Since launching my Pinterest course, Pin Practical Masterclass, I get asked one question alllll the time…
How can I make money on Pinterest?
Have you seen the gazillion pins out there about “how I made Pinterest my full-time job” or 1,001 bloggers telling you that Pinterest is the easiest and fastest way to make money online?
I know. I’ve seen it too!
The only problem is… most of the articles I read about how to make money on Pinterest are fluff. They provide generalized strategies with no actionable advice.
Look no further, in this 3-part series, I’m going to break down three actionable ways to make money on Pinterest with real steps on how to accomplish it. In this series, we’ll cover…
- How to make money with a Pinterest sales funnel <– this post
- How to leverage affiliate marketing to make passive income on Pinterest <– coming soon
- Offer Pinterest VA services to local or online business owners <– coming soon
Let’s jump right in!
What Exactly is a Pinterest Sales Funnel?
Super Simple Pinterest Sales Funnel I Used to Make $7,000 on Autopilot in 3 Months!
In this illustration, I’m demonstrating the basic steps for how a Pinterest sales funnel works. The concept is simple… the more people you show your pins to in search results using keywords, the more opportunities you have to bring people through the remainder of the funnel.
At the top of the funnel, you have the opportunity to appeal to an unlimited number of people in search results. In order to get found in Pinterest search results, keywords are essential.
From there, not everyone who sees the pin will actually click on the pin. This is why creating a compelling and clickable image is so important.
In step 3 of the funnel, the image was compelling enough to click, now you’ve got to convince the Pinterest visitor to take an action. The main goal of a Pinterest sales funnel is to get a Pinterest visitor to provide you with their email address.
Of course, not everyone who visits your site will take the action you want them to take. As we move down the funnel, the next step is to nurture your potential customer by providing immense value. This is where effective email marketing comes in.
The last step of the funnel is making the sale — whether that be recommending an affiliate product, your own products, or a paid service you offer.
If you follow the steps I lay out here, Pinterest can make you money on autopilot!
Wouldn’t that be nice?
Let’s break down each step of the Pinterest sales funnel.
Step 1: Keywords – how to get found in search results
Most people treat Pinterest from the get-go as a social media site. Pinterest is NOT a social media site, Pinterest has stated it does NOT want to be seen as a social media site. Pinterest is a VISUAL SEARCH ENGINE.
Pinterest is the 3rd largest search engine in the world, following Google and YouTube respectively.
Let’s break this down…
VISUAL = Pinterest cares about your images, Pinterest can read your images, your images matter
SEARCH ENGINE = Keywords
If you want to be successful on Pinterest, you have to be extremely targeted with the keywords you use. You must “flood” the market using the keyword you want to rank for in search results.
6 AREAS YOU SHOULD BE USING KEYWORDS ON PINTEREST
- Profile name
- Profile description
- Board titles
- Board descriptions
- Pin descriptions
- Text overlays on images
RESEARCH KEYWORDS ON PINTEREST
- Enter your main keyword into the Pinterest search bar, these are considered your pillar keywords
- If your pillar keyword has 10+ tiles underneath (called related keywords above), it’s a viable pillar keyword
- Make sure the pins that appear under your pillar keywords make sense for your brand
- Related keywords are considered long tail keywords
- Log your keywords on a spreadsheet
Step 2 Images – what motivates people to click through to your website?
It’s one thing to be found in search results, it’s another to convince people to click your pin.
It’s important to understand why people use Pinterest. Think about an average user. They come to Pinterest with a specific need and search for a solution to their problem. Your pin must convince them you can solve their problem.
FOLLOW THE BASIC PRINCIPLES OF PINTEREST IMAGE CREATION…
- Size matters
- Compelling and keyword focused text overlay ← from your keyword research!
- Bright and warm colors
- A picture that accurately represents the topic
- Easy to read on mobile devices
ANATOMY OF A PIN
PINTEREST IMAGE SIZE
All pins must be vertical with a 2:3 ratio, 1000 x 1500 pixels.
PINTEREST IMAGE CONTENT
Bright and warm colors, website address or logo for branding– don’t be afraid to a/b split test with images that have off-brand colors.
PINTEREST KEYWORDS ON IMAGES
Your main keyword should be included in the text overlay and variations of the main keyword should also appear in the pin description.
Adds the website name and article title– this happens automatically once you have rich pins set up.
IMAGE META DESCRIPTION
This pulls from the ALT tag on the image. I put the pin description in all of my ALT tags for images and in the Social Pug plugin.
ADDING ALT TAGS TO IMAGES IN WORDPRESS
USE YOAST FOR WORDPRESS TO CHANGE YOUR META DESCRIPTION
After you install Yoast, you can find this setting at the bottom of each page and post.
Step 3 Content – convince people to give their email address
There’s one important step that the majority of people miss with Pinterest…
Turning Pinterest visitors into email subscribers!
PINTEREST CUSTOMER JOURNEY
So now you’re probably wondering…
Why do we care about email subscribers and how does it relate to a Pinterest sales funnel?
Great question! 🙂
At the end of the day, a page view from Pinterest lasts 30 seconds and it’s not memorable. An email address gives you permission to chat with a real person in an intimate setting. Nowadays, there is nothing more sacred than your customer’s inbox, and you now have a one-way ticket inside!
Converting Pinterest visitors to email subscribers is the first step in setting up a Pinterest sales funnel.
How exactly will you convince someone to hand over their email address? Trust me, I know it doesn’t sound easy.
I’ve spent countless hours setting up my own funnels and researching other people’s funnels on Pinterest in several different niches. There is one type of content that always converts into email subscribers.
Printables are extremely popular on Pinterest. They are a great lead magnet for enticing visitors to give you their email address.
How to pick the right topics for a printable:
- Use the keywords you came up with during your keyword research to see the types of printables others have created
- Think outside the box– what questions do your readers ask you the most?
- The printable you create MUST relate to a product you already sell (or will be selling in the future)– this is key to making a sales funnel with Pinterest traffic
What if printables absolutely do not work for your audience?
No worries, I know there will be a few niches where printables won’t be a hit. Here are my suggestions for finding an opt-in offer that will convert for you:
- Pay attention to other influencers on Pinterest in your niche, how do they entice you to sign up for their email list?
- Brainstorm a problem you can solve for your audience and create a free eBook, challenge, checklist, workshop, webinar, etc.
Now you have a printable made and you’re ready to start growing your email list…
Let’s discuss how you will actually collect the email address and deliver the free printable.
TWO WAYS TO PROMOTE YOUR PINTEREST PRINTABLE
- Blog post including a signup form with 2-3 pins pointing to the blog post URL
- Landing page/opt-in page with 2-3 pints pointing to the blog post URL (grab the Sales Page Templates I use)
I’ve tried both and both convert well. I would suggest picking one to start with (whichever you feel more comfortable with) for this lesson.
Once you’ve decided on which type of content you’ll be creating, you’ll need to sign up for an email service provider if you haven’t already.
Don’t let setting up your email service provider scare you!
I know email service provider sounds like a big scary word but I promise it’s not scary at all. I have a comprehensive series on my blog that breaks down exactly what an email service provider is and why you need one (with videos!).
- Create your blog post with sign up form or landing page
- Sign up for your email service provider ← I use ConvertKit
- Create a signup form for your printable and link it to your blog post/landing page
- Create a pinnable image for your printable using the principles of image creation you learned in step 2
Step 4 Nurture – provide immense value to your email subscribers
Now we know how we’re going to get email subscribers from Pinterest but how do we actually make money. After all, that’s what a sales funnel is, right? A way to make money.
I have some good news and bad news here.
Bad news first, always…
No matter what the gurus want to tell you, there is no secret formula for making money with a sales funnel. There are many factors that go into creating a sales funnel. I couldn’t possibly cover all the ways to create a sales funnel in one lesson.
The good news…
I can give you a solid foundation for getting started with your first sales funnel. My number one tip… build, test, measure, rinse and repeat! Figure out what works best for you and your audience.
TWO TYPES OF SALES FUNNELS FOR PINTEREST
There are two types of sales funnels for Pinterest that I’ve found work the best:
- A tripwire upsell offer on the thank you page for your freebie
- A nurture email sequence
TRIPWIRE: LIMITED TIME UPSELL OFFER
A tripwire is when you offer a low-priced product on the thank you page of your freebie. The tripwire has to directly relate to your freebie in order for it to convert. I generally like to keep my tripwires between $7-$27.
The upsell offer can be for your own product or an affiliate product if you don’t have a product yet. One of the most effective ways I make affiliate sales is by offering a bonus to my audience. Offering a bonus to an affiliate product you use and love may be faster to create for you than your own product right now.
If you’re not product-based, that’s totally okay too! Service-based businesses can offer something like a free 15-minute call on the thank you page.
Create scarcity: On all of my tripwire thank you pages, I use a countdown timer. The timer I use comes natively with LeadPages <– sign up for a free 14-day trial with my link. After the trial ends, the cost is $25/month for the standard plan. In my opinion, this is well worth it! This is where I build all of my landing pages, sales pages, and thank you pages!
An example of a tripwire: Sign up for Pin Practical Ads and pay attention to the thank you page.
EMAIL NURTURE SEQUENCE
Another way to convert Pinterest visitors into paying customers is a nurture sequence they’ll receive once they sign up for your freebie.
Important elements of a sales nurture sequence:
- Be likable and friendly
- Introduce yourself and tell them what they can expect from you after signing up for your email list
- Educate them on the topic you’re trying to sell– without actually mentioning that you have something to sell
- Overcome objections– pose their objections in a question format and answer their question thoughtfully
- Provide a solution– your product!
If you’re really ambitious, you can set up a tripwire AND a nurture sequence. I would highly recommend having a nurture sequence for every freebie you offer your readers.
Step 5 SALES!!!
This step doesn’t actually have any action items except to constantly test out your funnels.
If you followed the instructions in steps 1-4, the end result should be money!
How I Make Money on Pinterest
As you can see from this elaborate explanation of how to set up a sales funnel with Pinterest, Pinterest doesn’t actually make me money directly. However, without Pinterest, I wouldn’t make any money in my sales funnel. Pinterest is what feeds the leads so I can nurture potential customers into paying customers.
Real results from Pinterest – Over $7,000 in 3 Months from ONE Tripwire
Just to prove how much this really works and how passive it can be. Here are the results from one tripwire I implemented in June 2017. I experimented with different price points between $47 and $17. I ended up settling on offering it for $17 with a 20-minute countdown timer.
In 3 months, I made over $7,000 from two separate pins I created.
Sales Funnel Templates
Ready to create a funnel, but overwhelmed by building the pages? I’ve created my top 6 performing sales pages as templates for you to quickly and easily rebrand to your business and products!
Ready For Advanced Pinterest Strategies?
Pin Practical Masterclass takes you through the exact process I used to grow my email list to over 14,000 subscribers in only 9 months using Pinterest. I take you behind on the scenes and show you key strategies for using analytics to problem solve and guide your Pinterest strategy, unique ways to get Pinterest visitors to take action on your content and much more.
Additional Blogging Resources