The dating niche is like a pyramid: there are (or were) a few whales at the top of the pyramid, some guys beneath that doing pretty well, a few more guys below doing kind of okay, and then a whole bunch at the bottom fighting for scraps.
The niche itself has been in decline since 2014. There was a big drop-off that year that everybody felt, and we all talked about it in 2015. It never really recovered, and has continued to decline since then. Of the three biggest players in the space, who were at the absolute top of the industry, one had handed off his business to a management team and had retired to be an angel investor last I heard, one just sold his business last year after reaching the point where advertising was getting increasingly hard and his newsletter list had become completely unresponsive to email marketing and he saw the writing on the wall, and a third -- the guy who ran the biggest pickup business in the world in terms of revenue for many years -- shut his doors in 2018 (he'd made enough money and didn't want to deal with the problems he was having keeping the business running at that point).
You also had RSD, which got reasonably big, though was not the biggest in terms of revenue. They have shed most of their old stuff and have been working to completely rebrand, getting out of the dating niche entirely. No one has replaced the whales who left the business. A lot of people that are longtime pickup business owners are looking at other markets they can switch to instead.
That said, you can still make it work. It is just a lot harder now than it was 2009-2014, which was when GC really got going.
We are working with a top marketing agency right now for some of our marketing. They have been consistently surprised at some of the difficulty getting marketing campaigns to work for us. I have had to personally write all our sales landing pages (with some help cleaning up one of them from a talented copywriter I know), handle all our ad copy and designs, and plan out the campaigns, because nothing they've tried has worked. It took me years and years to figure this stuff out.
There's still plenty of opportunity if you can find a good channel to reach guys, and you are a hustler. You need to figure out how you're going to do that, and whether there's longevity there. I probably would not do YouTube... I don't know how long our channel will be up on YouTube, but I bet if things continue the way they have been it won't be there 2-3 years from now. However, I am seeing guys blow up on TikTok right now (one of the dating advice business owners I know recently caught a TikTok PUA with 300,000 subscribers there ripping off the business owner's sales page... had I not heard about this, I'd never have known there was a TikTok PUA with 300K subscribers. Though from what I've seen a lot of what he's doing is goofy viral-esque content).
Personally I wax and wane on this niche. Sometimes I wonder what I'm doing and whether I ought to just get out. Other times I think it is a great niche and I'm glad to be in it.
When starting your business, also keep in mind you need to know how to monetize. The big problem in pickup is that everybody wants to know how to get the girl, but most guys do not have a lot of money to spend on it. And the guys who do have the money do not always recognize they have an issue... often they are focused on getting more money, rather than buying a product to teach them how to talk to girls. You can get a big following of guys who will not spend much money. But it is like that anywhere you are building a following of people.
Also, anyone who wants to get rich by blogging, I suggest you read this first:
I learned the hard way: while blogs can do many wonderful things, making huge amounts of money isn't one of them.
I will tell you, personally -- 2014 was the year I tried the experiment of writing more words in one year than ever I had, churning out more content than ever, busting my ass on the comments and in the forum, just content, content everywhere (I wrote somewhere between 3 million and 5 million words that year) -- the result was a steep traffic decline in 2015 (due to Google penalizing our site for super slow load times, thanks to the crappy servers EIG moved us to when they acquired our then-host, HostGator), along with a revenue decline so sharp (due largely, I think, to the general sales decline the entire pickup industry experienced starting around May/June 2014) we had to lay people off and cut bonuses for the staff. I have never worked so hard, for such a disappointing outcome... but it certainly taught me a lot.
That's not to say you can't make it here.
I think anything is always possible, with sufficient hustle, and the right angle.
(I don't want to sound like I'm trying to discourage competitors, btw. So long as you aren't blatantly ripping off GC stuff, we'll have no issues. Many of the pickup businesses all mail for each other, and we mail for some of the other companies whose products I like as well -- there's a lot more cooperation in this niche than in many niches. It is a cool niche at a personal level, and it is cool to work with the audience in this niche. That is one of the best parts, helping guys learn and improve and develop and grow. It's a difficult niche, but it's rewarding, too)