This is something I don't see discussed on the various message boards very often. If you are not utilizing niche specific forums for your websites you are missing out on a golden opportunity to drive some serious targeted traffic. This doesn't mean that you need to spam the forums, that would be ridiculous, and a short-term way to build a burst of traffic before you get shut down.
What I am talking about is finding forums that are related to your niche. If you run a fashion blog find a fashion related forum. Begin posting, then promote your website in your sig link. You don't even need anchor text, as this link is meant to drive traffic not boost your SERPs.
The key is finding a related forum for your particular niche. If you have done this correctly then you will be getting some serious traffic to your website that is already interested in your topic. This means you will be able to gain new readers and hopefully retain an audience. I see alot of people only talk about profile links, and I want to make it clear that this is not what that is.
You need to be partaking in the community so that they go ahead and click thru to your website. Once you find one and are starting to see traffic keep posting, then go find another one and start posting there. It's one of the best methods of gaining free traffic. Why would you pass that up?