There are quite a few ways that you can do to increase traffic to your sites, and here are some that I think my be useful for you.
1. Building sites around your passion is a better long term strategy that building based on search demand. Especially when you consider that if its in high demand..chances are your already competing with 123810238 websites. Give or take a few thousand.
2. Basic Process – Its about both content, promotion, monetization, design – in that order. Concentrate on content first, and spend the overwhelming bulk of your time on that content. Next promotion. At first focus on the free ways you can promote your site…forum posts, blog posts, emails, directories, and just general chat to get the word out. Now start a little bit of monetization, try and make the most of the limited traffic your getting. Get that nailed take a look at the design…Concentrate on function rather than bells and whistles…so many people spend a lot of money on templates..when really what people want is content…they don’t care if it comes with a blue border with grey boxes or whatever..as long as its readable, and useful. You can come back later to the design and come up with something really nice…when your earning enough money of the site to justify the expense.
3. Google sitemaps are useful. Its worth creating and submitting a sitemap.
4. Onsite sitemaps are a necessity, especially for highly text driven sites.
5. In terms of promotion… there is good traffic and there is such a thing as bad traffic believe it or not. Just because your visitor count increases it isnt always 100% a good thing if your paying for it, especially if your paying too much for it. You can often use sneaky promotion methods and deceive the visitor to click through to your site..but if they just end up clicking out straight way.. what have you gained? more bandwidth use, no sales, no browsing of your onsite information, no new subscribers…etc..
6. On top of point 5, concentrate on what you consider a site conversion. They come in many forms..subscribers, sales, actualy browsing and replies to articles, forum posts, blog comments etc.
7. Check out your site traffic at least once a week, preferably 2 or 3 times a week..There is gold in the log information. I use addfreestats.com on one of my sites and you can get a LOT of information out of it…and its free. More info than awstats or webalizer.
8. Adwords, adcenter etc..Can be useful in site promotion and since you can place limits on your spending..you can make sure you wont go over budget..Plus after a while you’ll learn what searches can give you some nice cheap clickthroughs…and that actually convert.
Im sure there are more points..but those are some of thing I’ve learned so far in my very limited experience. Also I would say that unless you have a high budget and your prepared to risk it… spending money on PR links, or text links in general is a risky proposition.