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in Online Business - 06 Aug, 2012
by Eric Hammer - no comments
Using Pinterest to Make Money Online
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pinterestPinterest is the new kid on the block when it comes to social networking. Whereas Facebook and Twitter are more word oriented, the idea of Pinterest is to allow you to share interesting photos, either your own or those you found elsewhere. There are no status updates or anything of that nature – just the photos. And of course, Pinterest is also a great place to make money online. Here are some great ways Pinterest can help you make money as an entrepreneur:

Selling Your Product

This is by far the most obvious use for Pinterest – put up images from your product which look interesting (it’s all about looking interesting when you’re trying to make money on Pinterest) and people may be interested enough to click the link and check out your product. The key of course is to keep your photos fun and interesting. Screen shots which don’t show anything exciting are not going to get clicked on.

Affiliate Marketing

Of course, this is another very popular method of making money online and one that I’ve written about frequently. In essence, the idea is that you take a commission by selling a product for someone else. One of the best ways to use Pinterest for this is to sell products from Amazon.com which are interesting to the particular customers in your niche. You should however also include photos which are interesting in general so that your customers don’t feel as if you’re only spamming them with the photos of products off of Amazon (or any other place you can think of). Remember that Pinterest is basically a social network and so you want to be social.

Don’t Be a Hog – Help Others Out

Speaking of Pinterest being a social network, the key to making money on any social network is to be social. You need to make friends on Pinterest and one of the easiest ways to do this is to follow people you find interesting and repin their photos. They’ll often return the favor and repin your photos as well so that you can then make money from whatever it is that you are selling through your photos. However, if you treat Pinterest purely as a place to spam, you’ll find that people will tend to ignore you and it will be a waste of time.

Remember Niches

Pinterest, according to most studies, tends to attract a largely female audience. This is certainly changing somewhat as it becomes increasingly popular, however for the short term, you’ll find that more women are on Pinterest than men. Thus ideally, you want to target female oriented products to sell on Pinterest. This means that the tool chest is out while the perfume box is in.

Remember It Can Help You Build Links

Another thing to keep in mind when you use Pinterest is that it can be used for very effective link building. You simply put out the photos of your products and then link them back to your own website. Of course, this also means that you need to ensure that you include good descriptions. Remember that Google can’t see what your pictures are about. They know only what you put into the description (yes, I know there are new face recognition programs and whatnot, however they tend to be pretty experimental and Google to the best of my knowledge is not yet using such things in indexing their photo listings). So be sure you fill in good descriptions and also be sure that you do not engage in spammy tactics when you do so (i.e. repeating your keyword over and over again in the description is a big no  no).

Pin It to Win It

Another great way to use Pinterest for making money online is to use it to create a contest. In essence, you are still trying to either promote your own products or you are trying to promote someone else’s product. However, the idea here is that you are giving something away to people who agree to repin your photographs. So you might for example hold a contest offering a free iPad to one lucky winner. The key of course is to ensure that you get your contest spread widely enough for people to know about it and not to end up having to give away something expensive in exchange for 10 people having repinned your photo.

Use it to Learn about Your Audience

Finally, you can use Pinterest to learn more about your potential audience. So for example, if you are trying to target middle age women, then you might offer various photos of products that you think would interest them and watch to see which of your pinned photos gets repinned most often. This will tell you what your potential customers are interested in and allow you to tailor your product offerings to their needs.

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