How to Make Money on Pinterest: The Ultimate Guide for Beginners

By Shane Dayton |

Instagram tends to be the picture-based social media platform that gets all the love. However, you're doing yourself a major disservice if you're ignoring Pinterest. You might need to go to Instagram to see your favorite celebrity or “Instagram influencer,” but there are some serious ways to make money using Pinterest.

Many marketers absolutely love Pinterest. One thing that really sticks out is just how many different website owners and niche site owners have made this work. There are some amazing options, strategies, and possibilities that come with Pinterest that don't exist in other places. Pinterest has a reputation for being one of those rare social media platforms where visitors are more than happy to follow a good set of pictures to a website and become buying traffic.

In other words, you don't have to dive into paid ads to make Pinterest really work for you. If you find that you love Pinterest, then why not take a look at what it can do for you and your online earnings?

What You Need to Know about Pinterest

There are a few things we need to hit on real quick when you're looking at Pinterest. Many people look at Pinterest the wrong way and that can doom your efforts from the start. One is to realize that while building authority and a following is absolutely important, Pinterest is as much search engine as social media site.

Using solid SEO tactics when creating descriptions for your boards, your pins, and even your profile will make it much more likely that each of your pins will be found by visitors and drive traffic to the platforms where you turn visitors into income.

The scattershot method isn't the way to go here. You need to understand the ways that Pinterest works as a platform if you are going to have any hope of learning how to make money on Pinterest. Once you have a solid foundation down you can use Pinterest, set up affiliate links, and create revenue from your work. Then repeat and go from there. Believe it or not you can get paid to create pins!

How to Actually Make Money on Pinterest

There are plenty of people making a lot of money on Pinterest, but they treat Pinterest very differently from those people who aren't seeing the same level of success. The key is to set up your own blog, monetize it, and use Pinterest as a picture-based search engine to drive large amounts of traffic to your blog.

This allows you to create a source of traffic that you already have trust with and who are familiar with your account. This also makes that traffic much more likely to take action or buy from you.

This means that you do need to know how to make money online. Websites focused on affiliate marketing are one of the most common strategies for making this work. This gives you an online property you can monetize in many ways.

When people are talking about making money on Pinterest this is almost certainly what they mean. They use Pinterest to get attention and drive traffic. Then they make money on their blog with that traffic.

Step 1: Start Your Blog

If you already have a good blog set up and monetized, then great! You're already a little bit ahead of the game. If not, then you definitely want to learn how to start a blog before you really ramp up the Pinterest efforts. While this does take some up-front investment, you might be surprised how little you really need to pay in order to start a money making blog.

If you're just starting out, go with inexpensive reliable hosting. This gives you control over your own website. If you get enough traffic so you need even better (and much more expensive) hosting then you can always do that later. In the beginning inexpensive but reliable hosting like from Bluehost is perfect and keeps the costs down.

You want, no scratch that, you NEED control over your own website. Go with Bluehost. Do NOT go on “free to blog” platforms like (not the same as bloggers who talk about WordPress websites) or Blogger.

If you go with one of those free options, you won't have the ability to monetize. You also don't have the same full control over your own site. Just don't waste time going in a different direction.

Learn How to Start a Blog Right Here

Step 2: Create A Quality Blog

Creating a quality blog that can help you make money online involves a few different steps. The first one is deciding what niche you're going to focus on. This should be the same topic that you focus on your Pinterest account with.

Will it be travel? Sports? The great outdoors? Basement remodeling, lawn care, woodworking, or some other niche? There are plenty of options out there. Pick something you're interested in and make sure both your website and Pinterest focus on that same topic.

A quality blog will have several features that make it stick out from the rest. A lot of these are the same things that Google looks for when judging what content to rank. The blog will focus on a specific area that builds authority. There will be multiple articles that provide quality in-depth content.

This isn't just quantity. 5,000 words of fluff doesn't help you at all. Your articles need to have great information, be trustworthy, and easy to read and understand. Concentrate on building one of the absolute best resources out there on your niche and you will be on the right track.

If you don't know where to start think about creating step by step blog posts answering common questions people have. Then create some large in-depth authority posts.

If you need help with this step, Authority Hacker's Authority Site System is a great paid resource to help speed up this process and make you a quality content producing machine!

Step 3: Monetize Your Blog

Just to make it clear: there's a BIG gap between step two and step three. You need to have a quality blog with some really seriously good content on it before jumping to how to monetize. Many affiliate programs and display ad providers require a certain amount of traffic before accepting you into the program.

Even those that don't will almost certainly do at least a cursory check on your website. Having a good looking blog with great content will help you fly through the approval process. Concentrating on creating really good blog posts will also help you rank in google and get organic traffic from them, as well.

Once you have that great website with some truly epic posts, then look at how to monetize. With a focus on Pinterest, there are actually several options that can work well. Affiliate marketing and display ads are both going to be popular options. This makes sense since they are both really easy and effective ways to earn money from your website.

An established website that gets a lot of traffic from Pinterest offers other options, as well. While affiliate sales and display ad income is nice, there are other ways to make time on Pinterest pay off handsomely.

Pinterest consulting is in high demand. There are plenty of online marketers and even companies looking to hire a skilled Pinterest VA. Improving the on-site Pinterest presence of other accounts or even teaching Pinterest strategies are other options.

There's more details on these down below, but this shows you just how many opportunities there are! Don't pigeonhole yourself when it comes to options for making money off of a thriving Pinterest account.

Check the section “7 Ways to Make Money on Pinterest” further down the page to go into more detail. This section just gives you an overview of your options.

Ready to get started?  You can get a free domain name when you register for Bluehost hosting right here!

Step 4: Create a Business Pinterest Account

Don't make the mistake of creating a personal Pinterest account on this step. Signing up for a business account keeps everything above board. You won't be making money on Pinterest for long if your account gets banned for violating the rules!

Signing up for a business Pinterest account is easy, free, and gives you access to a lot of great information. This includes traffic, analytics, and Pinterest's information on which of your pins are doing best. There's a lot of information available at your fingertips.

Once you sign up from the account you will be given instructions to “claim your website.” This links your blog and your presence on Pinterest. This is a step you shouldn't skip. Don't worry, they make it ridiculously easy.

Set up your profile. This includes a snappy little bio that includes important relevant keywords. This will tell Pinterest what your profile is about and what search terms should point to your account. This helps other Pinterest users find your relevant pictures and pins.

It doesn't take long to create a good account profile. This is an important step and one that will really pay off if you do it right.

Step 5: Building Your Pinterest Traffic Machine

Once the website is set to go and the profile to your business Pinterest account is properly set up, all that's left is building that Pinterest traffic machine. Granted, easier said then done. The good news is that this is actually far simpler than many people believe.

This is where the step-by-step process of understanding Pinterest comes into play. Read on in the next section to learn how to go from Pinterest novice to professional!

Pinterest analytics screenshot
Not a bad start, but we can do better…

Creating a Killer Pinterest Account

The first step is getting a lot of experience using this social media site. The best teacher is experience. If you want to master Pinterest you need to go through being a beginner and learn your stuff first hand. Every website or online platform is a little bit different. Learning what the people who spend a lot of time on Pinterest are looking for (and what they aren't).

This type of insight not only helps you create better pins that will attract attention and shares, but also teach you what to avoid. Learn how the online environment works.

Understanding the Basics of Pinterest

Getting started means learning the basics. Posting pictures here is done by creating boards and pins. Pins are the individual pictures. Boards represent a collection of related pictures. So for a travel based account a board might be titled “Portland Oregon Nature Pictures.” Every picture taken and uploaded to Pinterest on this board is considered an individual pin.

This allows you to not only organize your pictures, but encourages visitors to Pinterest who like one picture or topic to look at many others. That way you don't get a person who looks at one picture and leaves, but looks at a number of your pins.

This is also why quality matters. A good collection of pins on a board can lead to people following you, re-visiting your page, and makes them much more likely to go through to your website. Quality boards full of great pins are one of the fastest ways to build authority in your niche.

Numbers matter, but you are far better off with just a few really great boards versus a large number of mediocre ones. Having ugly or mediocre pictures can really hurt your efforts on Pinterest.

If you can provide a lot of boards, all full of great pins, then you're really taking off. The combination of quantity with quality really makes all the difference. Don't be intimidated by creating boards. Pinterest does a great job making it idiot proof.

Create Pinterest Board
Pretty idiot proof.

Strengthening Your Pinterest Account

Making your Pinterest account as strong and effective as possible isn't easy, but a few simple steps are all you need to follow to see results over time. One of the first things: don't underestimate the power of first-hand experience and authority.

When you're reading someone's blog, you've probably noticed some are just more trustworthy than others. If someone is giving recipes after 40 years of cooking, you feel excited to try out that new dessert. If someone is doing a backpacking gear review and says “I hiked the entire PCT with this,” then you trust their opinion on that brand.

On the other hand, if there's a 50 item list that gives features but never gives any experience using it, you're much less likely to trust that list. The first two examples show the power of first-hand experience. This is part of the reason passion projects and hobby blogs do so well. Because you can speak from your own personal experience and bring a level of trust and expertise to the subject that makes readers/viewers comfortable.

This is why you should look at focusing on niches that you are involved in, interested in, or at least understand. This will help you to understand your audience, what they are looking for, and how to serve them better with your Pinterest page. If you're passionate about your topic, you also will be more likely to build a responsive community.

This will get you return visitors, re-pins, and people sharing your boards with their groups. That type of marketing & support is huge when building up your account so you can make money by driving that Pinterest traffic to your blog.

Great Tools for Pinterest

In the beginning you will want to play around a bit to get the hang of what Pinterest is like. Being comfortable with the platform and understanding how things work is crucial before you start using tools to improve your results.

Canva: A Great Beginner Tool

Right away you'll want to get familiar with Canva. Pins don't have to be unedited pictures. Look at using editing software or tools to add text, highlight, change background, shift color, and more. There are plenty of tools for creating really stunning pins that bring out even more than the original picture ever could.

Canva is a great free tool. It offers plenty of options for editing & changing pictures, adding text, creating collages, and more. The basics are incredibly easy to pick up on and the site offers free Canva tutorials so you can get the most out the tool.

You don't need to be a graphic design expert or tech savvy to take advantage of Canva. This is part of what makes it such a fantastic free tool for helping you make eye-catching, inspirational pins.

Try Out Canva for Free Right Here!

Tailwind App: Powerful Pinterest Tool

The Tailwind App is a great tool for scheduling pins. This takes a little bit of time to set up but can be an incredible time saver in addition to a very effective tool. This allows you to take a bulk bit of time to set up pins for days or even weeks ahead of time.

Being able to automate that process is a major time saver that lets you put out more quality content in less time. In addition, Tailwind also creates “tribes” among its users. This allows influencers to connect, find more interested followers, and reach new audiences in their niche.

There is a free trial period for first-time users but after that this is a subscription tool. However, when properly used it is well worth the cost.

There are multiple free guides for how to get the most out of this app. A major part is going to be having the ability to connect with Tailwind tribes. That extra exposure, as a bonus to an outstanding tool, can do a lot for you and your Pinterest efforts.

Try Tailwind for Free Right Here!

Next Steps

Getting started the right way matters. This is the foundation that your future success (or failure) will be based on. You've set up a great blog with a dozen or more in-depth high quality blog posts, have around the same number of great boards on your Pinterest account, and feel pretty confident about where you are.

So what's next?

The next step comes to actually building authority on Pinterest. You're looking to build a responsive and interactive community. When you have people looking to visit and re-visit your site and share your new boards, that definitely speeds up the process.

You need to create pins, make fantastic boards, and reach out to connect. Don't underestimate the power of group boards. Something many people also underestimate is just how willing many people are willing to help when they have a chance to do so.

This means also spending time early on building authority. This is done through making sure all your boards and individual pins are all excellent. On top of that, look around Pinterest for successful boards in your niche or related niches.

Follow those channels, share some of their best pins or boards, and don't be afraid to reach out. There is a definite community aspect to Pinterest. Being able to make a few connections and show you're an active part of that community will help to get more followers who will do the same for you. As long as you continue to focus on quality then more eyes will mean more shares and more traffic.

You want to post consistently. The channel needs to be active to grow that community of visitors keeping tabs on whenever you add new content. Building that authority makes a huge difference. A tool like Tailwind can definitely help with this part. Especially in being able to set up weeks of scheduled posting in half an hour to an hour.

Each of those pins can have a great description and a link to your website. These links drive the traffic to your website. That's the engine that helps you use Pinterest to earn money on your website.

7 Ways to Make Money on Pinterest

Alright, let's get down to the nitty-gritty then, shall we? Just how do you actually make money with Pinterest? How do you move from traffic to actual revenue? We've got you covered. Here are seven of the best ways we've found to make money with Pinterest.

Afilliate Marketing & Display Ads

Affiliate marketing is a tried and true method for making money off of traffic from Pinterest. When your website is based around the same interests or niche as your Pinterest business account, the traffic from Pinterest is going to be willing to buy from you. You've built the authority and trust to get that type of a response.

You make money off of Pinterest when visitors come to your website and make a purchase. Use affiliate links from the programs that match your niche and the money will come in. While it can be tempting to put an affiliate link directly with a pin, you are generally better off using Pinterest to drive traffic and then make money with affiliate links on your actual website instead.

More on that in a moment.

As for actual affiliate programs to make money with Pinterest, there are countless affiliate programs out there. The Amazon Associates program is one of the easiest to get into and offers something for everyone. This is a great beginning options. Look for higher paying affiliate options with major companies or brands in your niche to help improve the money from your website.

Also consider looking at proven affiliate courses, Clickbank for informational products, and other options. You will have different options available depending on your niche but there's no denying the sheer number of opportunities that are actually out there.

They key is driving the traffic you now have on Pinterest to your blog. If you've taken the time to create a good Pinterest account with many quality boards then you now have traffic you will be able to push towards your website. That's where the actual money making from Pinterest will take place.

One of the best programs for using this method comes from Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing. This not only goes over the step-by-step process of affiliate marketing from a tried and true pro but has a really killer section on using Pinterest to do so.

Pinterest traffic then becomes a very nice compliment to any organic Google traffic you're already getting from your SEO efforts. Or vice-versa.

Try Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing Here

Display Ads

While these are different from affiliate marketing, the tactics are the same and the two often go hand in hand. Many affiliate websites have direct affiliate offers mixed in with display ads. The idea with both is the same. Get quality traffic, and drive it to a monetized blog.

This is part of the reason that the two ways of making money off your blog work so well together. It's also why we're putting them in the same section for making money on Pinterest since the steps and methods are going to be the same.

Google AdSense

The program most people start with is Google AdSense. AdSense is great to start because there are no minimum traffic numbers. This means you can make money of Pinterest even early on because after you set up your website with just a few good articles you can put AdSense on there.

Over time you'll want to look at the other display ad options out there. AdSense is a good start. Most website owners find that other display ad programs end up providing much higher income for the same amount of traffic.

Many of them have traffic requirements. This makes AdSense an ideal start for display ads, but as your organic and Pinterest traffic to your website increases it will be time to look to upgrade.


Mediavine requires you to be up to 25,000 monthly sessions as recorded by Google Analytics. The blog also needs to be at least four months old. The jump in income from AdSense to Mediavine is often quite large. Commonly website owners describe anywhere from 3x to 6x daily earnings compared to AdSense.

The display ads are similar to AdSense but require a little bit of formatting and a WordPress plugin to function properly. The results often speak for themselves. I found the Mediavine engineers to be very knowledgeable and helpful. Even if you're not very tech savvy, they will help guide you through the process of setting up the ads.

In general, on a monthly I experienced 3.5-4x increase in earnings over AdSense numbers.  Here's our full Mediavine Review.


Ezoic has emerged as a really impressive display ad alternative to AdSense. Boasting of the use of artificial intelligence to figure out the best display ad setup for each individual website, there are many happy webmasters who love the results they're seeing with Ezoic display ads.

This Ezoic Review goes into a great in-depth look of this display ad program. It is also the display ad service that Spencer used for, the Niche Pursuits 4 site project.

Try Ezoic Right Here


Adthrive is known as a premium ad service. You need a minimum of 100,000 views per month on average before you can get with this display ad program. Many even very successful websites never make it to this point. But they are a highly regarded option you should be aware of.

Affiliate Marketing without a Blog?

There are some people who have money with Pinterest without building their own website. It is true that as of this writing, Pinterest does allow affiliate links. Depending on the affiliate you're going with this does mean that you can get sales without moving to your website.

So easy call, right?

Not so fast. For one, if you're not building trust on Pinterest you're not going to get a great conversion rate. So less sales and less money. Also, you need to make sure whatever program you're using allows this practice. Amazon, for example, does not allow direct affiliate list on Pinterest pins. That makes affiliate marketing on Pinterest more difficult than at first glance.

This is even before taking into account that Pinterest could always change their terms of service later to not allow this practice.

While it's not impossible to make money on Pinterest without a website it's not the best way to do so.

Sponsorships from Promoting Brands

Companies are always looking for a cost efficient way to market their products to interested customers. Sponsorships have become a very popular option because the return on investment (ROI) tends to be so high.

When you can show you have a devoted following on Pinterest there are likely to be companies who are willing to pay to sponsor you. The amount they are willing to pay depends on the niche, the number of followers you have, and the traffic that your analytics will show.

Think outside the box. There are likely to be obvious brands or companies to go ask for a sponsorship. There are also plenty of related niches where you might find potential partners. That means many good opportunities for creating a partnership. This is often especially true with smaller to mid-sized brands. They also often don't require the same traffic numbers as larger ones when it comes to sponsorship options.

Joint Promotions

A joint promotion on Pinterest is when a brand works together with a creator on Pinterest to develop a group of pins or on-going campaign of pins that focus on the brand in a creative way. This is basically a joint partnership to help a brand with a marketing campaign on Pinterest.

The idea is that by working with a creator who knows their audience, the joint promotion will create a very original campaign that keeps the voice and feel of the creator while still acting as a great message for the brand.

Joint promotions are actually quite common on Pinterest and have often been extremely beneficial for both parties involved. If you show some creativity in your pins, it's likely only a matter of time until you find some joint promotion offers.

Pinterest Consulting

The word is out about Pinterest has to offer. Because of that, the demand for consulting services is high. When you build a page that shows you know what you're doing you can leverage that into selling your services.

There is a very high demand for capable consultants. Keep in mind that some people or companies are looking for some basic advice. Others are looking for a one-time, in-depth look at an account to change it and optimize it for better results. There are also some people who don't know the difference between consulting and VA services.

Because of that, it's not uncommon to start out as a Pinterest consultant and asked for prices for more extensive services. Helping others right their Pinterest accounts and find more success is a great way to make money from Pinterest.

Many people learn best from being directly taught. Even with so much great information online many people prefer the face-to-face method. Pinterest consulting can be an amazing way to add a side hustle to what you're already doing anyway.

Teach Pinterest Strategies

You can make money with Pinterest by teaching effective strategies for the individuals who want to make more out of their current efforts. Sometimes a person is just interested in a bit of advice or a quick fix. Then there are those who want to learn the ins and outs of how something works so they can do it themselves. Being able to teach effective Pinterest strategies can be a great way to make money with Pinterest.

Some people might be more interested in building a following. Others will be interested in getting more paid partnerships or joint ventures. Some individuals want to mimic your success. The more you master these strategies the more you'll be able to offer.

This could be through direct teaching, creating an online course on a platform like Udemy, or a variety of other methods. This is a great way to further monetize Pinterest using skills and knowledge you already have.

Pinterest Virtual Assistant (VA)

Working as a Pinterest virtual assistant takes the consulting to the natural next level. Many people understand the importance of having a solid and active Pinterest presence but don't have the time. Or don't want to spend their limited hours on that task.

This is where a good Pinterest VA can come in. if you have the right Pinterest skills and the right tools, this is an easy bit of work for good pay. Being a Pinterest VA is a great way to make money on Pinterest. There are certainly worse ways to get paid!

This often goes hand-in-hand with consulting services or teaching services. Think about selling these services in packages so you have set prices for a certain expected set of services. This is one of the most popular ideas for how to make money on Pinterest. It is a service that is in very high demand.

Improve Pinterest Presence for Others

Think of this as a paid partnership with other creators on Pinterest. Some people have great accounts but don't know how to reach out. Improving presence could be finding good accounts for them to follow and connect with. This could mean minor changes to the pins and boards to attract more attention.

Each account is going to have its individual potential challenges. Being able to come in, see what a Pinterest account does well and doesn't do well, and then work to get a specialized plan for them to improve presence is a very valuable skill.

Sometimes people have the basics down but are just missing one or two services you could provide to take them to the next level.

Being able to pitch specific actions that will get results can be a very lucrative way to make money with Pinterest. Those skills are valuable!

Importance of Pinterest SEO

Writing good descriptions that use keywords without sounding spammy can help your pins and your boards get discovered. While the search function on Pinterest isn't nearly as advanced as Google, using some basic SEO strategies can make a big difference!

Every single pin allows up to 500 characters of description, and you should use as many of those characters as you reasonably can. Good descriptions not only draw attention, but good text sprinkled with keywords can be found by search. This includes both Pinterest search and Google search.

Give yourself every chance to be found to get more of that great Pinterest traffic!

Pinterest Pin
Good example of a quality pin.

Obeying Pinterest Rules

This is a simple but all too often overlooked aspect of doing well here. Don't try to find a way to game the system. Follow the rules that Pinterest lays out for content providers. Pinterest is a very unique and amazing platform offering tons of opportunities. Throwing away the chance to take advantage of that situation isn't a smart move.

Using Pinterest without breaking any rules isn't difficult.

Putting It All Together

Making major money on Pinterest isn't going to be an overnight thing. That being said, by following the simple steps laid out in this article and committing to long-term growth you might be amazed by the results.

Pinterest can be a fantastic source of traffic. Learning how to make money on Pinterest is all about picking up skills, using the right tools & strategies, and driving traffic. When you can do those things you will find the opportunities on Pinterest really open up. Keep this in mind and you'll find that knowing how to make money on Pinterest isn't nearly as intimidating as it once was!

Check out our guide on how to make money on Pinterest without a blog.

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By Shane Dayton

Shane has been a full-time writer since 2005. Shane has a degree in English & Creative Writing from Coe College (2002) and an MFA in Creative Writing (Fiction Emphasis) from the University of Alaska Fairbanks (2007).

Shane spent years using his online writing skills to earn a living online and live the life of a digital nomad. After learning about affiliate marketing and SEO he has since created several niche sites to further increase his business income.

Want to learn step-by-step how I built my Niche Site Empire up to a full-time income?

Yes! I Love to Learn

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