Have you ever considered starting your own genealogy blog? Many genealogists use blogging to share information, methodology or research tips but it can also be a great way to find distant relatives. And who is likely to have the information that you are searching for on your ancestors? Other descendants of course!
Here are six reasons to convince you that you should be blogging about ancestors:
1) It removes your invisibility cloak
Your distant cousins may not know that you exist. If they can't find you then they can't share information with you. When you start a blog you put information about your ancestors out on the internet. Instead of going to a surname forum or a geographic location forum your cousins can now find you with a simple Google search. To be as effective as possible write about as many individual ancestors as possible, particularly the ones with unique names. Keep in mind that you need to respect the privacy of living people. Don't share personal details about of your living relatives.
2) Your homing beacon is on 24/7
One of the reasons that blogging is such a powerful tool is that the internet is available all the time, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. You can write your blog post at a time that is convenient for you. Your distant cousin, who may be a night owl, could find your post at 2am in a different time zone while you are happily asleep. This means you never lose a chance to connect. Making that connection is what will help bring down your brick walls. What's even better about blogging is that you could write about your ancestor and 6 months or even 6 years later, that same post will be ready and waiting for your ancestor to find it.
3) The power of Google makes you easier to find
Thanks to search engines, Google in particular, blog posts are now easier than ever to find. If one of your cousins is searching for a common ancestor in Google and you have written a blog post about that ancestor, they will find you in a matter of seconds. Gone are the days when genealogists have to scroll through queries or obituaries to find living relatives. They can now Google their ancestors and discover bloggers like you who are actively writing about their ancestors. And if you are using Blogger.com as your blog host, your posts will be given a higher priority by Google which owns the site.
4) Blogging can help locate ancestral photos
Not only will blogging help you find distant cousins but those cousins often have old family photos. Blogging puts you in contact with many distant cousins who can share with you photos of your ancestors that you've never seen before. Wouldn't you love to see a photo of your great, great grandmother? Blogging will help you make the connection with that cousin who has the family photos.
5) You'll improve your research skills
Not only will blogging help you find distant cousins but it will help you become a better genealogist as well. By writing about your ancestors you will revisit the information that you've already found about them. It will also make you think about what you don't know. This analysis process will lead to discovering information that's been right in front of your eyes for ages as well as give you need clues for further research.
6) It's Free
The best thing about blogging is that it's free. If you have access to the internet then you can sign up for a free blog account from either Blogger or WordPress.com. As mentioned earlier, Blogger is owned by Google which gives it a bump in search results but WordPress.com has beautiful page layouts and is just as good. Give either one a try. All it takes is creating an account and you are on your way to blogging!
To get started blogging view Blogging for Beginners with DearMYRTLE, More Blogging for Beginners with DearMYRTLE or Bogs: Easy-to-Make Web Pages. All three webinars are available now in the archives for Legacy Family Tree Webinar subscribers to watch.