Pinterest is a visual bookmarking social network where users submit ‘pins’ of their favorite interests. The social network has exploded in popularity and web traffic and, as of this last September, has blown past Yahoo in terms of organic traffic.

No doubt, Pinterest is becoming a major source of referral traffic for many websites using the platform, correctly. It’s still unknown how effective the network can truly be and only time may tell but now is the ripe opportunity to claim your presence on this virtual pinboard.

In this edition of the Beginner’s Guide to Traffic Generation, we’re looking at a variety of methods and best practices for using Pinterest for traffic.

The Visual Pinboard that took the Web by Storm

Though it seems Pinterest’s hype is starting to calm down, one can’t deny the massive growth of the network and its impact on websites and online businesses in just a few short years.

Pinterest’s concept is actually quite simple:

  • Users submit and ‘pin’ images to their boards
  • They can reshare and like other pins
  • You can follow and be followed

Overall, it doesn’t seem like that big of a deal seeing that almost all major social networks have some form of imaging sharing but the visual layout and audience has turned the site into something else; it’s the community involvement, mainly the female majority, that has effectively given Pinterest such a kaleidoscope of interesting content in comparison to other social networks which have become slightly chaotic and messy (too much spam).

It’s becoming apparent that Pinterest is growing into a major referral source for online business … interested yet?

What Pinterest Means for the Affiliate Marketer

In layman’s terms: Pinterest is a social network for the average Web user.

Unlike Twitter, Google+, Reddit, and the myriad of niche social sites, Pinterest is extremely intuitive and draws people of common demographics. An affiliate marketer should immediately realize the prime opportunity for spreading their message on the network because it’s extremely likely that your average customer may have presence on the site.

Here’s a handy infographic for businesses:

Of course, demographics aside, Pinterest is extremely easy to use and requires less commitment than many other social networks; you can jump over, pin a few pictures and links, and be on your merry way.

Pinning Pinterest for Traffic and Engagement

Before you begin: realize that Pinterest is about sharing fun and interesting content.

The users are vastly different than your past experiences on other networks and, with some similarity to those networks, people don’t want to have marketing messages crammed down their throat nor do they want to be spammed.

Pinterest is about bringing a visual experience to the Web (and site). The traffic will come and conversions will happen if you take the time to create a board that’s fascinating, funny, and engaging.

Claiming your presence


The basics of good Pinterest-ing


A hodge-podge of additional tips

In no particular order of importance – here are a variety of additional Pinterest tips you may want to implement:

1. Share and comment on other pins that you like.

2. Pin some videos for more variety.

3. Make sure to use the Pinterest social sharing tools.

4. Embed a ‘follow’ button on your website.

5. Use plenty of pictures in your articles (to increase pin-age).

6. Study some of the bigger users on the network and see their engagement.

7. Compile your content into categories (each with their own boards).

8. Pull out your favorite quotes from past pieces and rework them as an image.

9. Create a few infographics and get them shared.

10. Integrate a promotional campaign or giveaway based around the site.


Pinterest is here to stay … Embrace It

Should every business be on Pinterest?

It’s hard to say. Businesses that are creative and visual (such as DIY websites) dominate the network but a business in manufacturing cups may not be all too engaging. But who knows!

It certainly can’t hurt to go ahead and claim your profile. Any experienced affiliate marketer will be able to find their way around the network and discover the best practices for their particular niche. Couple in a bit of competitor research and read up on case studies and you should be primed and ready to go.

Its unlikely Pinterest is going away anytime soon. Sure, something new may come along to take away its thunder but you may as well explore the network while it has everyone’s attention.