It is no secret that links are one of the most significant factor search engines use when ranking websites. Google even states that
In general, webmasters can improve the rank of their sites by increasing the number of high-quality sites that link to their pages.
In other words if there are no inbound links from external websites pointing to your site you will not rank for anything on Google and the other big search engines. It doesn't matter if your website is incredible and the content was written by pulitzer prize winning writers. In simpler terms if you build a house in the woods and there are no roads leading to it, do not expect alot of visitors no matter how nice the home is. Please also remember that if you build alot of roads that lead to an ugly shack, no one will stay. So don't ignore building good content. Good content makes it much easier to convince people to link to you.
Since most websites like visitors it is best to build up as many roads to your website. You build roads with link development. Link development is any activity that is designed to create new inbound links to your website. You can do organic link development which is when you go after free links (which is encouraged by search engines). You can also do paid link development which is when you simply open up your checkbook and pay people to link to you (which is not encouraged by search engines).
Some ideas for organic link development are:
Press Releases (not very helpful, unless it your pr is interesting enough to get websites to cover the story and link back to you)
Social Media (similar to pr, develop an interesting story and promote it with social media, people discover the story and write about it link to you)
Article Submission (give free content to related websites, it saves them money and inside the articles are links to your sites, just be careful to avoid duplicate content issues)
Directory Submissions (Best of the Web and Yahoo are good, 95% of all others are a waste of money and time unless it is an industry specific directory)
Reciprocal Links (exchange links with non-competing but related sites, for example a NY layers site exchanging links with a Miami lawyer website, same industry but not geographically competing)
Just be creative!
If you are interested in paid link development. Stop! Review your situation. Then thoroughly research the paid links process and implications. It is vital to be informed of the dangers and pitfalls before you start buying paid links. They can work wonders and they can also get your site killed. Some people are buying paid links in an attempt to sabotage the competition. In other words paid links are not something to casually jump in and start playing around with.
Hopefully this will help you to start developing links and creating more pathways to your great website. As with anything a mixture of techniques will probably work best. It is good to use different link building ways and also to spend time building a site people will be happy to link to. Good luck and happy link hunting!