18 April 2011

My Blogs, Blogging Philosophy, Etc.

Sometimes I think I have too many blogs.

I have Genealogy Tip of the Day, where each day a research tip is posted. These usually come from actual research I'm doing or questions people ask about the newsletter, when I lecture, etc. These tips focus on records interpretation, genealogical problem-solving, etc. and not on computer use.

I also have Research Tip of the Day, where each day a search tip for using online databases, websites, etc. is posted.

Daily Genealogy Transcriber publishes a signature or name from a document, posted as a "can you read it" type scenario. Usually the next day I post the answer to what the name actually was.

These three really don't take all that much time and are actually kind of fun. The tips are meant to be short, quick, and easy to follow. Nothing intense and no 1,000 word case studies or really intricate problems or suggestions. They are meant to be a quick read.

There is the blog for Casefile Clues, the weekly newsletter I write. There I usually blog about upcoming articles, research problems, methodology, etc. all of which support the newsletter.

Then there is this blog, Rootdig, which has changed since I started it several years ago.

Rootdig really talks about genealogy in general, things that irritate me, problems I see in databases and websites and things of that type. Sometimes I'll just dump some interesting documents I've found into the website.

I've pretty much given up on using the websites and blogs to generate any significant income. All my blogs/sites except for Casefile Clues have advertising. However, I quit trying to maximize the income from the ads on my other sites. I stopped trying to promote sales, etc. from vendors and put up more generic ads that don't have to be pulled when the sales are over. The ads partially cover some costs, but the income is minimal. Attempts to drive enough traffic to make any significant income took up entirely too much time, time away from genealogy, research and writing. I was not interested in working to optimize search engine traffic, and marketing really is not one of my interests. Consequently while I have the ads and they do generate revenue, I'm certainly not making any sort of real profit on the sites.

Personally I was never comfortable writing about something just to promote a sale, a site or a link which is what I felt I had to do to generate enough web traffic to make any sort of real income from the ads. I like to write about things I was actually researching, not just something I found on a database in an attempt to promote a sale or promotion. And so I stopped concentrating on generating traffic to my ads. The ads were left up because it was easier than removing them and they do generate enough income to pay for the occasional death certificate or movie rental.

I find it easier to concentrate on writing and research and blogging about things I'm currently working on. If that generates traffic and followers, then so be it. I've decided I'm just going to put on the blogs what interests me and if that interests others, then fine.

I thought this was going to turn into a post on how to allocate professional time, make your professional reputation from your blog, etc. etc. I decided writing about that doesn't really interest me either.