How This Woman Supports Herself Abroad Working On Pinterest
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8th Dec | 7 min read

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    None of my travel experiences prepared me for the difficulties of moving to a country where I didn’t speak the language. Unhireable and living off of my credit card, I found the oddest of refuges: Pinterest

    That was never the plan, but then again, the most memorable adventures never stick to the itinerary. Originally from Pennsylvania, USA, I’m now a resident of Groningen, Netherlands, and I make a living on Pinterest. Here’s how. 

    Sunrise from my rooftop in Groningen.

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    How It Started

    Being a digital entrepreneur and traveling were always married ideals to me from the beginning. They both smelled of freedom and adventure. From my desk job, I eagerly drank in blog posts, podcasts, and Instagram accounts that talked about the digital nomad lifestyle. 

    My big plunge was in 2017: a one-way ticket to Mexico, a Workaway exchange scheduled, and a steady freelance writing gig. 

    My enthusiasm was record-high, but the lifestyle was much more challenging than I expected. My writing gig didn’t last long and I had zero clarity on what I wanted to do. 

    To someone less averse to going back to a desk job, this could’ve been my dream’s curtain call. But, I knew what I wanted: to have my own online business, to have the freedom to work from anywhere, and to spend my days in a way I deemed meaningful. 

    Quite frankly, an online business was my answer to everything. So, I didn’t take the next exit. 

    I hit the gas and doubled down into the darkness. 

    Boquete, Panama, 2017

    The Winding Road To Becoming A Pinterest Manager

    Later in 2017, I retired from my short and rather unsuccessful freelancing career and launched my blog, Writing From Nowhere, from a hostel in London. I was in the process of moving to the Netherlands for a guy I met backpacking a few months prior in Guatemala (a little impulsive sounding, but it worked out). 

    Not only did I not speak the local language of my new home, I had never even heard it before. So I launched Writing From Nowhere with lofty expectations of developing it into a robust income stream and having it completely change my life. 

    Whoever said to set realistic expectations probably didn’t soar very high in life, IMO. 

    They probably avoided some pain, too. Starting a blog is like standing in front of one of those tennis ball machines that shoots a new ball at X miles per hour every 10 seconds. But instead of tennis balls, it’s a new task that you must complete despite knowing nothing about it. 

    Half of the time, you’re so lost that you don’t even know what to Google. 

    It’s just a part of the terrain. A gift from this stage is that while some things will be difficult and cumbersome to understand, other things will come very naturally to you. It’s one of the unexpected ways that blogging can really change your life

    That thing that came very naturally for me was Pinterest. 

    An office with a view. Brussels, Belgium

    Discovering My Most Marketable Skill 

    Pinterest is so much more than your wedding concierge, travel agent, and meal planner. Pinterest is the internet’s coolest search engine, and it’s the perfect meet-cute for creators and their audience. 

    As a blogger, it’s essential to learn the ins and outs of creating on Pinterest and start uploading your content. Yet, just as many of the techy tasks of running a website were difficult for me to grasp, many creators are just as at odds with Pinterest. 

    I plugged away at blogging from 2018 onward. Pinterest brought in the traffic, but the rush of money, success, and independence were late to the party (did they even get the invitation?). 

    Still dedicated to growing my blog into a steady form of income, I nannied part-time for 2 years living in the Netherlands. 

    I nannied children who didn’t speak English, and, too broke to afford language classes, I had sloppily picked up some Dutch. It all felt miles away from “arriving,” wherever that elusive destination was on the map, but I was determined to find the success that other people had made for themselves online. 

    Taking a walk through my neighborhood in Groningen

    My blog was still not even breaking even and nannying paid the bills (most months, at least). It wasn’t until the covid-19 restrictions came down in March 2020 when all childcare was shelved that I was finally forced to make making money online really happen for myself. 

    It hadn’t all been a wash, though. By this point, my Pinterest account was reaching millions of people a month. 

    I often fielded questions from other creators about Pinterest, from specific questions about my pinning routine to the general “how did you get your stats so high?!” 

    The week I booked my first Pinterest management client, my account was reaching 3.4 million monthly viewers. 

    That number isn’t as fancy as it sounds: I wasn’t getting that many website viewers, hadn’t gained that many followers, I wasn’t making that amount of money (I wasn’t even making $3.40), but it did show that I knew how to use the platform well. 

    My first client was booked through a Facebook group. I took her on for $200 a month, and felt like that I had finally made it online. 

    Seeing as much of Europe as possible, for a little money as possible. Monschau, Germany

    What It Means To Be A Pinterest Manager

    Every Pinterest manager does things their own way, but my services look like this: 

    1. Create eye-catching, on-brand pins (graphics) for a client’s content 

    2. Publish 1 pin to Pinterest a day with a unique image, unique search engine optimized (SEO) title, and unique SEOed description 

    3. Send monthly reports, make content suggestions based on trends, etc. 

    4. Stay up-to-date on what’s working right now on Pinterest so that I can provide the best service to my clients 

    5. Talk to clients via email or Zoom about their content planning and answer their questions 

    There are a hundred other little details, like which types of pins to create (static, video, carousel, or story pins), but that is the big picture. 

    Management isn’t the right fit for every creator, so I also do account audits and coaching to teach creators how to fish themselves. Additionally, I sell Pinterest Canva templates on my website to passively monetize this skill. 

    Do you love Pinterest? Does the idea of making a living on Pinterest get you all hot and bothered? 

    Why is it that sunsets in other countries are always so much more vibrant than at home? Sunset in Ometepe, Nicaragua

    Other Ways To Make Money On Pinterest 

    Pinterest can be profitable in other ways, beyond just managing accounts. Other common ways of monetizing Pinterest include: 

    • Driving website traffic to your blog to generate ad revenue 

    • The same goes for a YouTube channel 

    • Advertising physical or digital products that you sell, either on your website or Etsy, etc. 

    • Some influencers have even had massive success growing their Instagram following on Pinterest

    Advice For Anyone Who Wants To Become A Pinterest Manager Themselves

    Love Pinterest, learn Pinterest, and find a client. Finding your first client will be the most difficult part, but you know who makes the best first client? 

    Yourself. If you’re a creator, use your own account to learn and market it as your first portfolio piece. 

    This is a fantastic income stream for bloggers who are already well-versed in Pinterest and staying current on best practices and trends through their own marketing efforts. 

    Depending on experience and offerings, Pinterest managers charge a couple hundred a month, upwards to 4 figures a month per client.

    And if you’re thinking about hiring a Pinterest manager, I have some important advice for you here

    Squeezing some work in on the bus ride to Paris

    Final Thoughts 

    It’s already been 3 years since I moved abroad. I’m still pretty unhireable (on the local job market, this is), but I’ve paid off my credit card and now I have more optimism for the future than my 65-liter Osprey backpack can hold. 

    Flying into Mexico in 2017 where this all began. Where would you go if you had the freedom to make money from anywhere?

    The pandemic gave me the push I needed to finally find independence online. If you’re dreaming of working online so that you can travel more, let this be the sign that you need. There has never been a better time to start an online business. It’s hard work, but it’s worth all the searching and tennis balls to the face to have the freedom to go wherever the wind blows you. 

    This post was written by Kayla Ihrig, founder of Writing From Nowhere.

    Tired of traveling alone? Connect with users from over 190 countries to plan trips and travel together!
    Try GAFFL


    April 13, 2021 at 1:38 PM

    Love to see another amazing story of inspiration following your dreams and traveling! Congratulations.