Well I know I used to ask that very question. I bought the books advising on Search Engine Optimization and How to promote your sites.
They were useful in that they talked about building links and creating an RSS Feed etc. But over the last year I have come to realise that Google search engine page location is not all it is made up to be.
I regulary look up my stats on my blog, they show some very interesting figures. Of all views only 3% come from Google searches.
1% come drom other search engines but a massive 96% come from posting links to places such as HubPages and Yahoo! Voices, The largest source at 70% of all traffic comes from HubPages and my RSS feeds there.
So that tells me that people who have read my content on HubPages are clicking through my RSS feed to come here.
OK So I don't get any revenue because I don't advertise on my blog. I don't mind that, this blog is to share information with you.
But in that there is opportunity for you. If you have a monetized blog, link it to your hubpage hubs on related subjects and you will gain traffic from people who already enjoy your style of writing.
Also link back to other hubs to drive traffic back there so you can benefit from your HubPages CPM revenue.
Remember. Google ranking is not the only way to gain traffic. But once you have your reader keep them reading your pages by linking to your own work when you can.
Be patient though. building a network takes time. You won't see a difference overnight, it has taken me one year so far, unless you hit a hot topic. The idea is to plan for the long term. Then over time you will see a marked improvement in traffic.