How to Make Money on Pinterest: 4 Realistic Methods

Top methods to make money on Pinterest are indirect, and include using pins to promote a blog or online business and partnering with brands to earn through affiliate links.
Tommy Tindall
By Tommy Tindall 
Edited by Courtney Neidel

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Pinterest is a self-described visual discovery engine. It’s where you might go to find an idea for a fresh new recipe, save an easy-to-follow morning workout routine or watch a quick demo of someone’s skincare routine — think of an endless feed of vertical images and short videos you can view and save to spark inspiration.

With hundreds of millions of monthly users, Pinterest has also become an organic advertising tool for bloggers and business owners, and a way for popular pinners to partner with brands and cash in on influential posts.

How to make money on Pinterest

Maybe Pinterest can be part of your side hustle. Here are a few ways to make money with Pinterest.

1. Free advertising for your blog

Let’s say you have a popular blog you’ve been able to monetize, such as by integrating online ads or embedding affiliate links for products relevant to your niche. You can use Pinterest to promote your blog posts in an effort to drive traffic to your website.

Grab an image from your blog or site and use Pinterest’s built-in tools to add text and tweak the design of your pin. Most importantly, add a link to the post to drive viewers back to your site or specific blog. The link will prominently show (and become clickable) when viewers hover over your pin. Success isn’t guaranteed, but it’s free to create a Pinterest account and post pins.

Blog link example: Cooking with air fryers has become a time-saving way to make good food at home. One pin we spotted at the time of this writing featured a delectable image of a cheesy sandwich with the words “Air Fryer Grilled Cheese” added in an eye-catching font. The pin included a link to a detailed blog post on how to make the sandwich.

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2. Free advertising for your online business

E-commerce business owners can try the organic advertising approach too. In the same way, you would make pins about your business offering, whether it's a product or online service, and link back to pages on your business website.

Online business link example: A pinner we ran across at the time of this writing used Pinterest posts to drive traffic to a website that offers online painting classes. One pin featured an image of a colorful flower painting with a link to a business site where people could purchase a watercolor painting tutorial.

3. Affiliate marketing on Pinterest

Maybe you started pinning as a fun way to share and engage with others on something you’re passionate about, like cooking, fitness or collecting sneakers. Through consistent posts and demonstrated expertise in your niche, you’ve amassed a following on Pinterest (and likely other social media platforms, too). Your influence could open opportunities to join an affiliate program, where you can earn a commission for promoting products featured in pins.

Once you’re an affiliate, you can use the product tagging feature of Pinterest to add personalized affiliate links to pins. Then, viewers can click directly to product pages outside of Pinterest and make purchases, and you can earn a commission. Some affiliate programs let you feature a full product collection in one place. (Take note that you’re required to disclose your partnership with a brand using a feature in the app.)

Affiliate marketing example: Some fashion and beauty creators pin outfit ideas and link directly to a site that lets interested viewers shop specific “looks.” One affiliate site is called LTK and it connects creators with brands and facilitates commissions for sales. Other popular programs that let you earn a commission for recommending products on social accounts include Amazon Associates and ShareASale.

4. Frugal or entrepreneurial inspiration

Pinterest probably wasn’t started with brand deals and affiliate marketing in mind. It’s first and foremost a digital bulletin board that allows for the broad exchange of ideas. You can use the platform to identify ways to save money. Make Pinterest your first stop when searching for DIY ways to improve your living space.

DIY inspo example: Maybe you can save thousands on a basement remodel by painting the rafters and wall panels instead of paying a contractor to hang drywall. There’s probably a Pinterest pin to serve up some visual ideas and ways to save. If you want to start an online business, search Pinterest for the best things to sell online as part of the research process.

Do you get paid on Pinterest?

Pinterest doesn’t pay content creators directly. Primary ways to make money with Pinterest involve using the platform as a marketing or influencer tool, where earnings come through outside sources like your own business, an affiliate program or a brand you work with.

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How many Pinterest followers do you need to get paid?

The self-advertising and influencer marketing methods described above may not be particularly fruitful without at least a few thousand followers. But you can build your following over time through consistent, quality pins that are worth saving. (The Pinterest website stresses the importance of encouraging saves to grow your audience.)

If you’re new to Pinterest, start pinning and see where it takes you. Try these tips to get started:

Convert to a Pinterest business account. You can sign up for or convert your Pinterest personal account to a free business account for access to analytics and the ability for advertisers and merchants to create various ads on the platform.

Pay attention to trends. You can use the built-in Pinterest Trends tool to explore popular search terms, then craft pin titles, tags and description text that hits on relevant keywords.

Study how others do it. Find inspirational pinners in your area of interest and do a deep dive to study their monetizing ways. Click through pins, study imagery and design techniques and explore destination links to take cues from successful strategies.