Earlier today, I used the title phrase, "What have you done for me lately?" in a forum post regarding a question about press releases. While this post has nothing to do with press releases, the title phrase got me to thinking.
I assume every niche subject has at least one uber-site that a publisher would love to get a link from. Short of paying for that link, which may or may not be possible or financially feasible, how do you go about getting a link from them?
That's where the title phrase comes in. Put yourself in the position of the uber-site's publisher. Now, pretending to be that publisher, say out loud... "What have you done for me lately?" What have you done on your site that would make uber-publisher want to link to you? Even more importantly, what have you done FOR the uber-site that would cause uber-publisher to have almost no choice but to link to you?
Is there something you can do to actually help the uber-publisher? Is there some gizmo you can provide to the uber-publisher that will make his site better? What about some kind of partnership deal, where you trade services with the uber-publisher? Does the uber-site lack something that you can give?
Imagine that you manage to provide something useful to the uber-site. Now imagine the link back to your site. Next, imagine the traffic that travels from the uber-site to your site. Finally, imagine how that link juice will taste to the search engines.
Spend a day or two in someone else's shoes and think What Have You Done For Me Lately? Then go out and do it. It may be the best seo tactic you'll ever practice.