On the black/grey market, you can purchase links that will move you up the rankings for anywhere between $10 to $100 per month.
Sometimes more, sometimes less but around there.
Every time you do this, you're adding an abstraction of risk.
Not ideal but, maybe for you, it doesn't matter.
After all, you're just doing Whatever-It-Takes™.
If you're not into that kind of thing, like myself, then even trying to build links using well thought out outreach strategies and PR can be difficult to make the numbers work to your favor.
Well written content is expensive, working with bloggers is finicky and building PR-worthy assets is time-consuming.
As markets and niches get more competitive, the need for cost-effective links at a large scale becomes the question that needs answering.
So what's the solution? Asset buying.
Recently, I was coding up some updates on this site and needed to find a nice pattern for the navigation. I wanted my menu to look nice for you all, and the standard brown wasn't doing it for me.
Naturally, I did a search for "subtle web patterns".
Clicked the result, subtlepatterns.com.
Taken to https://www.toptal.com/designers/subtlepatterns/ instead.
So what's happened here?
Well, my friends, it seems like those businesses who have the money are playing a more advanced game than many of us.
Toptal has been on a rampage recently, buying asset
for their links.
These sites, as far as I can see, don't make sense as lead generation tools to fill their marketplace with inventory (people) and only serve the purpose of throwing links at their site.
Taking a quick look at SubtlePatterns.com shows that site has over 1,000,000 backlinks coming from over 9,700 domains.
I'm unsure what they spent on these domains but I can't imagine it would be more than $100,000 per asset. Divide that by backlinks and you're acquiring links at a phenomenal price.
I recommend this evening, going through your market and niche trying to find likened opportunities.
They exist, you just need to look hard.