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Building a successful website is hard to achieve. You need a strategy and a solid marketing structure. I personally see, a combination of great links and good content that works here. Seeing the fact of those companies that makes it possible and successful stories.
Why not both.. I have a site that ranks well in the finance niche where the content is average but I have high quality links from relevant websites


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Hi Maja, are there any specific article directories you use with success, still in the current times? I saw a Google Webmaster Tools message considering a link from unnatural.

I would agree that both are important although you see websites where one or the other prevails and they still rank very well. It depends..
Content marketing but you have to do it at a higher level. Link building is not safe anymore and besides the classic SEO which requires time you can't do pretty much things there.
Actually good practice depends upon both of content marketing through link building. It is wise to write extraordinary and quality contents for your readers and then post them on the blog, article or news sites with a reference to your site or link. This would work best and both of the strategies would involve within this practice.
You shouldn't really choose between them as both options of link building and content creation are important. However, you should be sure to only get backlinks from highest quality, authoritative sites.
Link building

Link building has gone through a lot in the past 18 months — and when content marketing became the buzzword of the day, there were troves of articles saying that content marketing is the new link building or that content marketing has replaced link building.

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SEO includes both link building and content marketing. Creating high quality and unique content can help in building natural SEO friendly quality backlinks as well as relationships.
You definitely need to get your own page content correct first. Without this you will always struggle. it amazes me that Google publishes on-page SEO guidlines and loads of web companies either ignore them or don't knwo about them
Link Building Does Not Equal Content Marketing

Link Building is acquiring links to improve your search rankings. It involves performing keyword research to determine what you want to target, finding sources related to those keywords (or identifying sites that are linking to your competitors), and then doing one-to-one outreach with those sources to obtain a link.

Content Marketing is creating content to move your users through your marketing funnel. It involves creating buyer personas to determine who your buyers are, finding what they currently use to get content, and delivering content in their preferred medium to help them make a purchasing decision.
Content marketing is the current trend. Unique & relevant content to your website can generate some quality natural backlinks. Link only high quality websites to your site through link building.
Content marketing will do compared to just link building because this method is usually abused by other webmasters and site owners just to manipulate the rankings.
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