Affiliate marketing (or sales in general!) has never been my strong point. With the constant fear of pushing my audience away by constantly sharing links that I make a commission from their purchase, I’ve neglected affiliate marketing – until now.
A few weeks ago on one of my Pinterest sessions, I read this post from Elna at Twins Mommy about how affiliate marketing doesn’t always have to come across as super spammy – plus, there actually is a way that your audience can benefit from them. I know, who’d have thought it?!
Ever since then, making a success of affiliate marketing has been high on my blogging to-do list. And guess what? I just made my first affiliate sale two weeks ago using Pinterest!
For those of you who are in the same affiliate marketing newbie stage as I am, welcome to the club. I created this blog post just for you, showing the exact steps I took to make my first affiliate sale using Pinterest ?
1. I created a variety of graphics
Whenever I create a post for my blog, I always make a variety of graphics that can be used on Pinterest. It helps me loop my content without looking too promotional whilst also letting me split-test which type of pin works best with my audience.
For my Pinterest affiliate marketing strategy, I followed the same steps.
My first affiliate sale was for Melyssa’s List Surge course, so I decided to use these graphics on my account:
As you can see, I switched up the images and text that I used on each affiliate pin. I then added these pins to all of my relevant email marketing-related boards.
2. I changed the look of my Pinterest affiliate links
When you highlight over a pin on Pinterest, it’ll show you where the image is coming from and the website you’ll be taken to if you decide to click.
But unfortunately, the vast majority of my affiliate links in their raw form aren’t very attractive and I wouldn’t expect anyone to click something that looks salesy. Seeing something like “transactions” in the URL would put you off too, right?
So, I used a nifty little trick to disguise the appearance of my Pinterest affiliate links. I installed the Pretty Link plugin which acts as a redirect from my site to my affiliate links.Looking to promote your affiliate links on Pinterest? Here's how to make your first sale! 💸 Click To Tweet
Pretty Link allows you to create customisable links for your affiliate URLs.
For example, instead of having my List Surge page go to something like this: melyssagriffin.samcart.com/referral/BLAH-BLAH-BLAH
You now just have to click this to go to the page: elisedopson.co.uk/listsurge
You can see that these beautified affiliate links look totally natural on Pinterest and I’ve seen a massive increase in my Pin’s click through rate since using this technique!
(This method actually used to be banned by Pinterest but it’s totally fine to do now. Woo hoo!)
3. I used keywords (almost) everywhere
Pinterest is a search engine as much as a social media tool, so I used my blog SEO tips and applied them to every affiliate link that I uploaded to my profile.
To do this, I thought about what the people interested in the course would be searching for. For the List Surge one, I thought this would be “email list”, “email marketing” and “grow your email list”.
Once I’d found my keywords, I used them everywhere – and I mean everywhere – including these areas:
- The image file name before uploading my affiliate pin
- The pin description (I tend to put KEYWORD 1 | KEYWORD 2 | KEYWORD 3)
- The affiliate link that I was directing people to
Using keywords in your pins helps the Pinterest to understand what your affiliate pin is about. That means when somebody is searching for something along those lines, you’ll have a better chance of appearing in their search results.Wanna boost your Pinterest affiliate links? Use group boards! 💻 Click To Tweet
4. I pinned affiliate links to Pinterest group boards
The chances are, you won’t have come across a Pinterest strategy that hasn’t told you to use group boards. But guess what? They’re telling you for a reason!
Pinning your affiliate links to relevant group boards maximises a number of people that see it. In turn, you’ve got a better chance of people repinning and/or clicking your affiliate pin.
I like to use PinGroupie to find relevant group boards relating to each topic of my affiliate link.
So, using the same List Surge example, I pinned each of my three graphics to these Pinterest group boards:
- Blogging Tips & Tools
- Blogging Pros Group Board
- Blogging and Social Media Tips
- Blogging + Making Money Blogging
I began by asking the owners of the group boards to accept me (the instructions for joining will be in the board description!), then adding my affiliate links to the board at different times of the day.
I’ve found that the best affiliate link strategy for Pinterest group boards is pinning 60% of your own content and 40% of someone else’s.
The owners of the group boards can kick you out if you’re too promotional, so make sure that you’re a good contributor to keep pinning your affiliate links!
5. I kept my affiliate pins organised
In order to make your first affiliate sale on Pinterest, I highly recommend creating a secret board that hosts all of your pins.
You can do this by creating a secret board, uploading your affiliate pins directly to here and repinning to other relevant/group boards.
This is a great way to see which affiliate pins are performing the best and an easy way to find them, if you’re ever looking to give one a boost!
Did you make your first affiliate sale using Pinterest? What techniques do you use to promote your affiliate pins?
Please note that this post may contain affiliate links. View my full disclosure here.
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