in front of a whole new audience without having to pay for advertising.
Getting your content found and seen on Pinterest is a lot quicker and easier than waiting and hoping to show up in the top results of Google.
You don’t need to wait until you have a large following to start earning money from your blog.
Combining affiliate links with Pinterest will help you earn money right from the start.
I’ve been blogging for less than 2 months and am already earning money from affiliate sales daily, without a ton of regular traffic to my site.
Note: Most affiliate programs require you to have your own website. If you haven’t already set up your blog it’s super easy. You can set up your own blog for less than $4/month. Here’s my full tutorial that will walk you through setting up your blog.
How I Made My First Affiliate Sale AND Increased My Blog Traffic Using Pinterest
I’m a cut to the chase kind of gal. If someone can teach me something faster than I can learn it on my own, I’m all in.
So, to start earning money from my blog right from the start I enrolled in an affiliate marketing ecourse for beginners: How To Make Your First Affiliate Sale in 24 Hours. This course taught me the exact strategy I now use to make sales from Pinterest every day.
My blog was brand new (less than 2 months), I had ZERO blog traffic, ZERO social media following and didn’t even have a Pinterest account.
Since implementing everything in “How to Make Your First Affiliate Sale in 24 Hours” my blog traffic has steadily grown from 0 to over 100 page views per day. Each morning when I get up I check my email and see anywhere from 1-4 sales that happened while I slept.
Within the first 30 days of purchasing ‘How To Make Your First Affiliate Sale in 24 Hours’ the following happened:
- Grew my Pinterest monthly views from 0 to 15k+
- Made my first affiliate sale within 10 days and am now making affiliate sales daily
- Increased blog traffic from 0 to over 100 visitors daily directly from Pinterest
- Started getting Pinterest followers, impressions, saves and clicks on my pins
Yes, you could probably find all the information in this ecourse for free but it would take a lot of searching, reading and testing out strategies (some outdated). This ecourse is a shortcut to teach you the basics of affiliate marketing so you can fast track your success.
About ‘How To Make Your First Affiliate Sale in 24 Hours’
Elise, the creator of How To Make Your First Affiliate Sale in 24 Hours, has been blogging for 5+ years and earns a steady income through affiliate sales.
When Elise nailed down the strategy that worked best for beginners to promote affiliate links on Pinterest she wrote and sold an ebook to teach others.
This ebook has now turned into an ecourse. It’s affordable and, in my opinion, is an invaluable resource for beginner bloggers who want to monetize their blog.
Within the ecourse Elise walks you through step-by-step:
- How to set up and optimize your account
- Designing attractive graphics
- How to properly disclose affiliate links (this is a biggie and is required by law)
- A list of quality Affiliate Programs
- How to find and join Pinterest Group Boards (great for even higher visibility)
- How to Use Keywords in Pinterest Descriptions (and all the places you need to include keywords)
- And the best part – how to set your account on auto-pilot so you can earn while you sleep
I’m not going to give away all of Elise’s secrets from the course because she’s put a lot of hard work and time into creating a high value product. You’ll get a lot more out of it by signing up then if I tried to reiterate all of the content in this post. But, I will show you the steps I took to make my first affiliate sale (using the strategies from the course).
In full disclosure, I didn’t make my first affiliate sale within 24 hours but, I did make multiple affiliate sales within the first 30 days.
My First Affiliate Sale
When I set up my website I had enrolled in a free 5 Day Website Challenge by Shannon Mattern of WP+BFF. If you haven’t set up your blog yet I highly recommend you take this challenge.
Shannon offered an affiliate program to participants as a way to promote her challenge to new audiences. This was such a valuable resource and I never could have set up my blog without it. I signed up for her affiliate program because I believed in what she offered and knew it would help others. Even though the challenge is free Shannon offers some upgrades which is how affiliates would earn money.
I wrote a full review of the 5 Day Website Challenge on my blog then created a simple graphic using Canva and the tips from the ecourse.
I uploaded the graphic to my Pinterest board “Blogging for Beginners”. In the ecourse you’ll learn how to optimize your boards and pins with keywords (this is a game changer).
Then I linked the pin to my blog post (to drive traffic directly to my blog). Titled the pin ‘How to Create a Website with WordPress’ (see the keywords there?) then added the following pin description:
‘Learn how to create your first wordpress website. Set up website security, design graphics, choose a website theme and launch your blog. Read my honest review of the free 5 day website challenge.’ (see how I took advantage of using even more keywords people may be searching for?)
To be completely honest, after I pinned that link I kind of forgot about it. I was focused on continuing to grow my Pinterest account, creating images for my other blog posts and pinning valuable content.
About two weeks after pinning that link, I started receiving some Pinterest notifications that people were repining and clicking on that specific pin. I checked my Google Analytics and saw that my traffic had gone from ZERO to 30 with all referrals coming from Pinterest.
At the end of the month, I logged into my affiliate dashboard for Shannon’s site and saw this:
Holy crap….it actually works! I jumped up and did a happy dance right there in my kitchen.
Because I stepped out of my comfort zone and was willing to invest in my business, the return was something I never imagined. I’d earned back more than double what it cost to enroll in the course.
From there I signed up for 4 more affiliate programs. But, these weren’t the big name affiliate programs like ShareASale and AWIN. I will only promote products I’ve personally used, from sellers I trust and value. For example: Creative Market which is where I purchase some of my blog photos and social media graphics from. I also reached out to other bloggers whose courses I’ve taken and asked if they had an affiliate program which most did.
By implementing everything from “How I Made My First Affiliate Sale in 24 Hours” and signing up for 4 individual affiliate programs I’ve been able to make affiliate sales daily.
Proof You Can Drive Traffic and Earn Money Blogging from the Start
In case you need a little more proof, here’s a few screenshots of my Pinterest Account before and after taking the ecourse
Before taking the ecourse (brand new Pinterest for Business Account)
After taking the ecourse
I made the decision to change my account name from my business name to my personal name. This was a personal choice as I may rebrand some day and decided it was best to have a neutral account name.
With a Pinterest for Business account you’ll get access to analytics. The analytics are super helpful to learn which pins are top performers and which boards are getting a lot of views. This information will help you create more valuable pins and can help you come up with new blog post ideas.
My first popular pin
I purchased the ecourse on November 26, 2018. You can see that this pin was published on December 10, 2018. Using everything I learned in the course to create this pin from the graphic to the keywords to the board placement.
In just 17 days, this pin has gained me 25 new visitors to my website. If 25 visitors doesn’t seem like much, think about 5 pins all getting 25 clicks, that’s 125 visitors to your site just from Pinterest. Probably a lot more traffic than you could get as a beginner trying to rank in Google.
Once you get someone on your blog offer them an amazing opt-in freebie to get them on your subscriber list. From there, you’ll have a direct line of communication to continue promoting (without being spammy) more affiliate links and your own products/services. Win-win
Here is exactly what I did during these 30 days so you can see the work that went into making this happen:
- implemented every step of the How to Make Your First Affiliate Sale in 24 Hours ecourse
- manually repinned on average 25 pins/day (after reading the post to verify the content was helpful)
- started following people in similar niches
- optimized my profile, boards and pins
- pinned any blog posts I found helpful from Google searches (pinning directly from the blog post allowed me to track the analytics from the pin)
- created Pinterest images for each of my own blog posts and uploaded link
- joined 2 affiliate programs
- joined one group board
I’ve just started using Tailwind so I can spend less time pinning and more time creating valuable content. Now that the upfront work has been put in to optimize my profile, boards and pins I’m ready to hit the autopilot button.
If you’re interested in learning a little more about Affiliate Marketing read on.
What is Affiliate Marketing?
Affiliate Marketing is when you promote a product/service to your audience and earn a commission for every referral sale. There is no additional charge to purchasers and you get to share products you love.
Example: Recently I was searching for a tripod that I could use with my phone to record videos and take pictures. I’d reached out to a few trusted bloggers and received some recommendations. One of these bloggers had a link on their site to their favorite tripod available on Amazon. I clicked on her link and purchased the product. Because I used her specific link, she earned a small commission from the sale. It didn’t cost me anything extra, I got a product I’m now obsessed with and my purchase supported a fellow blogger.
How to Become an Affiliate
Think of products you’ve purchased in the past. If you’ve purchased any courses or ebooks ask the owner if they have an affiliate program you can join. When you send your inquiry explain how the product benefited you and let them know why you want to promote it to your audience. This could help you get approved for their affiliate program if they have one.
Check out some of the more popular affiliate networks such as:
- Amazon Associates
- Commission Junction
- Rakuten (Linkshare)
These larger affiliate networks require a formal application. They’ll want to know how you plan to promote the products (blog, social media, review sites etc.). Do your research – I can’t stress this enough. Ensure all programs you’re applying to fit with your niche. Don’t choose an affiliate program based on profits, your goal should be to provide value to your target audience. Each program will have its own set of rules you must abide by.
I personally have not applied to any large affiliate programs other than Amazon Associates. I ONLY promote products I have personally used and found helpful, or from sellers whom I’ve purchased from in the past.
Affiliate marketing isn’t a get rich quick scheme and should never be used to trick someone into making a purchase. If you decide to promote a product you haven’t personally used you could be putting your reputation on the line.
How to Promote Affiliate Links on Pinterest
There are two ways you can promote affiliate links on Pinterest.
- Link directly to the product using your affiliate link
- Link to your blog article about the product
I highly recommend using the second option. By linking back to your blog you’ll be driving traffic to your site. This is what you want. Once someone is on your page you can then promote your email list and other blog posts – win-win.
Create an Attractive Graphic
Some affiliate programs provide their own graphics but you’ll want to consider making your own. You can use the free or paid version of Canva to make your own. Canva has a ton of free Pinterest templates. If you’re not comfortable with designing graphics in Canva I highly suggest checking out ‘Got a Crush on Canva’ course by Lady Boss Studio. In this comprehensive course you’ll learn everything you need to create stunning graphics that get noticed.
Use Keyword Rich Descriptions
Pinterest is a visual Search Engine, not a Social Media site. This means keywords are a MUST to get noticed. Think about the article/product you are going to promote. If you were to search for this in Google what would you type in?
As you saw in the example above, when I was promoting Shannon’s free 5 Day Website Challenge I used the following keywords
- How to Create your First Website
- Website security
- Design graphics
- Launch your blog
- Website theme
These are all terms someone looking to create a website/blog may search for which means my pin has a good chance of showing up in their search. Getting your pin seen on Pinterest is a lot easier than ranking on the first page of Google.
Add Your Affiliate Link
Pinterest does not allow shortened links, you have to post the full (long and ugly) link. If your goal is to drive traffic to your blog find a way to incorporate the product into a blog post. Some affiliate programs allow you to link directly to the product but not Amazon Associates. Meaning you can’t upload a link to an Amazon product directly on Pinterest.
So that’s your basic introduction on how you can use Pinterest to grow and monetize your blog. I hope you’ve found this information helpful.
Don’t forget, sharing is caring. If you found this article helpful please pin it. Even better, let’s become Pinterest followers (in a non stalkerish way).