So now that we know that Link Farming is bad and reciprocal links may have limited value, how do we convince other Web sites to link to us without linking back to them?
One Directional Link Sources
First - where can you get these one directional links? Great places include:
Industry directories — sites that are directories of other sites in a particular industry
About.com — often has directories and provides information about a wide variety of industries and specific, niche topics
Event Sites - for events you are hosting or where you are a sponsor or speaker
Online PR — PR sites, or sites that have an article written by you or about you
Library sites — if you have content that is relevant to a particular topic and for a wide range of people libraries often offer great directories and resource lists
Blogs — if you have a product or service that is exciting and you can get a blogger to write about it.
Review Sites — if you have a product that can be reviewed.
If your site has a lot of free and useful content you will have a much easier time getting incoming, one directional links.
How to Ask for a Link
Also if you plan to reach out to other sites to link to you, make sure you use the right approach.
Consider "deep linking" - invite linkers to link to a specific page of relevant content rather than linking to your home page. This is usually far more appealing for bloggers and other content sites.
Make the contacts personal — avoid sending blanket emails to sites. Write personal emails or consider calling. Consider establishing a relationship over time. The extra time it takes you to do this will force you to be more selective in the sites you choose to reach out to.
Choose carefully — getting a link can be a lot like pitching a story to a magazine or even like cold calling. Make sure you have done your research and confirmed that your content is right for the site you're contacting. The last thing you want to do is create bad will by blanketing sites that have no interest in what you do.
Have something noteworthy and specific to offer — remember that in general, noone cares about your latest product or your newest client. I know that sounds harsh but it's unfortunately true. You have to find a reason for them to care. Find something interesting, unique, exciting, personal or noteworthy that would make people want to link to you.