The Truth Behind Pinterest Creator Rewards

NOTE: ON 11/29/2022 PINTEREST ANNOUNCED THEY WERE DISCONTINUING THE CREATOR REWARDS PROGRAM. IT ENDED 11/30/2022.
 
Many social sites and apps have started to recognize that creators are an important part of their business model and want to make sure they cash in on that. So several platforms like Tik Tok, Facebook, and YouTube have launched reward programs for creators where they pay them for creating and sharing content on their platforms. Pinterest saw this and decided they wanted in so they didn’t lose out.

Now Pinterest says they are putting a greater emphasis on creators. Per Aya Kanai, Pinterest’s head of content and creator partnerships. “Pinterest is the place where creators with inspiring and actionable ideas get discovered. With this latest update, we’re empowering creators to reach millions of shoppers on the platform and monetize their work. Creators deserve to be rewarded for the inspiration they deliver to their followers, and the sales they drive for brands. Creators are central to our mission to bring everyone the inspiration to create a life they love, and we’ll continue working with them to build their businesses and find success on Pinterest.”

pink cell phone on white background showing Pinterest Creator Rewards.
(This post includes some affiliate links. Should you click an affiliate link and make a purchase I may receive a small commission at no extra cost to you.)
 

What is Pinterest Creator Rewards?

Per Pinterest it is “a program <<<>>> for creators to earn money for creating original Idea Pins in response to monthly reward goals created by Pinterest. Pinterest will pay creators directly for their most inspiring, quality content and organic engagement.”

As of the writing of this post, the program is in beta testing with U.S. users only. It is also only available in the app. You can’t access it via the desktop site.

How to get accepted to Pinterest Creator Rewards

Not everyone can get in as I mentioned above the program is in testing and only open to those in the U.S. Below is the full criteria list to be eligible for the program:
  • Have a Pinterest business account
  • Use the Pinterest app on your mobile phone
  • Be 18 years or over
  • Be a legal resident of, and located in, the 50 United States or the District of Columbia
  • Have at least 250 followers
  • Have created at least three Idea Pins in the last 30 days
  • Have 150 saves of your published Pins in the last 30 days
  • Create original content

You can apply for Creator Rewards through the Pinterest app. If you’re eligible, you’ll be able to tap Get started. If you do not meet the eligibility criteria yet, you will not have the ability to apply.


How the Pinterest Creator Rewards program works

Once you get accepted into the program you will need to link your bank account so you can get payouts. The app will walk you through the process.

Once you’re in the program you will start seeing the monthly reward goals that are typically released towards the end of the previous month. You participate in the reward goals by creating and submitting an Idea Pin in response to the prompt. Each reward goal will have a description, payout amounts, and requirements. You can only submit an Idea Pin to one reward goal at a time.

It’s key to create pins that meet the reward goal requirements and Community guidelines.

I’ve seen several social and YouTube videos with creators sharing how much they’ve been able to make via the program in a month. One creator shared a social video that she was able to make $70,000 in one month! Others have shared they have made up to $10,000 a month.


 

My experience with Pinterest Creator Rewards

I found out in January that I had been accepted into the program. I may have been accepted a while before that but I rarely used the Pinterest app so I can’t say for certain.

The first couple of months it was fun. I was creating Idea Pins anyway and now I could make some money from them. While not giving you the exact amount so far I’ve made several thousand dollars from 4 months of participation in the program.

Here are some of my learnings from being part of the program
  • The program portion of the Pinterest app tends to glitch a lot so I now take screenshots of every reward I’m going to participate in, the pins that have been improved, and payouts that have been confirmed. Gotta have those receipts
  • Some rewards have payout and participation limits meaning Pinterest will only allow you to earn up to a certain amount with that specific reward. With participation limits, some rewards limit how many people they will payout to
  • You can’t count on this for any type of consistent income because the reward amounts vary month-to-month
  • Payout amounts can and do change after the month is complete as pins can be reviewed for up to 30 days after the reward closes
  • Several of the rewards are pretty limiting and seem only good for specific content niches such as beauty, food, and some lifestyle

While I’ve had some success with the program over time the Pinterest Creator Rewards program has been changing since I started participating. While this is to be expected because it’s still in beta being tested before it’s rolled out to everyone the problem with this is there have been drastic changes that impact payouts without any warning or acknowledgment. And when creators question the changes we get silence or a generic response that is not helpful or even relevant to the question.

So what are the issues? I’m going to list them below. These are issues that I have personally had and/or have seen several other creators share they have experienced.

Drastically dropping payouts

While I have been able to make several thousand dollars in just a few months as I write this post, that seems to be coming to an end. Not just for me but for everyone who has been accepted into the program.

Starting in May the reward amounts decreased from thousands or hundreds of dollars to just $25 a pin for some rewards and $250 for four pins. It’s a drastic difference and has not only angered but saddened those of us who are part of the program.
 
UPDATE: The June rewards amounts are the same as May so the disappointment continues.

I will say the hope is they are testing out participation rates for smaller reward amounts but there is serious doubt there as the reward payouts have been decreasing each month with May seeing the sharpest decrease and June reward amounts being the same as May.
 

Much stricter criteria

The criteria list for pins that will be accepted have gotten longer and stricter with each month I’ve been part of the program.

When I first started submitting pins there were probably about 3-4 bullets in the criteria list, now there are probably up to 10 bullets on each list and some of the bullets look like full paragraphs.

This has also led to some confusion with creators on how to interpret some of the criteria. Plus it takes more time to create your Idea Pin content because you’re trying to make sure you hit on all of the bullets so that your content is approved.
 
 

Criteria changing mid-month

Yes, it does. Limits to the number of pins that can be submitted will not exist and then all of a sudden appear mid month with no warning. 
 
Additional criteria for pin approval will be added mid-month so it's best to always check the criteria before you submit any pins to make sure you're pins adhere to the current criteria.


Inconsistency in the pin approval process

This is one of the biggest pain points for those of us who are part of the beta program. Where do I even begin?

Pins that were previously approved are unapproved

This has happened to a lot of people. Sometimes this happens while the rewards are still active but it also happens after the reward month is completed.

Sometimes the unapproved pins are due to a glitch and they correct themselves after a few hours or days. Other times Pinterest just decided that the pin is no longer approved.

The kicker is Pinterest doesn’t give any info on why a pin wasn’t accepted. It’s very subjective and arbitrary. And reaching out to support doesn’t help as they just give a copy and paste generic responses and if you get different support people you can get different answers.

This has been really frustrating as several creators have lost out on hundreds, some even thousands of dollars in expected payouts. So basically they created content for Pinterest for free.

Completed rewards disappear

This seems to be something new that has been happening. Several of us have had rewards that were approved just disappear from our account and we never received payment for them.

I had an approved reward payout for $1,250 just disappear from my account with no clear answer from Pinterest support as to why. When comparing notes, we creators realized we’ve all gotten different answers from them as to why these payouts disappeared. Some, like me, have given up on getting that money.

UPDATE: In June Pinterest went gone back and is paying Creators for past approved rewards that weren't paid out. This is a good move on their part and hopefully going forward we won't have issues of non-payment.

Terrible customer support

The customer support for Pinterest Creator Rewards is pretty bad. As I’ve mentioned, several times now, you can’t get a clear, straight, or consistent answer from them.

Sometimes support tickets have gone unanswered. And most of the time when they are answered it’s a cut and paste job that sometimes isn’t even relevant to the program.

Honestly, it seems like the support folks don’t know much about the program nor are they empowered with any real info to share with us. It comes across that Pinterest really doesn’t care about creators.

 

Is Pinterest Creator Rewards worth it?

Overall, many of us creators are frustrated and disappointed with the program stemming from
  • A lack of transparency in the changes they are making and what they are testing
  • Inconsistency in the responses and info received from Pinterest support
  • Loss of income from pins being unapproved and payouts disappearing. In fact, it seems like Pinterest is stealing and cheating to get good, free, quality content from us

With all of this being said, is Pinterest Creator Rewards worth it? Honestly, at this point, I don’t know. Personally, I’m not participating in the May rewards (though in full transparency I did submit one pin so I wouldn’t get kicked out). I can't justify spending hours to create a pin that will only net me $25. If I was charging a brand for me to create an Idea Pin for them I would be charging a lot more. A whole lot more.
 
For those that are happy with $25 a pin is the same as content creators and influencers who charge low rates to create content for brands just so they can say they work with brands. Being OK with a lower rate just because you're getting paid makes it harder for those who are charging or looking for an actual reasonable rate and trying to make a living wage creating content. 

In addition to the smaller payments there’s no guarantee that you’ll be rewarded for all of the work that you do as some pins that were approved may be unapproved and you get no payout. 

It doesn’t hurt to apply and see if you get in, but I wouldn't recommend putting all your eggs into the Pinterest basket nor would I encourage you to spend a lot of time creating content that is only going to, maybe, earn you $25. Would you accept a brand sponsorship for that much? I know I wouldn’t.

12 Comments

  1. A few days ago I was able to view the list of upcoming goals for June and I calculated the payout amount for making all of the goals and it was about $2,900, now on June 1 half the goals and money have just disappeared (they were in my "upcoming" and now only half of them in my "available" goals if that makes sense) has this happened to you?!

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    1. Hi. Towards the last week of the month the next month's goals show up so you would have goals listed as available and upcoming showing. Once the month is done the goals you didn't participate in disappear and the ones you did participate in move to the completed tab. On June first several of us saw that one of the June goals disappeared without any warning. As of now we don't know why or if it will be replaced with another one. Hopefully this answers your question.

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  2. I found your blog post sooo helpful! Honestly there is not enough people sharing their experience with the Pinterest Rewards system! I just got early access at the ending of May, and began doing them in June. Now being able to see Junes and the upcoming ones for July, most of the goals seem impossible for smaller creators. I have a little under 1,000 followers. Most of the reward goals are counting saves, some even wanting 200 saves on just one Pin. I made $200 from May and I was impressed I acutally got money. I truly hope they raise the rates on them and lower the save counts. Or simply change up the goals. I would love to make this extra money on the side! Thanks again for your post!

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    1. Thank you for reading and commenting. I agree that the goals are hard to reach for smaller creators. I have over 12k followers and getting a good number of saves in 30 days or less is hard for me. It can take a while for pins to pick up traction. Hopefully Pinterest will recognize this like you say and have a wider variety of goals or different goals for different sized accounts.

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  3. Totally agree with your post. I am currently in a disagreement with a Pinterest representative about the issues you delineated above. I feel discouraged with the program now. They arbitrarily decide whether to accept or reject. I will cash out my pay out and keep working on my blog and YouTube

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    1. Hopefully you'll get your issues resolved. It seems like Pinterest has started to listen to our complaints and is trying to at least make amends. They recently sent out payments for past goals that disappeared or fell in the approved then disapproved category after the goals ended.

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  4. In the program, have pay out earned amounts, havent paid me for my content despite it being over 30 days. Submitted a ticket about my pay out going from “transferring payment” to “pending payment” and awaiting an answer. They said they were looking into it, but still waiting over 24 hours later. I have almost 4 thousand followers, a lot of saves/engagement and I used to love Pinterest, but now, I feel they have stolen from me. It’s very sad. I’ll just concentrate on YouTube and my website moving forward.

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    1. I'm sorry to hear that. I've been seeing others who have had issues with payment. I've seen others who have had success by hounding support, submitting multiple tickets, and asking for their tickets to be escalated.

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  5. I am having the same issues! My pins were never accepted for the "publish weekly" goal even though I made sure that I was following every guideline. I reached out to Pinterest and they said they can't tell me why it was not accepted, but that they needed to close my ticket anyway. Now, I am having the issue where I had a higher amount under "Total Earnings" for July, and it just changed to $0. I took screenshots of what it said before because I already do not trust them, but this will be horrible because I was looking forward to this extra income. I created at least 10 pins for them in July to hit these goals.

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    1. Wow! I'm sorry to hear this. Those weekly goals are really tricky and the submission rules sometimes change mid-month so you have to pay close attention before submitting anything. You may want to keep submitting tickets until they start paying attention.

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  6. I am also very frustrated and haven’t even started the creator rewards program. I received a notification that I was eligible to participate. I clicked the earn button accepted T&C and then received a notification to verify my email using an email that Pinterest sent to me. I have yet to receive said emails and it’s almost been a week. Support says that they are working on fixing this issue and they appreciate my patience, That patience is wearing thin as I would like the opportunity to be frustrated with all of the above mentioned issues!

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    1. hahaha....it's not much better on the other side except you have a 50/50 chance to make a few dollars (though that may be decreasing).

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