To be honest I DO NOT recommend the old method to get traffic like writing articles, blogs, etc. if you go this way you will need to spend hours and hours, days and day to write original content and then beg to google, yahoo or big for they to index your hard work, but the decision is up to you.
To build a list with free methods I do recommend these two platforms: IBOToolbox and Leadsleap and as soon as you be able move forward to paid traffic on these two.
Once you have more funds use solo ads to continue building your list.
As soon as you start getting subscribers put your autoresponder in action to monetize with affiliate marketing poducts.
Normally, people who join a list, for instance a Make money online list, is because they want a prompt solution to make money online. Promote money making system that really works to your susbcribers, offer them mentorship or coaching for free to deploy those programs to become an authority.
I think that as a marketers we struggling a lot with traffic, lead generation, etc. because we work alone on our own, trying to reinvent the wheel again, but imagine this: 10 marketers joins as a team then everyone of then promote a system to every member so every member now have 10 referrals things would works much better. In most of the systems I know so far, you don't have to sell nothing but to get referrals to make money
Well, I hope it helps.