What do you think about looking for hacked websites related to your niche, find them and then contact the owner or administrator telling them about the hack and maybe even help them clean it everything up.
Maybe helping your competition can actually lead to getting backlinks from them. Did this sort of thing a couple of times, like point out certain problems or hacks websites had.
It's a great way to make contact and develop a relationship.
Sure some people will only say "thanks" and proceed to ignore you, but most will actually be happy for you helping them and will be opened to collaborations.