ever since i discovered the internet, i would always fantasize about creating a site or online service that can reach alexa rank of 1000. that would be a LOT of traffic.
with coding, there are clear problems you can solve. you can break them down into each processes, and write codes accordingly. then once it's done, its done. You can sell the software for money (of course debugging, providing support etc)
with websites, it doesn't matter if you spent 2 months on developping the most wonderful application, when no one knows it.
Hence the necessity for marketing.
Now, assuming "content is king". Assuming, that the application or website has content which is not junk, but useful, and informative.
What then now? You comment on blogs, do some onsite SEO, do backlink building (no blackhat seo). Years pass, and your domains are still in the millions of pages stuck on alexa ranking or google ranking. You get disappointed and shut it down.
But then, what about the sites you really built without even trying, and seeing that surge into alexa ranking?
It's really frustrating to create a website that generates lot of traffic, because your efforts may not come favorable (disappearing on google SERP for instance). Unlike coding, results are not immediate, and may never materialize.
So, looking at hundreds of successful sites ranking above 1000 on alexa, one can't help but wonder, is it largely due to chance ?
Building website traffic takes a lot of time, even if you have a lot of money to spend on fancy ads. Most people expect amazing traffic within the first week, month or even year, but that just isn't the case. The key is to be patient and persistent, and eventually you will get what you want.
Building traffic takes more than luck and money. It depends on how much time and effort you put on the site as well as achieving a set goal and sticking to it. Driving traffic consists of link building, directory and article submissions.
It is possible to grow very quickly without having to rely on luck. With social networking and bookmarking, if you can create a piece of content which appeals to people's innate desire to pass on to their friends something interesting or valuable that they've found, then you can have a viral hit within days. Sometimes within hours. Creating that piece of content isn't luck, it's skill, and a good understanding of how people think.
The only way to build massive traffic with no internet marketing/seo effort would be for you to have an absolutely killer viral idea that sells itself... unfortunately these are extremely hard to come by.
Even if you had a killer idea you would be missing out on big business by not spending the time to market it properly.
Internet traffic is NOT luck, it takes either lots of money or time... and you will never get ranked high for competitive keywords without putting in a lot of energy
Looks for ways to promote links to your site, creating traffic that does not cost you money, this is the only reliable/sustainable source of traffic. I know that is how our site was built, and several months later, after offering an interesting product we have tons of traffic. We have run several short run adwords campaigns, when it comes down to it, our business is reliant on the source of traffic we get from the free sources.
Can I touch on something that I don't think anyone has so far?
It's about the market sector you're also in. If you for example had a website that provided information and products about square golfballs, it's unlikely you'll ever hit a page ranking of 1000 no matter what you do.
Content is indeed king, as is spending a lot of cash, although consider the market sector that you're heading into. Assess the competition, assess the market scale and assess the probability of creating a quatifiable market if it does not exist.
PS: If you get an Alexa PR of 1000 can I have a free link for my much useful information?