Content that attracts readers are given more importance by Google and other search engines. Readers who link to your webpage would be high and with right anchor text your web page will be boosted link anything.
Artificial backlinks needs more time and effort and to find the right sites for submission is not so easy. As per Google guidelines, paid links submission without “nofollow” attribute will be a big cause for penalty. Even if you pay for links with “nofollow” attribute, the link juice flow doesn't work like before. Instead if you put more efforts for writing quality content then over night you will have a high chance of getting more natural backlinks from your readers.
Writing quality content is a onetime effort. It automatically works for you round the clock but link submission is a repeated process. It is not that you need not get links from quality human edited directory; it is as simple as that you need to give more importance to write quality content to get natural backlinks and it grows as it reaches mass audience. Through researches it is found that natural backlinks brings more relevant users and conversion level is high.