Yes and no.
The problem with internet marketing and making your income from search engine traffic is the timeline.
If you start a website from scratch and your plan is to make money from the search traffic, you are going to have a very long waiting game unless you actively build links to your website.
I know of at least one internet marketer who is extremely successful, and he argues that link building is a waste of time. He does have a valid point. His website is over ten years old, and he has been writing about 10 articles each day for it since the day he started it.
Now think about that for a moment. If you start a website and you are writing multiple quality articles for it each and every day, then you have the patience to wait ten years, your website is going to make big money.
This is a huge problem in that most people are not willing to wait ten years. In fact, most people are not even willing to wait for one year.
If you start this business up from scratch and build a website and even if you DO promote it, I would not expect any income for at least 12 months. I think if you are expecting income before the one year mark then you setting yourself up to fail.
You have to be in it for the long haul, and willing to work on the site for at least a full year with no compensation from it.
As such, it would make sense if your website holds real interest for you. For example, my parents started a website about traveling, because they love to travel and they love to talk with others and share their experiences and share what they have learned. They are teachers by trade and so they love to spread their knowledge around.
Thus, they enjoy publishing articles to their travel website even without the economic incentive for doing so. They know that if they keep publishing more articles that they will make more income, but ultimately they enjoy writing on the website anyway. They love getting questions from people and then answering them, educating people, and so on.
For them, their topic is a “passion.” Many people hate that word but you could also call it a “strong interest.”
Furthermore, they have what could almost qualify as being “expert status” when it comes to their topic. Many of the people that they meet on their journey do not know as much detail about the financial aspect of everything that they are involved with.
So it helps immensely if you:
1) Build one website instead of many.
2) Have genuine interest in your topic.
3) Have near expert status in your topic (or be learning along those lines).
If you do not have those 3 things then I would say that you are going to have a much harder time promoting your website.
Like I said, you could even just ignore promotion altogether, and simply crank out quality content every single day for the rest of your life. If you are patient, your marketing will take care of itself. But most will want to build some links in order to get things jump started and to get the search engine traffic flowing.