A good way to obtain higher search engine ranking and more traffic is to engage in reciprocal linking.
Look for sites that have a theme close your own blog or website. Send an email to the site owner asking him if he would exchange links with you.
There are other variations such as 3 way linking. You link to a site which links to a second one which links back to you. This system seems to be more acceptable to the search engines.
You can outsource this to link exchange services that will automate the exchange of links for you.
Do a serach for link exchange and you will find link exchange directories where you will find sites listed by category making it easy to find sites with themes similar to your own.
Another way to find sites willing to exchange links is to do searches for add url or add link plus a keyword.
Not only can this help your ranking in the search engines it will also bring visitors to your site from the other website that you are linked to.