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For $1 a page you definitly aren't getting quality and with the recent changes in the SEO environment quality and content are becoming the important factors.
I would very much like to see one of these pages.
BTW - did you grab your nick from Clive Barker's Imagica?
Welcome to the Forums, MrWeber. Your question is a big one. In fact, all of these WmW forums exist to cope with it. I hope you can find some of the help you need here.
You've really asked two questions. One is about getting your information "out there", and widely available. The second is about getting enough traffic.
In my experience, the best approach is to focus on generating enough traffic, rather than having the widest possible distribution. If you have enough quality traffic to create a viable venture, then you've succeeded -- and it doesn't really matter if all the major search engines are ranking your site at the top on all your keywords.
A lot depends on how competitive your area is. In less competitve areas, very basic solutions and inexpensive third party services may bring you all the traffic you need. I have some clients who get all they business they can handle with a single inexpensive banner ad or a few keywords on GoTo.com.
However, if a lot of people are targeting the same area you are, things can get mighty challenging. I've picked up a lifetime of experience in just a few months from the WmW community here -- these forumites are very generous with top quality information and help. I hope you find the same.
Your question is extremely broad and covers a lot of aspects.
Tedster is right.. IMHO ... target a specific market. . Then do your research.. Find out which sites they would frequent for example.
Establish whether it would be viable to advertise in ezines or whether to opt for a banner campaign... Is it worth your time to invest in SEO (have yet to come across some one where its not worth their time).
If $$$ is limited, then check out free advertising in appropriate ezines,forums,messsage boards,etc.
One thing is clear... everything you want to know about your 'potential traffic' is out there. All that needs to be done is to find it and then for you to decide which mean(s) will be the most efficient to reach them.
For some inexplicable reason i have to add:"If you build it... they will come".