Shortly after it’s launch in 2010, Pinterest.com became one of the Web’s fastest-growing social networking sites. While its structure is similar to other social networking sites, its concept is unique. The idea behind Pinterest is one of sharing interests with followers through pictures.
Here’s how the site works: users sign up for an account. Once you do, you get virtual “pin boards” or bulletin boards.
The idea is to have one pin board dedicated to a particular topic. For instance, a large number of Pinterest users have boards dedicated to “recipes.” You can even get specific if you want to, and create multiple boards for different kinds of recipes, such as “dessert recipes” or “breakfast recipes.” You can create as many virtual pin boards as you wish.
When you come across a picture on the Web of something that interests you, you can “pin” that picture onto your virtual board. Other Pinterest users can view your boards and see the pictures you’ve pinned. Users can “follow” other users, just like on Twitter. Boards of the people that you follow show up in your news feed, and your boards show up in the feeds of those who follow you.
How to make money using Pinterest: Users can’t make money directly off the site. Instead, you must use the site as a “portal” to direct other users to other sites that you hold a financial stake in.
Every picture that you “pin” onto a board on your profile becomes a link. If you (or another user) click on the image, it leads to the site from which it came. You can also comment on pictures that you pin. This opens up a number of possibilities when it comes to ways to make money. Three ways to make money this way include:
1) Selling products: Do you have a Website or an e-store on a site such as eBay where you sell some kind of product(s)? You can pin pictures of products that you carry onto your boards. Talk up the products in the comments section in order to hook potential customers and get them to click on the picture, go to your site and make a purchase.
2) Create and market your own products: Are you a crafty or handy person or an artist of some kind? Pinterest is the ideal place to display your work and generate a profit from it.
First, you’ll need your own Website. If you don’t have one, you can create a “store” for your products on another site, such as Etsy or eBay. Once you do this, you can start pinning images of your original creations on your boards and drawing potential buyers to your site or store and make money when someone buys.
3) Market an affiliate product: You don’t have to have your own products or distributor’s license to sell products. Instead, you can sign on as an affiliate marketer. The Web is full of affiliate products of different types. You can choose one or more of these to market.
Next, create a Website or blog from which to market your affiliate product. Fill your site with effective, persuasive content and, of course, pictures. Pin those pictures to your Pinterest boards. They’re all links to your site where users can purchase your affiliate product and you make money (usually a percentage of the selling price).
The key to drawing attention to your pin board(s) is to generate a following. Your pins will consistently show up in the feeds of your followers (although your boards can be viewed by other Pinterest users as well). Then, make sure you pin regularly and add persuasive comments to each one to increase the chance you’ll make money.