Apart from borrowing a TARDIS and going back 10 years I suspect that you are stuck.
Users are just more sophisticated than they used to be and don't respond to ads or affiliate links in the way that they used to.
Keep the one you have if it happy work.
Create another site that works to the ads. People do it everyday... so many in fact that the pie (there's only one) continues to get smaller by the slice day by day. (Sorry for the doom and gloom)
Thanks for the reality check. I checked here in case there were any new possibilities. This is where I learned about adsense several years ago. I'll keep the site, it's helped me become well known in my field and does well in search engines. It was nice to have some extra earnings as well but It looks like content doesn't pay anymore.
You can try with contextual advertising, either as nofollow links that advertisers can buy from you directly to boost their traffic, or via ad networks similar to AdSense, like Kontera for example.
join viglink or skimlinks, and put some of their affiliated text links on your site.
they have many merchants to choose from.
An alternative approach may be to start a new site. Focus on newbs. Newbs that need product to fulfill their aspirations or goals.
If you are running a content rich site, then your users/readers may regard Adsense adverts as a distraction and mentally filter them out. It might be better to use some kind of advertising closely related to the topic that would be useful to the reader. (Commission Junction might work if you get the advertiser mix right.)
You are right. When Adsense was content based it worked well.
Thanks everyone for these ideas. I'm not interested in starting new sites at this point. I'd just like to monetize the site that reflects my study of the last several years. I first built it in 1998.
I learned almost everything about SEO and quality website building when I was active here a few years ago. Even if it never earns much again thanks to the people here it's the best known site in my niche field.
IMO, it's all about traffic: quantity and quality. You have to have a TON of traffic to make Adsense pay off.
If you don't have enough traffic for that, but have a targeted demographic, then maybe try selling ads directly to people in your industry. You can do paid-articles if you don't like banner ads.
You can try buysellads but I think adsense is offering good cpc rates. I could not find any good alternative to adsense. Just post good contents on your website and try to target high paying keywords.
Vibrant in-text ads worked well on my content sites for years, not as much lately though. I've heard good things about Media.net but really there aren't many good alternatives to AdSense, which is exactly what the guys at GOOG want.
Selling ads directly is probably the best route to go but it is a lot more work.
When I contacted Adsense they made it quite clear to me that ads are no longer based on content. Instead they are based on the user's previous activity online activity. A lot of the things we used to do to optimize for adsense no longer works. My guess is huge traffic volume helps the most.
I make good money on ads with a content site. It all boils down to your traffic. You have to have thousands of visitors a day to do well.