Stephane Grenier sent me a copy of his newly published book Blog Blazers, 40 top bloggers share their secrets this week. Having a new book mailed to me reminded of my adventures into book publishing when I contributed to a book about Flash optimization back in 2002. Since then I’ve become an avid blogger, and although I read very little paper nowadays I was curious about this project. Stephane interviewed 40 successful bloggers about how they became just that, and the results are hard to put down.
I have to admit that my initial impressions weren’t great. The cover isn’t my favourite piece of artwork, and the page layout isn’t terribly appealing either. Once I’d read a few of the interviews however I thought I’d detected a far more fatal flaw. Every single interviewee answers the same set of questions. Most of the interviews were probably done by email, but I really felt some of the answers warranted further investigation, for which this rigid format does not allow. The conversation just doesn’t take off in all sorts of directions like a most natural conversations would. But even though I was almost ready to put the book down then and there, I didn’t. And a few chapters after that I couldn’t.
The ‘same questions approach’ means you get different views from different people and requires you to make up your own mind. The more of these perspectives you read about the more a consensus begins to form and the more you start to relate it to your own blog. The somewhat monotonous format will probably keep you from reading the book front to back in one go but it does have its merits. Don’t be put off by this either.
Get rich quickly
In my opinion, the focus of the book is a little too much on revenue. Most of the questions are about success in terms of traffic and monetization of weblogs, and even though some bloggers stress that other success factors can be more important I felt the book didn’t quite disspell the myth that blogs are an easy way to get rich. It would have been great to have had a few more questions about the blogger’s motivations and passions.
If you’re serious about blogging and haven’t finished your holiday wish list yet, this might be a good gift idea. It’s not a very expensive book and there is some great expert advice in there. If it leaves you, like it did me, craving for more details, I guess we’ll have to urge Stephane to dive into this a bit deeper and do a follow-up book.