Since February 2015, Pinterest has started cracking down on affiliate links. The current status on that is vague. I’ve heard some people that claim that the tracking part of the link gets stripped, and I’ve seen link shortening services get blocked. When trying to add a redirect link to a pin, using a service like bit.ly, you’ll get the following message:
Others claim that their affiliate links from Pinterest are still working fine. However, Pinterest is probably still working on improving their system to detect and block or strip affiliate links. All in all, bad news for people who have been using Pinterest to direct link to their affiliate advertisers.
This is what Pinterest says about affiliate links in their rules:
Don’t use affiliate or redirect links – Affiliate and redirect links create confusing experiences for Pinners. Our systems will block most affiliate links, so your Pin’s landing page won’t load.
However, there IS a method of making sure your affiliate links from pinterest work. Now, before I’ll show how to still link to affiliate sites from Pinterest, let me warn you:
- Exclusively relying on a 3rd party website (like Pinterest) for your income is NEVER a good long-term strategy.
- This might get your Pinterest account into trouble.
- There’s a chance the method might stop working in the future, but that’s actually quite unlikely.
Method to bypass the block
Note: this method was tested and worked as of the time of writing. I can’t guarantee it’ll keep working in the future.
First of all, you need a WordPress website. This doesn’t mean you’ll actually have to flesh out your website by writing tons of article. In fact, you don’t need to write any articles at all; you just need to have a WordPress website.
If you’re a Pinterest user that relies on Pinterest alone to make money, you probably don’t have a website. If you need to set up a website, I can help you with that. Here’s how to get cheap hosting, and here are more instructions on how to get a WordPress website up and running.
The reason I stated this might get your Pinterest account in trouble, is that you WILL be using redirect links, from your own website. With the method I’ll show you, your redirect links will look like any normal link from your website. This means Pinterest won’t recognize you’re using a redirected link, as the link you’ll be using will look like any other link to your website.
To do this, you’ll need to install a Plugin called ‘Pretty Link’. Here’s a video tutorial on setting that up:
I’ve tested this method, and the links didn’t ever get blocked by Pinterest. Also, clicks on your redirect link are registered as clicks on your affiliate link, and a tracking cookie will get placed.
A better long-term strategy
A better strategy is to just link to an accompanying article your website. On your own website, you can write a full review or recommendation on the product. If you do this well, this will convince the reader to buy the product, and you might actually see more sales from the same amount of clicks on your Pin. Of course, you’ll use affiliate links on your website to link to the product you’re trying to sell. This method is 100% in line with Pinterest’s guidelines, and therefore future-proof.
Some additional benefits:
- You’ll also get traffic to your site from search engines.
- You can get traffic to your website from other social media, like Facebook, Twitter, and Google+.
- You have a chance of converting people that click on your Pin into returning visitors to your website. They could bookmark your site, like or follow social media pages, or opt-in to your email list.
So, instead of relying on Pinterest alone, it’ll be just one of your traffic sources. You can get a lot more visitors if you’re building a website, and diversifying your traffic sources. So instead of ‘making money from Pinterest’, you’re actually starting a sustainable business.
If this sounds like something you’re interested in, click here to read more about a full step-by-step training program I recommend for building a sustainable online business.
You can still use affiliate links on Pinterest, by redirecting them from you own website, by using a plugin like Pretty Link Lite. While this may help you to continue your current method of making money directly from Pinterest, I recommend building your own website.