Randfish is always talking about link bait, which is essentially some sort of content that attracts links like fish to worms. Most seos talk about using either controversy or humor to create link bait.
But today, I want to talk about using the idea of being first to create link bait. By that, I mean being the first to do something, the first to notice something, the first to create something.
The first person who notices something major going down in the world (preferably in your topic of interest) and reports on it, can be the one who everyone points to.
Being the first person to coin a new term (such as link bait for example) can also attract tons of comments and links. Of course, the term probably needs to be catchy and useful.
The first person to create a cool new app (remember the first Google mashup?) can find tons of links pointing his way.
The first person to notice a new trend in the marketplace, and takes advantage of that trend will have a huge leg up on those that follow.
Those that always follow may be successful, but those that are first and lead the way, may find that success is instantaneous and powerful. So think about ways that you can be the first in your niche ... and you may end up seeing yourself first in the rankings as well.