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How to Create Your Own Genealogy Blog in
Less than 5 Minutes (and so much more...)

This two part lesson is one of the truly coolest things you will see to help you with your research (unless you are one of my genealogy students that I've been able to dazzle with great information already, that is).

Please follow along with me and go through all the exercises and examples so you can get to part two of this lesson, because that is where the magic is...

You need to have a genealogy blog...and it is so, so easy to do

Here is how Blogger defines what a blog is:

"A blog is a personal diary. A daily pulpit. A collaborative space. A political soapbox. A breaking-news outlet. A collection of links. Your own private thoughts. Memos to the world.

Your blog is whatever you want it to be. There are millions of them, in all shapes and sizes, and there are no real rules.

In simple terms, a blog is a web site, where you write stuff on an ongoing basis. New stuff shows up at the top, so your visitors can read what's new. Then they comment on it or link to it or email you. Or not.

Since Blogger was launched, almost five years ago, blogs have reshaped the web, impacted politics, shaken up journalism, and enabled millions of people to have a voice and connect with others.

And we're pretty sure the whole deal is just getting started."

This is all so true. But take a look at this part of the explanation:

"A blog gives you your own voice on the web. It's a place to collect and share things that you find interesting— whether it's your political commentary, a personal diary, or links to web sites you want to remember.

Many people use a blog just to organize their own thoughts, while others command influential, worldwide audiences of thousands. Professional and amateur journalists use blogs to publish breaking news, while personal journalers reveal inner thoughts."

You may be thinking, "So, WHY do I need a genealogy blog?"

The short answer is:

  • So that other genealogy researchers can find your blog (set up around a SURNAME you are interested in).
  • The visitor to your blog finds something interesting on it that helps them.
  • They contact you (see how that works below), the helpful blog owner and SHARE information with you that can help further YOUR genealogy research.

Student who use my Pajama Genealogy Research System know, in great detail, the importance of helping others that are interested in genealogy lines that you are working with, because if you help them, they will help you.

In fact, in the Pajama Genealogy System, I talk about the 11 KEYS to MOTIVATION.

These 11 Keys will help you get the responses that you want and motivate people to act to help you.

By people helping, I mean that they will be motivated to take time out of their lives to send you copies of: Family Bibles, photographs, old letters, vital records, family stories, important clues, and referrals to other researchers interested in your surnames of interest.

This is a BIG deal. Let's talk about 3 of the 11 Keys to Motivation:

We all want more information about our ancestors and the different surnames we are researching. Let's call that the "Gimmie, Gimmie, Gimmie" factor.

It's natural to feel this way. My children want stuff, I want stuff, you want stuff...it is human nature. But consider this when you think about your genealogy blog...

*KEY 1: Change the "3-G's" (Gimmie, Gimmie, Gimmie)

This sounds cheesy, but it is true. You must be generous and willing to give. In this case this means being generous with some of your genealogy information, not spending a lot of money.

You must include some valuable information in the first message or query and offer even more appealing information after that.

*KEY 2: Change the "I," "Me," and "My" To
"You," "Your," and "Our"

From this day forward, every time that you see a Web site, newsletter, or magazine that has genealogy queries--look how often the words "I"--"Me" and "My" appear. "I want" this, and "My grandmother" that.

The way you word your queries and correspondence makes all the difference in the world. Making an effort to use the "you," "your," and "our" words are what will make your queries dramatically more effective than the others. You will want to remove every "I," "Me," and "My" that you can.

Why? Because people are interested in THEIR ancestors, not yours? Of course, you want your needs and interests to be known; but you must talk about THEIR possible connection to your great-grandfather.

NOTE: You are, in a sense, selling people that you come in contact with on taking the time and energy to respond to you; to take time out of their busy day to help you, or refer you to someone they know who may be able to help you.

Of course, your genealogy queries and blog posts will not be like a late-night television infomercial. But if you are posting or answering a query, there will be a little no-pressure selling involved. Once you understand how, it is fun and easy.

Please do not misunderstand. You will be generous with your contacts. They will benefit and everybody wins. Just don't forget that you are always in a sense, advertising your desire for more information.

*KEY 10: Share information, but "hold some back."

This is a very important key as far as your genealogy blog is concerned.

Have you ever been to someone's personal genealogy Web site where you could download an entire surname genealogy database? I've seen it many times. This means that a visitor can just come and "hit and run." This is a completely anonymous encounter. Which means no leads or additional information for the person that put the site up in the first place. Not smart.

Give, give, give (but don't give it all away). Don't misunderstand: You will be giving is an important part of the 11 Keys to Motivation. Being helpful and offering service is one of the things that will compel people to help you. But you cannot just give it all away.

Example: I am just as well meaning, but guilty, as the next guy. For example, I came across a fantastic Web page that had a lot of valuable information that I needed. This site was set up where you could actually download databases, and I excitedly did. But at the time, I was in a rush. I did mark the Web page and will contact the owner of the Web page "when I have time…"

Again, you can't just give it all away like some people do. I have seen this especially on Web sites. What happens? A visitor comes, gets all (because nothing was held back) of your information, and are off on their merry way. An anonymous visitor gets the benefit, and you get nothing.

Remember, when you hold some information back, you create a sort of bargaining chip. You can do a little "horse trading" and both parties will benefit. This "win-win" approach works well.

The ONE THING that NEEDS To Be in ALL of Your
Messages, or You'd Be Better Off Just Watching TV

The "I will be glad to exchange information with you" statement needs to be in ALL of your communications.

Your intentions must be clear; you have information and are glad to share, but you want to compare notes and trade and exchange information. Here are some examples of the statements that will help commit your readers:

  • "I would be glad to share and exchange information with you."
  • "I have information on other SURNAME ancestors in (place), and in surrounding states, and I would like to exchange information with other SURNAME researchers."
  • "Would you like to compare notes on our SURNAME line?"
  • "I would be happy to pay for any copies or postage for the ______ records and send you some of the ______ records that I have."

It is all about the RELATIONSHIP and all about the horse trading kind of attitude. Doesn't this make a whole lot of sense?

By the way, all the other keys in the 11 Keys to Motivation are awesome as well. When you combine these elements together and craft them in on-line and off-line communications (you can do the off-line mailings just like I did--that's where the kitchen table comes into the picture) you've got tools that give you some serious leverage.

Here's How to Create Your Genealogy Blog
in LESS than 5 Minutes...

IMPORTANT NOTE: Blogger has recently changed their whole setup, but these steps work basically the same.

You can create your genealogy blog in about three minutes (or, five minutes if you take the quick tour. It's quick, easy, and FREE.

BLOGGER is the place to do it. Note that Blogger is owned by Google. This will be a big deal in part two of this lesson.

Yep, it is as easy as the three steps:

  • Create an account
  • Name your blog
  • Choose a template




Go to the Blogger Web site
at www.blogger.com

Take the tour if you want to. But CLICK ON the "Create Your Blog Now" button.

Create an account:

Make sure that your USER NAME has no spaces between words. In this example, my user name is RobertRagan.

Make sure that you write down your user name and password and keep it in a safe place.

The DISPLAY NAME is the name that you as the person who posts the blog entries will have. It can be your name or a nick name.


Click in the "I accept the Terms of Service" checkbox. and then click on the "Continue" button.




Here is where you name your blog.

This part is important. What will the blog address be? It will always be something like: http://yourblogname.

Note that the .blogspot.com will always be part of any blog you create.

You also have to fill in the section of the "Word Verification" area.

Now all you have to do is choose a template that you like.

Click the little "radio button" under the template you pick.





Hooray! Your blog has been created. Click on the "Start Posting" button.




Here the area where you post messages to your blog.

You can type stuff in just like you do on your word processor. You can make words bold, change fonts and font sizes, etc.

Note the other tabs: Posting, Settings, Template, View Blog.

You can easily make changes to your blog settings through these four tabs.


An easy way to get to your blog is to go to blogger.com and sign in.

If you click on the "Remember Me" box, you can get to your blog area without having to type this in every time.


When you sign in through blogger.com, you will see your "Dashboard."

If you click on the green plus symbol, you can make another post to your blog.

Note that you can also "Create A Blog" from here. You can set up as many genealogy blogs as you like.


This shows my SECOND post. I got here by clicking on the green plus symbol from the my Dashboard at blogger.com.






So, now you see how easy it is to create a blog. Of course, you want to create a genealogy blog (or several genealogy blogs) based around the surnames that you are researching.

See these two example genealogy blogs:

I think that all your questions and concerns will be answered in part two of this lesson. In fact, I can't wait for you to see what is coming up next because it is really something special. Just wait until you see what you can do with your genealogy blog and how it can benefit you.

Go to part TWO of this lesson about genealogy blogs

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