What You Should Learn From Pinterest Affiliate Ban
Recently social-media heavyweight Pinterest announced that they had stripped all the affiliate links from their website effective immediately. This came as quite a surprise and shock to those ‘power pinners’ relying primarily (or even solely) on their Pinterest affiliate links to earn them daily commissions.
But it really shouldn’t have been a surprise to anyone who understands how social media platforms work and how they eventually incorporate their own monetization methods and strategies. Which is exactly what Pinterest did in efforts to boost their own income. Hey I get it; isn’t that the goal each of us has as an internet marketer?
My fellow colleague and affiliate marketing guru Geno Prussakov wrote on his blog that those who had been using Pinterest for straight affiliate marketingshould have been preparing for this ban all along:
“Quite a number of affiliate marketers are actively using social media for dissemination of their marketing message(s). If you are one of them, you should understand (and appreciate) that third-party online properties — or those of them that owe their success to agility and strategic genius — will never stay inert. Rules will change. Terms of Service will get tweaked to adapt to the external changes, challenges, and opportunities. It’s always going to be about what works best for them (not for those who seek to use their platform as a monetization venue). So, be it Twitter or Facebook, Pinterest or any other third-party property, be ready for an overnight change.”
This is precisely why you should never put all your eggs in one basket and rely on any single source of either your monetization, traffic, or market(product). You need to diversify your online business to protect against any overnight changes like this one because they do happen frequently. Imagine being a marketer who relied only on their Pinterest link income a few weeks ago, and who may have even been killing it then, only to have to now start all over again with zero income. That’s a tough lesson to learn.
Building your business around single market, product, or source of traffic is a terrible idea. Especially if you build your business model around site or platform that isn’t your own. (Like Pinterest, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram etc). You’re simply putting your fate (and income) into someone elses hands. These platforms are great traffic and income generators but they not only change their terms frequently but also change hands through acquisitions too.
This is also precisely why building your own list is so important. Your list is one of the few things that you have absolute control over. Along with diversification you would be wise to spend a significant portion of your time building, nurturing, and selling to your list. As an affiliate marketer your private list is the most important asset you have.