All gold rushes end. The Web rush went into first decline during a general increase around 2002 (those who made the BIG bucks quick took the money and ran to something else while the rest were just waking up and ...)
2004 every Tom Dick and Harry were digging,---digging hard--- and some were obnoxious enough in that enterprise that ad blockers were invented (and browsers came with pop ups disabled by default, third party bits and pieces were denied, or could be) and the consumer (whose gold everyone wants to mine) was just exploring the web for real, and discovering who was real and who was scam, and learning the hard way the miscreants were out there making life (and identity protection!) difficult: thus the rise of brands and the eventual decline of the "mom and pop" sites.
There's nothing wrong with selling shovels, but the real money is in apparel, housing, travel, etc. Also the definition of gold changes day to day. Right now gold seems to be spelled "news", "entertainment", and "social media" ... with all of them wall papered with ads, affiliates, or other methods of separating a dime or a dollar from Joe Blow and Mary Sue.
I'm pretty sure those of us who were there at the beginning are still digging ... but due to market, customer interest, cultural, political, economical, we might be using a garden trowel or a steam shovel, or even more granular: a toothbrush and tooth pick.
The gold is still there; HOWEVER, There's only so much in the world. That won't change anytime soon (unless for fiat money is printed as countries go to trade wars), and with half a billion webmasters gong after that wealth (old days it might have been 10 million websites ... and not all of them were monetized!) the slice of the pie is infinitely smaller.
Not doom and gloom, just the facts . If one can stay the course, have enough bankroll to continue operations through the first two years, and truly play that game an income, and perhaps a real profit, can be had.
These days one has to recognize that the gift of free tips and how-to-get-rich sailed long ago. NO ONE who is actually in BUSINESS will reveal that many "secrets" to the great unwashed because the competition is already immense. One more might be just one too many.
I'm now going back to selling shovels, shirts, transportation, a delightful hovel, current and historical entertainment and a good read or two. Or take a nap---whichever is more profitable at this time. :)