You see article submission isn’t quite working post the Google’s Panda update (Here’s why:http://www.keywordcountry.com/blog/google-optimization/rules-of-high-rankings-changed-surviving-google-panda-update/) ...which means, if you were rolling the same article on multiple directories, the technique will do you more harm than good.
Another probability is that your articles and blogs were offering little or no useful content to the users (Were they spun/ low quality?).
Social bookmarking is a great traffic pulling technique. Make sure you are submitting to top, authority bookmarking sites only.
I’d also like you to jump out and try other off-site optimization techniques like social networking, guest blogging, RSS feed submission, blog commenting etc. A new year doesn’t really bring a bundle of new techniques with itself....The techniques listed above are working great with webmasters (including me). Done properly, they should help you too!