You have some good points - people are more important than search engines, and you need good content but you have to promote it. Things like commenting and trackbacks get you some traffic if you do them on big blogs, but if you look at blogs closer to your size as well it's easier to make a personal connection with other bloggers and be noticed. If you get another blogger to subscribe to your blog and they like it, you increase your chances of getting a direct link from a post.
My most popular article so far was a response to one on a slightly large blog with a trackback; since the blog wasn't too big lots of people followed the link. A lot of my referrals have come from comments on blogs or forums like this, but the most popular ones are when I write a longer comment that adds to the discussion or presents a new idea.
Last edited by 1000feet; 01-12-2008 at 06:15 PM.