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How to Sell Affiliate Products on Pinterest

This guest post is by Krizia of CreateProfitableVideos.com.

Since I’m not a creative entrepreneur or blogger, I’m not able to benefit from the great opportunity to sell my products on Pinterest.

I define “creative entrepreneurs or bloggers” as the jewelry designers, accessory designers, interior decorators, kitchen supply shops, and photographers who are dominating Pinterest and have seen their sales skyrocket.

I could feature some of my online training programs, coaching sessions, and service packages, but that just isn’t as sexy or interesting as many of the hottest products sold on Pinterest.

Pinterest encourages commerce on the site, and that’s a rarity among social media platforms. They make it easy for you the vendor to market a product and they also make it easy for users to find products they might be interested in buying.

So I decided to repurpose a feature that my assistant was already adding to each new video interview on my Women Entrepreneurs HQ online show. For the show, I interview successful entrepreneurs. When we feature them, I always ask for the last book they’ve read, and the book that was the most instrumental in their lives.

My assistant features those books via my Amazon affiliate link. We use those Amazon features on Pinterest, and because I’ve asked my assistant to add the price of each book, all my additions are now part of the Pinterest Gifts page—and they’re categorized by price.

This is a brilliant way for non-creative bloggers and entrepreneurs to take advantage of Pinterest’s commerce-friendly features.

I know it might sound complicated, but I can assure you that adding affiliate products to Pinterest is super-easy. I’ve removed all the guesswork for you by detailing step-by-step how you can add your own affiliate products to Pinterest to boost your affiliate commissions.

Before I get started, I want to show you where all the Gifts are featured on Pinterest, because this will give you a good idea of the power of this feature.

Where to find gifts featured on Pinterest

When you sign into your account, you’ll want to click on the Pinterest logo to land on your homepage, featuring the latest pins from people you follow. On your homepage, you’ll notice a Gift tab at the top of the Pinterest site:
pinterest 1

When you click on the dropdown button, you can select gifts by price range, or you can click and select to view all the latest products for sale added by users:

pinterest 6

You’ll notice that all products have price tags. This means users know the price of a product before clicking on the photo to find out more (I’ve added red arrows to show you where the price appears):

pinterest 3

How to add your first affiliate product to Pinterest

Now, let’s take a look at how you can add your own affiliate products to Pinterest.

1. Categorize your affiliate products by creating separate boards

Right now, I have one board for my Amazon books and another board for products related to video marketing and I intend on adding more boards as I add more affiliate products.

2. Add a new board

To add a new board you’ll first need to click on the Add button at the top of your homepage.
pinterest 4

3. Select Create a board

create a board

4. Name your board

Make sure the name is search engine friendly. It might be tempting to use a “cutesy” name, but remember that Pinterest is a search engine, and optimized boards can show up on Google search results. I’ve selected to name my board Books for Success.

books for success

How to optimize Pinterest to get more traffic and clicks to your affiliate product

description

6. Add your URL

Don’t forgot to always add your URL to everything you pin on Pinterest so people can find your blog. Since each additional pin contains my affiliate links, I’ve added the URL to one of my main sites in the description box.

pinterest 9

Upload your affiliate product to a Pinterest board

7. Upload a pin

Instead of adding a pin (because you need to include your affiliate link), you’ll need to upload a pin—that is, a photo—from your computer:

pinterest 7

pinterest 10

8. Select the right board

You now need to select the appropriate board … in other words, the board you just created for all these affiliate products. So I’ll select the Books for Success board:

pinterest 11

10. Add a description and URL

You now need to add a description and add the URL to where you want people to land or your affiliate link. Although you’re allowed 500 words, keep the description short and sweet because you want to make sure your affiliate link or the link to your main site shows up:

pinterest 12

11. Point people to your blog via a URL and hide your affiliate link behind the image

In order to add your affiliate link behind the image, you’ll need to go back and edit the pin you just uploaded. You can add your affiliate link inside the description box, but if you do, you’ll want to make sure it’s “cloacked” (aka masked) or you’ll want to use the services of a link shortener like bit.ly.

If you add a long “affiliate” URL that screams “affiliate link!” it’s unlikely anyone will click on it:

pinterest 13

12. Edit your pin

In order to add an affiliate link behind the image—and one that will be accessible every time someone clicks on the image—you’ll need to edit the pin you just uploaded. Once you click on the red Pint It button, you’ll be redirected to a page where you can edit the pin:

pinterest 14

How to add your affiliate link to Pinterest

13. Add your link

This part’s easy: you’ll simply need to add your affiliate link inside the Link box. This will allow the image you uploaded to be fully clickable, and it’ll automatically redirect Pinterest users to any product or service you’re promoting via your affiliate link.

pinterest 15

14. Add your product to Gifts

In order to get you product added to the Gifts page, and to get those cool little price tags featured on your pin, you simply need to add the price to the description box:

pinterest 16

15. The price appears

The second Pinterest’s search engine recognizes you’ve added a price and the dollar sign, it will automatically add the cool price in the upper left corner of your image:

pinterest 17

16. Within a few seconds, your new pin, containing your affiliate link, will be featured on the homepage of every one of your followers:

pinterest 18

I’ve noticed that it’s hard to tell how long it will take for pins with price tags to appear under the Gifts category, because there are so many new additions going up all the time. That said, your pin is automatically added to the homepage of your followers!

There are quite a few little steps to adding affiliate products to our Pinterest profile, but as you can see, it’s quite easy.

In my example, I’ve used an Amazon product and I used my Amazon affiliate link, but you can use the same logic for pretty much any product. The advantage with Amazon is that you could actually include the affiliate link as it appears in the description box without putting off viewers, because everyone has come to associate Amazon with quality!

If you haven’t yet explored adding affiliate products to Pinterest, I encourage you to get started. It’s a great way for bloggers to increase sales of affiliate products, and it’s also a great way to increase the visibility of your blog among Pinterest users!

Krizia (aka Miss K), is an Entrepreneur, Video Marketing Strategist, Video Show Host, Video Blogger, Speaker and International Author! Krizia launched http://www.CreateProfitableVideos.com to help entrepreneurs create AMAZING and IMPACTFUL video messages and discover How to Use video to Attract MORE Clients, Sales and Profits!

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Comments

  1. Jeff Carson says:

    Krizia, great tutorial! Man, I gotta get on Pinterest lol.

  2. Thank you for this short tutorial. I will try it soon! :)
    Before this, I searched some step to sell on Pinterest also. But, somehow, I found that this is one of the best tutorial in my collection. Thumbs up!

  3. Soooo… what about skimlinks that they use.. pretty sure that changes even your aff links to theirs. Thought that was the big freak out over pinterest a little while back.

  4. I have heard loads of stuff on Pinterest but seriously never heard something like that, I’m going to land on Pinterest now till I create one board there for my Amazon & other affiliates.

    It was an awesome tutorial btw I’d be super excited if you have posted the same in my blog. :)

    Anyways, you seem to be a video girl how come you landed to Pinterest? It’s a image friend site I guess?

  5. Jesper Bram says:

    Thanks to Miss K for the very thorough guide. Never thought of that. Just started a list of my favorite lowbrow art books. http://pinterest.com/mrbram/best-lowbrow-art-books-on-the-planet/. Looking forward to see the response.

  6. John says:

    Cool post – I gave it a try with one image and noticed that Pinterest has at least one measure in place to stop this from being too effecting.

    When you click on an image with an affiliate link you seem to get a warning message that reads “Warning this link redirects visitors to another site – it may link to spam or other inappropriate content.” Then gives the user the option to go back to Pinterest, continue through to the link, or get more info.

    I could see this scaring some people off, but it’s definitely something worth trying out at least in the short term.

  7. Justin Mazza says:

    Good one here. I have been experimenting a lot with Pinterest lately but I had no idea that they were commerce friendly. Thanks for giving me some good ideas. :)

  8. Amy Hagerup says:

    This is great and so clear! Thanks for paving the way for us to go forward on Pinterest! Blessings, Amy

  9. Thank you Krizia,
    Like the info I have just started on Pinterest couple months ago and have a 3 boards. Must do some more work on them. Signed up for your Video webinar looks like an interesting concept (webinar).

  10. Awesome tutorial! I can’t wait to set up a couple of boards. I am wondering though, how are these links being disclosed as affiliate?

    • TNR says:

      Seconded. Affiliate links are slightly problematic on Pinterest and the whole platform is flying a little under the radar with FTC guidelines. I would assume that just like hosting affiliate links on your blog, you’d need to disclose somehow that these books are not your personal products but are still making you money, even if it is just a few pennies here and there.

      What you’re doing, while executed well, is a little different than some of the examples you’ve shown here with Etsy links, and it’s different than, say, a brand re-directing back to their own products. Thoughts?

  11. Ocha says:

    I’ve been poking around on Pintrest for a few months now but have never actually looked at the gifts tab. I followed your tutorial and got my first “gift” board up and running with a couple affiliate books. After a couple of minor adjustments, I managed to get the hang of it quickly. Your instruction has made it easy and anyone should be able to take advantage of this in short order.

    I’m glad I read this one.

  12. Wow! Now I’m expecting a good amount of traffic and from sales.

    The good part is that we can directly use the affiliate link (legally?) in the description of pin.

    Thanks for the quick tutorial!

  13. Richard Ng says:

    Wow! A great tips and tricks on how to use Pinterest for affiliate products. Thanks for the sharing.

    Just curious, what is your result/experience in selling affiliate products through Pinterest so far i.e. does it really work?

    Thanks in advanced.

  14. Aditi Datta says:

    Thanks Krizia for the detailed process that you have highlighted on Pinterest. Pinterest has really gained a lot of important among people and specially with women followers as most of the pins relates to fashion. Pins are the main content of Pinterest. Doing appropriate pin relating to the board is definitely important. I have been using Pinterest for a long time and it definitely helps me a lot. I must appreciate the steps that you have highlighted in Pinterest, the process of pinning your content. I feel this is important and it would definitely be a great help for all new Pinterest users. Thanks for the share!!

  15. Really outstanding tutorial. Surely I will experiment with Pinterest and try to make myself internet marketing expert. Thanks lot giving me a valuable idea n suggestion.

  16. John G says:

    Hey Krizia,

    I agree with the above tips you have given but it also depends upon the type of business you are in.You need to be in the business that interests more and more people.One of the tips I would like to share for those who have less followers is that they join a board that allows guest pinning (i.e you can post in some other’s board with large number of followers) .Post some interesting infographics (not everytime related to you niche but something that interests people).And occasionally post something related to your product.In this way your product would be visible to your potential customers and also you will get more followers.

  17. Pat says:

    What a great post. First one I’ve seen with screen shots and truly clear instructions for those of us who are willing…but not technically adept. Thanks for sharing this one. Will be adding my Kindle book – mystery story for 8-11 year old girls – to my Pinterest boards!

  18. It’s funny, pintrest has been on my mind a lot lately. I don’t use it, but I know it’s HUGE.

    I’m starting to see posts on Facebook saying things like “I’m starting to use and love Pintrest more than Facebook”

    Zuckerberg might want to cash out??? :)

  19. Joi says:

    Outstanding information! Pinterest is the bee’s knees. I’ve actually gotten advertising deals as a result of my wild, relentless pinning. Somehow I had never thought of adding urls to my websites/blogs on the category page before.

    Needless to say, I just got through doing just that. Thanks so much for the tip.

  20. Erin says:

    I just tried this with StudioPress’s affiliate links, and just get an error message when the pin is clicked saying there’s a problem with the URL. =\

  21. David Lawyer says:

    Fantastic post. I have been on Pinterest since the very beginning and have often wondered on ways to leverage the great traffic that goes thru the site. I will definitely give your instruction a whirl and see what comes. Thanks.

  22. This is the second Pinterest post I’ve read from you on here and I am getting more and more (p)interested in it!

    Haha, but seriously this is a great technique that could really generate some awesome results! If I had more of a following on there, I am sure the benefits would be greater.

    Thanks a bunch,
    -Gabe

  23. Thomas says:

    Thank you for taking the time to write this brilliant tutorial. I’ll add Pinterest to my list.

  24. Abhijit says:

    Did not work for me. The affiliate tags got removed on visiting Amazon. I do land on the proper Amazon page, but my affiliate tag is missing. Interestingly the tag is still there when I edit the pin on Pinterest. So it looks Pinterest removes the affiliate tag while transferring the visitors over the Amazon.

  25. Cath says:

    Thanks for the helpful information. As always, reading tutorials like yours is a great time-saver and explained in lay-men’s terms! Been using Pinterest for a while but only just noticed the ‘Gifts’ section, duh… Cath

  26. Ken Schultz says:

    Does anyone know if the price must include a $ ?

    Or can it also be used with € (euro) or a local currency?

  27. Daniel Hill says:

    Pinterest is social network like facebook twitter & myspace as well as Pinterest is large social network community & imillions user’s are connect with this larg network & Most of people have just create & jon Pinterest to sell their products on Pinterest because of Pinterest is a large network to buy or sell products.I am very glad of you because you share a such a nice method to sell products on Pinterest.

  28. Jon says:

    I am wondering though, how are these links being disclosed as affiliate?

  29. Liked your approach of using Pinterest but selling a product can be done here but how we can sell a service? Well, Pinterest is really dragged lot of traffic to my business site but conversion was very low and that propelled me to look for some other place better marketing.

  30. Angel says:

    Bad and antiqued post. Pinterest stopped this practice.
    Pinterest rewrites affiliate urls. I tried what you tell and my board was censured for affiliate urls.
    Before writing a post, document better and don´t sell smoke!

    • I was going to say something similar but not quite as rudely.

      Pinterest now strips affiliate links ESPECIALLY the ones from Amazon. If you noticed when you click through, your affiliate link part is missing. Also, Bitly links are coded as spam and they do not allow you to pin them.

      The only affiliate links I have found thus far that will still pin (or that you can add as a pin) are ejunkie but some will give you the redirect/possible spam message.

      I have been successful at pinning products and using my personal url in the item description. So far, they have not eliminated our ability to do that.

      Another idea is to create a “gifts” or “favorites” blog, which I did, and then pin those posts. It is an added step and not as convenient but it works.

    • Angel,

      We add amazon books weekly on pinterest and our account has not been shut down

    • Angel,

      I never sell smoke. I test and retest before writing these types of posts.

  31. Jessica says:

    Great Tip, I will use this tip to sell my some clothing products ;)

  32. Mark says:

    Thank you for the detailed instructions on using pinterest. I’m new to pinterest and felt somewhat lost as to harnessing its power. Although i dont use affiliate links. i do use it for my own business and find much of your post applicable still. what can i say im visual :) Again thanks for taking the time to put up the visual aids.

  33. Ving says:

    Anyone seen this from Business Insider that says Pinterest doesn’t generate a lot of sales: http://www.businessinsider.com/zappos-labs-pinterest-monetize-2012-8?op=1

  34. It would appear Pinterest started stripping the affiliate tracking info from Amazon links earlier this year. I tried it a bit ago, and it does indeed strip my link. Do you not find that it strips your affiliate tracking info?

  35. siddharth says:

    Dear Krizia,

    Thanks a million for this detailed informative post. How generous you are!!!!

    It is to inform that, i do not see my pins on the site, i see them only when am signed in. What could be the problem.

    Further, would appreciate, if you could explain way to get followers.

    Thanks once again,
    [email protected]

  36. Would someone click on the caption text link instead of the photo thinking that was how to buy the product?

  37. Nizam Khan says:

    Wow! This is just awesome, I was searching for it. This guide is really detailed and easy to follow. Thanks a lot for sharing :)

  38. Compare says:

    I use pinterest site for my jewelry site and it is working very fine. The sale has been increase by double. It is really very useful as most of the user of pinterest are womens.

  39. Clarkmartin says:

    Excellent Post. Thanks for this lens about Pinterest. I’m thinking about using it to generate more traffic to my lenses and blogs. I have posted a few of my Squidoo articles as well as some on Pinterest, but I had not thought to do it through affiliate links means. Thanks for share it.