The other day I was listening to Kate Ahl’s Simple Pin Podcast. If you are a blogger and aren’t listening to this podcast, then shame on you. It is super informative while still being short, and Kate is a great host. I listen to it all the time, but that particular episode was titled, “What Happened on Pinterest in 2016.” At one point, she mentioned the idea of buyable boards. Kate was saying how great it would be to be able to have a board that people could fill with things that they wanted and then be able to send that board to others to give them gift giving ideas. Well, when I heard her mention this on the podcast, I about died! Because what she was wishing for already existed.
Introducing Maven! Maven is a website that allows you to curate boards just like you do on Pinterest, but all of your pins are products that you want to endorse (or receive as gifts). You can organize your boards and give them themes like you normally would on Pinterest. The themes can be virtually limitless; they can be about anything you like. For example, you could have a “Favorite Fall Clothing Essentials” or “Cooking Tools for the Foodie” board. You simply pin appropriate products to those boards. You could leave it just like that if you wanted. If you did that, then people could go to Maven and browse your boards. If they click on one of your items and purchase it, you would then receive a commission from the sale. So say I had a board that was “Cooking Tools for the Foodie,” and there was a Vitamix blender on there. Someone can click on the picture, get sent to Williams Sonoma, and buy it. And you would receive a commission from Maven.
Now, you could leave it just like that if you wanted. If you did that, then people would have to log onto Maven, but from there, they could go and browse your boards. If they then happened to click on one of your items and purchase it, you would then receive a commission from the sale. So say I had a board that was “Cooking Tools for the Foodie,” and there was a Vitamix blender on there. Someone could click on the picture, get sent to Williams Sonoma, and buy it. And you would get paid!
But putting boards up on Maven and stopping there is really selling yourself short. You can also share your boards through social media: Facebook, Twitter, even on Pinterest. And you definitely should! That way, you have a lot more traffic going to your boards, thereby increasing the chance of someone clicking on one of the items and purchasing it.
I have gotten a lot of questions from others, specifically about putting Maven boards on Pinterest. The great thing is that you can add covers to your boards so they look just like a regular Pinterest pin. You can use your own images, format it for your brand, adjust the vertical pin size, etc. You can also share the pins just like you normally would on Pinterest- pin to your own boards and group boards, add to tribes, even promote them. Then, when someone clicks on the image, they now see your entire board.
If you want to see some of my Maven board pins and how they function, here are two examples:
There are several other things that make Maven pretty special.
Their approval process
Maven is different from other affiliate networks (like ShareASale or Commission Junction). With a traditional affiliate network, once you are a part of the network, you still have to go through the process of getting approved through each individual retailer as well, and that can take weeks. With Maven, you are only approved by them, and once you are, you are approved by every single retailer they partner with. That means that I can have a board with items from Nordstrom, anthropologie, and Last Call Neiman Marcus all on there, and I’ll get a commission on each item, but I only had to do through the trouble of getting approved by Maven. It’s a whole lot less work! Plus, it also serves as a pretty nifty workaround if you did not get approved with an affiliate you were really hoping to work with.
Maven works with influencers and bloggers, but they are also open to everyone. Anyone can sign up at Maven and begin curating boards and earning an affiliate commission. This is a great opportunity for people who are looking to earn a little extra cash. Plus, if you are the type of person who always has people asking you about “_blank_,” this is an outstanding way to take advantage of that. “Oh, you always want to know what gardening supplies I use? Here, take a look at my Maven board.”
Yes, many affiliate networks will reach out to you about different sponsorship events, but in my experience so far, I have had more sponsorship opportunities offered to me through Maven than anyone else. Being approached consistently by them is infinitely easier, in my opinion, than reaching out to brands over and over and over via letter.
Their referral commission
They have a very strong referral program. If the average joe signs up under you, you receive a $1. If an influencer signs, you receive $10. But you also receive 25% of their commission for the next 9 months! Say what?! And no, this isn’t a multi-level scheme. You only get the 25% commission from the people who sign up directly through you, not any of the commission of the people who sign up under them. But hey, 25% is awesome!
I have signed up for so many affiliates in the past, and not received mediocre support. My referral links kept changing or it took too long for them to get back to me. Yuck! I have had nothing but fantastic support from Maven. They are timely in their responses and are always looking for my feedback to become better. They make me feel really valued. In fact, anyone who signs up using any of the above links will receive coaching on platform usage directly from the VP of Marketing. Yay!
And so there you have it. Maven is still very new, but they are really growing, and it’s going to be exciting to see how this year unfolds.
Now, I want to hear from you! Have you checked out Maven before? What kind of boards would you promote?
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