Notes from the past…

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#31WBGB: Solve a Problem

31 Weeks ButtonWe are up to Week 15 of Tonia’s 31 Weeks to a Better Genealogy Blog challenge. Wow, half-way through already! This has been a wonderful series, an excellent primer for creating and maintaining a genealogy-specific blog. If you haven’t joined in the fun, yet… It’s never too late to learn! Come on!

This week’s task is to “write a post that solves a problem that your readers (or potential readers) have.” Tonia gives us six ways to identify such a problem:

  1. Solve your own problems
  2. Look for questions in search referrals
  3. Analyze internal searches
  4. Ask readers for questions
  5. Look for problems on other sites
  6. Get ideas from friends and family

Solve your own problems…since others may be having the same or similar problems as I am having…

The Problem

Simple enough: genealogist’s block!

For some time now, I have been painstakingly reviewing every person in my database (currenty 746 documented and verified), adding and verifying data and adding sources and images. I have been thinking quite a bit about this research (guilt?), but doing practically nothing. I’m just kinda stuck right now and can’t seem to get moving again.

There are several reasons for this:

  • My job has gotten a little crazy recently and I am working 6-7 days/week
  • There is a lot going on in my personal life
  • Following the #31WBGB challenge has taken a lot of my time and drawn my focus away from research

I can’t do much about the first 2 items on this list, I would do absolutely nothing to change the 3rd “problem”, and the last item I would not change, either. While #31WBGB is taking up a lot of my time, what I have gained has amply rewarded my efforts so far!

The Solution

I think the solution to my stagnated research is in the planning. I need to set simple, attainable weekly goals. To this end, I am modifying one of my scheduled blog posts. My editorial calendar for Monday calls for a review of the past week’s research. In addition to this, I will be adding my plans for the current week. Examples could be a list of the specific names of ancestors to be researched (no more than 5/week), as well as “non-research” tasks to be done. These would include the weekly #31WBGB assignment; also blog modifications, research trips or any genealogy-related task.

Hopefully, this will get me back on track!

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#31WBGB: Find a Blog Buddy

31 Weeks ButtonThis week’s assignment for Tonia’s 31 Weeks to a Better Genealogy Blog is to find a Blog Buddy:

9 Reasons You Need a Blog Buddy

  1. You can proofread and critique each other’s posts, before pressing “publish.”
  2. You can share link love.
  3. You can promote each other’s posts via social media channels.
  4. You can help each other stay motivated.
  5. You can trade guest posts.
  6. You can brainstorm together and bounce post ideas off each other.
  7. You can critique design and other non-text elements.
  8. You can help build blog comments.
  9. You can hold each other accountable.

Blogging Buddy Relationship Advice

  • Make the relationship mutually beneficial.  All parties should be contribute and benefit.
  • Make each other’s blog better.  We all have a goal of making our own blogs better.  Commit to the same goal for your buddy.

Action Item

  • Find a buddy or a buddy group that you can hook up with.

I have decided to pass on this assignment.

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#31WBGB: Update a Key Page

31 Weeks ButtonThis week’s task for Tonia’s 31 Weeks to a Better Genealogy Blog is to update a key page or post.

Since I have only recently rewritten my “About” page, I decided to add a dedicated contact page. A learning experience, as I didn’t even realize that had a function already available for this, which can be added to post or page:

My original plan was to create a separate page, but for some reason (later I remembered why…), I couldn’t create a new page. So I added the contact form to my About page. Then I remembered what to do to create a new page, which I did. Sorry, I’ve been working way too much and sleeping way too little lately.

Anyway, look toward the top of this page and you will see a tab for my new Contact page… :)