When Pinning Pays Off: 5 Ways to Make Money With Pinterest

How to make money on Pinterest
mkhmarketing under Creative Commons

The big Pinterest news lately is the four-year-old social media company has officially banned affiliate links. Many so-called “Power Pinners,” especially in the fashion and style world, were using these links as a way to cash in on their huge networks and influence on the social platform.

Affiliate links help you earn money when users click on your specific link to a product and make a purchase. For example, if a you had a pin for a certain brand of earrings and a user clicked through and purchased earrings from that site, you would receive a commission from the earring company.

With affiliate links off the table, is it still possible to make money on Pinterest? Of course. If you want to earn money from your pinning habit, here are a few ways to turn your Pinterest obsessions into an online money-making opportunity.

1. Switch to Keep

Just 24 hours after Pinterest’s announcement, competitor Keep jumped in to fill the gap by launching its own affiliate program. The company is hoping to lure high-powered Pinterest users over to its social network.

What is Keep? It’s been dubbed the “shoppable Pinterest” and is quite similar to Pinterest in that it allows users to select and “pin” items and products onto their boards. However, it also allows people to purchase these items directly through Keep.

Keep is looking for social media powerhouses to boost its brand. For now, its Influencer Program is invitation only, but you can fill out a short application to see if you qualify. The application includes questions about social media metrics, including monthly blog visitors and number of followers on popular social media sites, including Pinterest, Instagram, Facebook and YouTube.

If you’re accepted into the program, Keep will allow you to earn from affiliate links, including those from affiliate networks like RewardStyle and ShopSense. Keep is also pursuing top Pinterest pinners and offering direct invitations, hoping to bring them over to their network before others hop into the game.

2. Generate Money-Making Ideas on Pinterest

Everyone wants to make more money, and Pinterest users are no exception. Some users have created boards dedicated solely to ways to make money; check them out for inspiration for ways you can earn extra money. You could wind up with an idea for a profitable side business!

This single board on money-making ideas has over 100,000 followers. It features everything from blogging academy coupons to tips on flipping thrift store finds.

3. Hone Your Craft Game

We’ve already covered how to make money with paper crafts and how to make and sell your own Pinterest-inspired holiday crafts, but that’s just the beginning.

From papercraft to woodworking, yarn work to tapestry, a dedicated crafter can find countless things to learn via Pinterest. In addition to refining your techniques, Pinterest boards offer endless inspiration. While you will likely have to turn to other avenues to actually sell your finished products (including local stores, craft fairs, Etsy and eBay), Pinterest offers amazing ideas.

The site contains plenty of money-making crafts to learn, from painting shoes to designing jewelry boxes and creating stunning mosaics.

4. Pick Up New Skills

If crafting isn’t your thing, you can find plenty of other skills to learn on Pinterest. This board on “how to fix stuff/do stuff” shows techniques on how to do everything from refinishing hardwood floors to painting laminate kitchen counters. It even includes tips on how to detail the interior of your car for the most professional shine!

While these boards can help you save money by doing these tasks yourself instead of paying a pro, they can be even more beneficial once you’ve had a bit of practice: You could turn your new skills into a paying side gig! Steve Gillman explained how he learned to paint from a few YouTube videos, then found paying work as a house painter.

5. Work for a Brand as a Professional Pinterest Marketer

While it may no longer be possible to earn money from affiliate links on Pinterest, plenty of brands are still active on this social network. And some of those brands are looking for people to run their social media marketing campaigns.

Check out these Pinterest-related jobs that include working as a campaign manager or marketing coordinator for a company that uses Pinterest in their marketing strategy.

Your Turn: Even though affiliate links are now gone, how could you earn money on Pinterest?

Kristen Pope is a freelance writer and editor in Jackson Hole, Wyoming.