Content or backlinks? That's an interesting question. Both are necessary. However, it isn't like the old days where you can put your backlinks all over the web and rank. If you're a one-person team and can only focus on one or the other - then focus on content.
Simply write content, publish it, and then share it on social media. Repeat until you have a good amount of content. Find quotable pieces from each of your article to come up with different content for social media and share them, schedule them if possible. Facebook makes it easy to schedule content and there are free ways you can schedule Twitter content.
Spend one day scheduling out your social media posts, aim for 10 posts per day across all networks you're on. Include relevant hashtags. Then the other 6 days of the week you can focus on content creation.
Backlinks are specifically for SEO purposes. Content is for your users to engage with your site, drive impressions for ad space, buy your products, and fill out lead forms. Without content, there is no reason for a website to be sourcing you (i.e., giving you a backlink).