So you want to learn how to make money online? Well, you have come to the right place. This is a step-by-step guide on setting up an affiliate marketing business that leverages free Pinterest marketing to drive sales. I am going to show you how to set up this business without needing a website as well as what you can do if you do have a website.
What is affiliate marketing?
Affiliate marketing is a way to make money by advertising the products and services of other businesses.
For example, Amazon has an affiliate marketing program. Amazon gives you a unique link to share and when someone clicks on that link and makes a purchase, you get a percentage of that sale. This percentage varies between affiliate programs but is normally 5-50% of a sale.
How to set up an affiliate marketing business
In this post, we are going to set up an affiliate marketing business by following these steps:
Step 1: Find the perfect nice to target on Pinterest
Step 2: Find an affiliate product to sell
Step 3: Setup landing pages for your products
Step 4: Generate Pinterest pins for your products with Pin Generator
Now watch the traffic roll into your site, and your affiliate sales grow!
Feel free to copy this business plan step for step if you like.
Step 1 – Finding the perfect Pinterest niche
Not every niche is as effective as the next on Pinterest
The top 10 most popular Pinterest niches are:
- Home decor
- DIY and crafts
Here you will trending categories and the region they are trending in. I am targeting the USA so we have that region selected. I chose the USA as most of Pinterest’s are from the USA.
After browsing the trends page for a while, I decided that the product I’m going to select is sunglasses which falls into the fashion niche.
I think that this is a common product that lots of people will be searching for, year in and year out. This is called an “evergreen” product as it will always be relevant unlike a passing trend such as fidget spinners.
An evergreen product is one of the best choices as we can reliably expect people to be buying glasses all year round, especially in summer. Unless some crazy happens like aliens coming to visit Earth and steal everyone’s eyes (Low probability).
Step 2 – Find an affiliate product to sell
Now that we know that we want to market sunglasses on Pinterest, we need to find an affiliate program that will give a slice of the pie when a sale is made.
Simply Google the product you want to sell and include the words “affiliate program” and more often than not, there will be an affiliate program out there to suit your needs.
In my case, a search for “sunglasses affiliate program” found many search results, even advertised ones!
I decided to go with Olwen sunglasses. You can sign up for their affiliate program here.
They offer a 30% commission for every sale that you send their way which is a pretty good slice of the pie.
So sign up for the affiliate program and get your affiliate code. This program also gives you a discount code to share with your audience to incentivize them to make a purchase.
How to create an affiliate code for any page on the affiliate program
Now that you have your affiliate code, you can select products to sell. Find whatever product you want to sell and copy the link to the product. These Navigator sunglasses that I have selected below are perfect:
The link to this product is this:
In order to be tracked by their affiliate program, I will need to insert the affiliate tag onto the end URL. My affiliate tag is this section at the end of the URL:
Copy everything, starting at the question mark to the end.
After adding this to my URL it will look like this:
Can I put an affiliate link directly into a Pinterest pin?
Yes, you can, BUT, there are many reports of some direct links to affiliate programs being rejected by Pinterest. So we have two options here:
Step 3: Choose whether to link directly to our affiliate or set up landing pages
Link directly to affiliates from Pinterest pins
Link to landing pages, which then link out to the affiliate.
Option two is more work but has the added bonus of getting the user to your website. This means you can serve adverts on that site and collect another stream of revenue.
I use Ezoic to automatically place ads on my website. It’s free and can start earning you money on your website instantly.
By having a stand-alone website, you can also get organic Google Search traffic to your site which is another stream of traffic that adds to your affiliate sales.
You can also start a mailing list on your website so that you can contact users directly with great affiliate deals.
So instead of having one traffic source from Pinterest, you now have 3 traffic sources: Pinterest, Google Search, and mailing lists.
Can I use a URL shortener for my outbound links on Pinterest?
No. It is against Pinterest’s policy to use any link shortener.
Can I use Amazon affiliate links on Pinterest pins?
Yes, you can link directly to Amazon products on Pinterest. This is another great affiliate program to market on Pinterest although their commissions have been reduced dramatically over the years.
Commissions are at around 4% at the time of this writing. However, Amazon links have a really good conversion rate, which is one of the reasons that people keep promoting Amazon products.
Option 1: Linking directly to affiliate links on Pinterest
This is a much quicker method, but you will have to keep an eye on your pins to see that Pinterest doesn’t remove any.
Step 4: Generate Pinterest Pins
Simply take the URL of the product or page that you want to advertise from your affiliate program. For me, it is these Oversized Navigator Sunglasses. Make sure that the link to your affiliate products has your affiliate tag in it like this: https://olwensunglasses.com/collections/sunglasses/products/polarized-navigator-sunglasses?ref=84IMwnvp
Now take this link and paste it into Pin Generator.
Now you can generate Pinterest pins instantly from the link. Pin Generator will get the page’s title, description, and images and turn them into Pinterest pins.
Now we have a whole bunch of Pinterest pins that we can pin directly to our Pinterest boards, or schedule to be pinned later.
My strategy is to set up 20-30 pins to be posted each day for various products and pages. To schedule, your pins click the clock icon below the image or, go to the bulk actions section in the left-hand sidebar and schedule all the pins on the screen at once.
It’s always a good idea to be creating pins for many different products and pages so that Pinterest doesn’t think you are a spammer.
A great way to ensure that your pins are shuffled well so that pins with the same outbound URL as spaced as far apart is to use the “Smart Shuffle” button on the scheduling page of Pin Generator.
Pinterest likes it when you space pins with the same outbound link apart. It is better to pin 20 pins that have outbound links to 5-10 different products than to pin 20 pins all to the same outbound link.
So now you have your affiliate pins set up and scheduled and all you have to do now is wait for the affiliate sales to come in!
Option 2 – Create your own landing pages for products
For this, you will need your own website or shopfront.
I use WordPress to create any websites I need. It is free and really easy to use and really powerful once you get to know it. With the WooCommerce plugin, creating a store is super easy and quick.
Of course, in order to show your website to the world, you will need to host the website online. I host all my websites with Siteground. It’s fast, secure, and has great customer support. They also have a massive discount of 69% off at the moment. (Nice)
If you need a website, what this tutorial on how to create a website in 2 minutes:
Now that you have a basic website, you can set up the products that you want to list in WooCommerce.
Set up landing pages for your products
Use the right images for your affiliate products
Simply, use the photos from your affiliate partner’s website for your products on your website. Be sure to check that you are allowed to use the images on the affiliate partner’s website as sometimes affiliates have special rules.
For example, Amazon wants you to only use their images by using the links they provide to the images.
Most affiliates will supply you with images or be okay with you using the images on their website.
Write a great title and description for your product
This is super important as this will be used by Google to send organic Google search traffic to your site. So if you have good SEO in your title and description then you will get more traffic. And we all know that traffic = sales.
Automate your titles and descriptions
If you are uploading LOADS of affiliate products and want to automate the writing of titles and descriptions, I recommend using Jasper which is an AI writing tool that can write perfectly SEO-friendly titles and descriptions for you in a flash.
I use Jasper for my personal affiliate sites and it saves me TONS of time.
Add your affiliate link to the outbound link of your Woocommerce product
Now you need to ensure that your product on WooCommerce has an outbound link to your affiliate product.
Firstly add a new WooCommerce product and select the “External/Affiliate product” type. They set you product URL and price. Do this on the Woocommerce product general tab here:
Get a custom domain for your website
In order to increase trust with your customer, I advise that you use a custom domain for your website. This makes people feel more confident using your website. You can get really cheap domain names with Namecheap.
Generate pins for your landing pages
Now that your landing pages are set up, you can take the URL of your own loading pages and put them into Pin Generator, just as we did in Step 4. Generate a schedule
So now that you have your site set up, you are good to go!
Make sure that you have a constant pipeline full of Pinterest pins so that your traffic keeps growing on Pinterest. It doesn’t happen all at once, you have to slowly build it up to a critical mass.
Good luck and feel free to ask any questions in the comments!