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How to make money on Pinterest – build a brand and monetise pins

5-minute read

Smiling women with laptop and notepad
Catriona Smith

Catriona Smith

7 November 2023

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You might think of Pinterest as just visual inspiration for craft projects, recipes, home decor, and beauty trends. But what if there’s a way for small businesses to find new customers and grow their income too?

Selling products, advertising your business, or partnering with other brands – when it comes to how to make money on Pinterest, there’s so many things you can try.

Bloggers and influencers as well online shops and even high street businesses like beauty salons are just some of the businesses and side hustlers that might find Pinterest a lucrative tool.

This guide cover everything you need to know to get started:

What is Pinterest – and should your business start using it?

Pinterest is a social media platform that lets users find images and create vision boards on pretty much any topic.

Founded in 2008, the platform has been around almost as long as Facebook (now Meta) but stands out in the way it values inclusion and belonging, always “putting pinners first”.

Users (known as ‘Pinners’) can browse images when researching ideas for weddings, home improvements, and new hairstyles. That’s why many people are now referring to Pinterest as a search engine rather than a social media site.

But how does Pinterest work and why should businesses get involved? Well, people use Pinterest to research projects and often discover new businesses at the same time. In fact, research shows almost half (46 per cent) of weekly Pinners have discovered a new brand or product on Pinterest.

For example, people searching for the best wedding flowers, cakes, or dresses are looking for inspiration – but they’re likely to be in the market for wedding services too. Freelance photographers, florists, and bakeries could use this to target potential customers with paid ads that Pinners see when creating their mood boards. We’ll explain more about how to use Pinterest for business and set up adverts below.

How to make money from Pinterest

There’s a few ways you can earn money on Pinterest depending on your trade and type of business.

Drive links to your website – boost sales by pinning images on Pinterest that include a link right back to your site.

Connect your online shop – if you already have a business website and sell products online then you can create posts with shoppable links.

Affiliate marketing – make money by creating content and sharing links to promote specific products and services for a range of companies.

Partner with other brands – influencers can earn money promoting brands, or smaller shops can work together to cross-promote each other on the platform.

Advertise your business – set up paid ads to appear when users search for specific images that relate to your product or service.

Beyond making money, you could also use Pinterest to support your business planning, goal setting, and product research. Even just browsing Pinterest can help you keep up with current trends in your industry – and you can use this insight to market more effectively to your customers.

Woman taking a photo of a small plant in a pot for sale
Photograph: anon/

How to use Pinterest to make money – a quick-start guide

Before you get started, make sure you have a solid strategy and know who you’re trying to reach and where they are on Pinterest – bear in mind 60 per cent of Pinterest users are women.

Follow this step-by-step guide to making money on Pinterest:

  1. Create a Pinterest account – setting up a business account gives you access to analytics for your Pins and the tools you need to run paid ads on Pinterest.
  2. Start creating your visuals – whether that’s eye-catching product photography or telling a story with graphics, getting your Pinterest images right is essential.
  3. Spot trends – see what’s popular on Pinterest and get insight into what people in your target market are searching for.
  4. Grow your followers – encourage people to save your pins with your enticing caption content, use a range of formats (video and image), and add relevant text on to your visuals to help more people find your pins.
  5. Post regularly – it’s a good idea to have a weekly plan of content you want to share on Pinterest to keep your audience engaged.

Pinterest has a whole guide for how to set up a shop on the platform as well as expert tips for creators if you want to know more about how to make the most of your content.

Getting paid on Pinterest

Influencers and creators working with affiliate links or brand partnerships need to organise payment directly with the companies and partners they’re working with. Make sure you add a ‘paid partnership’ tag to all your sponsored content.

Ideas for specific businesses – getting to know paid advertising

Did you know that you can promote your business by creating paid ads for your products or services on Pinterest?

You can create Pinterest ads using the app’s Ads Manager and either promote a pin that you’ve saved before or create a new pin. It's simple to do using the mobile app or desktop site.

Building a campaign involves setting up objectives and behaviour across three levels:

  • campaigns (objectives, overall spend limits)
  • groups (budget, dates, audience targeting)
  • ads (the pins people see on their feed and in search results)

But how can you use this for your business?

If you run a beauty salon for example, you could try targeting specific search terms on the app with paid ads. People are often searching for ‘Pinterest nails’ or ‘Pinterest nail designs’ as inspiration. If they see an advert for a business in their local area where they can get their nails done then there’s a high likelihood that they’ll click to learn more about your business.

Other trends and search terms you could target include:

  • Pinterest hairstyles – if you run a hair salon
  • Pinterest dresses – for fashion businesses
  • Pinterest living room – for painters and decorators or homeware shops
  • Pinterest garden ideas – for gardeners and landscaping businesses
  • Pinterest bathroom ideas – for painters or homeware shops

We have a more general guide on how to use social media to advertise your business if you’re interested in learning more.

We already mentioned Pinterest’s round-up of popular trends right now, which includes everything from money saving tips to burnt orange colour schemes. But what’s going to be popular for small business owners in 2024?

If you run a hair salon then keep an eye out for 2024 hairstyles. While craft businesses might want to see where the trend for homemade candles goes next.

How to get followers on Pinterest

Building up your following on Pinterest can take time. Here are a few things to try:

  • create engaging visuals (video or image) that tell a story
  • use keywords in your captions and even on the pin itself (that’s where an understanding of basic SEO can be helpful)
  • engage with other boards and relevant pins
  • share your Pinterest account to other channels, for example in your email newsletter or by adding a logo to your website
  • test and learn – monitor what type of content works (and when) and build learnings into your strategy

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Photograph: (JLco) Julia Amaral/
Catriona Smith

Written by

Catriona Smith

Catriona Smith is a content and marketing professional with 12 years’ experience across the financial services, higher education, and insurance sectors. She’s also a trained NCTJ Gold Standard journalist. As a Senior Copywriter at Simply Business, Catriona has in-depth knowledge of small business concerns and specialises in tax, marketing, and business operations. Catriona lives in the seaside city of Brighton where she’s also a freelance yoga teacher.

We create this content for general information purposes and it should not be taken as advice. Always take professional advice. Read our full disclaimer

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