Even if affilite is not a choice you can go with other monetisation. The problem is most people dont think beyond adsense and affiliate. There can be a tonn. Of ways to monetise a site apart from affiliate.
- if you have a great video+audio course or you can create one you can create a membership for small amount of fees(only if you have reached a point where you have a little authority in the industry)
2)Info products and digital tools:- Say you are in programming niche, now it is tough to get an affiliate for that for example. Then you can sell info products like ebooks, or may be a digital tool to get something done. Say a programme for doing xyz task which many people are looking for.
3)Ads goes a long way beyond adsense. There are a tonn of premijm publishers like mediavine, adthrive etc who pay you a lot more than adsense. With a site with 1lakh visitor a month mediavine can pay you upto 1000$ or even more sometimes and adthrive gets even behond that. So, dont get stuck with adsense.
4)Last but not the least is lead generation. Say you are in a realstate niche, you can collect data like phonenumbers and emails and sell it to prospected buyers who can pay you a tonn of money for that. (Make sure you let people know that you will share this info with big companies or people who will help them fknd what they need especially if you are doing it in us and uk)
So, i think its time to give up adsense as only monetization idea and think beyond the limits.