How to make a Surnames and Locations Page for your family history blog via BloggingGenealogy.com.I'm in a hurry. Are we related...maybe?
In my last post about rolling out the welcome mat for your potential cousins and visitors, I mentioned placing a link to your Surnames & Location Page on it.

However, we hadn't gone over that yet. How many times have you landed on a family history blog after Googling your ancestor's name and location, and you're like, "Wow. This person has been blogging stories about their ancestors since 2009. And will you look at that? She's written all these stories, but I don't have time to figure everything out and see if we're related!"

Yeah. Happens to me all the time. {LOL. ;) }

Well, if you don't have some type of way for your potential cousins to quickly skim and see if you might be related {and that can be a pretty big 'might' sometimes}, then will they read everything? Or will they simply move on? My Google Analytics on my family history blog says they tend to leave. If it were me, I wouldn't, but? Everyone's different in how they handle things. 

So? You need a Surnames & Locations Page on your family history blog. And here's how you do that:

Roll out the welcome mat on your family history blog via BloggingGenealogy.com.
It's always nice when you land on a site where you can tell they're happy you showed up, isn't it?

Are you welcoming your visitors on your family history blog? Are you making visitors feel comfortable? Are you greeting those potential cousins? 

A welcome makes people feel better. And do I really need to tell you that a happier and more comfortable potential cousin is more likely to contact you? {Yeah.}

Here are some tips for rolling out the welcome mat for your family history blog visitors:

Are you a family history blogger? Here's a quick tip for your Blogger blog - Surname Label Cloud via BloggingGenealogy.com
Surname Label Cloud
Um. Not a real cloud. And not a storage cloud. 

But a Label Cloud. 

If you've been blogging a while and you've added the Label Gadget to your Blogger Family History Blog, then you know how unwieldy that list can get. Even worse, it's ugly and not really all that usable by your family history blog visitors. 

You know, those potential cousins you want to read your stuff to see if you're related? Yeah, those folks.

So? Make a Surname Label Cloud. Here's how:

© Copyright 2013 Caroline M. Pointer
As a researcher, you scour the Internet looking for your ancestors. You look high. You look low.

What's the first thing you do once you land on a site?

Start reading it? If there's a lot of stuff or a lot of pages on the site {or blog}, that might take a while. And? You're in a hurry. The weekend is almost over. It's almost time to take off your Weekend Research Warrior Hat and put the Ol' Day Job Hat back on. *Big Sigh*

So then you might look for a search box. 'Cause, duh. That would be easier, but...

Blogging Genealogy: Make It Easy for Cousins to Contact You via BloggingGenealogy.com
So. You've created a blog, you've been blogging about your ancestors, you've been responding to comments on your blog, but? You still haven't made any cousin connections.

What else do you need to do to make your family history blog as inviting and as enticing as possible so that cousins will contact you for possible research collaboration?


Family History Writing Challenge
My blogging friend, Lynn Palermo at The Armchair Genealogist, {who I had the awesome pleasure of meeting at RootsTech last year} is holding her 2nd annual Family History Writing Challenge starting February 1st. It's a month-long program designed to really get you focused on your family history writing. She has a great line-up of guests as well as activities scheduled to help you get going in the right {or write ;) } direction with your family history writing. 

So check out her challenge. You can either participate in the challenge or watch from the 'sidelines'. Either way, you're sure to find something very helpful for your family history writing endeavors. =)

Blogging Genealogy: Blog Awards & SEO via BloggingGenealogy.com.
Blog awards are nice and flattering. They're even better when they are awarded to you for your blogging. It's nice to be appreciated and complimented.

Back in 2009-2010 many blog awards were all the rage, and believe me. They made their rounds several times over in the genealogy blogosphere, not to mention in many, many other blogging niches. Everyone was complimenting everyone, linking to everyone, and proudly posting their blog awards on their sites with links back to the creator of the blog award. Everyone was feeling pretty good... 

Blogging Genealogy: How to get visitors to read more via BloggingGenealogy.com.
It's nice to have new blog visitors, especially if you've been spending a lot of time and money on social networks to get them to your blog.

But if you've ever looked at your blog's stats, you may have noticed, that they come, read a blog post {if you're lucky, 2} and then they leave. And oftentimes, silently.

They're in and then they're out.

They didn't even read enough to determine if they might be related in some way.

So how, then, do you get a blog visitor, and most especially a potential cousin, to stay and read?

Deter image theft with FHOP via BloggingGenealogy.com.
At my old church, we used to host quite a few non-religious {secular} community groups and meetings in our facilities throughout the week. It was part of our community outreach. And, invariably, our Bibles would end up missing from our meeting rooms. Now, this infuriated some church members because they really couldn't get past the whole stealing-at-church-thing. And I get that. And so did our priest's wife who also worked at the church and was always {and still is} full of some powerful wisdom.

And as we were talking about the theft and the reactions to the theft she mentioned that it's just part of our outreach and that if they needed the Bible so badly that they'd steal it, then let them have it for goodness sakes. {She's from Monroe, Louisiana so you should infuse THAT dialect and additional syllables into her words too. Awesome.}

And that particular conversation memory is the exact reason I changed the original title to this blog post from Blogging Genealogy: Stop Image Theft

Do I need to blog genealogy every day? via BloggingGenealogy.com
When we first start blogging our family history, there's a kind of pressure to blog...




But? Is this really necessary?