I’ve been following Stephane Grenier’s blog (FollowSteph.com) for some time, so I’ve been aware of the blogging book he’s been working on for the past year: Blog Blazers. It was finally released a month or so ago and before I had a chance to order it, another blogger, Ian Landsman, posted that free copies were available for bloggers who would write a review of it. As my wife has noted, it’s hard to keep me away from free stuff, so I jumped at the chance.
It took me a couple weeks to finish the book, mostly because it’s a busy time of year. But since the book is broken out into 40 distinct interviews, it’s easy to just read a few at a time.
When I first got the book, I quickly flipped to some of the “big name” interviews. After reading through a few, I was initially disappointed that the interviews consisted of the same 24 questions asked in a non-interactive manner. There are no follow-up questions, which is particularly annoying when a blogger gives a very brief answer to a questions. There are more than a few “Nope” answers. So my first impression was not positive.
Now a little information about the book itself. It’s 207 pages and has a pretty useful index. It’s professionally printed and quite easy to read. It’s priced at $17. You can also buy it as an eBook for $13. Both are available from BlogBlazers.com. The printed version is also available from Amazon. Strangely it has a 2009 copyright, even though it was released in 2008.
After reading through the entire book, I can say that it is definitely worth your time. My initial reservations about asking the bloggers the same questions was wrong. I found the consistency made it easier to read and it made me want to read every interview. But best of all, every interview offered lots of useful advice and recommendations, some of which I’ve already started applying to my blogs. I’ve also learned about some new bloggers, that I’ve since added to my RSS reader. More importantly, I noticed as I was reading it that I was thinking of ideas and things I wanted to do on my blogs. Reading this book got me all excited about blogging again.
However, I still think it would have been better to also have asked some follow-up questions when appropriate. I also think the book would have been better if it had a final “post-mortem” chapter that attempted to summarize some of the general advice given by all the bloggers. Perhaps Stephane is saving some of that for his blog, though.
I highly recommend this book, but I suggest you get the eBook version, though and save yourself a few bucks (and some trees).
Lastly, one major benefit of Stephane having asked everyone the same questions is that those of us who were not interviewed for the book can interview ourselves (much like Stephane did in the book)! I encourage every blogger who reads this do a post answering Stephane’s questions. My answers will be up later today.