There are many businesses that make a lot of money, very consistently, from Search Engine traffic. And any market where this is possible is going to be very competitive, so only the companies with the best marketing strategies, and tactics, are going to succeed at it on a consistent basis.
It sounds like you are experiencing the fatigue cycle that most black hat marketers go through. Eventually, they realize that everything they build is systematically being devalued by search engines that are fighting webspam and other successful black hat tactics.
Eventually, every black hat marketer comes to the realization of just how endless their chosen strategy is, as compared to the white hat marketer. While a white hat strategy builds in value over time, the black hat marketer must constantly rebuild their devalued efforts just to maintain their current positions. The white hat marketer eventually pushes past and leaves the black hat in the dust, exhausted and broken by his sisyphean task.
If you want it to be easy, then outsource it to a full-service agency that knows what they are doing. Otherwise, the better marketer is going to bury you. Up your game, or get out!