Pinterest Creator Rewards Insider Information

You will want to be on Pinterest after reading this, trust me! After having used Pinterest Creator Rewards these last few months, I have the best insider information for you. Read this blog carefully if you want to kickstart your content and ensure that you don’t make the same mistakes that I did.

1. Read the fine print!

You know that really long Terms and Conditions thing that exists? Yea, read that. This gives you all of the requirements for posting that aren’t stated outright on the individual goals. Each Pinterest Creator Rewards goal has requirements and rules for content to be eligible. Well, Pinterest is smart and they want you to post without giving you the money. So they have put some extra rules in these terms. Read it to find out. Or continue reading this blog to find out what they are!

2. Pinterest operates on the UTC time zone.

The reason I mention this is because Pinterest will show you when your content was posted. If you happen to be in the PST timezone like I am and if you post at night, then your Pin could show as being posted a “day later”. For example, I posted at 9pm on April 23rd, but to Pinterest, I actually posted on the 24th. This could even be an issue if you post “too late” on the last day of these monthly rewards. If you post on April 30th at 9pm in PST, your content could very easily not be counted for April content.

3. For the goals or bonuses that have a time requirement (ex. must be posted at least 7 days apart), take this VERY seriously.

Pinterest Creator Rewards information of reward requirements

When they say “7 days a part”, they mean 7 days a part! Sometimes they will word this as “once a week”. You need to ensure that you give these pins a full 7 days. For example, if you post on a Friday at 9am, then you need to make sure that your next post goes live the next Friday at earliest 9:01am. Give it the full 7 days. There is an unseen ticking countdown clock that Pinterest has to ensure that you respect this rule.

4. Goals will be updated 4 days after being published.

Pinterest Creator Rewards information about your reward goal progress.

Pinterest has updated their system to actually tell you that your goals have been updated. Use the picture as an example of what this notification looks like. The norm is that every time you post, you can expect that an update and estimated earnings will appear for approved content 4 days after you post.

5. Pinterest does not tell you when things are not approved. They only tell you when they are approved.

If after those 4 days there is no update on your feed, then the Pin is not approved. You also will not receive a reason as to why things are not approved. Be sure to watch your notification feed closely for these updates. If for some reason your content is not approved, then you need to have extra content planned to post to make the most of the month’s rewards.

6. Passion Projects require you to put “My Pinterest Project” in the details of the Pin.

Pinterest Creator Rewards micro-grant passion project information

You remember those fine print rules that I talked about? This is one of them! This one is strictly for the Passion Projects. The reward goals will label themselves has passion projects in the reward details (see picture). This requirement is not specifically listed in the individual rules for submitting a Pin to this type of campaign, but it is still a requirement. It says to put “My Pinterest project” in the details of your Idea Pin. I have no idea what qualifies as the “details” – is that on-screen text on the Idea Pin? Is it the title of the Idea Pin? Is it leaving it in the Notes of the Idea Pin? I really don’t know, so I put it in all three spots to really make sure that I am maximizing my time making this content.

Pinterest Creator Rewards information

7. Using affiliated links will make your Pin ineligible to receive the reward amount.

Pinterest will not reward users if they are getting paid in any way for their content. That being said, if a brand pays you for an Idea Pin and you label it an ad, it won’t be counted for Creator Rewards. Also using affiliate links like LTK or ShopStyle will also count as sponsored. Keep it un-affiliated for max rewards! But by all means, if you have a strong following of affiliate link shoppers, maybe putting links in your post will make you more money!

What You Can Earn with this Pinterest Creator Reward Information

Keeping these things in mind, I have been able to make $1,400 in February, $2,100 in March, and gearing up for $4,500 in April with Pinterest Creator Rewards! Considering that I have 17,600 followers on Instagram and only make about $100 per month with their creator bonuses, this is one hell of a pay raise. Needless to say, Pinterest is where the money is at if you are a creator. Using these best practices for Pinterest Creator Rewards, you are doing the most for yourself to make that money! And don’t forget to follow me on Pinterest for examples of how I am making my Creator Rewards content!

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Do I Need an Account on ALL Social Media Platforms as an Influencer?

2020 saw an influx into the influencer world as people took to their phones to make content. Honestly, what else were we supposed to do? But the big question comes into play – do I need to be on every social media platform as an influencer? Usually this question is asked when things get a little quiet on one platform for paid campaigns. It also happens when influencers are looking to expand off of current success. Trust me, I’ve been there! influencer account on every social media platform

For the longest time, I never thought it was necessary to be on every platform. I had a great following on Instagram, why would I need to create a following elsewhere to keep getting campaigns? Especially when Instagram was king! Well, with 2020 came the platform to rule them all – Tik Tok. With the new shift in priority, those who are present on other, less video-based apps were left scrambling. Including myself.

But still I resisted. Tik Tok had been going through its own scandal of if it was even safe to share our information on the app. So I stayed true to posting on Instagram.

However, I had already made accounts for Donna Gail Blog on Facebook and Pinterest. I even converted my old business Twitter into a blog page, but I wasn’t exactly active on any of them.

But in light of the recent Instagram and Facebook shadiness in choosing dollar signs over their users’ safety, here are some things to consider on why you should be on all social media platforms:

1. Protecting your account name

If you plan on making it big in the influencing and content creating game, there will be people out there who will want to rip you off. More so, there are people out there that may want to steal your name. For example, if you make it big on Tik Tok under the name @DonnaRocks, you might find that the handle name for DonnaRocks on Twitter is already taken.

If you want to have the same handle name on all platforms to make it easy for people to find you, this is a roadblock. Now this could have easily been a coincidence that someone just happened to make the same handle name without knowing who you were. Or the more sinister side is that someone could have snatched the name up in hopes that you would be desperate enough to pay for the name back. influencer account on every social media platform

2. Having different forms of content will help cast a wider net

There are some people who don’t have an Instagram but LOVE their YouTube account. If you choose to only do Instagram, photo-based content, then you could miss out on people that would have been a follower but would never otherwise see your content unless you were on a different platform. Lots of creators will do what’s called content funneling to make sure they stay consistent. Content funneling is when you take one piece of content and convert into different media forms. For example, if I want to style one piece of clothing three different ways, I can post:

  • a Style Gallery on Instagram
  • make a blog form of it to keep readers informed
  • and I can make a fun Tik Tok video with transitions to the different outfits

Content funneling is easy to do to make sure that you aren’t getting burnt out on trying to constantly make 100% new content.

3. More companies and brands are shifting to other platforms

It’s no surprise that with Instagram’s ever-changing algorithm, user frustrations are growing. Creators are getting worked up that their content is being seen less and less. And businesses are taking their campaigns to other platforms since they get more bang for their buck. In fact, many creators on Instagram are experiencing drops in followership – but why? Read my blog Why Am I Still Losing Followers Even Though My Content Is Getting Better? to read some reasons why.

This isn’t to say that brands aren’t still reaching out to Instagram creators for content, because they definitely are. But there is a shift in the amount of campaigns that are being sought for Tik Tok or YouTube.

If you are a one-social-media-platform creator, then you could be limiting yourself to other paid campaign opportunities. Being on every social media platform as an influencer could open more doors for you! influencer account on every social media platform

4. Your social media accounts can be shut down WHENEVER

Originally when I was writing this blog, the point for this was something that happened to me and many users a few years ago. One day I tried to log into my account only to find out that it was deleted. Not by me – but by Instagram. I have no idea what happened to this day. My account was rather small too so it’s extremely unlikely that I was massed reported for something. Not like I did anything wrong – I was posting pictures of shirts that I made. Now this is just one aspect of what power these platforms have over our accounts.

The other, bigger aspect is what happened with the news coming out a month ago. Facebook and Instagram have been outed for caring more about their payday than to the wellbeing of their users. There are reports coming in that that only 5% of negative, bullying, harrassment, or other hate speech is being taken off the site. They have also had reports that they are limiting people’s right to inform certain aspects of current events. Which all leads me to the point that I am trying to make:

Facebook and Instagram can shut service off in the blink of an eye. influencer account on every platform

If you have a following on Instagram and service goes down or worse your account is banned/deleted, you can’t do your job. If you can’t do your job as a creator, well then you lose a source of revenue.

Final thoughts on if you need an account on every social media platform as an influencer

That all being said, it is the SMART decision to make sure you have other social media accounts as an influencer. The reason being that if your Facebook or Instagram is shut down, you can still make content for your followers elsewhere.

So to answer the question of whether or not you need to be on every single platform, the easy answer is YES. It’s not like you won’t be successful without every platform. However, if you want to continue to be successful to ensure that your bases are covered, get yourself accounts elsewhere. If anything it will allow you to give variety in the content that you are already making! do I need to be on every social media platform as an influencer

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How to respond to gifted and ambassadorship campaign requests blog post for influencers and content creators

How to Respond to Gifted, Non-Paid, or Ambassadorship Campaign Requests

If you are reading this, odds are you are getting a lot of requests for non-paid campaigns and you are wondering how to respond. Maybe they even look a lot like this: respond to non-paid campaign requests

Hey babe!

We saw your Instagram and we LOVE what we are seeing. We would love it if we can send you some of our products for you to try out. You will even receive a special discount code to give to your followers and you’ll receive 10% commission on all the sales made with this coupon. All you have to do is post about the product regularly on your feed. Please let us know what your shipping address is and we will send your free product out ASAP!”

Thanks, Brand

If this sounds like what you have received and if you’re receiving them regularly, then it’s time to make a change! Learning how to respond to these non-paid requests can be tricky. Especially when you would rather be paid for your hard work. But there are three ways to answer this email: with a yes, a no, or to turn the tables on them (I’ll explain below).

Posing in front of the Rooftop Cinema Club photo opportunity in San Diego as I Disney Bounded for their movie presentation of Raya and the Last Dragon. I had a great time sharing them to my followers despite not being paid. Responding positively to non-paid work can still add value to your page.
Rooftop Cinema Club was one of those brands that offered to work with me but only on a hosted opportunity. No payment but I still took it!

Reasons to Say Yes to Non-Paid Campaigns

If you are just starting out or if you truly love the brand that reached out, by all means say “yes”! Responding positively to gifted, non-paid requests isn’t always a bad thing if you truly resonate with the brand and want to work with them. Just like in one of my previous blogs, When to Stop Accepting Gifted or Non-Paid Campaigns, I do have a list of companies that if they contacted me and were only offering a gifted opportunity, I would still take it. Some brands hold value for me even just in gifted form!

Reasons to Say No to Non-Paid Campaigns

But let’s say you are killing the influencer game. If your inbox is regularly full with paid requests, then taking on a gifted campaign might not be the best for you. Even if it’s ambassadorship where you make a commission off the sales you make might not be worth your while because you are never guaranteed a paycheck. By telling them no, you are just setting your own personal boundaries for creating content.

Even with some of the ambassadorships I have done, I had to make so much content for them to even get close to what my normal posting rate was for just a single post. Meanwhile the brand was getting consistent and permanent media coverage while I was hoping people used my exact affiliate link to maybe make a purchase. And who knows, maybe people are making purchases that you recommended on their computer or in-store – places where your unique tracking link to give you that commission does not apply. Maybe they’re also telling their friends and then those friends are making purchases. You would never know if they didn’t use that exact tracking link.

Remember, your social media’s worth is not measured solely based on the total number of sales that you make. It is also measured by:

  • the amount of eyes on your post
  • the number of interactions it gets
  • and also your personal reputation for recommending great products that your followers are trusting you with.

Brands know this which is why it is cheaper for them to offer ambassadorships with commission rates than it is to pay the influencer’s posting rate.

Turn the Tables to Get Paid!

Saying a simple “yes” or “no” are not the only options though! You can also turn their pitch to you into your pitch to them! This is a company that has literally made it known that they are ready to work with someone. So instead of accepting their offer for a gifted or ambassadorship, open the conversation to working on a paid campaign.

Here’s an example of how to possibly respond back when that Brand sends you non-paid request: respond to non-paid campaign requests

Hey Brand!

Thank you so much for reaching out. These products are incredible and I love that you thought of me to promote them! However, I am not accepting gifted/ambassadorships, but I would still love to work with you. I truly believe my X amount of followers would like to learn more about Brand. If you are open to working on a sponsored post together, I would be happy to discuss my posting rates and my creative ideas for this campaign.

Thank you and I look forward to possibly working with you, Donna

This spring time Humm Kombucha post amongst the flowers was to promote their new seasonal beverages. This campaign was made possible by me learning how to respond to a company that initially only offered me a non-paid campaign and instead turned it in to a paid one!
Humm Kombucha was one company that initially told me they didn’t have budget to work with me. But when they finally had a paid campaign, they contacted me and we finally worked together!

Short, simple and to the point. Sometimes the company has room in their marketing budget, and sometimes they don’t.

If they say they don’t want to work on a sponsored post, then you can still see if the original offer for a gifted or ambassadorship stands.

If they say they aren’t doing paid campaigns right now, then ask when would be a better time to check in with any paid campaigns. I have even landed a few campaigns like this.

And if they say yes right away to paying your posting rate, well then you’re in!

Looking back on when I first started getting these emails, I think of just how many opportunities I missed. I used to just not respond to the emails, or say that I am not interested in working with them. But by doing so, I left so much money on the table!

There are definitely options when it comes to receiving these kind of emails! Learning how to respond to non-paid campaign requests could open the door to more opportunities!

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Having fun in front of the SunBum concept store in Encinitas on a sunny day. You can see the SunBum logo on the buidling on the left, and the SunBum truck is on the right of the picture.

Why You Should Consistently Talk About Brands on Your Social Media

If you are a content creator or influencer and you are NOT consistently talking about brands and products you love, you are doing yourself a disservice! What may be even worse than that is if you are talking about products that you love without it being a partnership with that brand, and then you put somewhere in the post “don’t worry, this post isn’t sponsored by this brand!”

Here is why you definitely should be talking about brands and products you love shamelessly! And why you should NOT disclose when it isn’t sponsored.

I used to think that if I talked about brands, products, hotels, or services I wanted or liked, then I would be selling myself short on working with them. To me, I thought if I gave them free advertisement then there would be no reason or incentive for them to want to work with me because I had already given them a shoutout to my audience.

But this is kind of backwards!

By talking about a brand and what you love about them, you have officially put yourself organically on their radar! Brands love when they can work with a true fan of their brand because then they know that the influencer that they are working with is someone who loves them and is going to give them the best, most authentic content.

Not to mention, by giving them a little unprompted love on your feed, you can provide them numbers on how well they did on your page! Especially on your Insta Story because you can see just how many times they sticker tapped their tagged name or swiped up on your Story to a product that you might have linked. This sort of information can provide them with valuable insight in to just how beneficial a partnership with you can be!

So all around, giving brands some love and tagging them in your content that may feature them or give them a very specific shoutout could potentially get you a collaboration with them in the future when you pitch yourself to them!

Now let’s talk about why you should NOT be giving these shoutouts with the disclosure that what you are saying is not a paid sponsorship.

When you post regularly just about your day, do you also post that those aren’t sponsored? Probably not. By saying your glowing words about this brand or product, and that it’s “not an ad” or that “this isn’t a sponsorship”, you’ve almost set yourself up for mistrust because now when you talk about a brand during a paid sponsorship, it’s going to sound like you are only saying that because you got paid to do so. “Wow I just love this dress! It’s flowy, beautiful, I feel amazing in it! And FYI this isn’t sponsored.” This gives the idea to your audience that by saying nice things, it means that someone paid you lots of money to say those nice things and that it’s not actually your honest opinion.

Whether you were paid to talk about a brand or not, your words should be the truth! You should also be taking on collaborations that you actually love and that align with your lifestyle and interests. Not only that, but you have other interests outside of those partnerships, so why wouldn’t you talk about them? You need to build a trust with your audience and talk about the things that you love whether you were prompted to or not!

Why has there been a mindset created where we can only talk about brands if it’s paid? Probably because we are scared to talk about brands without being paid because we think it will take us out of the running for getting paid if we already gave them our audience for free!

Break free of this cage and talk about brands willingly and openly regularly! This will not only build trust with your audience, but that means when they do see a sponsorship from you, it won’t look like you are just shouting “AD” into their face! The best sponsorships are the ones that are organic to your feed. And if your audience is accustomed to you talking about products, then seeing a sponsorship won’t seem any different to them.

Be open with your audience when you have a partnership that you need to disclose, and be honest in your everyday life about the brands and products that you just love on the regular! Your audience will love hearing your thoughts!

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When to Stop Accepting Gifted or Non-Paid Campaigns

Congratulations! You did it! You have successfully made it through the 5 steps in becoming a content creator and you are now starting to monetize your posts! Because you have started building a portfolio of either great pictures or actual sponsored posts, you have gotten to the point in your creating that you are asking yourself “should I still be accepting unpaid work?”.

Let’s dive in to this topic!

Who is this blog for?

This post will be for anyone who has started working with companies on a gifted or hosted basis, looking for more information on this topic, or is wondering when you should start cutting the cord from even accepting free items for content purposes.

And the truth of this topic is simple – there is no one right answer for when to stop accepting gifted or non-paid campaigns. So overall, my hope from this post is to at least give you some guidance and to get you to think about what’s the best course of action for you.

For me personally, my page originally started as the social media account for my small shop, but after sharing more of my personal life and style, the page naturally transformed in to something else entirely. So after some thought, I changed the name, I changed the direction, and I started making all of my content as “lifestyle blogger” content. And even though I have had the account for over six years now, I really didn’t start doing influencer stuff until about late 2019! So currently, even with over 18,000 followers, I still will sometimes accept gifted opportunities.

My Rules for Accepting Gifted Campaigns

That being said, I have rules for myself when I do accept gifted campaigns. The reason I have these rules is because I have started valuing how much time and effort goes in to all of my posts and I cannot just be accepting things just because its free. However, there is value in some of the campaigns that I receive that cannot compensate by paying me. So the three reasons I will accept a gifted campaign are:

  1. It’s a product I was going to buy anyway AND the deliverables are not excessive. If I really wanted that product but they are asking for three Instagram posts, a Tik Tok, and a YouTube review, well then I’m passing. One post and an Instagram Story with a swipe-up link is perfectly fine.
  2. It’s a product that I can link via RewardStyle and make some commissionable sales off of it. In this way, I can actually make money off of a free product by talking about it on my social media and hopefully getting some small compensation for it.
  3. It’s a company that I really wanted to work with. I have my own list of companies that if they came knocking, I would 100% answer the door as quickly as possible!

How to Go Forward with Your Content

Now to answer this question for yourself, you first need to ask yourself “how much is my time worth?”. For me, I started setting these rules for gifted opportunities only last month because, for all of 2020, most every single sponsored post I did, I was only getting paid about $25 per post (which is NOTHING!). So after reevaluating my page and refocusing the direction, I decided that it was time for me to start standing up for my posting rate, which is currently around $100 per single Instagram post. So maybe if you value your time or page a little bit less, accepting something for free could possibly be as good as getting actual payment for it!

However, let’s say you are constantly getting DMs or emails for opportunities, your schedule is booked with all these fun campaigns, and you may be getting to the point of not having enough time to mix in your own non-sponsored posts. This would be a definite sign that you need to stop accepting those non-paid gigs and start giving them your posting rates.

Free is always fun, but if opportunities are always knocking on your door, then obviously you are doing something right and people are noticing! By responding to these campaigns with your enthusiasm and your ideas for how to showcase their products, but ending it with “however, I do not accept products as payment. If you liked the ideas I had for promoting your product and feel like I am a good fit for your brand, I would be happy to discuss my posting rates with you!” could get you that CHA-CHING! But keep in mind, companies will say no – there is always going to be someone who will do it for free. But you don’t have to be one of them.

This doesn’t have to mean the end of gifted opportunities though. Remember, I still have my own rules for receiving product as payment. So let’s say that you respond to that email saying that you would happily discuss your rate and the company responds with “Thank you for your interest, however at this time we are only doing gifted products for content.” Well, you can just as easily think it over and respond with “After thinking it over, I really feel like my audience would appreciate seeing your brand, and I would be happy to do product in exchange for content.” Or you can even say “Thank you for thinking of me for this campaign, please keep me in mind for your next paid opportunity!”

If you really just want to work for free, no one is stopping you! But with the influencer market becoming so large, there will ALWAYS be someone willing to work for free if you won’t.

Why You SHOULD Stop Accepting Gifted Campaigns

Which leads me to another interesting tid-bit of information. One of the big reasons that I am an advocate for moving from gifted work to paid work is because the market is so saturated. Influencers left and right want to work and they are willing to do it for free. Now again, this is fine to build a portfolio or to get your foot in the door with a brand you really like, but the reason influencers are getting a lot of DMs and emails for non-paid work is because other influencers continue to ACCEPT those campaigns. So those companies know that they can get away with offering gifted campaigns because people are willing to work for only that.

Can you imagine the impact we would all have on the influencer market if we started working together to stand up for our time and energy in to these posts? Companies everywhere are turning to influencers because it is SO MUCH CHEAPER to use hundreds of influencers to promote them than it is to spend a whole lot more money on doing fancy photoshoots where they hire the photographer, the wardrobe department, the lighting, setting the scene, and the editing team. I assure you that they have room in their marketing budget to pay influencers a decent rate. But they won’t if they know someone will work for free.

And you don’t need X amount of followers to do paid work! You should not be selling yourself short just because you don’t think you have a big enough following to get a company’s attention. If you have an engaged audience and you are getting brands wanting to work with you, keep up the good work up! I have seen so many people get paid deals with as little as 2,000 followers. Don’t sell yourself short if you think it’s time that you started getting paid for your awesome posts!

Overall, just take this with a grain of salt – there is no one right answer to this big question of “when you should stop accepting non-paid work”. It will forever be a moving target! You just need to decide for yourself when your time and your work needs to start making you money in return.

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