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Blog Blazers – Get a Glimpse in the Mind of 40 Successful Bloggers

Posted By Darren Rowse 23rd of December 2008 Miscellaneous Blog Tips 0 Comments

blog-blazers-review.jpg One of the books that has hit my mailbox lately for review is Blog Blazers – a book of interviews with 40 top bloggers exploring how to create successful blogs.

The book is by Stephane Grenier from FollowSteph.com and it features some great bloggers (some who will be familiar with many and others who you’ll not know – but who’ve built great blogs).

Some of the bloggers featured included:

  • Dan Lyons (aka Fake Steve Jobs)
  • Aaron Wall (SeoBook)
  • Steve Rubel (Micropersuasion)
  • Seth Godin (Marketing Guru)
  • Neil Patel (Quick Sprout)
  • JD Roth (Get Rich Slowly)
  • Manolo Blahnik (Monolo’s Shoe Blog)
  • Yaro Starak (Entrepreneurs Journey)
  • Plus 32 others!

The format of the book is interview style with Steph asking largely the same set of questions to all bloggers and the bloggers responding. Each interview makes a chapter of the book.

I’d be lying if I said I’d read the whole thing yet (I only got it two days ago) and I’m not likely to read it cover to cover in a sitting – but I am steadily making my way through it.

At first I was a little frustrated by the question and answer format of the book – it feels a little repetitive at times (there are only so many ways to answer some of the questions) but after a while the format actually grew on me.

It’s a book you don’t need to set aside lots of time to read – in fact most of the chapters are just a few pages long so you can set aside 10 minutes to read one and then put it down knowing you’ve just digest someone like Seth Godin’s approach to blogging in a few minutes.

The other thing I’ve enjoyed about this book so far are ‘meeting’ new bloggers that I’d not come across before. While I’d estimate I’ve read the blogs of around half of the bloggers featured there are a few others in the mix that I’m enjoying now.

How Am I Using This Blog To Improve My Blogging

Once I realized that this book had familiar and new bloggers AND it was in bite sized chunks I decided that I’m going to use this book over the next 40 days to give me a refresher course/a little inspiration on blogging.

I’ll read a chapter a day, look at the blogs of the blogger featured, see what they are doing well and see what in their advice I can implement. In this way each day for the next month and a half I’ll be actively looking at how another successful blogger is approaching their blogging – an exercise that I’m sure will have lots of benefits.

I’m only a couple of days in but I think it’s going to be a fun 40 days (or possibly a bit longer as I’ll take a few days off for Christmas).

Who is this book for?

Blog Blazers is not a book for bloggers who know it all.

Rather it is a book for people who want a quick glimpse into the minds of fellow bloggers who have had varying degrees of success. It seems to be a great blog for beginners but for more advanced bloggers with the right attitude and willing to use it as a refresher course (perhaps as I’ve described above) I think it could be a worthwhile read too.

Blog Blazers is currently $16.95 at Amazon and can currently be bundled with the ProBlogger book for $33.44.

About Darren Rowse
Darren Rowse is the founder and editor of ProBlogger Blog Tips and Digital Photography School. Learn more about him here and connect with him on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn.
  1. Sounds Rockin…

  2. Thanks for the heads up, Darren.

    I’ll go have a peek!


  3. Wow, amazing idea that Stephane Grenier had.

    It’s always good to go back to the basics and one of the advantages of using the same set of questions is that it is easy to compare what different blog pros are doing and it is a more structured part.

    I am currently conducting interviews myself and I like to include a part at the end of the interview that leaves more open elbow room to go outside of the normal questions asked.

    And I of course do unique follow up questions depending on what the answer is and so on.

    What is interesting with the interviews that I have made (going to be a bonus for a blog product I am creating) is that depending on the person being interviewed experience the interviews are not a like despite them following a general outline questions wise.

    I’ll definitely add this book to my Christmas wish list and maybe Santa will be cool enough to deliver ;)

    -Tobias Fransson

  4. Sounds good , I ‘ll have to check it out

  5. I did a review of this book on my blog a couple of weeks ago. It’s a great book!

    I recommend everyone read it, even if only to get into the heads of some of the greatest bloggers.

  6. Were you interviewed in this book, Darren?

  7. Actually, Manolo Blahnik is not the Manolo behind Shoe Blogs– just a head’s up! (Though the real Blahnik is apparently a fan of it)

  8. Nice writeup; It looks interesting.

    Although, I wonder if B&N has it, so that I can sneak a peek. I always look at the TOC before buying.

  9. I think this will go on my Christmas list. ;-)

  10. “How Am I Using This Blog To Improve My Blogging”

    I think you wanted to say “Book” instead of “Blog”

    My $0.02

  11. This book has been getting a lot of good credit. Might check it out myself.

  12. One interesting looking book.

  13. What about you Darren, were you also featured in this book as well?

  14. Looks like I’m going to have to order this one or maybe brave a trip to the local bookstore. I just bought the ProBlogger book as a Christmas present.

  15. It appears someone’s been cheeky and peeking at my Christmas list? If nothing else it would be certainly interesting to see who these people are (and if we know them?) Disclaimer: The following remarks are provided as a courtesy and are not intended to be the least bit sarcastic or funny (although they very well might be). 1. It’s a “Paperback Book”? 2. TCO (total cost of ownership) and 3. It’s a “Paperback Book”. Thanks for the information.


  16. No, Darren, “The Manolo” (the Shoeblogger) is NOT Manolo Blahnik. Not even in nickname.

  17. Thanks for sharing! I’m always looking for more books to read about blogging. Obviously, I’ve already read the Problogger book:)

  18. thanks for the review. The problem with these books is that they will become obsolete pretty quickly. Although you could get a lot of the principles of blogging. I almost bought “clear blogging’ but found it at the public library. It’s a great book but the resources would have changed.

  19. Hey Darren,

    I won a copy of this book from Anita Campbell over at smallbiztrends.com and just finished reading it. I was with you at first, the repetitive questions screamed “lazy author” to me. But each person’s answers are so unique and different that it really works well. It’s amazing the different, sometimes contrary, techniques that bring success to bloggers. It really shows you that there truly isn’t a one-size-fits-all formula to successful blogging.

    And, I’m sure you’re flattered that a STRONG majority of the bloggers in this book recommended ProBlogger as THE place for new bloggers to visit to get information and tips. If that’s not social proof, I don’t know what is!

  20. Looks like blogging is slowing going to make history. It is really good to see books coming out in the market and helping other bloggers too.

  21. Looks great. You’re a great writer. Surprised you don’t free lance for big time magazines. or do you?

  22. While I really enjoy learning about blogging through reading blogs like yours, I’d be very interested in checking this book out. It seems like all of my reading these days is on the internet, which can be a little monotonous! Thanks for the post.


  23. I hope it’s better than Blogging Heros

  24. What I like about this is that you are considered one of the premier bloggers out there…and you are still looking for ways to improve your blogging. I think that is a lesson we can all learn from.


  25. Definitely going to get my hands on this!
    Thanks for sharing it, Darren :)

    How big is it really? As in page count, might get it for Christmas :)

  26. Might need to pick this one up. Everybody needs to always continue learning. Enuf said. :-)

  27. Success is a good thing.

    What are some example tests for success in terms of blogging that help guide your results?

  28. I read it and it is a great book. I put a book review for it on Amazon

  29. NOTE TO PUBLISHERS: don’t bother he’ll only read and review your book about blogging if the ‘reviewer’ is referenced in the book. This is the saddest excuse of ‘review’ and no I’m not giving you a pass simply because you disclosed in the ‘review’ that you didn’t read the whole book. NEWSFLASH; that’s what reviewers do, they read the entire book and then they write their review. Your post ends with a link pointing out to the reader that they can buy the ‘other blogger’s’ book and my book together on amazon. You should be ashamed of yourself; you were sent the book to read and review it, no a bogus review that’s really geared towards increasing sales of your book.
    you just lost a lost of credibility with me. Lame review of what might be a worthwhile book?

  30. I’m currently reading this book. So far its pretty interesting how the majority of the interviewees have the same general thoughts about blogging.

  31. Nice book….helpfull and worth reading

  32. Shane – thanks for your ‘feedback’. Let me address a couple of things:

    1. I’ve posted about plenty of books in my time – most of which have no connection to this blog. The fact that ProBlogger is mentioned a few times in the book had no connection to why I posted about it. I thought it was a relevant book for my audience, it contained contributions from credible bloggers and seemed like a helpful book.

    2. This isn’t a ‘review’ – If it were I’d have called it one. This is more of a ‘news’ post – it’s a new blog about blogging (the topic of this blog) and as a result is relevant to be posted about. I do give some first impressions of the book in the post to help those who might be considering reading it – I’m not sure what’s wrong with that.

    3. I’m yet to write a ‘review’ because, as I wrote in this post, I have not fully read it yet (I’m up to chapter 6 now). However I felt it relevant to write about because it’s a new book and I felt that the way that I’m reading it could be helpful to others (ie a chapter a day – analyzing a blogger per day etc). If a guy can’t post on his blog that he’s reading a new book until he’s finished it so that he’s able to do a comprehensive review then what’s the world coming to.

    4. I was sent the book by the author because he thought it might interest my readers (and me). I’ve been emailing back and forth over the last two days with Steph since this post went live and he’s very happy with it as far as I can see. It’s helped drive sales of his book from an Amazon ranking of 290,000 to 16,000 (last time i checked).

    5. I mentioned my own book at the end because on the Amazon sales page it is bundled with Blog Blazers. I thought they made a good bundle – our book is more theoretical, Blog Blazers is more illustrative and seems to me to make a good companion to ours.

    6. Ultimately if you don’t find this post helpful then that is your prerogative. However I tried to make it useful to readers by presenting a quality and affordable resource and showing how I’m using it to improve my blogging. If that offends you then I apologize but I’m at peace with what I’ve written.

  33. I read the ProBlogger book and I thought it was quite helpful. Not sure if I would like the Q and A format of this one.

  34. @shane
    I think you should give it a look before you can write that negative comment, i’m sure darren knows what he had to share. Anyway Darren, i have seen a lot of pro blogger who had share similar book, i had bought one and it does gives me an idea with my blog and sure they help you a lot to improve your blog writing

  35. Im about halfway through it and should have it finished on Christmas. Yes Problogger is mentioned a few time in the book so far that I have read (Chapter 17 Currently) Problogger is meantioned pretty much every other interview for most successful blogger. I want your book next Darren can’t wait to read it. I wish I knew i could have gotten a bundle. Could you recommend some other books also. Thanks Happy Holidays

  36. Hi Darren,
    I think you should have added John Chow’s name too in the list. He is also a blogging expert.


  37. Hi Darren,

    There are many references to your blog in the book, you will notice few other influential blogs being mentioned again and again while you read more chapters. It would have been great if you were one of the bloggers interviewed. Perhaps you could answer some of the questions as a post here?

    P.S I am giving away 10 copies of this book to my readers. If you want one please click here

  38. Hey we’re in Blog Blazers you know! Go buy it, just to read our section of course :D

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