What are the best reading materials (online or otherwise) about IM in your opinion?
The classics, BlueHatSeo.com, Contempt.Me. Once you understand the basics of how something works and watch how people are implementing it, you can find the faults and exploit them.
For example, Blog commenting is primarily done to “get backlinks” these days. But it’s also a great catalyst to get referring and targeted traffic. Add something positive to the conversation, and you never know who’s reading the comments and wants to learn more about you and what you do.
Also, when blog comment spamming, how about not insert your url in the first round? How about you wait till 3-4 comments later and it’s approved to insert your url. At that point you’ll most likely be auto approved. It’s simple things like hat. Dchuk talks about this in his Layered Thoughts post – I highly recommend reading it -> http://www.layeredthoughts.com/seo-link-building/the-really-easy-seo-link-building-strategy-for-startups.