If you're just after backlinks then anything that gets published will do. But if you're looking to pull readers, get them interested in whatever you're promoting and make them click through to your site you need to work hard on content.
Too many article writers think that all they need to do is rehash some basic info in their niche. But who wants to read the same old things over and over again? Let's look at weight loss, for example. How many times have you read about cutting down on saturated fats, sugars, and processed foods? Nobody wants to read this again. Yet this stuff keeps getting published hundreds of times a day.
Always think about something unique that you can contribute. Okay, sometimes this can be difficult, especially with something as hotly researched as weight loss. So what I often use is what I call the "contrarian" approach.
Take a well-known and widely-believed "fact" about your topic and challenge it. Be controversial. People love this. Take the weight-loss example again:
"Did you know that low-fat diets are actually unhealthy? Since the low-fat craze started people are turning up with all sorts of nutritional deficiences as a result of low-fat diets. What's more, low-fat dairy products actually contain more cholesterol than whole dairy, which makes it harder, not easier, to lose weight."
If you give it some thought you can come up with a challenge or contentious angle on just about any topic. Being contrarian and controversial is one of the best ways to stir up interest in your readers. It's probably the most important reason why I'm able to actually presell readers and lure them to my site to make sales, rather than just writing for backlinks.