Why Award Sites?
Award sites are, in essence, directories that hand review sites, placing ones with most or best content and services at top of list. These sites are an excellent source of high quality, targeted traffic, and should be utilized by any site looking to promote themselves online. High rankings on these sites are not based on amount of links you have or volume of traffic your site maintains per month, but rather on who has best site in their opinion. This makes it one of best places to start off your promotion campaign for your website.
To get high listings in these sites, you will generally want to have a lot of high quality, topic related content, as well as a layout that is easy to navigate and pleasing to eye. With a high ranking on these sites, you will generate quite a bit of targeted traffic to your site, as well as get a nice link out of deal. These sites are generally very popular, as well, helping out your rankings in search engines while bolstering your traffic.
Some awards sites require a link back to their page in exchange for a ranking on their site. You can opt to not exchange links with these sites and move on to "catch-free" sites, but in all fairness, a simple reciprocal link is well worth traffic and reputation boost you will receive with a high listing. Many web browsers will stumble onto these sites in search of "best" site for whatever subject they are interested in, and may find your site most appealing to them. The only way for them to find you early on, however is through links from other high traffic sites.
Finding a Related Award Site
Finding an award site is not difficult at all, depending on your topic. Try your favorite search engine with phrase "top 10 sites." More than likely you will receive a myriad of results. Skip over sites that are not award related, and focus on award sites for now. Make a list of most appealing award sites / top 10 sites to you, as these will most likely be ones that are most appealing to other web browsers. Later you will be trying to get in top listings for as many as you can, so don't skip over any just yet. Before you get started submitting, make sure content on your site has been read through and looks good. Typos throughout your articles and pages can be a major detriment to your rankings on award sites out there. You might also want to include a few extra pages with simple articles to be sure that you have plenty of unique content. This will help enormously with your rankings, both on awards sites and on major search engines, so take your time and do them right.
Submitting to Award Sites
Once you are sure of your content and services / products outline, go ahead and begin submitting to your list of award sites. Many of these, as stated above, will require a link to their site before linking to you, so have your links up and ready before you begin. It will save you time in end, and will reduce chances of accidentally not adding a link and getting denied by site you submitted to.