Freedom - 7:01 pm on Apr 16, 2010 (gmt 0)
I've been building links this way off and on for my mega site since 2004. It works. I believe that chasing high ranking is a little like chasing after ghosts that are here today, and gone tomorrow for no reason. But still, the site earns almost 6 figs, so the slow, personalized, all day hunting down of 1 individual, customized emails, = does work.
It also works with press releases and newspaper reporters in that specific subject and identifying them through the newspaper directory. I was able to get some major newspapers to do stories by using this tactic.
It's slow and tedious work. You have to try and make it fun by comparing the websites you pass through, see what others are doing, taking notes, coming up with ideas.