By Bruce Clemens
Had you joined Facebook as an affiliate marketer when it first began, imagine where you could be today! Wouldn’t it be great to have a time machine and go back and get started in Facebook’s early days? Well now you can. Only it’s not called Facebook, It’s an online pinboard called Pinterest. And it’s ready for marketing.
Pinterest is the fastest growing social site in history, currently growing faster than Facebook was when it was at the same stage of development. Online pinboards are a totally different than anything else out there and Pinterest is a hot, hot market. Instead of sharing information about what you’re doing right now ala’ Twitter; instead of posting your vacation photos and commenting on friends’ pages ala’ Facebook, Pinterest gives you pin boards. These are virtual cork boards where you can “pin” images that interest you that you have found in your internet travels.
Your pin board can have dozens or hundreds of images, but they must all be related some way, to the theme of your pin board. For example, I recently saw a pin board of a Pinterest user who categorized her board “Yellow and Gray.” So each image she pinned was something that she liked, but was primarily yellow and gray in color.
You can have unlimited boards.You can also add captions and tags to your images so people searching for a specific topic can find your board.
One very nice thing about Pinterest is that it has is a very specific demographic. Most users on Pinterest are U.S. females (70%) with an annual household income of $100,000 or more. Most Facebook users are teenagers who do not have a lot of money to spend. So obviously Pinterest is a marketer’s dream. You have access to millions of U.S. females who have money to spend, sharing their consumer behavior online. These women are pinning all the stuff they would like to buy or already own.
So how do you monetize Pinterest? Naturally you will pin lots of interesting images that relate to niches in which you may have items to sell or you are an affiliate for. But keep in mind your demographic. If you’re pinning lots of fishing gear and car accessories you probably will not get much interest. You need to go for fashion, books, and all things related to home decor, beauty and fitness. Weddings, clothing and food are some of the most popular niches on Pinterest and most product pins from these niches are things that you can get affiliate links for.
But you need to behave like a typical Pinterest user in order to develop credibility and above all, don’t do anything that’ll get you shut down! Never spam! You should grow your audience first, gain some trust and add only products that you find interesting and worth buying. If you pin everything you see that’s marketable you will be quickly seen to be a spammer and lose any chance to profit from your efforts.
The second thing you definitely should do if you’re going to use Pinterest for affiliate marketing is affiliate link cloaking. Pinterest has a novel feature that they use to profit from affiliates- they discover affiliate links and replace the affiliate’s user name with their own! They take the profits from clicks affiliates would otherwise get! So you need to carefully cloak your affiliate link. One simple way is to use TinyURL.
Follow these 5 steps to create a profitable board on Pinterest:
Name your board like a landing page but cloak your links
Add a helpful description; use all space available for good copy
Pin at least 10 products on your Pinterest board
“Like” your board on Facebook, tweet it, share it
Create some social bookmarks (digg.com, delicious.com, etc) pointing towards your Pinterest board url
This is how I do it. Good luck!
Bruce Clemens is a college professor specializing in jobs readiness and online marketing. His web site offers lots of resources to develop an online income quickly and efficiently. Sign up there and instantly download Bruce’s important eBook that gives lots of starters free.