Of course you need some content, you’ll get denied because of lack of content.
7-8 articles with 500 words on average will do the trick.
Traffic isn’t a must, since I got my first adsense account on website without any traffic,but I believe it helps. Google likes money too
I wouldn’t go with bought traffic, better do some group sharing,post to pinterest or even FB ads (yeah paid traffic, but still from social networks).