If it’s not obvious by now how much I love affiliate marketing, well, I’m really doing something wrong! 😂 But what you might not realize is how much I LOVE Pinterest. Yes, I also focus on SEO in order to get traffic, but Pinterest brings me about 60% of my traffic across all of my sites. This happens, in large part because I use Tailwind – a Pinterest scheduling app my business would flail without. So today I want to share how to make more affiliate income with Tailwind and Pinterest!
What is Tailwind?
First: What is Tailwind?
Tailwind is a social media scheduling tool that saves me at least 10 hours a month by automatically posting images (or “pins”) at optimized times of the day on Pinterest. (Tailwind also works with Instagram, but I’m not going into that on this post.)
One of the reasons I love Tailwind so much, and feel confident in promoting it as an affiliate, is because they are official partners with Pinterest (and Instagram) so you can feel safe with your accounts.
I mentioned that it saves me time, here’s how: I schedule my pins typically 6 weeks in advance. I’ll take 2-3 hours, once a month or so, and schedule out pins from my website, as well as affiliate pins (I’ll get more into that, I promise!) and any other pins. (I pin things that aren’t my own that are helpful to my readers, but that don’t directly compete with me.)
I’ve experimented with different numbers of pins I schedule for each day. I’ve heard experts recommend as few as 10 and as many as 50, or even 100 per day. Even with Tailwind, I don’t have time for 100 pins a day (I tried it, and it didn’t work well for me!), so currently I’m averaging around 20 pins per day.
And a reminder: Pinterest is bringing in about 60% of my traffic with those numbers! Of course, these are my personal results. If you’d like to learn more about what you might expect, Tailwind also publishes the “Typical Results of Tailwind Members” report every year, so you can see exactly what the average growth rate looks like for their members.
So how do I schedule 20 pins a day, 6 weeks in advance, in 2-3 hours a month with Tailwind? It’s easy!
Let’s take this blog post as an example. Once I publish it, I will post it to my most relevant Pinterest board. I usually make at least two images for every blog post, sometimes many more. But let’s say I create two for this post.
Once those two images are pinned to that board, I go over to that specific board on Pinterest and use the Tailwind Chrome extension to schedule those two pins.
Because this post is about affiliate marketing, internet marketing, social media, Pinterest, and online business in general, I have at least 20 Pinterest boards I can schedule my pins to. So I quickly add the boards via a “board list”, which is a handy Tailwind tool that allows you to group certain types of boards together in one list. Once you click on that board list in the scheduler, all of the boards on it are automatically added to the pins you want to schedule.
I include my own boards as well as some group boards to get even more eyes on my pins. Group boards are boards on Pinterest where people collaborate and contribute pins on a certain topic or topics.
Two pins times 20 boards is 40 scheduled pins — or, in my case, about two days worth of pins, in about three minutes, tops.
Plus Tailwind offers a feature called “Tribes” where you can submit your pin to like minded Tribe members who blog/pin on similar topics. In most cases, for each pin you submit to a Tailwind Tribe, you are asked to pin at least one pin someone else submitted. It can be an excellent way to get more eyes, and saves and clicks, on your pins. You have access to up to 5 tribes and 30 monthly submissions with your monthly membership, and if you want more, they can be purchased with “PowerUps”.
How to Use Tailwind to Schedule Affiliate Links
So now that you have an idea of how I use Tailwind to promote my blog posts, let’s talk about how you can use Tailwind to schedule affiliate links.
Yes, most of my blog posts contain affiliate links (that’s what I teach here, after all!) So in the example above I was pinning to my blog posts. In this example, I’m going to teach you how to pin directly to an affiliate offer/site.
Before I do that, however, please be aware of the following:
Before pinning any direct affiliate links, make sure each affiliate allows you to do that. For example, as the time I’m writing this, the Etsy Affiliate Program does not allow you to pin direct affiliate links. It’s against their rules and can get you kicked out of their program.
You must disclose the fact that your pin is an affiliate link. (This definitely applies to U.S. citizens, but it may also apply in other countries, so be sure to check with your local laws if you’re outside of the U.S.)
There is some question as to what is enough of a disclosure on a link like that, and I’m NOT a lawyer, so I suggest reading over the FTC’s site about this subject. One thing you’ll notice on the FTC’s site is that they say that your disclosures should be “clear and conspicuous” over and over. So I always make sure I include “affiliate link” or #affiliatelink in all of my affiliate pin descriptions.
Don’t spam! This should go without saying. BUT… You might get so excited about the idea of sharing affiliate links on Pinterest and think it’s your way to riches so you start creating dozens of affiliate links on Pinterest every day… but this goes against their community guidelines. (See also: Affiliate Link Guide to Pinterest.) In short: don;t over pin. I never add more than 2 new affiliate pins each day.
Don’t use “short” affiliate links or link shorteners. This also goes against Pinterest policies.
While I’ve tried to cover some important things you should be aware of, please know that, based on changing rules at Pinterest and different rules within different affiliate programs, this list is not exhaustive nor does it contain legal advice. Please be sure you’re up to date on any Pinterest and/or affiliate program rules before sharing affiliate links directly on Pinterest.
Okay! Now with all of that out of the way… let’s see how we can add affiliate links directly, and then promote them with Tailwind!
I want to mention that, depending on what device you’re using and what version of Pinterest you have, the exact “how to” do this will vary. But in general, you’ll want to:
- Log into Pinterest and find the “Create a Pin” button. (It’s usually on the top right-hand side of the page on a desktop/laptop computer and shows up as a plus symbol in a red circle.)
- Upload the image you want to use.
- Add a title.
- Add your description, including your affiliate disclosure.
- Add your affiliate link.
- Choose a board to save the pin to (choose the most relevant board, first.)
- Click “publish” to make the pin live.
Once the pin is uploaded and active on your Pinterest profile, you can use the same directions I shared above to then use Tailwind to schedule that pin to multiple boards and/or share it with any Tailwind Tribes you may be in.
Again, as long as this is allowed with your affiliate program, this is a great way to get more affiliate links out into the world, and to make more affiliate income with Tailwind and Pinterest! As long as you don’t over do it, you can potentially earn affiliate income from these links for months or even years to come.
Having said that… There’s one more thing I’d like to suggest, and it might make you slightly (or very!) annoyed with me. But I prefer to create links that send people to a landing page before I send them to the affiliate link. My reasons are twofold:
One: I like to collect email addresses before I send someone to an affiliate link. So I create a landing page that says something like “Get Access to XYZ right away! Simply join my email list and I’ll send you directly to the link!” (There’s more to it than that, like following any GDPR rules, within that landing page, etc. But this gives you the gist.)
Two: If I’m not sending them to the direct affiliate link, I don’t have to disclose that in the Pinterest description (although I do disclose it on the landing page, so they know that by submitting their information, I’m sending them to an affiliate link at that point.)
All of this may sound hard and/or intimidating, but I promise, once you’ve done once or twice, it’s really easy peasy and even fun to do! Because you know you’re making these things to earn affiliate commissions passively (and even build your email list, while you’re at it.)
How to Promote Tailwind to Earn Recurring Affiliate Commissions
Besides being an awesome social media scheduling tool, Tailwind itself has an affiliate program. So you can use Tailwind to promote your own Tailwind affiliate links and blog posts. (How meta!)
In order to become a Tailwind affiliate, you’ll need to sign up for (or already be a member of) the ShareASale affiliate network. Once you’ve done that, you can apply for the Tailwind affiliate program.
One of the (many) things I appreciate about the Tailwind affiliate program is that they pay a 15% recurring commission. Which means that as long as the person you referred to Tailwind stays a paying customer, you’ll earn a 15% commission month after month and year after year.
They offer a free trial (of 100 scheduled pins) which is a great incentive for people to try them out. And they have a 90 day cookie, which means if that person you referred tries out the trial and then becomes a paying customer within that 90 days, you start earning those recurring commissions.
Everyone’s results will be different, but within the ShareASale network, Tailwind is one of my highest paying affiliate programs I’ve joined.
Plus, promoting Tailwind on Pinterest is a natural fit! People are already on the Pinterest platform. And if they’re using it to promote their blog and/or online business, they’re more than likely looking for ways to dramatically cut the time they spend on the platform, while still using it to its fullest advantage for promoting their websites.
If for some reason you decide you don’t want to be an affiliate and you’re already a Tailwind customer, you can use their referral program instead of their affiliate program. In the referral program you simply refer others using their referral links and earn $15 per paying referral (instead of the 15% recurring affiliate commissions.)
So How Much Can You Earn Using and/or Promoting Tailwind?
The truth is, you could earn nothing, or you could earn like top affiliate marketers do and make $10k+ a month. There are no promises or guarantees.
But from what I’ve seen, if you pick a profitable niche and work consistently on your business for at least a year (affiliate marketing is not something that will make you rich overnight!) you can potentially earn a part- or even full-time income. (See this income report round-up of bloggers making from an extra $2k per month with affiliate marketing, all the way up to over $36k per month as a sample of what others are doing.)
Hopefully you’ve learned how you can make more affiliate income with Tailwind and Pinterest! What do you think? Will you start using Tailwind to promote your affiliate posts and links? And/or will you join the Tailwind affiliate program? Let me know in the comments below!