If you have a website for 1980's speedboats and you have valuable info about that subject, it is valuable only to the people that search for that info.
Guess who is going to search for that info? People who are interested in that subject..
So what is valuable info(1980's speedboats) for one audience, isn't neccesary valuable for people intersted in art.
Every type website has it's audience, the question is what kind of audience are you targetting? If you have a art website, you need to target people interested in that subject.
So you need information that they think is usefull/valuable on your website.
If you don't have valuable info or for example a poorly designed website, they are never going to bookmark you.
The key to a succesfull website is getting the visitors attention and keeping them interested.
The difficulty is of course every visitor has it's own needs and interests.
That's life, look at the all the subforums at Wet Canvas, there are quite a few...
Every subforum has it's own crowd that finds the info there valuable..
So what is valuable info? That's indeed different for every visiting person.
If I knew a failsafe method, I wouldn't share it.. I would be a highly paid and indeed a very rich websiteconsultant
Unfortunately I'm not
Why is Wet Canvas a succesfull site?
Because people find info they seek there.
Why do they come back?
Same again.. info.
Of course other factors apply too.
If the Wet Canvas admins decide to change the layout so all text would be yellow.. Indeed very hard to read.
People might stop visiting it becuase it is annoying to select all text you want to read..
If the Wet Canvas crew decide to misbehave toward their users, people will also leave.
1 I've been on forums where every thread was closed as soon as an acceptable answer was given(never mind other ideas)
2 Other forums the owner rules like a god, woe to the user that contradicted him..
3 On other forums it was anarchy, flamewars, insults, well you get it.
4 On another forum you need to pay money to get to the real info..
Actually 't was the same as nr2 forum
5 And there are forums with popup and pop under advertisement, Advertisement whcih have nothing to do with the subject of the forum.
Advertisement which needs to be closed before you can read anything usefull..
These are big mistakes which will chase visitors away. But forums like that are never going to be big with an large active community.
What's true for forums is also quite true for websites
If you want a succesfull website:
Respect the visitor because if you don't he might never come again.
Give the visitor good info, and keep him interested, update often!
Search engine optimization is nice, but the purpose is the visitor..
Good luck, getting high traffic for websites is hard work especially art websites