Since the arrival of social media, there have been countless ways for people to make money on the internet. None of them are as lucrative and as efficient as the latest Social Networking site to hit the web, Pinterest.
Pinterest is a social network that allows users to share images with millions of like-minded people, who can then like those images or share them on their own pages, or “boards.” Everyone shares images with each other: the huge popularity of infographics, “fails,” and LOLCats proves that internet users are interested in short, witty, and visually interesting content. Pinterest has clearly tapped into this desire, resulting in close to 3 billion page views since the website came online in 2010.
The first thing you’ll need before heading out to mine Pinterest for cash is a web presence. You don’t need to have 20,000 Twitter followers, or a Facebook page with over 10,000 Likes, but you do require a website or blog where you can post affiliate links or sell your own products. Ultimately, you are going to be using Pinterest as a formidable marketing tool to drive traffic to your “shop.” Pinterest has no monetization scheme, either for itself or its users. However, it is one of the quickest, easiest ways of generating a ton of views for your content.
As soon as you’ve got a basic site up and running, use the following tips to make more money on Pinterest than you ever expected:
Add a “Pin It” button to everything you post online. Just like in the prehistoric days of the blog, where you would add “Digg” and “Reddit” buttons to the bottom of your posts, you should be adding a “Pin It” button to all of your blog posts and pages. This allows you and all of your visitors to quickly pin images that they want to share. The more users pin it, the faster it’ll get spread around, and you’ll see your page views skyrocket.
Watermark or caption all of your images with your URL. Someone might have the urge to pin your content without your URL or description attached to it. You don’t want to lose out on a marketing opportunity when people start pinning your content without proper attribution.
Join a Group Board and pin your content. Don’t just rely on your own board’s popularity for exposure; leverage boards that already have followers. Be careful, though: you don’t want to look too much like advertising and get nailed for spam. The trick is to make your content look as natural as possible. Sharing advertising can make people feel manipulated. Make sure you’re posting to relevant boards, and that you’re posting only as often as you need to.
Optimize your Pinterest Profile: just like you’d use SEO tactics to increase your site’s exposure, you want to use the right keywords to describe your profile, your boards, and your images. If customers can’t find you, they can’t pin you!
Follow as many boards as you can, paying particular attention to your market: Pinterest users are overwhelmingly female, aged 35-50, and make between $25,000 and $50,000. This isn’t to say that you need to market to this segment specifically, but that you can only afford to target the most popular boards if your customers are aligned with this demographic. If you’re trying to sell comics, you need to follow and like pins about comic book heroes; likewise with video games.
Finally, remember the number one rule of social networking: be sociable. Re-pin other users’ images, and follow their boards, and they’ll return the favour. This means more eyeballs, and more conversions for you.
By Michael Collins