Every time I get a new client, be it for a one off piece of work like an account audit or page set up, or if we're going to be managing their pages longer term I ask them about their Pinterest goals. To get them going I offer them a few suggestions, and not a single person I have worked with so far has realised that you can monetise Pinterest.
Around 2 million shopping/ product pins are added to Pinterest every day, and on average 1 in 8 pins are used to make a purchase at some point. And yes, you can be earning affiliate commission on these. Here are the three affiliate networks I recommend to bloggers and influencers in the lifestyle space to monetise their Pinterest presence (but remember to disclose these properly!)
Yes, you can (as of late 2016) use Amazon Affiliate links on Pinterest. These can be quite fiddly as the Pinterest share button on Amazon product pages won't include your personalised product URL to get commission so you'll need to go back into the published pin and add it later, but Amazon is great that it sells so much and so many people use it; you'll get commission if the traffic you drive buys almost any product, not just the one you sent them to. They're also great in that they have such a low (£15 if you would like a direct bank transfer rather than Amazon vouchers) commission threshold.
ShopStyle is another platform I'd suggest for Pinterest pages that are just getting started. While this used to be because they operated a CPC model where you got paid a tiny amount every time someone clicked on your link and they did not have to purchase, now they've changed this, I recommend it because they have simpler terms and conditions than Amazon, and because they have an easier and shorter application process than rewardStyle (which we will talk about in a minute).
As far as what products they have, while they're mostly geared towards fashion influencers, they stock whole department stores so I often use their links in gift guides and home posts using product links from places like John Lewis and Selfridges. Another plus is their analytics are excellent. On the downside, you have to get to £100 for a payout which takes a while because the commission rates are relatively small.
rewardStyle is for the big hitters out there. Primarily for fashion and beauty bloggers when it first started, as these bloggers have started to diversify into lifestyle content now most homeware brands can be found on there, as well as all products from most major department stores and some food and travel retailers, too. If you're based in the USA, UK or in Europe and you shop there, the chances are you can find their products on rewardStyle.
The big pro of using rewardStyle links on Pinterest is you can pin straight from their dashboard with your affiliate link in place, and for supported retailers they also have a bookmarklet you can install to pull the product links and pins straight from the retailers website. They have excellent on board analytics, and when a purchase is made you'll get a great commission rate.
Now for the cons. Their payout is set at $100 (translated into whatever currency your profile is set to, so in the UK it hits around the £70 mark) so it may also take you a while to get there! Also, you have to apply to join, and I've heard stories about it taking months to get approved.