A Disclosure and an Experiment
I wanted to announce that a company has asked if I wanted to try making money from pinning things to Pinterest, and after much hemming and hawing, I said yes. Well, a “yes” with conditions of course.
Some background – I have a Pinterest account. I enjoy checking in every couple days, repinning things and occasionally adding some of my own. I did a lot of initial Makeshift Society research with Victoria on Pinterest. Because I joined early, and through some twist of fate, I used to be a recommended person to follow in the Kids category. I think they do things differently now but I have a feeling I am still being recommended to new signups because whoa nelly, I have a *hell* of a lot of followers, due to that kids board – and I don’t even have that much content there.
Anyhow, this attracts the attention of marketing firms. After much investigation (and you knew I would have to do much investigation), I have decided to give it a try. In the interest of transparency, here are some ground rules I will be following:
- I am not directly being paid to pin. This particular company pays when people sign up for retail sites that require you to join. It’s a weird model, but it works for me.
- It should go without saying that I will only pin things I want to, when I’m good and ready.
- As a corollary, I will only pin from sites I already have bought from, or have pinned from before. This really, really limits opportunities for me, but I feel it’s the right thing to do.
These rules mean that I will likely be making pizza money, if that, from this experiment. That is completely fine to me. Why I’m calling this an experiment is that I often write about things but have little or no direct experience with them, and I hate doing that, so this helps alleviate any guilt in that direction. Also I want to continue to enjoy using Pinterest, and monetizing my interaction with it will probably kill that off, so I want to be as slow and thoughtful as possible.
I’m not opposed to people making money through endorsements, sponsorships, or whatnot, as long as everyone knows what’s going on, as much as possible. In a weird way, this is ideal because you know that you absolutely have permission to pin the content. Directly sponsored pinning troubles me more as any designation you care to include in the text can be deleted the next time someone repins that image. (I think Pinterest needs to designate a way to indicate sponsored pins also, but that’s a whole other story…)
Thoughts? Is this right or wrong? How can I do this better?