I failed miserably.
When I started this blog, all of 5 weeks ago, I had no idea what I was doing. I started my blog with just one post, and left it that way for a week. This, evidently, was a bad idea.
As far as I know, there is no one place for someone to go to find out how to build a successful genealogy blog from the ground up. I’ve seen webinars on setting up a blog but nothing that gives a good idea of what to do once the blog is set up. If you’re like me and get information overload, then trying to meld together all of the bits and pieces you find on the web into something useable can be frustrating. 31 Weeks to a Better Genealogy Blog (31WBGB) is a great compromise but it still doesn’t help someone brand spankin’ new to blogging to get started.
Then I read this week’s plus version of Dick Eastman’s newsletter (to which I subscribe), which offered an article on how to start a genealogy blog. I won’t give away the details but in this gem of an article was a suggestion to write up a number of posts before going live.
It seems so obvious now – if you go live with only one blog post that says ‘hi it’s me nice to meet you come back soon’ there’s not much to entice your readers to come back. Yet when starting, there are so many intricate details to consider, that this just did not end up being one that I thought about.
Thankfully Geneabloggers listed me shortly after my first post and I had more traffic from that than I did from publicizing on twitter. I have also been faithfully following 31WBGB by Tonia which is helping me to improve my blogging skills on a regular basis.
So, if you’re thinking of starting a new genealogy blog, or recently started one and would like try to avoid my mistake, here’s what I would recommend:
Don’t rush. I went live within 24 hours of deciding I wanted to start my blog. At the time it did not seem like such a bad thing since I had thought about doing it for a long, long time. But in retrospect I would have been better off had I taken a couple of weeks, read the the articles mentioned above, and written a few posts first. The short delay will likely improve your visibility in the long run.
Read Dick Eastman’s article. If you are not a plus subscriber, consider signing up. You’ll have access to the article right away, and you won’t be disappointed with the newsletter. Each week I glean something new that would have taken me hours to figure out on my own (if I ever did figure it out).
Check out week 6 of Tonia’s 31WBGB challenge. Tonia provided a whole host of links that are super useful. It’s taking me a long time to get through them and I still have a long way to go. It can’t hurt to start reading them now, whether you’re writing a blog already or still thinking about it.
Now it’s your turn: If you’re like me and you started within moments of deciding to – let me know how it’s going. Is your blog doing what you want it to? Have you read any suggestions on how to improve visibility? Are there links to other webpages that will help those who have just started or those who are thinking of starting? Let us know in the comments!!