I started building sites 2 years ago, using only article marketing as my backlinking method. I would submit to the biggies - EZA, Go, etc. Then, thinking more is better I would submit the same article -sometimes spun, sometimes not, to a gazillion article directories using Magic Article Submitter. Of course (like an idiot ) I had all the anchor text pointing back to my money sites - no backlinking backlinks or anything smart like that.
I have hired a few backlinking services here and there, and a lot of them I am very happy with (Budget Backlinks!). But I haven't been very good about tracking URL's of those backlinks and pinging them, etc.
Well - I am ready to start fresh! I want to start a backlinking plan or system that will help boost my sites and not look spammy. However, I want to be able to implement as much as I can on my own. I am not opposed to outsourcing, but the Panda update - or just the fact that it is summer, has cut my IM income drastically. So, until I can get that built back up I am on my own.