Blog Advertising – Is It Right For You And Your Readers?

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One of the aspects of genealogy blogging that many new bloggers look to as soon as their site is up and running is advertising.

Some words of advice: don’t rush to litter your new blog sidebar with ads.  First build a readership over a few weeks or months and then gradually introduce advertising methods that not only are of interest to your readership but ads that can bring in a stream of revenue.

Blog Advertising Pluses

  • With a popular blog you can pick up some serious mad money. While not enough to quit your day job, advertising revenue can very often cover your hosting fees or allow you to purchase genealogy books and software programs.
  • Gain a professional appearance for your blog.  If you are running a genealogy blog as part of a business then carrying ads from the major genealogy vendors can add some legitimacy to your site.

Blog Advertising Minuses

  • You may turn off some of your loyal readers as well as possible new readers. Many devoted blog readers skew more tech savvy than the average Internet user.  More often than not, your regular readers won’t click on advertisements.  It doesn’t hurt to poll or ask your readers how they feel about blog advertising in general and specifically about ads on your blog.
  • You become beholden to your advertisers. While most genealogy blogs don’t venture into controversial topic matter, keep in mind that advertisers often won’t allow their ads on sites with extreme viewpoints.  Many bloggers will maintain one or more blogs for their personal opinions and keep a strict topical focus on their genealogy blog.
  • You will not make money overnight.  The bloggers who do make money – whether it is a little or a lot – are doing so because they’ve carefully built a readership and have put quite a bit of time into marketing their site.

Advertise Smart

What does this mean?  Investigate the proven advertising methods and give them a test run.  ProBlogger has a great post entitled Starting Your First Blog? 29 Tips, Tutorials and Resources for New Bloggers with a section Making Money from Blogs which should be required reading for new bloggers.

Among the various proven methods are:

As a genealogy blogger, what has been your approach to advertising on your site?

© 2009, copyright Thomas MacEntee

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Family Tree Magazine 40 Best Genealogy Blogs

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Family Tree Magazine has announced that it will be naming the Family Tree Magazine 40 Best Genealogy Blogs in its upcoming May 2010 issue and your help is needed!

All genealogists are asked to nominate their favorite genealogy blogs between September 3 and September 30, 2009.  Once nominations are received, visitors to Family Tree Magazine will vote for their favorites from October 5 to November  5, 2009.   Sign up for Family Tree Magazine‘s E-mail Update newsletter to be notified when voting is open.

You can nominate your favorite genealogy blogs here using Family Tree Magazine‘s nomination form.

And don’t forget to follow Family Tree Magazine and the “Family Tree 40″ contest on Twitter for contest updates (using the hashtag #FT40).

© 2009, copyright Thomas MacEntee

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GenealogyWise – New Kid On The Block

What started out quietly as a genealogy social networking “pre-launch” has already been growing by leaps and bounds in only the past two days.

If you haven’t already heard, the site is called GenealogyWise and is bought to you by FamilyLink.com and the makers of WeRelate.  Having followed Randy Seaver’s various posts about it, I made a stop over at GenealogyWise the other night and set up my profile and page.

Shortly after that, I figured why not set up a Group Page for GeneaBloggers?  And just like many social media sites, things progress, you meet new friends, you find new things and viola! You step back and see that things have really taken off!

So far I like GenealogyWise for the following reasons:

- it is more focused than Facebook.  While I enjoy posting and sharing with my Facebook friends I would day that only 25% of my friends are genealogy and more specifically, genealogy blogging colleagues

- it has all the bells and whisles that most social media sites have: group pages, fan pages, discussions, videos, status, friends, etc.

- it is another venue where I can not only market the GeneaBlogger experience (my goal is to one day make sure every genealogist either has their own blog or at least knows how to use genealogy blogs) but I can also get information out to the masses about my own genealogy research

So will there be an impact on Facebook and especially on the GeneaBloggers Group on Facebook?  Bill West of West In New England has already shared his thoughts on how GenealogyWise might impact Facebook and he has some very valuable and valid points. For me, I am taking a “wait and see” attitude and I don’t intend to make any changes to the Facebook group where we now have over 600 members.

However I may begin posting events and some of the same items at both Facebook and GenealogyWise for the time being.  Progress moves swiftly in the internet genealogy and social media world – what is hot today may not be hot tomorrow.  Also some sites become very “old” in just a matter of months (i.e., MySpace).  I think every genealogy blogger needs to have a presence on GenealogyWise if only to channel viewers back to their own blogs and websites.  Updating GenealogyWise should become part of your daily social media routine (like using Twitter, Facebook, blogging) if that is how you currently pursue your genealogy and family history passion.

copyright 2009, Thomas MacEntee

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