I’m not going to tell you that “content is king.” You already know that. There are reasons why your best bet for running a successful online business revolve around your content though.
If you provide good, quality content, it is going to attract links period. It is true that this will not always happen without the appropriate attention to site promotion, but once people see your content, they will link to it if it is good. It’s that simple. There are tons of sites dedicated to linking to (what they perceive to be) good content alone. That is their whole purpose.
Look at sites like Drudge Report or Techmeme or even Google News for that matter. While the ways these sites choose what content to display may differ from each other, they are each rooted in what they consider to be valuable content, and everything on these sites links out to other sites. With good content, there is no reason why sites like these (or others depending on your niche) can’t be linking to your content.
When your content generates more links, it is likely to achieve greater visibility right along with them. Whether that be from search engines, blogs, or sites like those mentioned above, more doorways are created for entering your own site. People don’t link to bad content (generally speaking) unless they wish to insult it, or are for some reason misled about what they are linking to.