If you actually go into other niches, not internet marketing, forum members are very friendly and receptive towards copying and pasting good content and dropping links. We can't do that over here since Wickedfire would be flooded with 'newbie seo 101' threads copied and pasted from WarriorForum as a traffic leak technique if we didn't frown upon it, but that's to keep the leeches out.
When you exit the "web marketing" field, people loves great content, and 90% of them don't know how to even search if it is copied and pasted and most don't care. Most people don't even know what affiliate marketing let alone all the tactics used. The problem is we've become so jaded by seeing the techniques used on us by newcomers that we completely dismiss it for other niches. That thought process needs to be corrected.
Start off by joining places were your TARGET audience are members of. If you run an insurance website, joining an insurance agent forum is not going to get the attention of your targeted audience. Rather join a mommy niche forum, a new born baby niche forum, a home improvement forum. Places where people congregate which are your targeted audience. If the forum allows signature, put a signature that's low key and straight to the point. Then start commenting intelligently on different topics.
Once you get familiar with the climate of the forum, drop a "I want to give back to the community" thread, and talk about the different types of insurance products available, and how members can ask the right questions to their agents. DO NOT self-promote all in up the thread - no one really gives a shit about a nobody's website just yet but they will take free advice, should be obvious, but people don't get it. At the end simply state if anyone is interested in learning more, just drop me a question in this thread OR PM me for something specific. Now, remember that you've got a nice straight to the point signature - so if you did this right, you've got people in your targeted audience contacting you, visiting your website, and wanting to learn more. And Matt Cutts was no-where in the process.
Rotate throughout the thousands of different forums and niches, and continue testing. You probably won't reach back around to the same forum for months. The key is to think about what these people do with their time, and type that into the search engines '"Hobby" + forum', Cooking, Cat forums, Dog and Pet Lover forums, Cars, Boats, - all shit people love and would buy insurance for. There are lifestyle forums, home decor, you're audience is literally everywhere. If Google is not sending you traffic, you have to go get the traffic. And it's rather simple, you can even do duplicate content with most of these forums and get away with it.
If you can get 100 to 300 visitors a day from your helpful insurance threads to your site, that's just money in the bank. There are literally thousands of forums that have your targeted audience with their own Off-topic/Shooting the Shit sections. The key is to actually engage people and become a member, before hitting them up, like courting a chick, you don't want to pull out the leather bondage outfits just yet... You gotta feel her out. That's basic stuff, Level 1. Even simple PM spamming small networks with custom bots still works, especially if you can customize the links.