Dan at Demon Archives has a couple posts about what he's tried for getting traffic, and includes his results:
Part 1 - Free traffic
Part 2 - Ads
Also, get yourself listed on comic sites. TWCL is one, but there's also Comic Rocket
(though I think they're broken right now), and Belfry
(that site is furry-oriented, but accepts all kinds of comics, not just furry ones). There's also TopWebComics
which is more of a popularity contest, since you can vote daily for your favorites, which pushes them onto the front page. It doesn't work out as well if you don't have many readers, unless you cheat.
As far as getting links from similar strips goes, that kind of falls into networking. Look around and see if you can find other comics that are similar to yours or that you like, and try talking to the creator. Webcomic forums are good places to start. You can also find webcomic groups on Facebook, and there's tons of creators on Twitter - just start following some creators and you'll get recommended more automatically. I'd look at these and see which you like the most, and invest yourself in maybe one or two. There's hardly a point in spreading across all of them, unless you REALLY have time to kill.
That should be enough to get started.