Upcoming Geneablogger Projects – Your Help Needed

Beginning in March, Geneabloggers will be working on two core projects that are vital to our growth as a group and to providing valuable services to the genealogy community.  I am looking for volunteers and also ideas for completing these by the end of March if possible.

gene@pedia – A Wiki Barnraising

So far there are only 53 articles over at gene@pedia which is capable of being a valuable resource for not only geneabloggers but all genealogists.  The concept behind gene@pedia is to build a wiki through community participation which can then be used by new geneabloggers who want to know what Tombstone Tuesday is, what a meme is, etc.

While geneabloggers are a very helpful lot and the ability to pitch in and take new genealbloggers under our wings is a hallmark of our group, time constraints can make it difficult to always be available to provide information.  That’s why gene@pedia is a great resource. 

Beginning on March 2, 2009, a “wiki barnraising” will take place the entire month of March.  Just like old-fashioned barnraisings where community members would pitch in to help a neighbor raise a barn in a day, Geneabloggers will build a wiki in a month.  There will be an official announcement next Monday,  but in the meantime here are some ideas to ponder and your feedback is requested:

- do you find the interface of entering information difficult to use over at gene@pedia?

- would it be easier if you could submit information (via an online form or e-mail) and have someone enter it into gene@pedia for you?

- would a webinar session or a webcast (video) explaining how to create gene@pedia articles help?

- would it work to “assign” article topics to people or have a signup list so people could select the topics they want to write about?

- would it help to have incentives from affiliates (such as Ancestry, Amazon, footnote and other genealogy-related vendors) and award them either randomly or to those who enter the most articles during the month of March?

Geneablogging Primer

Do you remember the old primers used in schools during the 19th century? They were an excellent tool to introduce young minds to new concepts.  As we’ve witnessed this past January with many new geneabloggers arriving on the scene, there are always members of Geneabloggers who are new to blogging and overwhelmed by not only the technology but all the customization options available for a blog.

Developing a primer for geneablogging would be a valuable resource that could also attract new members.  Right now I am not sure about the format but I know we need this project completed before the series Who Do You Think You Are gets underway this summer.  Also having such an introductory tool would help our outreach efforts especially when geneabloggers attend conferences this summer and talk up the Geneabloggers site and the concept of blogging about your genealogy.

Right now the Geneablogging Primer is in the “concept formation” stages with lots of idea generation going on.  Again, your input is needed and welcome.  Please add your feedback in the Comments section on these ideas:

What format would work best for a Geneablogging Primer?

- A series of blog posts, quick reference cards in PDF format?

- A slide presentation, perhaps with audio narration?

- A webcast?

- A webinar series where participant can attend a session to learn about a specific topic?

Would a “coaching” or “tutoring” program work or be valuable? One where a new geneablogger is paired up with someone with more experience?

Should there be a charge to participants? (Note: my goal has always been to keep Geneabloggers as a free and fully-accessible site.  Some may feel that since considerable time and resources are going in to developing a Geneablogging Primer, that a minimal $5 charge could help Geneabloggers take on more outreach projects, especially at genealogy conferences)

What are your ideas?

How Can I Make Money By Blogging?

Many of us have started our genealogy blogs because we either wanted to document our journey of finding our roots or we wanted to make sure others in our family could access and benefit from our recent discoveries.

Over time, besides seeing a proliferation of blogs (which is natural – most geneabloggers end up with more than one blog), some of us wonder if we can somehow bring in a little income with our blogs. And many experienced geneabloggers might say, “That’s what you’ll get – a little income.”

Here is an overview of methods – some easier than others – for you to use to monetize your blog if that is your desire.  One point of caution: many readers and potential visitors to your blog may be turned off by overt advertising or methods you might use to bring in some money.  As a blog owner you need to understand your audience and decide how you want to handle potential negative feedback.

Advertising

Although the payrate for “click advertising” where readers click on ads that take them to the advertiser’s site is low, many of us do include either specific genealogy-related ads (such as Ancestry, footnote, etc.) or we utilize Google AdSense to deliver targeted advertising based on blog content and keywords.

One of my favorite blogs about “the biz” of blogging is ProBlogger with great ideas about every aspect of blogging including how to monetize your blog.  Check out this recent article: 5 Ways to find Direct Advertisers for your Blog.

Ancestry’s Advertising Program

Google AdSense

Affiliates

There are a myriad of affialiates programs available to bloggers, the most notable being Amazon Associates.  The Amazon program allows you to display items of possible interest to your audience and if they click the Amazon ad and follow through with a purchase you can get paid a commission on the item.

Amazon Associates Program

footnote Affiliates Program

Write Articles

One way to generate some traffic to your blog and hopefully to your advertisements is to do some article writing.  By this I mean writing an article for an online publication and drive traffic by linking from those articles back to your blog.

One method is to post at one of the top article directories available on the Web.

EZine Articles

GoArticles

WebProNews


Some Advice

If you decide to incorporate any of these methods, you will need to focus on increasing traffic to your blog.  Miriam at AnceStories has a great series of posts entitled Getting More Traffic To Your Blog which every geneablogger should review.

Also, especially new bloggers, be judicious in who you select to affiliate with or use for advertising – after all it does serve as a reflection on your blog

And avoid come-ons from emails or sites that ask you to pay a monthly fee to bring in revenue and traffic to your blog.  Most of these are “fly-by-night” organizations and they are the only ones profitting from the “pay to play” arrangement.

© 2009, copyright Thomas MacEntee

May I Introduce To You…Thomas MacEntee

I think you will agree that I would be remiss if I did not profile this geneablogger for the “May I Introduce to You…” article.

He calls himself “The Pearl Mesta of geneabloggers and Facebook. A 40-something genealogy and technology enthusiast looking to combine both. ”

May I introduce to you…

[MacEntee_Thomas_2000.jpg] Thomas MacEntee.

Thomas has been blogging about his family history since December 28, 2006. He is the owner of (at least) eight blogs and one wiki. His main family history blog is Destination: Austin Family. Here you will find all about Thomas and his family. There are two posts in particular I invite you to read:
Kenny’s Choice: A Veteran’s Day Tribute and Alzheimer’s Disease – A Duty and A Toll.
These articles show the true heart of Thomas.

But not everything about Thomas is so serious. Take a look at It’s Just A Jump To The Left… He is also known to participate in just about every meme that goes around the geneabloggersphere.

GeneaBloggers is because of the contributing hard work of Thomas. He is involved with promoting us everywhere – Facebook, Twitter, etc. He regularly posts helpful tips and techniques on Facebook Bootcamp for Geneabloggers.

And if that were not enough, Thomas is related to a whole bunch of us GeneaBloggers – Randy Seaver, Midge Frazel, Becky Wiseman, Lorine McGinnis Schulze, and me, plus a few more, I’m sure I have missed. Who knows? He might be related to you.

Ever helpful, full of technological genealogy knowledge, plus a wicked sense of humour, I’m sure you will agree that the geneabloggersphere just would not be the same without Thomas MacEntee.