frankleeceo - 2:36 pm on May 7, 2013 (gmt 0)
It's viable but definitely not easy. First and foremost it is not stable enough to rely your entire life on it. Would you bet your mortgage on a "changing" business? It is "almost" the same as going to become a professional poker player for income. You will have good days and bad days, but if you are really really good, you will have positive days most of the time.
Persistence and a bit of dumb luck is the key.
Ranking sites and adsense is more or less the same.
I think a common theme that everyone is trying to get at is:
diversify your traffic sources.
diversify your income sources.
Pure traffic from google and adsense is viable because their market share is pretty big. But it's definitely not for the weak. And by "limiting" yourself to google traffic and adsense only, you are actually leaving out 20~40% of additional potential income on the table. So it's really a lose-lose situation.
Nevertheless, google traffic and adsense is definitely a "good" starting point before you become big enough, creative enough, and knowledgeable enough to tackle other areas of the business.
ps: I am one of the player that delivered the 0 chances that driller41 described. However, I did not satisfy with just adsense. And the bad days still give me stomach and head aches. I also do plenty of tests with other CPM and affiliate networks to hit the sweet spot between advertising and website useability. I worked my butt creating my own unique content and I worked my butt off on the webmaster side as well.