Unless you've been living under a digital rock lately, you're probably aware that Pinterest is pretty much the hottest social sharing site on the internet these days. Mashable announced in February that it drives more traffic than Google+, YouTube and LinkedIn combined, and a recent study by sharing tool Shareaholic recently concluded that Pinterest even drives more referral traffic than perennial favorite, Twitter.
Now that's all well-and-good, and over here at IFB we're excited that there's a new game in town on the social media scene – especially such a pretty one – but there's something even more interesting happening than referral traffic. We've posted about how to maximize your Pinterest account on IFB before (and you can follow us here), but never in the context of monetization. Fashionista recently posted this fascinating (and rather in-depth) look at Pinterest users who get paid to pin.
There are three primary ways that bloggers and “professional pinners” are making a profit. First, by accepting payment to pin a product or products on one of their boards; second, by being hired to pin for a brand; and third, by linking out to your personal affiliate network products.
So what does all this mean? Should we all be pitching for pins and trying to make a buck from this rapidly growing image-sharing site? We have mixed feelings, and why we're curious to know what our community thinks. On one hand, we encourage bloggers to be their own businesses and market their skills and reach to make money. But at what point does paid Pinterest content compromise the integrity of the site? What about your integrity? Should pinners disclose if they've been paid? And what about pinning images and links from networks like RewardStyle? Is it transparent or sneaky?
Weigh in with our poll and leave your thoughts in the comments!