Let’s assume you have a Pinterest account that has thousands of followers, hundreds of thousands of impressions, clicks and engagements per month.
So your Pinterest account is generating a ton of engagement and a lot of traffic, which raises the question: is it allowed to put Amazon Affiliate links to your pins so your account now generates some money?
The short answer is yes. Both Amazon and Pinterest allow you to place affiliate links on your pins and your account as a way of generating revenue through your account. Doing so will not ban or suspend your Pinterest account, nor your Amazon Affiliate account.
This wasn’t always the case. Back in 2015 Pinterest completely removed affiliate links from their website, and it wasn’t until 2021 that Amazon allowed direct affiliate linking from Pinterest to Amazon.
Since then, times have changed and Pinterest users can once again do affiliate marketing through their accounts.
The real question however isn’t if you can put Amazon Affiliate links on Pinterest, but whether it is even profitable and worth your time to do so.
The Problem with Affiliate Links on Pinterest
By far the biggest issue with using affiliate links is that Pinterest search results & feed recommendations heavily prioritize:
- Pins that either do not have a link at all.
- Pins with links to verified sites, from accounts that own those sites.
It’s easy to see why Pinterest would prioritize these types of Pins over anything else.
Pins without links don’t redirect users away from Pinterest (which translates to more screen time on Pinterest, and thus more revenue).
Meanwhile, Pins with links to verified sites are seen as trustworthy, but also encourage the businesses who own those accounts and Pins to pay money to promote their posts.
As such, accounts that post Pins with links to sites they don’t own (including accounts that promote affiliate links) are completely deprioritized and are buried so deeply in search results & feed recommendations they are practically invisible to most users.
This is super simple to verify. Simply do a Pinterest search and you’ll see this pattern emerging again and again, especially for product related searches.
So technically, while Pinterest does allow you to put affiliate links on your Pins, they will stack the odds against you so much your account and Pins won’t get any traffic, and thus, affiliate revenue.
Fortunately, there are some methods to work around these limitations, however some are riskier than others.
How to make Amazon Affiliate links actually work on Pinterest
Get a website and Pinterest business account
If you want to do affiliate marketing with Amazon products on Pinterest then you will have to own a website and a Pinterest business account.
If you’ve never owned a website before, then don’t worry. It’s super easy to buy a domain name and host it nowadays, and it shouldn’t cost more than $12-20 per year in total.
How to purchase a domain and set it up is pretty straightforward too, but it’s outside the scope of this article. You can however check out this post if you want a detailed, step-by-step guide on setting up your website.
Next, you’ll need a Pinterest business account.
Fortunately, that’s pretty easy to do:
- Log into your personal Pinterest account
- Click the down icon at the top-right corner
- Click Settings
- Click Account management at the left of the screen
- Under Account changes, locate Convert to a business account, then click Convert account
- Click Convert account
- Fill out the fields to Build your profile, then click Next
- Fill out the fields to Describe your business, then click Next
- Select if you want to run ads, then click Next
- Select where you’d like to start or click the X icon to go to your converted Pinterest business account.
Once you have both a site and a Pinterest Business account, all that’s left is for you to verify ownership of the site.
ou can verify ownership of a website on Pinterest by going to Settings -> Claimed Accounts and press the Website button.
You’ll then be show three verification methods, where you basically have to copy paste some code into your website and that’s that.
Why you will need a website
Having a verified website (that you own) attached to your Pinterest account will greatly increase the amount of traffic and impressions your Pins will get.
This is because you are now part of the “prioritized” list of accounts, so Pinterest will push your pins higher up the search results (compared to accounts that Post pins with links to sites they don’t own).
This then allows you to make money from Amazon Affiliate Links in two ways:
Use the Pin link to direct users to a web page filled with your affiliate links
This method is 100% safe and absolutely OK with Pinterest. In fact, most product search results on Pinterest are filled with these types of pins.
Below are some examples of what these Pins look like, as well as the pages they take users to:
The blog listed above is a typical listicle article that has X number of products ordered in a list, and most of the links are affiliate links.
This method is super simple, and also the one most widely used by affiliate marketers.
The biggest disadvantage of this method is that you’ll often lose a of visitors along the way, since most Pinterest users either want to stay on Pinterest when navigating or they want to directly go to the product’s page if they find something interesting.
Because of this quite a few readers will be turned off by reaching a site, and so will press the back button without interacting with the page.
Link from your Pin to your website, but then redirect users to the Amazon Affiliate link.
As an example, you buy the domain “coolproducts.com”. You then create a pin about mountain bikes that links to “coolproducts.com/mountain-bikes”.
However, the link “coolproducts.com/mountain-bikes” doesn’t keep readers on your website, but instead automatically redirects them to “https://www.amazon.com/mountain-bikes/”.
This is called a 301 redirect and is very simple and quick to do if you own a website, especially a WordPress one. All it takes is just a simple redirect plugin such as Redirection, where you specify the Source URL (coolproducts.com/mountain-bikes in this example) to redirect to a target URL (such as https://www.amazon.com/mountain-bikes/).
A 301 redirect essentially lets you have the best of both worlds:
Pinterest prioritizes your Pins because it thinks the links in your Pins belong to a verified site you own and you’re able to send users directly to Amazon, without losing them along the way.
Of course, this method isn’t quite in line with Pinterest’s terms of service so you do run the risk of getting your account suspended or having the Pins that break the ToS be deleted.
While having the account suspended sounds terrible, it’s possible to appeal the suspension and get your account back, and it works pretty well since Pinterest is generally lenient.
If you want to play an even riskier game of cat and mouse with Pinterest, you can do some more advanced stuff in your robots.txt or .htaccess files so that they block Pinterest’s crawler.
If the term is unfamiliar to you, a web crawler is an Internet bot that follows links throughout the Internet to create a map of safe and unsafe pages.
Blocking Pinterest’s crawler means it won’t follow the links inside your article, meaning Pinterest won’t know that the link in the Pin will end up on Amazon instead of your verified site.
This of course is even riskier, and depending on your setup isn’t guaranteed to work. However, if you have an extra Pinterest account lying around and don’t mind having it banned, then you can try out this method and see how it works for your affiliate marketing efforts.
Using affiliate marketing links directly in your Pins
As mentioned above, if you want to do affiliate marketing with Pinterest, your chances of generating decent revenue are greatest if you own a site, and verify ownership of the site with Pinterest.
However, if you really don’t want to avoid using a site, then there’s nothing stopping you from just using affiliate links directly in your Pins, the way this French gaming account is doing it:
If you navigate through this account, you’ll notice how every Pin links to an AliExpress product, just like this Pin:
Of course, this account uses AliExpress links instead of Amazon Affiliate, but the principles are the same regardless.
If you really don’t want to use a website, just do what this account does but use Amazon Affiliate links instead of AliExpress ones.
Use a brands media kit for free high quality product images
Pinterest is a super visual platform, so if you want your Pins to get good traction you’ll need good photos.
When it comes to products, by far the best way to get high quality images is to just download a product’s media kit / press photos and use those, since those photos are designed to be used by people like you to promote the products.
You can find these simply by searching “[product name] media kit” or “[product name] press photos”.
As an example, this link takes you to the press photos of the Samsung Galaxy S22.
Use Tailwind to plan your account
If you’re serious about generating affiliate revenue through Pinterest, then sooner or later you will need specialized tools such as Tailwind to properly manage your account.
Tailwind is an automated tool that connects to your Pinterest account and lets you create and schedule Pins.
This is super important, because building a successful Pinterest account requires you to post at least 5-15 Pins per day, schedule Pin posts to certain boards, save pins from other accounts, comments etc.
You can of course do it manually, but after a certain point you will either be burnt out by the strict scheduling that the Pinterest algorithm demands, or lose steam and have the account stagnate.
So even if you don’t want to use Tailwind now, keep this tool in the back of your head and come back to it once your account is ready for it.