The "Hey Day" of exchanging links, AKA, Reciprocal Links" has slipped in value; especially if the links are not relevant.
The mighty Google has decided that exchanging links is just this side of "Spammy" and sort of frowns on it.
However, they do like relevant "One-Way" back links. There are a number of ways these can be had.
- Commenting of good "DoFollow" blogs.
- Social Bookimarking on the "DoFollow" social sites
- Syndicating your blog to the mass of RSS feeds out and about.
- Three (3) way back linking. (This method looks like a "Oneway Backlink)
There are others but this should give you a rough idea on how to build your blogs popularity.