For some time I have been wanting to start a series on my startups to discuss the hurdles, progress, and ideas that come from them.
CarBounce has come a long way from where it started. Getting the basic concept working wasn't all that difficult, but polishing it into a quality user experience has been where 80% of my time has been focused. I think that is the case with many startups. Unless you can provide an exciting, pleasing experience, you will struggle to gain any ground. My suggestion: Get someone involved with an eye for usability and design, this will get users to your site and keep them there.
Recently I moved Car Bounce to https. Future plans will make further use of a secure connection, but for now it should help give a positive vibe around the site, making it feel more trustworthy. I think for the price it was well worth the effort. My suggestion: Don't be afraid to spend a little money if it will help users trust in your site, keep them coming back, and refer other users.
Socializing is admittedly been my weak point with my startup. I don't live on Twitter (by the way, its @CarBounce), I don't send out a regular newsletter, nor do I blog every day. Yet I still have managed to obtain a steady flow of traffic. I have recently increased the time I have spent spreading the word and it shows. My suggestion: If you're not a social person, or someone who can rally people around a product, consider getting someone involved who can.
The important thing to take away from this is to not get so wound up in the functionality of your site that you forget about who it is for, getting them there, and keeping them there. If you site functions great, but no one visits it, it is pointless.