[Journey] Growing a niche website from scratch with Pinterest as a main traffic source. [Goal: 10m+ monthly Pinterest views]

korni

Regular Member
May 24, 2010
452
436
So, what do we have here? Yet another niche website journey thread.

Yada yada yada... BORING!

But but but...

What if I told you that I won't try to rank on Google, optimize for perfect SEO scores, write HeLpFuL content, and follow everything this bullshit company tells you explicitly NOT TO do but rewards the "blessed" ones that do the complete opposite of what they say?

Now, that seems a little more exciting, doesn't it?

You heard that right. I will be trying to grow the website by only concentrating on Pinterest.

Well, I might get lucky and hit Google Discover, but I definitely won't be actively pursuing it.

Let me try to explain my reasoning and why I decided to open this journey thread.

The Beginning of The End​


Back in 2022, I started a niche website with the idea of monetizing it with display ads.

Things were going fairly well, and in February 2023, I was 2-3k sessions from Mediavine's 50k sessions requirement.

I was thrilled to move away from Ezoic after being stuck with them for almost a year...

Of course, I didn't expect a Google update to slash my traffic by 25-30% in the following days. The February 2023 product reviews update rolled out. Sadly, that's exactly what happened.

Screenshot 2024-01-09 123556.png

I tried everything I could to get back to 50k monthly sessions. As you can see, I was getting closer and closer, but then another n-number Google update would kick me in the balls.

I'm at an all-time low right now.

That's my little backstory on why I will no longer focus on search traffic from Google going forward.

The New Journey​


So, you might be wondering: Why don't you use your existing website and grow it with Pinterest?

The answer is simple. Niche sucks for Pinterest. It's too male-oriented, and as we all know, the majority of Pinterest users are females.

That's why I decided to start a new website in a niche that is heavily searched by women but, at the same time, not too girly for me as, naturally, I'm a guy, lol.

I've seen the potential in women's fashion, lifestyle, and beauty, but I don't see myself writing about nails, makeup, and hair, if I have to be perfectly honest.

I know that Pinterest also has algo updates, bans, etc., but I'm willing to take the risk and go all in here.

The Present and Future​


Anyway, enough rambling, here's what I've done so far:
  • Registered a short and brandable domain name
  • Set up Kadence as a theme
  • Customized the CSS and the majority of the theme settings to my liking
  • Made a logo with the help of Canva and Midjourney
  • Created the Pinterest profile
What I need to do, mostly in order:
  • Start doing keyword research on Pinterest
  • Decide on what categories I'll be covering
  • Cluster the content into categories on the site
  • Source images from places like Instagram(potential copyright issues?) and/or make them with Midjourney (need a lot to learn about prompting)
  • Start writing the actual content (duh) with the help of ChatGPT/GPT-4 API
  • Create pins with Canva
  • Create relevant Pinterest boards
  • Pin, pin, pin every day!
Later down the line, I might try to outsource some of the work, but for now, I'll be doing everything.

Monetization​

  1. Display ads (probably 90%+ of it)
  2. Affiliate products (will try to get into higher paying programs than Amazon)
  3. Possibly accept paid guest posts since I won't care if I get slapped by Google?

Goals​

My short-term goal is to get into Mediavine.
The ultimate goal is to get to this level and maintain it, maybe earn $10k+ monthly, too, while we're at it :D
Screenshot 2024-01-09 132455.png

I will try to update this thread monthly and possibly whenever I reach a meaningful milestone (total pins, monthly impressions, traffic to my site, etc.)

I'm open to answering most questions you might have, EXCEPT ones related to my niche and domain name.
 
Just remember to target Women interests with your site to fit Pinterest traffic + best of luck with it mate.
 
seems interesting to watch
I hope it is. Stick around to find out. :D
Interesting. How many pins per article will you make? And how many pins per day?
Good luck!
I thought of doing 3 pins per article at the beginning and ~10-15 pins per day since the account is fresh. I will definitely ramp those numbers up once I've warmed it up. What do you think?
Good luck with your journey
Thanks!
Just remember to target Women interests with your site to fit Pinterest traffic + best of luck with it mate.
Yeah. That's the idea. I'm going to target topics that are interesting to women, but at the same time, I want them to be enjoyable for me as well since I will be doing all the image sourcing, writing, pin creation, etc.
 
Seems daunting tbh. Especially since you've previously built a large traffic. To have to do it fro scratch seems scary. Here with you
 
Following. Good luck! I used to get 300+ visits/day just from pinterest around 2018-19. but it died gracefully just in one update.
Do you plan to have any kind of automation involved?
 
Quick little update

Okay, I must admit that I have procrastinated more than I should have. I haven't done much work at all.

Tasks done:
  • Completed the overall silo structure of the site with 4 main categories and a lot of sub-categories for 3 of those.
  • Identified lucrative keywords with decent search volumes. The competition might be too high for some, but I'll do them anyway. I'm confident that my pins will be of higher quality and that I can compete with them.
  • I bought a social sharing plugin for ~$20 (yearly plan). I modified the CSS so that it shows the Pinterest Pin It button on every image instead of the default behavior, which is only when you hover over it. This one is actually very important since all the images on the articles should, in theory, be worthy of a repin by my audience.
  • Installed GSC & Google Analytics.
I need to start creating content and images. I'm stuck in the phase of delaying the actual work that will move the needle, which is bad.

To-do:
  • Write at least 10 posts and create 30 quality pins for the next 2 days. Pin all of them before Monday next week.
  • Look into a Pin scheduler & poster tool. I was looking at Buffer, which has a 2,000-scheduled post cap for only $6 a month. Any other suggestions are appreciated.
Seems daunting tbh. Especially since you've previously built a large traffic. To have to do it fro scratch seems scary. Here with you
Nah, I wouldn't say my site was doing anything crazy in terms of traffic. Starting from scratch is actually refreshing sometimes.
All the best on your new adventure!
Thanks.
Following. Good luck! I used to get 300+ visits/day just from pinterest around 2018-19. but it died gracefully just in one update.
Do you plan to have any kind of automation involved?
What kind of automation exactly? Like content writing, pin creation, pin scheduling & posting, etc.? At the moment, I'm only looking at getting a social media scheduler tool like Buffer.
 
Update Time

I managed to pin over 50+ total pins, but I'm still unsatisfied with how things are going.

The algo is still not pushing my pins to people's home feeds, and neither am I ranking for anything yet. It feels a lot like a Google sandbox phase, which is quite annoying, but there's nothing I can do about it.

I'm sticking to posting daily. Hopefully, the Pinterest gods will bless me with some exposure sooner rather than later.

Furthermore, I'm torn between the age-old debate - quality vs quantity. Doing 20-30 Custom Pins in Canva for 1 article is taking me a lot of time. Bear in mind that I've also made templates for these, so yeah...

I have no idea if these subjectively higher-quality pins will even go viral, rank, or have a higher CTR than stock image pins. I'm going to start posting Pins with only images and compare the results. I still want to believe that the custom pins will outperform the image-only ones.

@korni
Hi. You get all images from Instagram?
What niche of you website?
Most of the images are generated using Midjourney. Only a handful are taken from Instagram at the moment. I explicitly mentioned that I won't disclose my niche in the opening post.
 
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Traffic Update

Truthfully, I don't know what's happening right now. I feel like the Pinterest algorithm is teasing me.

A few pins (4-5) I thought had the least potential to rank or go viral are starting to do exactly that, lol. I was 100% sure that these were complete duds and would never bring in traffic. You can't make this shit up.

Screenshot 2024-01-27 124534.png

I'm going to cross 150 total pins today. I want to get this account to a few thousand pins in the next couple of months and see where things are heading.

The Shiny Object Syndrome

I'm getting distractions left, right, and center. This is completely unrelated to the main theme of this thread, but let me share it anyway.

Okay, so I guess you can say that I'm a natural when it comes to reverse engineering and finding the sites/social media handles/etc. of other random people on the internet. I like to think of it as one of those treasure hunt games. I get absurd dopamine hits whenever I find the treasure (in this case, the person's site or social handle).

So, anyway, long story short, I'm just browsing my Twitter (sry, X) feed, and I stumble upon some random dude I've never seen before, who's posting his Pinterest traffic stats.

My Mind Is Telling Me No, But My Body Is Telling me, Hell Yes!


There is no turning back.

I begin browsing through his profile, where he reveals more and more.

The thing is, I have a really slim chance of finding his stuff if he just posts a traffic screenshot and doesn't say anything more. I believe it's human nature to get cocky and arrogant. You get overconfident and start revealing too much.

It only took me a few Pinterest searches, and there it is. His account, in all its glory, is right in front of me:

Screenshot 2024-01-27 135337.png

This is the traffic stats he showed on his X account back in November:

Screenshot 2024-01-27 135420.png

Just look at that Impressions to Outbound clicks ratio, lol. Naturally, I'm intrigued since this niche is incredibly easy to replicate with AI. Another thing that's piqued my interest is that he's achieved this with less than 1,000 pins.

A New Pinterest Account?

So, am I going to start another account on Pinterest? Hell freaking yeah, I am!

I have everything I need to make a similar successful account.
 
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Update Time

Not much to report. I'm getting around 2k impressions with ~2%-ish outbound click rate, so around 40-45 visits daily.

If I continue with the current outbound click rate, I would need roughly 2.5m impressions to meet the 50k sessions requirement for Mediavine.

I believe I can achieve this in 6 months.

I'm consistently pinning 20+ pins a day now. Will probably scale to 30-40 soon.

New Account

Started warming up and posting a few pins on my new account that I talked about earlier.

I'm hyper focusing on a certain topic/interest and I'll share why.

Tony Hill(Pinterest/Google Discover Guru on X) shared a list of the top 100 most engaged topics/interests on Pinterest for their USA audience in his newsletter.

Btw, I regret not signing up earlier. This guy drops a lot of golden nuggets and I've surely missed some.

So back to the list.

These are interests or topics that most people at least have a few associated with their account - which means Pinterest is going to be showing them lots of pins associated with these topics in their feed. Whereas the Pinterest trends tool will only show you interests by what people search.

The traffic potential is huge and I know exactly what keywords to target, how to design my pins, how to write the content and make this work, essentially. All I need is time, dedication and patience.

That's it for now. My next update will probably be at the beginning of March for my February stats.

In the end, I'll just leave this here and continue asking myself - Why the hell did I ever bother with Google in the first place?

Screenshot_2024-02-01-02-35-38-73_8b1cfbb769bd52fc36fa25a4fcc64305.jpg
 
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February Update - Main Account

I'm pretty satisfied with the results since this is the first whole month of my Pinterest journey. I'm still not pinning as frequently as I would like. Making everything myself takes a lot of time, and I'm limited to pinning every few days. Total pins are around 550.

Pinterest Analytics

Screenshot 2024-03-01 103241.png

Google Analytics Stats


Screenshot 2024-03-01 103127.png

I'm currently hovering at around 90-100 sessions a day. The not-so-good part is that my outbound click rate is plummeting like crazy. Initially, I used to get over 2%+ CTR because I was only pinning text+image pins.

Now that I added pure image pins to the mix and also the fact that I'm attracting a lot of natural repins on the images on my blog posts, the CTR keeps on dropping. Yesterday, it was at 0.75%, lol.

That means that my estimation for an MV requirements threshold is way off. I would need a lot more impressions to achieve 50k sessions. I'm still confident that I'll reach it sooner or later.

Second Account - Total Pins 200+

Yeah, well...The second account is straight-up dead in the water. Nothing to report for it. It barely gets 10-30 impressions a day. I suspect that since I'm not targeting any specific keywords but a broader topic/interest, the algo has a hard time understanding what my account is all about, and it's still not promoting me yet.

The potential is insane with this niche, though. I would be crazy just to abandon it because the algo is still not pushing me. I might try to sprinkle a bunch of pins that are keyword-focused. Perhaps that might start moving the needle a little bit.

A New Journey Thread?

I want to diversify my traffic sources as much as possible in 2024. I might be spreading myself a bit too thin, but I have the ability to identify the potential of methods quickly.

My newest shiny object syndrome is Facebook. I've begun to acquire a bunch of boosted/grown pages in one specific niche, and no, I'm not going to reveal where I'm sourcing them from or my supplier. Most of them have around 10-50k likes. They are getting good organic reach and engagement on images/status posts.

My idea is to start inserting link posts, monetize with ads/affiliates, and repeat this process by reposting the same content every 30-40 days. I'm waiting for my new domain to age because I would be wasting traffic if I do link posts since I can't get into any ad network yet.

Who knows, I might even start a new Journey thread, haha.
 
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