It seems that many people still don't get the message that automated link building is an outdated strategy of SEO. If programs like Akismet and others can detect spam content better than 99% of the time, then why can't Google do the same thing. To these people I say WAKE UP!
Be patient and know that if you do good work, you will be rewarded. Here are some tips on organic link building and a video session with Matt Cutts is included at the end.
Organic Link BuildingThis is a white-hat SEO strategy that helps people with sites that have good content become recognized as an authority by Google.
1. Link to sites that have keywords for which you want to rank for, in other words a relevant site.
2. Have a blog or blogs that generate content related to the keywords you are working with. Hyperlink sparingly back to your site. One hyperlink per blog entry and no more. Otherwise it will look like too much self-promotion.
3. List your blogs in directories within your subject area. The higher the rankings of the directories, the better for you.
4. When possible, do guest blogging with people who have related content. Of course, you will have hyperlinks to related sites to help create an authority network.
5. When making links on other sites, make sure that they have a higher ranking to leverage the amount of manual link-building you do. Comments with significant contributing content to the web page helps as well.
6. Submit articles to article submission sites like Ezine.
7. See the video below where Matt Cutts is answering a question about how to build links that meet Google's ranking criteria. I have covered a couple of his points, but he also talks about occasionally using contoversy, participation in related social groups, giving away free stuff and making tutorials and videos.