There are a lot of things which as a webmaster or blogger you need to do in addition to producing quality content. Link building is one of them, and its like spreading the word on the internet about the stuff you are publishing. Each link to your site virtually counts as a vote of confidence for your site or page its linking to.
Generating links for your site can lead to better search engine rankings and hence traffic. One way of doing it is buying links, which is a big NO. You can also go out, comment on others' blogs and forums and leave a link to your site or page alongside. If your comment/post is related to the blog and makes sense to the moderator, there's a good chance your comment and your link will be published. Third way of getting links is natural. You produce good content and people will link to you on their own. You can also submit your articles to free article directories like www.ezinearticles.com and get a link back to your site.
If one can do all these things together, barring buying links which is discouraged by all search engines, you can hope for good results in about 6-8 weeks (varies from search engine to search engine, google being the quickest by my experience).
But there is one more thing, which can be done in house. You have complete control over it, and it works. It's called Internal Linking, and can work wonders for you, and your readers.
Internal linking means linking out to other relevant content pages on your site from within the content. While doing so, you can use different phrases (anchor text) to link to the same page. These would be the words for which you want these pages to show up higher in the search results.
Although it's not as effective as getting links from outside, this exercise will definitely help you get more traffic over a longer term. There's no cost attached to it, and no downside, because the links are going to be of benefit to your readers too.
Here's a page, where I have linked three terms to three different pages on the same site:
pregnant women is linking to Medication during Pregnancy
Vaccination is linking to Vaccination Facts: Help your child bulid up his immunity
swine flu virus is linking to The Swine Flu Low-Down
In doing so, I have provided links to other useful articles which might interest our readers, and I have generated votes for the three articles I linked to when it comes to search engine rankings.
Putting up these links on pages which rank higher already in search can help tremendously.
Try to make these links as useful to your readers as possible, and don't over-do it.