There seems a strange agreement that Adsense is not worth it anymore, i tend to differ.
The mistake most seem to make is looking for good paying keywords. Guess what? Everyone else already did that, those markets are highly over saturated. Most of them already have big players with real quality content as well. Sure you get a nice Adsense RPM but when you can only traction like 200 visits a month those lets say $2 RPM, are worth nothing.
What is a good Adsense niche?
Honestly i think everything that you can show passion about and is not done multiple times already. Passion leads to quality content and content to visitors. No need to figure out how to write your articles to get the best CPC out of it, focus on your users. Hence that is what 2016 SEO is all about anyway. FOCUS ON YOUR UX! (User Experience)
It’s also almost always a great idea to use something established that you can see it works and just make it better. Just think about it, a lot of our Web still looks like the late 90s, why not just clone the idea and make a more modern interface for it? A little more bootstrap, a little less flash and you already have a totally new site that has a relative high chance to outrank the classic competitors.
Outranking established (old) sites?
Yeah absolutely. Many of them contain elements that today would be considered Blackhat SEO. Many have masses of rather bad back links, but barely social interaction. Much text and barely images, Crazy footers full with keywords and so on. If these sites rank well in Google its more often than not because there is no real competitor (yet).
If you find such a site, make yourself a note. Make a Todolist for all the sites that are from the last century that could need a modern brother. You will soon notice that those are quite a lot.
More and more Adblocker…
Adblocker get a problem. But as the hypocrite I am i use a ad blocker myself. Honestly i believe its good when more and more people block ads, the ad industry will have to change which hopefully will also result in higher quality ads (no flash, no sound, no scripts…). I don’t track how much money i miss trough them now, it’s probably a lot. But I’ve heard numbers around 30% to 40%. I also started to ad a few not blocked ads to my content recently.
Why i am even telling this
I made over $10’000 the last 12 months only with Adsense with a single site created about 12 months ago. Even thought the RPM is bad, like $0.60 bad. The point is i created this site on a weekend, added some features the next weekend and wrote exactly 4 blog articles since then with barely 300 words. My whole marketing consists of about 5 Reddit posts over that period. By accident i created something people really like and use, a lot of people. The magic i used is having a good niche, creating something (that already existed) in a way more user-friendly way, allow user-generated content and throw some ads on it.
I think Adsense is still worth it. After all there are more people on the internet and spend way much more time on it than ever before. But we learned to spot sites that are not worth to bother with pretty fast. The idea is to provide quality and things a lot of love, then Adsense still is totally worth it.