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When exchanging links, make sure you do it with reputable, non-competitive sites with a topic related to yours (for example, if you're a real estate agent, you may want to trade links with a mortgage broker's site).
Writing articles and posting them in sites like Article City or Ideamarketers is not only a good way to get links, but also a great way to establish yourself as an expert. The idea is to allow other webmasters to re-print your articles for free, provided that they include your resource box (with a link to your site) at end of article.
In summary, don't waste time, energy and money submitting your site, or using one of those services that claim to submit your site to "thousands of search engines" (they are worthless). Instead, focus on getting high-quality inbound links. They will get your site listed faster while building your site's online reputation and popularity.
Article by Mario Sanchez: SEOBook