SEO through top rankings isn't the best way actually. You have to think long term here. Long term traffic with good quality content. Ethical link building and good social interaction. Nothing automated. Having something on the top of the search is just an interface to where the biggest websites are in your niche, Just create some interaction on those sites.
Create some posts on guest blogging sites, they have to be profitable though and have to qualify for you. Competition wise and traffic wise. This could be kind of tricky at first though. Takes some top level training that's hard to find.
But one thing you can do is do some guest blogging and point to your post on those high traffic sites back to your blog or main site, If you can get in. That's one way to do it. Many more though. Have to do it the way you enjoy doing content.
Demographics play a big part. You'll never have to worry about page rank anymore if you do the work and have some daily activities. Nothings easy and there's no silver bullet with anything other than what the search engines want. You have to have a solid foundation. Anything other than that will never last long. Guaranteed.... But that's what most of the biggest sites of the 6 and 7 figure earners do. Wont have to worry about search engines either. They'll love you.
There's a lot of things you can do with articles too.