It was back in 2007 that I first Googled the words "How to make money online" and after years studying (I count this year as getting seriously serious) I'm not that much closer to earning the kind of income I imagined. I remember thinking it would be easy to throw up some content and float an Adsense unit left at the top of an article with the text wrapped around it.
Indeed how things have changed!
The good news is that my web design and marketing skills have improved and I don't obsess over SEO the way I used to (Hummingbird is a press of the reset button for all of us in a way) so I share your feelings toward internet marketing.
I am giving myself a very thorough education in WordPress off the back of having taught myself CSS. PHP is something I'm gradually getting to grips with and this knowledge is helping me with WordPress. I think once you are able to execute your ideas fluently in WordPress you will be in a position to actually do internet marketing instead of fire fighting with your CMS.
I think the content medium we should be focusing on is easy to consume material delivered through audio/video. With SEO changing the way it has I wonder what the longevity og blogging really is. Relatively speaking, quality video and audio content is new and there seems like there are opportunities here.
I'll be interested to know how you get on and at some point in the near future I'll be looking for a new niche myself. The blog I run currently is for small businesses but I am using that more as a marketing tool for my web design for local businesses. I may completely remove Adsense from it since the low CTR is impacting my overall performance. (My 301 redirect I did recently killed my PR and traffic has dropped. Still a rebrand had to happen)
I'll always consider myself a newbie by the way. It stops me resting on my laurels!