but no one ever advocates link theft.
Sure it may be a little grey hat, but every successful white hat is likely to pick up a stain here and there.
It's easy to steal links from your competitors, best of all, it can save you the trouble of having to search for places to build your links. Best of all, the links are almost always RELEVANT.
(1) Write a list. At the top of the list, include your keywords, then write some keywords that are more powerful than yours. Those with a lot of competition that still relate closely to your niche.Steal them.
(2) Google each item on your list and note the top three-five pages for each one. You now have a list of competitors.
If you wish, you can rearrange them by those that you think are more relevant. Sometimes the same site will appear multiple times. This is when you know you're facing a tricky competitor.
(3) Check the backlinks (I generally use backlinkwatch) for all the sites. Or maybe just for a few of them to get you started.
(4) Now you have a massive pile of resources from which you can gather backlinks from. You're likely to find some high PR stuff. In my experience, you can just email a lot of these places and they will include your link.
You'll probably also find a whole bunch of relevant blogs, directories and forums that were not known to you.
You now have a MONSTROUSLY LARGE LIST OF LINK BUILDING RESOURCES.
I my experience, this works.