Does anyone ever get the equivalent of writers block when it comes to link development. I know they are not that similar. But when working in certain industries, you can sometimes go into a bit of a void. Looking at competitors link strategies just shows lots of tacky directory links that apparently "don't work anymore" but these sites are top for competitive keywords. For industries such as accommodation i.e. hotel bookings etc. I find myself sometimes staring at all these link strategies and thinking, these are all legacy links from crappy directories/sites that no longer work/or reply to emails. Maybe I am being too choosey. But doing link development where there is little difference between the different sites other than price can be a tough one i.e. no real stand out factor to propose for a link.
That was a bit of a rant. What I am asking is, in a waffly style, do people sometimes feel a little lost for ideas when building links in ultra competitive markets.
The truth is that sites that get links continue to rank. And the classic way to organize and publish links is in directories. Sure, some directories look worse than others. Some have said "directories don't work anymore" but those who have said this typically break the rules regarding relevancy and link aquisition rate. Search engines continue to publish links in classic title-description-line break format so directories are not going away.
Here's a few tips that might help you get out of your rut. Ask yourself, "where does my target market hang out on the web?" then get links those types of sites. If your site is local specific targeting a specific city of town, search "town/cityname links" or "town/cityname request link" or town/cityname add link" and that will show you some low hanging fruit of sites that are actively looking to link with sites that target the same market you are after.
Another suggestion is to publish your own "suggest link form" which would act as a receiver to capture all inbound link requests. Sure it will receive some irrelevant link requests but on average, some requesting links will link to your first since they are initiating. Then you can decide who you want to link back to.
Some industries are harder to get links for than others so sometimes you have to reverse engineer where the target market is hanging out on the web and then get links from those markets.
A lot depends on the industry. I know from bitter experience of trying to find accomodation that in the UK the SERPS for the hotel industry are swamped by specialist directories. The directories don't buy you any "link juice" they grab the hits and pass the visits on to their customers.