If you’re researching possible agents for your book or want to learn more about what a magazine editor likes, you can certainly check out the agency’s or magazine’s web site. Their guidelines usually tell you what they want.
But what if you want to dig deeper and learn more about the person?
You could search on the person’s name, but a long list of results would take a lot of time to search through.
A better way is to see if they have a blog or newsletter and take a look at it. Besides the valuable market and writing information some agents and editors have on their blogs, reading what they post can give you sharper insight into what they like and don’t like. Subscribe to the blogs written by the ones you think might “get” your writing.
Over time, you’ll learn their sense of humor and what intrigues them. Which ones are snarky and which ones work with their writers? Stop following those that turn out to not be a fit. By checking out agents this way, I already know which ones are on my short list and I’m only half way through writing my historical novel.
See if they have a Twitter handle and follow them to see what they share in that venue. You can often start interacting with them on Twitter where things are short and casual. Not only can you learn about them, you can start building a relationship.
Not all writers look beyond the web site. Break out of the pack and dig deeper to help show agents and editors you’re serious.