Step 1 – Create a links/resources page on your site and fill it with at least 50 sites that are related to yours or your niche (avoid ones that are in competition with you).
Scout for sites by doing searches on search engines using your keywords. (Note: Pick out only the first few top results.)
Step 2 – Find out and list down the sites that are linking to those in your list. Do the same for your competitor’s sites. Look for quality content and non-competitiveness. If they pass those criterion, include them in your links/resources page. Also, take note of the webmaster’s email address.
Step 3 – Get in touch with the Webmasters of the sites you have on your final list and request for a link.
Get Something That Your Competitors Can’t
Both you and your competitor may be offering the same products and services, and you’re probably both employing the same business models, but that doesn’t mean you have to be the same in all aspects of your business.
Considering that most directories are “free-for-all” as far as getting listed is concerned, directory submission is really more of a game of chance rather than a strategic move. Or, is it?
What if I tell you that there’s actually something you can do that will give you an edge over your competitors?
Think of something that makes you and/or your business different from your competitors, think of something that sets you apart. Have you come up with anything yet? If you have, then good, you’re about to learn how to use it to your advantage… to get links that your competitors cannot.
If you’re among those who have made a commitment to do something for the good of the planet and its inhabitants, you can go to Ethical Duck and get your site listed there. Ethical Duck calls itself a “Directory of Ethical Products and Services” which lists websites that are considered “in some way are of a positive value to humans, the environment, the planet.” Considering that your competitors have not yet gone “green”, you’ve just gotten one link that they will not be able to get.
It’s not only Ethical Duck, mind you. Any quality directory that editorially discriminates on your niche/location and other factors lets you do exactly that, that is to give you something that your competitors may not be able to get.
Another thing that can get you links that your competitors may not be able to is by producing great content and doing it better than your competitors.
Yet another thing is by buying a domain that matches your keywords/phrases. Unfortunately, this one comes down to who has a better budget and moves faster. If you have both then good for you.