Today, I have a great post from Leah about how to make money with Pinterest. She has a great side hustle and is going to share it with you all. If you are interested in learning how to make money on Pinterest by becoming a Pinterest virtual assistant, I recommend checking out this great course that will teach you exactly how.
What if you could earn a substantial amount of side income by doing something you love? By doing something that you do most days anyway? By doing something that feels absolutely nothing like work?
What if you could earn a substantial side income by, oh I don't know, playing around on Pinterest all day?
Well, that's exactly what I did, and today I'm going to explain not only why I make money from Pinterest but how I managed to pull this off. If you want to know “Can you make money on Pinterest?,” then today's article is for you.
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My name is Leah, and I'm the founder of the travel and lifestyle design blog The Sweetest Way. Over the course of the last two years, I've created a reliable source of side income for myself working as a social media consultant—or, more specifically, a Pinterest consultant.
Yes, I make money from Pinterest.
I've helped some of the world's top travel bloggers build their followings, gain thousands and thousands of new page views per month, and become powerful Pinterest influencers through my account management services. I've helped scores of others learn how to leverage this powerful platform to grow their own brands through my one-on-one consulting sessions.
To be honest, all of this came as a surprise even to me! Prior to starting my own travel blog, I was not well-versed in social media whatsoever and never fathomed actually earning an income from it.
Not long after I began my blogging journey, however, I realized that self-employment and location independence were my ultimate goals and, since it takes quite awhile to turn a blog into a viable business, I knew I would need an immediate source of income to help pay the bills while continuing to work on my own projects.
One day, an opportunity presented itself to take over the social media accounts of a well-known travel blogger, with Pinterest growth being the main priority. I knew little about how to effectively utilize the platform for business at that time, but I set about learning as much as I could and eventually achieved impressive results.
With that knowledge and experience, my reputation began to grow, and with a few strategic moves on my part I was able to turn this newfound skill into a reliable source of side income that has helped me continue living a location independent lifestyle, all the while building my own business.
I now offer Pinterest account management services and strategy consulting to bloggers and brands that are looking to increase their visibility on the platform and drive traffic and leads. Even when I'm not actively promoting my services, new clients consistently find me month after month thanks to the reputation I've built for myself and referrals from happy clients, current and former.
Pinterest consulting isn't my only source of income, but there was a time when it was my primary source of income, and if I really needed to increase my earnings I could easily sign more clients today if I wanted to. That peace of mind alone is worth its weight in gold.
Plus, I love helping people—especially those like me who are intent on designing their own ideal lifestyle instead of subscribing to the status quo—and it just so happens I love Pinterest, too, so it's a pretty sweet position to be in!
The following are the precise steps I took to build this Pinterest consulting side hustle, so that I could make money with Pinterest, that has helped me continue on in pursuit of a location independent lifestyle. This is how you can learn how to make money on Pinterest too!
Step 1: Gain the Experience
First and foremost, it was important for me to understand how regular users interact with the platform. As a long-time Pinterest user myself, I was able to analyze my own habits:
- What I looked for in a pin
- What type of content I was typically drawn to, and
- What made me actually click through to visit a website.
I realized I didn't so much think of Pinterest as a social platform for interacting with others, but a content discovery tool or as some people like to call it, a visual search engine. This insight from a user's perspective was crucial to my understanding of how to market effectively to other users later on.
Next, I needed to understand exactly how a business would benefit from utilizing Pinterest. Generating traffic is just one example—Pinterest is also an extremely effective tool for capturing leads as well as generating sales of both physical and digital products. An active Pinterest profile is also an excellent way to boost brand awareness and engagement; with these business objectives in mind, it was time to start figuring out what strategies actually worked.
In the early stages, it helped me immensely to seek out training programs, videos, and tutorials to see what successful accounts looked like and what practices they were using that were proving effective. Of course, what works well for one brand won't necessarily work well for another, and what works with today's Pinterest algorithms won't necessarily work with tomorrow's, which meant my process of testing new techniques had be on-going in order for me to continue to grow and achieve my goals. This is the only true way to learn what works on a given platform, after all—trial and error.
Using my own Pinterest business account as the guinea pig, I was able to gain this experience of learning through trial and error.
As I mentioned earlier, I was also fortunate enough to be hired for Pinterest by friend of mine and thus grew my knowledge base even faster by managing two accounts. Of course, managing just my own account certainly would have sufficed.
Step 2: Build Authority
Once I had some experience running a Pinterest business account under my belt and had started to see some success, the next step was to build authority on the topic. Having the knowledge wasn't enough—I had to make sure people considered me an expert.
One of the ways I did this was by writing a monster how-to guide on my own website. My post titled Pinterest for Travel Bloggers: An In-Depth Guide to Help You Drive Traffic Like a BOSS was that guide.
I laid out everything I knew about the platform from my experience using it for business, as well as everything I had ever learned while researching best practices. I shared examples of my most effective pins and included analytics that showed in concrete terms the growth and improvement I'd achieved by using the exact techniques I had outlined.
It helped a LOT of people, and got more comments and shares than almost any other post I’d ever written.
Giving away all of my hard-won knowledge may seem a bit counterintuitive at first, but it was actually one of the best moves I could have made.
Sure, most people who visited the post simply took my advice and implemented the strategies themselves. This was beneficial in itself, however, because I then had an army of people sharing their success stories in the comments and verifying that my strategies really worked, further bolstering my reputation.
On the other hand, there were people visiting the post who needed a Pinterest strategy but did not have the time to implement in themselves. In this second group were my target customers; at that point, I just had to lead them to my services.
Guest posting on other websites is another great way to build authority and position yourself as an expert on any topic, so long as the audience is a good match. It's always beneficial to offer up your expertise in online forums as well; find threads on your topic in Facebook groups or on Reddit and help answer questions, linking to your relevant blog posts when appropriate.
Step 3: Land Your First Client
Landing the first client is always one of the most difficult steps for a new freelancer; after the first, you'll feel much more confident and the second and the third will come much easier! The important thing is to let as many people know about your services as possible—if no one knows what you offer, no one can hire you, which means that you'll never make money with Pinterest.
One of the ways I let people know about my one-on-one Pinterest consultations was by advertising the service at the end of my Pinterest how-to blog post. I linked to a separate page that outlined exactly what the client would get from our session along with proof of the impressive results I had achieved in the past (a few screenshots of my Pinterest analytics worked just fine for this).
There are also plenty of great online marketplaces where you can offer such a service. On forums like these, it often helps to set your pricing on the lower end of the spectrum until you have a few clients under your belt who can provide positive references.
Finally, don't forget to tell your friends and family! Word of mouth can go a long way. Even if they don't personally have a need for your service, they might just know someone who does. You can even offer people you know a special discounted rate as incentive to hire you; having at least one happy client will greatly increase your chances of getting another, especially if they provide you with a glowing review or testimonial.
Step 4: Land Your Second Client, and Your Third
Once I had one satisfied Pinterest client, word of mouth referrals worked wonders for bringing me my second, and then third, fourth, and so on. I always let my clients know if I was actively seeking new clients and encouraged them to refer people they knew.
In-person networking also brought me many of my new clients (when meeting other travel bloggers on the road and at networking events I always mentioned my services) as well as actively participating in Facebook groups for bloggers and digital nomads.
As long as you continue producing excellent results and continue promoting yourself wherever possible—in your social circles, on your blog, through guest posts on other sites—your client roster will fill itself up in no time.
Step 5: Diversify Your Offerings
In the beginning, I made the mistake of turning away clients simply because they didn’t want to pay my fixed monthly rate for account management services.
What I should have done instead was modify what I provided until the service matched the price point they were comfortable with. This way, I still earn what I think I’m worth, and they still get my services at a price they are willing to pay.
These days, I am much more open to negotiation and because of it, I rarely have to turn a new client away for lack of time on my part or a lack of funds on theirs.
Additionally, not everyone who contacts me wants their account fully managed. Some of them simply want pins created because they don’t think they are creative. Others want personalized advice on how to optimize their own account and in-depth training for using a scheduling app; this is what my one-on-one Skype consultations are for.
Be flexible with your offerings without undermining yourself. Never lower your rates; adapt your services to match their price point.
Step 6: Promote, Promote, Promote
Marketing your services shouldn't end just because your client roster is full. You never know when one of them may drop off or decide they don't need your services anymore, and having people waiting in the wings leaves you in the best possible position.
Of course, if you don't rely heavily on this source of income, having a steady stream of clients may not be your top priority; that said, it's never a bad thing, either!
Even if you have to turn people away, keep a running list of these potential clients on hand for the future. You can always contact them if time opens up in your schedule or you decide to scale up your operation. And of course, continue promoting through your website, social media, and beyond.
What I Earn as a Freelance Pinterest Consultant
My pay structure has changed a lot over time, and I earn a much better rate now than I did when starting out.
My first client, who was also a close friend, initially paid me a rate of $10 per hour. This is fairly standard pay for a virtual assistant, at least within the travel blogging community.
Eventually, I began offering Pinterest account management services at a flat monthly rate of $300, but depending on what's included in the package, I have charged as little as $100 and as much as $400. For these accounts, I generally work 3-4 hours per week, which equates to an hourly rate somewhere between $18-25. For my personalized one-on-one Skype consultations, I charge $69 per hour.
With all of these services combined, I have earned up to $1500 in a single month from my Pinterest side hustle. Since I spend much of my time in low-cost countries as a digital nomad, this is more than sufficient to cover living expenses and then some when combined with earnings from my blog.
I firmly believe that with the right mindset and some strategic planning, anyone can turn a skill (or even a hobby!) into a profitable side business, such as learning how to make money with Pinterest.
If you want to earn more money, pay down your debts faster, save for that dream trip, or eventually earn enough from a side hustle to quit your 9-5 job, it is possible! And I hope that by sharing my story, others can find the courage to walk boldly in the direction of their dreams.
Author bio for this How To Make Money On Pinterest guide: Leah is the author of Take Your Life Back: Finding Freedom Through Location Independence, which is a great guide for becoming location independent.
What do you think of this Pinterest side hustle? Are you interested in learning how to make money with Pinterest?
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