There are lots of ways to monetize a Pinterest account, and in the majority of cases you can monetize a Pinterest account without having to run a blog, which can indeed be very time consuming to create an run.
Below are 12 methods on how you can make money on Pinterest without a blog, and a brief explanation for each:
- Join a Pinterest creator program
- Use affiliate marketing
- Try generating leads for businesses
- Create a Shopify or Etsy shop
- Monetize through Patreon
- Sell sponsored Pins and shoutouts
- Build an exclusive, paid email newsletter
- Sell the account
- Become a coach or mentor
- Create a course
- Use the Pinterest account to find a job
- Become a Pinterest Virtual Assistant
- Use Pinterest as a portfolio to get consulting work
Join a Pinterest creator program
As of November 2022, to be eligible to join the Pinterest Creator Rewards program you need to meet the following conditions:
- Use the Pinterest app on your mobile phone
- Be 18 years or over
- Be a legal resident of, and located in, the United States or the District of Columbia
- Have at least 250 followers
- Have created at least 3 Idea Pins in the last 30 days
- Have 150 saves of your published Pins in the last 30 days
- Create original content
Most of the conditions are reasonable and easily achievable by most people. The only that poses difficulty is the requirement to be a resident located in the United States.
This requirement pretty much completely excludes all non-US Pinterest users from monetizing their accounts through the Creator Rewards program (meaning you can still use the remaining methods listed below).
As for revenues, this Pinterest content creator kindly shared his analytics and revenue over on YouTube. To save you a click, below is an image attached traffic & revenue figures.
The other monetization method offered by Pinterest is the Creator Fund, which Pinterest describes as:
The Fund is open to people who identify with underrepresented creator communities: people of color, people with disabilities and members of the LGBTQ+ community.
The Creator Fund is thus even more selective than the Creator Rewards, and you’re not guaranteed to enter if you are a US citizen or resident.
However, it’s possible you can be rejected even if you are a member of the targeted communities, since Pinterest also requires your account to be focused around a particular niche.
At the time of writing, Pinterest only accepted applicants that were active in the Food & Beverage niche.
Use affiliate marketing
The easiest and most straightforward way to monetize a Pinterest account is with affiliate links.
If you’re unfamiliar with this, an affiliate link means you place a link for a product on a Pin of yours, visitors click that link, and if they make a purchase you get a commission as a reward for generating the sale.
The commission structure varies a lot from product to product, but generally the higher the profit margin for a product, the bigger your affiliate income percentage will be.
Books for example are very low margin products and typically have 5% affiliate revenue share. This means that selling a $20 book will net you $1 in income.
On the other end of the scale are software products that can have 25-50% affiliate revenue share.
For example, VPN’s commonly have 50% revenue share, so if you can sell a $50 yearly VPN subscription, you can get $25 as an affiliate fee.
Finding the right affiliate products to promote, and also the niche to built a Pinterest audience in, is a skill in and of itself.
The Amazon Affiliate Program is by far the biggest one out there, since Amazon offers a gigantic variety of products and pretty clear terms for revenue share.
Besides Amazon Affiliate Program, there are quite a few other such programs out there.
Try generating leads for businesses
Very similar to affiliate links, except your Pinterest visitor can just perform an “action” instead of “buying” a product.
As an example, the dating website eHarmony offers a lead generation program where content creators / bloggers / influencers can earn $10 if they can get a visitor to sign-up to the service and complete their onboarding personality test.
Another example is TouchBistro, a restaurant management and POS system that pays its partners a whopping $100 per demo to potential customers.
Just like with promoting affiliate products however, it can take a while to find the right products & services, but also learn how to properly recommend them to you audience.
Create a Shopify or Etsy shop
Depending on what type of content on your Pinterest account, you could try making a Shopify or Etsy store.
Don’t worry, these stores are super easy to make since most of the heavy lifting required to create the store, and manage payments and orders is done by the platforms.
All you’ll have to do is figure out what products to sell and configure your store.
Fortunately, there are thousands of videos and step-by-step guides that teach you everything you need to create a store.
Don’t be intimidated by the thought of managing your own online store. Just take it easy, one step at a time, one sale a time, and build from there.
However the store is one part of the problem. The other one is who can make your merch and products and ship them?
Fear not, there’s multiple companies that do that too!
Two such examples are Gooten and Redbubble. These two (and others like them) work with producers spread across different countries or US states that can immediately produce your merchandise once they receive an order through your store.
Monetize through Patreon
Patreon is a platform where content creators, journalists, bloggers, game developers, artists and so on can raise money by asking fans to subscribe and donate.
Most content creators offer their audience various perks and benefits for donating. Things such as priority access to new videos, full length versions of blog posts, behind the scenes stuff etc.
To be fair, Patreon is best suited for more “creator-centric” and long engagement social media channels such as YouTube, but even Pinterest users can make Patreon work with the right approach and dedication.
Sell sponsored pins & shout outs
A very quick and straightforward way to monetize a Pinterest account is to sell sponsored Pins (sometimes also called “shout outs”).
Essentially, an interested client will ask you, as the influencer, to publish one or multiple pins that promote the client’s products in exchange for a fee.
The fee is negotiated based on your follower count, engagement, impressions, audience location, niche, the wording and image in the pins etc.
Finding the clients is tricky part though, but there are multiple ways to do it:
- Make it easy for clients to find and contact you. Make sure you have your business info published in multiple places and that you’re open to collaborations.
- List your Pinterest account in influencer marketplaces, where clients and influencers get in touch with one another and can negotiate rates. Good examples are: Intellifluence or Julius.
- Freelance marketplaces such as Fiverr and Upwork even have their own sections where you can advertise and sell your shoutouts directly.
- Directly contact brands you’re interested in. Requires more work than the methods above, but it is a perfectly viable method.
Build an exclusive, paid email newsletter
Memberful and Substack are software tools similar to Patreon, except they focus primarily on paid, subscription newsletters.
Essentially, people pay you a monthly subscription to be able to read your posts.
Admittedly, this doesn’t sound like a good fit for most Pinterest influencers, since Pinterest is very visual, whereas Substack and Memberful are text based.
However, if your Pinterest niche is hand-made drawings, sketches, comic books, paintings, art, photography and so on, then it becomes possible to use Pinterest as a “hook”.
Basically, your Pinterest account offers a free sample of your work, but only Substack or Memberful subscribers can access the remainder.
Interesting stuff you can offer paid members are more in-depth analysis, extra content, how you made something etc.
If you think “who on Earth pays for an email subscription in this day and age?” you would be surprised. The top 10 writers alone brought in $25 million in 2021 on Substack.
Sell the account
If you can’t see a clear path to monetize your account and/or don’t want to focus on growing it anymore, then you can simply sell it.
Selling a Pinterest account isn’t as easy or as profitable as selling a blog or YouTube channel, but marketplaces such as PlayerUp do offer you an opportunity to sell yours for some money, depending on the size of the account.
Generally, prices of Pinterest accounts are far below how much money they can actually make, meaning you can expect to make more revenue trying to monetize an account instead of selling, even if it’s small.
However, this is a way out of if you can’t monetize your current main Pinterest account but don’t want to just abandon all the work put into it without making something back.
Become a coach or mentor
Similar to creating a course and marketing it, you can also use Pinterest to sign people up to 1-on-1 paid mentorships, tutorials, streams or video calls where you can teach them those skills.
There are even tools such as SuperPeer that can manage these sort 1-on-1 paid mentorships for you.
Making and selling courses compliments these paid mentorships very well, so if you do decide to go down the education monetization route, try to find a way to do both.
Create a course
One way to use monetize your Pinterest account is to use it as a marketing tool.
Thus, if your Pinterest account is built around a particular skill of yours such as carpentry, home décor, cooking etc., then you can use the account to create a paid course which you can then promote to followers and visitors on Pinterest.
Use the Pinterest account to get a job as a marketer
A Pinterest account with a decent following is a fantastic element to put on a resume if you’re looking to switch jobs or careers into more of a marketing role.
Even accounts with a small following (10.000 followers or so) are good enough to get an entry level marketing job, or do a lateral move into a marketing role at a company you already work.
However, the bigger your account the more impressive it will be.
Reaching 200.000-300.000 monthly impressions, low thousands of clicks, using affiliate links or even automation tools such as Tailwind all by yourself on your own account, should be enough to set you apart from many other candidates and really help you get mid-level jobs such as social media managers.
Become a Pinterest Virtual Assistant
There are an absolute ton of companies that have Pinterest accounts with a some following, but not big or profitable enough to warrant hiring someone full time to manage them.
What most of these companies end up doing is hiring a Virtual Assistant that can handle their accounts.
You can find a lot of such clients on sites like Fiverr or Upwork, and having your own Pinterest account to show as a demo is a fantastic way to convince potential clients that you are the best fit for their needs.
In terms of work load, it shouldn’t take more than a few hours per week to handle a single small client, so you can either do this as a side-gig or keep adding clients until you can spin it off as a full time job.
Use Pinterest as a portfolio to get consulting work
Finally, if your Pinterest account contains photos of your own work then you might consider using it as a portfolio with which to find clients.
For example, Pinterest gives you the feature to promote specific pins in specific geographic locations by way of ZIP code targeting.
Thus, if you use Pinterest to promote your craft such as baking, painting etc., you can try spending a few dollars to advertise your services in your local area.
Doing this requires you to properly complete your profile and pins with contact information such as phone numbers, emails, addresses, etc.
Just because you do not have a blog doesn’t mean you cannot monetize a Pinterest account. As seen above, there are a ton of ways to make money from a Pinterest account, especially ones that have a good, strong following.
Ultimately however, monetizing any kind of social media account is a trial and error process, and will take a while to find the right combination for your Pinterest account.