Since first launching in 2010, JustAPinch.com, “an old-fashioned-looking recipe swap website,” but truly a vertical social network around recipes has grown to stand among the largest recipe websites on the internet. At its core, Just a Pinch strives to bring together hometown cooks and family recipes. What may seem like an old-fashioned idea has successfully transcended into the digital age in recent years. With traffic up 66% this year alone, Just a Pinch can attribute its noteworthy success to its engaged users and effective social media marketing practices.
Just a Pinch is primarily funded by online advertising, and coupon distribution. Aside from an extensive array of printable coupons, the site maintains a daily email newsletter and recipe blog. Their emphasis on user-content creation and subsequent distribution of that content has earned them widespread recognition in recent years, including a Best Digital Newsroom award from PR Daily’s Digital PR & Social Media Awards. This is likely due in part to the focus the site places on users. JustAPinch.com users are encouraged to rate and discuss recipes and identify those they have actually cooked in their own home kitchens. JustAPinch then awards blue ribbons to users whose recipes were tested in the JustAPinch test kitchen…lastly, JustAPinch.com creates a press release for the winner’s local paper.
One particularly impressive element of Just a Pinch’s success is that it has been achieved despite largely avoiding the use of paid search or any advertising. While other cooking-interest sites, such as MarthaStewart.com and Epicurious.com, have chosen to implement paid search, JustAPinch.com’s organic methods have successfully managed to hold strong, with both sites peaking at just under three million monthly unique visitors within the past six months. And in the 4th Q of 2013, JustAPinch out grew both MarthaStewart.com and Epicurious.com without any spend on search terms or advertising.
Why might this be? Well, it all relays back to Just a Pinch’s content creation. It seems the bulk of JustaPinch.com’s traffic is directed either from social media or from their email newsletters. Facebook ranks a strong first place among all incoming sites, while over one hundred thousand monthly visits to Justapinch.com are directed from Pinterest. Of all visits directed from Google or Yahoo, the vast majority derive from the search engines’ respective email subdomains. Contrarily, Facebook, the highest-ranking social media site shown to direct traffic to similar cooking-interest site, AllRecipes.com, ranks a distant fourth place trailing three common search engines, including email subdomain-less Bing.
Decidedly, Justapinch.com has achieved exceptional success in growing their traffic, website, and overall brand through investing their efforts in content creation. Achieving an impressive blend of vintage and contemporary, it’s fair to say that their online marketing strategy has earned JustAPinch.com their own blue ribbon in Getting Digital Right.
Mark is a Sales Specialist at Millward Brown Digital focusing on the Agency, Publisher and Public Relations world. He is a graduate of George Washington University and has spent the past 15+ years helping clients grow their businesses and improve their marketing across industries like technology, media, sports, entertainment, and others. Connect with Mark on LinkedIn.