Our very own John Struan, who blogs at Super Punch, wrote a very neat article summarizing the secrets of his blogging success.
3. Give more than you expect to receive
Every selfish move I made failed. As I've explained, I tried posting spammy comments and begging for links. It got me nowhere. But what worked extremely well was trying to help other people. I recommended countless tips to other sites. Now, this didn't help me directly or quickly. Many sites would post my suggestion and thank me, but not even offer a link. Other sites would credit me with a "via," but I've learned over the years that "vias" drive no traffic at all, even when they come from the biggest websites.
However, "vias" helped in two ways. First, they improved my site's status in Google's eyes, and thus increased the chance someone would find me accidentally via a web search. Second, vias directed a few visitors to my site, typically other bloggers who were looking for new sources. Those bloggers then started linking to me with more vias, further improving my site's status. Also, every once in a long while, a site I'd helped would drive traffic to me in thanks. I stuck with it, and it all started to snowball.
As you probably know, John is a blogger here on Neatorama (as he mentioned in the article), so let me add three additional things that I think contributed greatly to his success: 1) John has a keen eye in finding neat stuff in his area of expertise (custom toys, pop culture); 2) he has integrity; and 3) he blogs about what he's passionate about (it shows in his blogging style). I know that he's an authority on the subject, and if I have a question about custom toy, he'll be the first guy I'll ask.
Previously on Neatorama: The Secret of Neatorama's Success