Greetings from Europe / getting back into the game / couple of questions

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Hello everyone,

I signed up a long time ago, but this is my first post.

I started building websites back in 2007 when I was a student. I mostly used Wordpress, and built different types of sites: MFA, magazines, affiliate sites, informational blogs... It was nice pocket money, used to pay all my holidays and one of the sites even became an authority in its niche (lifestyle). My sites were bringing around 2-3k per month. Then I graduated from university and started working. It was never my goal to quit my job and earn a living from websites because I love my job (private banking) and having a salary allows you to borrow money to invest in real estate (I now own 4 flats that I rent out). Not to mention benefits such as car, health insurance, etc.

When my salary surpassed 3x my online income (3-4 years ago), I thought that it made no sense to continue spending time on websites. Furthermore, as you all know, the rules of the game have changed and the old approach doesn't work anymore. I didn't see any future for my main project, so I decided it was the right time to exit. Sold the site for low 6 figures and put other projects to sleep.

So why am I posting here? Well, my "problem" is that I have passions / interests / hobbies and I just love doing research on and sharing my thoughts with others (via a website - if I don't, I feel that all those hours of research go to waste). This is how I managed to bring the project I sold to the top 3 blogs worldwide level. I am also generally interest in entrepreneurship and online businesses so I want to stay up to date.

I launched a website around this new hobby end of 2018. So far only a couple of articles, but they literally take tens of hours of research each and are the most complete resources that have been written on this to date. With my day job, I can't allocate too much time to this project unfortunately.

In terms of monetization, this niche is very present on eBay. In a couple of years I would like to add an ecommerce component to the website (I am already doing some selling through eBay myself).

The goal for 2019 is to continue adding content, develop social media following (I am active on Instagram but need to leverage Pinterest & other channels as well), gather some emails, and build trust with Google. Any natural links will be welcome, so far the only link-building I'm doing is knowem type links.

The questions I have for my fellow builders at this point are:
- Anyone working with eBay affiliate? I used to earn quite a lot of money with this program back in the day using a plugin called phpBay and micro-niche sites. Any modern alternatives? Efficient strategies?
- What are you using today to build email lists? I always worked with MailChimp, are they still one of the best alternatives? I am looking for something slick and cost-efficient.
 

Ryuzaki

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I'm glad you've decided to post with us!

What are you using today to build email lists? I always worked with MailChimp, are they still one of the best alternatives? I am looking for something slick and cost-efficient.
Sendy is pretty cool if you can manage the setup (I'm sure you can). It costs $60 and then links up with Amazon SES (simple email service) which costs a literal fraction of a fraction of the cost to mail with MailChimp once you exceed their free limit. One option if you're too married to MailChimp on a project is to let them collect the list and then export it out to Sendy for mailing.

I launched a website around this new hobby end of 2018. So far only a couple of articles
Are you seeing any search engine traction on these? With as much work as you're putting into each article, they sound perfect for places like Reddit, Facebook, Voat, and forums too.
 
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Sendy looks exactly what I need, thank you for the suggestion.

I'm starting to get some search engine traffic, but we're talking about just several visitors/day so far. Still, this is rather encouraging.

I wanted to have at least 5 nice pieces of content and email captures set up before leveraging forums and Reddit, I think this type of content should work well there if used not very aggressively.