I never click on any Adsense ad. I hear people say they make peanuts from Adsense ads compared with the time they spend creating content. Today I was reading an eBook called Adsense Secrets 5 (copyright 2011 so it seems new). I noticed in a couple instances the author mentions how to do something in AdSense and mentions one of his sites. I go visit that site and I don't see any AdSense ads! Makes me think that even this author gave up on using AdSense. As in after he published the book.
So does AdSense still make money? OK.. let's be more specific... how much time does a website owner spend to make $10/day. I know this depends on the topic of the content. You pick a topic and tell us how easy/hard is it to make $10/day for your own experience.
AdSense is one of the best advertising options. Probably it is the best overall.
The problem is not AdSense. The problem is the ad-revenue model. Publishing is an extremely tough business and if you can not charge for your content, quite often you are left with advertising as your main source of revenue most of the time.
Advertising really only works when you have huge volume of page views. For example, even if you have $10CPM meaning you make $10 for every 1,000 page views, you have to have 1 million page views to make $10k. And not every site is even able to get such a high CPM.
Be careful about going for ad-revenue-only businesses. They face the challenge of difficult monetization and having the ads always make their site look a little worse.
Secret and True Brilliance of AdSense: You mentioned that you never click on AdSense. That touches on the true brilliance of AdSense. Because it is usually such ugly ads, and almost no one clicks on it, when someone does click on those ads, that means they are REALLY interested. That means the people who buy the AdWords (the advertisers) are much more ensured that the traffic they get is high-quality traffic.
So the ironic secret to the competitiveness of AdSense is the ugliness of the ads :) That also shows that it is the AdWords and not the AdSense users who Google must please the most.
My partner and I have a blog about our shared hobby that we write a new post for every day or so and now there's upwards of 1000 unique articles on it. We've been slowly building up Adsense income on over the last two years and it's now earning about 1/4 of a not very good wage a month. That being said we believe that Adsense is just one way of (and I hate this word) monetizing the blog. It has to be, CTR is woeful, just 3% or so and I do not ever see the point where traffic would quadruple. As my partner would like to make a living out of this blog and other activities clearly Adsense isn't going to cut it.
So we've also targeted the following:
Hope some of those suggestions might help you out!
AdSense still makes money. It's true plugins like AdBlock are used by quite a lot of people and you may feel as though that AdSense is pointless, but I'm currently making around $300 a month on a site that hasn't been updated in about 7 months that gets tonnes of type in traffic from Google.
You can make money from AdSense even if you don't get clicks, views or impressions as Google calls them get you money as well. My click rates are pretty low, yet I still make a decent amount of money for doing nothing.
AdSense is one of the best online advertising networks out there, period. Adwords also makes up quite a large share of Google's yearly profits.
IMHO, it completely depends on your site and it doesn't make a difference between Adsense or pretty much any other advert network.
Pretty much the only people who make money out of every day regular Adsense is Google and scammy sites that advertise techniques on how to make money from Adsense!
If you have a site that is only visited by a few hundred to a few thousand people a day, no one really cares and you will be lucky to make anything big.
When your site is up to 100k+ (or in a very niche market where few products exist), generally advert networks will want to haggle to you, manage the adverts for you, account managers working on your behalf and they will go to advertisers and actually promote your site.
Adsense sucks. I made around $100 in 4 years, on 7 sites with content of around 500,000 pages when printed.
I used AdSense for a good while and it was very hard to reach my payout limit. I switched to InfluAds.com and made in 3 months what I made in a year with AdSense. The Ads are ways more beautiful and fit much better to the content of my site. AdSense just put on my site what they thought the user want to see. In my case, I saw always the same Ads when surfing the web. Its not efficient.
That said, I am in no way affiliated with InfluAds.
Adsense is the lazy way of making money from your site. A better way is to figure out the single best product related to your site and become an affiliate and promote that.
In return for being the authority on your subject, people will trust your opinion and buy your affiliated product.
In answer to your question, your likely cpm is $5 with Adsense meaning you need 2000 page views to make your $10. if you are doing this using content then you need to write content that will bring about 70 visitors per day for a year to make your $10.
Now it totally depends on your niche, how good your content is, how much your traffic likes to spend money etc but Market samurai can tell you which content to write and with well written articles that get shared a lot you're looking at writing 1-4 articles to get your $10.
The big downside to this approach is that content gets stale. So don't go expecting your traffic to still be making as much money in a year.