Why You Might Want a Personal Genealogy Blog on WordPress
You probably can find dozens of reasons for creating a blog. In addition, you can probably find dozens of companies that will host a blog for you. Given the choices and the reasons available, trying to decide on the best blog hosting service for you can be an overwhelming decision. How do you find the best one for your use? I will suggest there is no easy answer, but I will suggest that WordPress should be one of the services you evaluate.
NOTE: I will quickly admit that I am biased. The words you are reading right now are hosted on a WordPress blog. I have used several different blogging services over the years to host this newsletter. I switched to WordPress several years ago and am very happy with the company’s services. I have no plans to switch to anything else.
There are a number of reasons why a genealogist might want to crate a blog. Here are a few ideas I can think of:
Keep track of your own family history research and advise your relatives of your progress. If your relatives are monitoring your progress, it is possible they can contribute information to your research efforts, especially as they read about various items you discover. Reading about their ancestors’ lives often serves as a “memory jogger” for various bits of information they may have heard or known about years ago. Many of such bits may be new to you. In some cases, a blog reader who lives near the locations where your ancestors lived also may be able to perform some “in person” research for you.
Share your own life experiences. A blog can be similar to an online diary. Such a blog can be very interesting to your friends and relatives. Optionally, you can add a password to your blog so that it can only be read by the people to whom you grant access.
Genealogical and historical societies often use blogs to publish society newsletters online, to publicize upcoming events, to publicize books the society publishes, and to publicize all sorts of news and events of potential interest to society members and non-members alike. Some societies even add a “for members only” section that requires a password to access. A society blog often is one of the most powerful publicity tools a society can use.
Ethnicity interest groups often use blogs focused on specific ethnic groups and the genealogies of included families. Examples include Polish-American groups, African-American genealogy, Jewish genealogy, Hispanic genealogy, French-Canadian genealogy, Irish genealogy, German genealogy and more.
Almost all genealogy conferences now use blogs to publicize events, to distribute updates on speakers and presentations to be offered, to supply information about hotels and restaurants in the area, and myriad other reasons.
Archives and libraries often use blogs to provide news about recent additions to their collections, seminars, and other events being held by the archive or library, lists of holidays and other times the library or archive may be closed, solicitations for donations, and more.
Genealogy industry blogs are very popular. Almost every company in the genealogy business publishes a blog containing frequent updates about the latest additions and updates to the company’s offerings, publicity about future additions and changes, disseminating FAQs (Frequently-Asked Questions) that many customers ask, and many other customer support activities. Nearly 40% of US companies use blogs for marketing purposes. Two-thirds of marketers say their company blog is “critical” or “important” to their business.
Genealogy industry news: perhaps you want to compete with Eastman’s Online Genealogy Newsletter. (Comment: Come on in! There’s room for more.)