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I run a forum in my niche. One of the areas we talk about is SEO. So I posted a thread along the lines of 'My Christmas gift to you'. And I told everyone how to get a free, top quality link. And it was a good link - dmoz type quality. No cost, no obligation, go get it.
Then I suggested they might be a bit embarrassed since I got them such a nice gift, and they didn't get me anything. And no, I don't want to be regifted. So I did a paragraph or two on how they could get me a Christmas gift by giving me a link from their site in return (which has just increased in importance due to this new high quality link I showed them how to get). And I further explained how linking to high quality relevant sites like mine helps them even more as well (gotta make the case of 'what's in it for them'.).
End result, 2 or 3 relevant one way inbound links all from sites in my niche.