Going to disagree on the networking with friends. Yes, everyone has a single friend. Emphasis on singular. They have one friend that is single. They have no idea what you would like. So you dicker around for a couple of months to get together if it ever comes up. Yes, it can work, but it’s not any higher percentage than any other way.
My ex sister in law tried to fix me up. Again, the singular single friend. We never got together because she cancelled three times on me. Then I gave up. That’s not any different, no better, than you get in any other channel.
You want volume, and to not waste your time. The mainstream sites are your best bet. Don’t use free ones, and don’t waste money on more expensive methods. Just use the mainstream sites. There is likely coaching available on how to make your entry successful, get more hits. Do not waste time. Do not have too many deal breakers, no more than three, if that. If you do have an ironclad deal breaker, be clear about it and use it. Some people will probably lie to get around your deal breakers. Cut them off as soon as you know.
One thing I have seen on the online sites is women doing a pose where they have their arms lifted up. This is done to give an approximation of their actual body size. Evidently this is an issue. Goes to not wasting time. Don’t waste time with YOU having a bad or misleading entry. Other people will do that, but you can’t help that, you can only control yourself.
Do not waste time texting back and forth. Do face to face as soon as reasonable. Face to face is going to weed out a lot of people for various reasons. Don’t set up an online romance that blows up once you get face to face. Limit the chit chat.
Do not waste time on a particular individual. They can look perfect, but until you are dating EXCLUSIVELY that changes nothing. Keep all of your other irons in the fire. For one, this demonstrates that you have a life. For another, so many things fall apart for various reasons that you can’t afford to focus on a particular individual UNTIL YOU ARE DATING EXCLUSIVELY. Do not waste time doing this.
I’m not huge on clubs, unless they are particularly dating friendly. A few are, most are not, as you have found. Most have people preoccupied with the hobby or interest, or using the club as a refuge from relationships or dating, rather than as a conduit to it. It’s good to have a hobby or two, good to develop the ability to be spontaneous, not very good as a producer of volume candidates.
I used to like speed dating, I met my ex wife that way. Not sure if that’s still a thing. That went to volume, and got the in person out of the way right away, though you had to make snap decisions. Kind of showed you what different people thought of you, who selected you and who didn’t.
I met my current GF in person, at an event, so it can happen. It’s certainly good to be prepared for that, have your ability to chat and flirt in that context ready should it happen. Or ready for when you do get dates. So, if you’re somewhere anyway… sure, chat up someone that works there or strike up a conversation with someone else. That isn’t wasting your time, since it’s part of your life anyway. But a lot of those people aren’t going to be single.
In summary then, you need to produce volume and not waste time with ineffective strategies.