Just a few quick facts before we dive into all the details of this post:
- So far, with Pinterest traffic I made a maximum of $250/ day from one of my blogs (using Mediavine ads);
- My best monthly online income so far, which I totally own to Pinterest traffic, was in March 2019, when I made over $8300.
- On my best traffic day to one of my blogs, I’ve got over 13,000 pageviews (it was thanks to a viral pin of course).
- My best monthly traffic on one of my blogs exceeded 300,000 pageviews.
These are some numbers which give you a quick idea about the importance of Pinterest traffic for my online income. And now, let’s look at the details…
How Does Pinterest Make Money for My Online Business?
These are the main ways Pinterest helps me make money with my blogs:
- Advertising (I use Mediavine company);
- Affiliate marketing in the articles and posts which get traffic mainly from Pinterest;
- Selling my products (printables and courses).
I will talk about these three monetization strategies in detail in this article.
How To Make Money On Pinterest With Affiliate Links
There is also another method which I honestly don’t use much so I will not cover this in my blog post, but it’s worth mentioning that you can do affiliate marketing on Pinterest without having your own website. You’ll add affiliate links directly to the offers you want to promote with a proper disclosure on every pin (it’s enough to use the hashtag #ad in the pin description).
How To Make Money Using Pinterest Traffic for Ad Monetization
Here are some of the reasons I recommend focusing on Pinterest for traffic generation if you plan to make money with ads on your website:
- Pinterest traffic works great for monetization through ad companies like Mediavine or Adthrive and Monumetric. All these ad companies are looking mainly for traffic from the United States (usually they’ll ask for about 80% of users from the US) – and since Pinterest is particularly popular in the US, that gives you a great free traffic source.
- Ad income is usually the very first option beginner bloggers think of for monetization. Anything else, like selling your own products and even affiliate marketing looks like more advanced methods to them. And Pinterest is the one platform which allows you get the fast results any beginner is craving for. To get 25,000/mo sessions from Google is almost impossible for a new blogger because of the competition and the so-called “sandbox” filter for new sites. At the same time, nothing stops a new blogger from getting much faster the required 25,000/mo sessions to get into Mediavine with Pinterest traffic.
How To Make Money Off Pinterest Traffic As An Affiliate Marketer
I mentioned that you can publish pins with direct affiliate links, but I am not a big fan of this method. I don’t think that pins with a hashtag #ad can ever get viral and drive you a lot of traffic.
On the other hand, if you invest a little more into marketing the affiliate product or offer, if you create useful content around it, my experience shows that you can make a very decent income off Pinterest traffic.
So, what you need to do is basically create blog posts or pages on your site which describe the benefits of the product or offer you promote, and your pin will not look like an ad anymore because it will have a text overlay and a link to your site. It will look like any other regular informational pin, and you don’t have to add a disclosure to the pin in this case since it goes to your website and you already have a disclosure there.
How to Sell Products on Pinterest
You already know that the majority of my blogging income comes from ads and the majority of my traffic comes from Pinterest.
But how about sales of products/services using Pinterest as a marketing funnel?
A common misconception about Pinterest is that it’s a social media platform, people go to Pinterest to entertain only, and so it’s very hard to convert visits from Pinterest.
Pinterest is a visual search engine which relies a lot on social factors.
By social factors, I mean both user interaction with the content (aka click-throughs, likes, comments), and the connection between users (meaning you will see content from people and boards you follow more often in the Smartfeed).
Users on Pinterest can be in two modes:
- Active search;
- Explore by scrolling the Smartfeed.
Both ways you can get users who are genuinely interested in your topic. But if they come from search results, even more so. That’s definitely a positive thing about Pinterest audience compared to social media platforms like Facebook or Instagram.
This sounds like a great theory but I personally learn much better from real-life examples. Today you are lucky, and I decided to invite you into the behind-the-scenes to show you how my Pinterest traffic is converting!
I made a screenshot from my Google Analytics and you can see that in total, Pinterest traffic brought about the same amount of conversions as Google. I’m showing on this screenshot the total for my goals, the highest conversions are of course on my free Pinterest Workshop.
Some of the goals have monetary values, so excuse the blurred parts of the screenshot. I’m not bragging about the money here, I’m just showing you how to track your conversions in Google Analytics 🙂
As you can see, Facebook and Instagram are nowhere close to Pinterest’s input into my conversions. It’s not that I’m happy about it, it’s just a fact.
And I know that to increase conversions from FB and Instagram, I would have to drive paid clicks to my landing page or freebie. The organic reach on both platforms is not an easy objective even for accounts with large following.
Luckily, Pinterest is a hybrid of a search engine and a social platform which makes our goals more achievable even without an ad budget if you know what you are doing with your Pinterest SEO!
My Online Income Growth with Free Pinterest Traffic
I guess, not everyone reading this post knows who I am and what my blogs are about. I’ll make this story short for you.
- I started my first blog anastasiablogger.com which you are reading now, in Feb 2017 and worked on it part-time while still having a 9-5 job. I decided to focus on Pinterest as a traffic source and even though I started from scratch, with 0 Pinterest followers, it worked miracles driving to my blogs organic (free traffic). I get over 90% of all my traffic from Pinterest!
- I quit my job on the 10th-month blogging when I was accepted to Mediavine ad network because traffic was quite high by that time and ad income alone could cover my monthly bills.
- In Feb 2018, one year since I started the first blog, I launched my second blog momshealth.co. I had several reasons for this:
- I wanted to test my Pinterest strategies on a brand-new blog and see how fast I could grow traffic knowing all that I learned in the first year blogging. This worked perfectly well as in just 2.5 months my new blog was getting 74,000 monthly pageviews traffic.
- Plus, I wanted to have a blog for mom- and health-related posts which didn’t fit much anastasiablogger.com blog.
If you are about to start a blog and thinking, what should be your main focus for the first year – Google, Instagram, Facebook, paid ads (some newbies even think of this option!). My answer is: focus on Pinterest!
When you start a blog, most probably, you are still working full time, your blogging income is not high enough to quit, and you have a limited amount of time to spend on your blog. So, spend it wisely! Spend it on things that really work in 2019!
How Much Money You Need to Start a Blog?
Your initial investment in starting a blog is so much lower than any other potential business you might be thinking about! With the hosting provider I used for this blog for 1 year, for example, you can start a site at the price of one coffee a month! Literally.
I have a free 7-day course which will give you the right direction and will help you build a blog that’s not just a hobby, but an income source.
It’s also not as difficult technically, as many people think. I have a video tutorial which shows you how in about 10-20 min you can set up hosting and domain name for a WordPress blog – see a detailed post about it here.
This post contains affiliate links to Bluehost. This means I might receive a commission if you buy their hosting using my link (no extra cost for you involved). For more information, see my disclosures here. Using my link, you can get hosting + free domain name + free SSL certificate (https) at a 50% discounted price.
You can use this handy Bluehost’s tool to check whether the domain you are thinking about is available:
I recommend this hosting because I was still on Bluehost’s basic plan when I got 13.399 sessions in just one day (you’ve seen it in the screenshot in this traffic report)!
I had to move to another hosting plan only 11 months since I started the blog because my traffic for January exceeded Bluehost’s basic plan about 10 times. But for a blog that’s just starting, Bluehost’s basic plan will be more than enough!
Here is the income report with the total of the 2 blogs. Ad income (Mediavine) is still the main income source and it’s great because this proves that anyone can start a blog, reach 25,000 sessions/mo, apply to Mediavine and get monthly payments – no need to blog about blogging or sell your own products/courses from day one. In fact, if you don’t have traffic, who are going to sell your products to, right?
You can focus on growing traffic for starters and monetize it with ads and affiliate links. Creating products is really time-consuming if you want to do it properly, I tried it myself and can tell you that if you have no audience yet, working on a product can end up with a big disappointment. You might spend months building a product, and when it’s ready – there is no one to buy. That can be too painful and turn you off of blogging. We don’t want that to happen, right?
Here is my May 2018 Income report for my two blogs
|Pinterest SEO Traffic Secrets||1184.93|
Apart from having the new record income report, what makes me happy is that with the second blog I managed to make $856.03 on the 4-th month since the blog was launched!
It took so much more time for the first blog anastasiablogger.com to reach this point. My mistake (or I would say, lack of experience) was to get carried away by $100,000/mo income reports from established bloggers who seem to make most of their income from blogging about blogging. I spent so much time blogging about “how to start a blog” stuff on anastasiablogger.com and this didn’t allow my traffic to grow faster.
My traffic only started growing when I added all kinds of topics which “normal” non-blogger audience wants to see on Pinterest. Pinterest loved me for that and my traffic skyrocketed.
My Blogging Income Growth
- Traffic first – income will follow. Probably you have seen some “pro” bloggers who claim that traffic is not what grows your income, don’t believe in this! In any niche, you need traffic first and then you can think about sales funnels and other fancy stuff to monetize your blog.
- I keep driving over 90% of all my traffic from Pinterest – it’s organic and free traffic. If you are still in doubts whether it’s worth investing your time and learning about Pinterest SEO, just keep in mind that my second blog has grown from 0 to 74,000 pageviews/mo in less than 90 days.
- I made an overview of my blogging income and traffic for the first blog and compared with the second blog. I realized that I could have reached the first $1000/mo income much faster if I didn’t start blogging about blogging. I was ignoring for too long the opportunity of driving Pinterest traffic to non-blogging content. Applying to Mediavine became my objective only in about 7-8 months blogging and as a result, I received my first decent ad income ($1440) only on 11th month since I started the first blog.
How to Make Money on Pinterest: My Exact Blog Monetization Formula
If you are looking for a proven blog growth and monetization formula, which will help you get your first $1000 in about 6 months blogging (possibly even earlier if you start with at least 20-50 pieces of content ready to publish).
My exact blog monetization formula tested and implemented especially successfully on my second blog is as follows:
- Grow traffic fast with a broadly niched blog writing about anything that is popular on Pinterest – DIY, recipes, holiday, moms and babies stuff, weight loss, diets, money saving and money making, etc.. Maybe not everything in one blog, but also possible.
- Reach 25,000 sessions a month to apply to Mediavine. You are getting there around $10-15 per 1000 sessions. On the best months (usually, it’s the last quarter of the year) this might reach even $20. With 30,000 sessions, you will make about $300-$600 a month from ads. With 90, 000 sessions you can make about $900 – $1200, depending on the season and your site’s metrics, because RPM varies even within the same niche.
- Add affiliate links and create more content with affiliate offers to have an extra income source. In some niches, affiliate income can be higher than ad income.
- Create a digital product, most probably, an eBook, but also could be something like a binder, a checklist, a troubleshooter, a mini-course by email or a webinar. I would start with a lower price range (up to $20) smaller product which doesn’t take too much time to create. This way I would test on a smaller product if in this niche people are ready to purchase digital products.
I would choose which product it should be based on which topic seems to work the best on my broadly niched blog and what I can learn about fast to become an expert on that topic.
See, my formula seems pretty simple. The question is, how do you implement all of this? Where do you get the traffic?
From Pinterest! Currently, this is the fastest way to attract traffic to a new blog. So, focus on Pinterest.