1. Know the blog: The key here is an RSS reader like Bloglines or Google Reader. (My friend Sharon at Bantam said Bloglines allows you to organize sites better than Google Reader. I’ve never tried the latter myself.) Without a reader you can’t possibly hold down a full-time job and follow the dozens of major literary and publishing blogs out there. Setting up a reader may seem overwhelming, but once you’ve done so, it takes only a few clicks, scrolls and minutes to keeps tabs on pretty much anything important going on in publishing (blogs and more), whether it’s an article by Motoko, a post by Ron or Terry’s latest interview. This site’s blog roll provides a good starting point for building a robust RSS reader. I haven’t had the time to add a lot of other blogs, so feel free to suggest your favorite literary/publishing sites.
2. Know how important the blog is: There are millions of blogs out there. Use sites like Technorati or Alexa to see how authoritative a blog is. Check the blog roll (the list of blogs, usually on the right side of the page) to see how frequently a blog is linked to. Popular blogs will appear on dozens (or hundreds, in the case of a site like Gawker) of blog rolls.
3. Use the “Comments” section: Bloggers like to know people are reading what they write. Although the big literary/publishing bloggers don’t need you or I to pat them on the back, they’ll still appreciate another reader and a thoughtful or entertaining comment.
4. Don’t blast email (most) blogs: Realistically, it’s not feasible to never pitch with a mass email. That said, limit its use. As Kassia points out, most blogs don’t do the “standard” interview or review, so your standard pitch won’t work. In fact, many bloggers don’t list email addresses on their sites, preferring instead that readers use their Contact page. Use it. Some sites like Boing Boing have said they will not accept pitches not submitted on their site.