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Pinterest is more than just a giant pinboard for collecting cool ideas and images; it lets you share your own inspired ideas — including photos and videos of products or services. It’s a visual search engine for just about any hobby or interest you might have, and includes many items available for purchase.

In short, Pinterest is an often-untapped marketplace that is bursting with potential moneymaking opportunities.

With over 250 million active monthly users and 175 billion pins, it’s not hard to see that there are many potential ways to make money and boost your brand on Pinterest. If used correctly, Pinterest can increase your following and help you gain rapid growth in your website traffic and email subscriber lists.

If you’re not already on Pinterest, you’re missing out on a golden opportunity to boost your brand and sell more products through this highly addictive social network. Here are 7 strategies I’ve used on Pinterest with success for my company.

1. Create a Pinterest business account.

You may already have a personal profile account on Pinterest. However, if you plan to use it for business purposes, you need to have a Pinterest for Business Account to leverage the full potential of Pinterest’s marketing ability.

This will give you access to Pinterest Analytics, which includes tracking information so you can see which content and strategies are working for you. Business users have more options for marketing and monetizing their Pinterest boards.

2. Grow your audience.

Organic traffic is the name of the game on Pinterest. Consider this: Pinterest drives three times more web traffic to other sites than Google+, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube, Reddit and StumbleUpon combined. You read that right: combined!

We all know that the more traffic you can drive to your website or blog, the more people become aware of your products and services, which increases your sales and chances of success. To get the most out of Pinterest, look for ways your brand aligns with Pinterest’s most popular categories, which include craft and hobby companies, apparel companies, and companies that offer flowers, food, drinks and gifts.

Start jumping on trending topics by creating pins related to those areas. By doing this, you’ll benefit from surging traffic on these boards. Just make sure that you are coming across as authentic and the go-to brand for your area.

3. Build your brand presence.

Like any other form of social media, Pinterest is a great way to come into contact with and engage your audience. Pinterest is a must for anyone selling a physical product, but even for those who aren’t, it can help boost brand awareness. For instance, many authors use Pinterest to drive traffic to their sites.

The first step is to begin building your presence by proving to your audience that you’re an expert in your area and worth following. You’ll want to engage your audience and spend time pinning on a regular basis so you become familiar with your target audience. Re-pin your followers’ pins. They in turn may start following you.

Like other social media, it’s a good idea to follow your competitors to see what they’re up to, and to make sure you have fresh content to offer. You can also re-pin your content to “Trending” or “Explore” pages to increase visibility. Just make sure your pins are relevant.

4. Create Pinterest-worthy pins.

Think of Pinterest as a kind of visual search engine. Like anything else online, you want to create content — or pins — that are searchable. It’s important to make sure people can find you by using keywords, and this goes for your profile name as well.

You also need to make sure that you create eye-catching content — after all, Pinterest is a feast for the eyes. Be thoughtful and strategic when choosing images, and make sure they’re relevant to the topic you’re going for.

For instance, if you want to create a pin linking to a blog about ab workouts, make sure you pick a picture that the user will clearly identify with your topic — the more relevant the better.

It’s also important to use clear, straightforward titles. If you choose to turn a quote into a pin, make sure it’s something that will resonate with people and make sense, even out of context. If your picture has text, make sure it’s clear and readable when pin-sized.

5. Great images sell products.

The key to selling your brand on Pinterest is to have top-rated images that are high quality and capture your product from the best angle. It’s important to create intriguing and captivating images that embody your brand.

If you sell products like clothes or accessories, use people to model them in real-life settings. Make sure to pin shots that highlight the product, so people will remember why they pinned it. For home goods and decor, display the items in homelike surroundings so users can imagine what the product will look like in their own house.

You can also create collages or “mood boards” of related items — perhaps an entire outfit with matching accessories, or furniture and home decor that all works seamlessly together. This may have broader appeal than a single image.

You can link your Pinterest image to a blog post about the item or directly to a product page. If you link to a blog post, make sure customers can easily find a link to the product page from there.

6. Let users buy your product without leaving the app.

If you sell products on Etsy, Shopify or elsewhere, you should not only be displaying your products on Pinterest; you should be giving people an option to buy items without leaving the site. There’s no better or faster way to boost sales than through shoppable pins.

Buyable Pins are a great option for many online retailers. These pins allow your users to browse your products and go through the payment process without leaving the platform. Products can be purchased with a credit card or Apple Pay, and the checkout process is simple and secure for mobile users.

If Buyable Pins don’t work for you, you can try Product Pins, which let users see information about product pricing, availability and where they can buy it. Link the Product Pins to the product landing page where the user can easily buy the item.

Another easy way to create revenue on Pinterest is through the use of affiliate marketing. This is when you allow other users to promote your company’s products on their Pinterest boards in return for a small commission on the sales that result when buyers click on the affiliate link.

This can be a great way to bring in passive income, especially if you’re an influencer, blogger or tastemaker. Think about what types of items your ideal reader or user would be interested in or want to buy.

Find companies that sell those types of products that are in keeping with your readers’ interests, and sign up as an affiliate with those companies. Then promote their products on your boards, using your affiliate links.

Keep in mind that when you use affiliate links, you must mention on your page that you are doing so. You can write this within your description or use #affiliate at the end of your description. This needs to be done in order to follow affiliate networks’ rules and abide by FTC regulations.