Apr 232012

The April edition of Your Family Tree has an article on genealogy blogging. I read the article yesterday and wondered how many of the magazine’s readers were interested in starting their own genealogy blog but did not feel equiped to do so.

Genealogy blogging is less developed in the UK than in the US, so I have decided to write a step by step guide to starting a wordpress.com genealogy blog. I hope that more potential UK geneabloggers (and anyone else who’s interested) will be tempted to give it a go.


WordPress.com, WordPress.org, Blogger – what’s the difference?

The Genealogy Workshop is a  self-hosted, wordpress.org blog, that means that I use wordpress software to manage my blog, I own my own domain name, and pay a third party company to host my blog. A wordpress.com blog also uses wordpress software, but is hosted by wordpress.com and will have a domain name such as myblog.wordpress.com. It is possible to pay wordpress.com to have your own domain name as an option.

The main advantages of a wordpress.com blog, compared with a self-hosted wordpress blog, are that it can be set up and run completely free of charge and it requires less technical expertise. The downsides are that on a wordpress.com blog there is less flexibility regarding design and features, and opportunities to earn an income from the blog are much more limited. In addition wordpress.com can place ads on your blog , from which they will gain revenue, although I haven’t noticed these on the wordpress blogs that I visit.

Blogger is very popular with geneabloggers and others, it does not use wordpress but provides a combined blog platform and management system. Any blog with a myblog.blogspot.com style name, is on blogger. There is no reason why you can’t experiment with both blogger and wordpress, before deciding which platform you prefer to use.

If you want to blog for fun, or don’t feel confident taking on a self-hosted blog, a free wordpress.com blog is an excellent way to get started in blogging. If you decide you would like to move to a self-hosted blog in the future, the skills learnt on a wordpress.com blog will stand you in good stead and the transition will be easier than from blogger.


Why blog?

There are a number of common reasons why genealogists write blogs:

  1. as a research log to record their work
  2. to find others researching the same families
  3. to share their research with family members and others
  4. to improve their research methods by interacting with others in the geneablogging community
  5. because they enjoy the creative or technical challenges involved in producing a blog

actually, there are probably as many reasons as there are geneabloggers, and because of that every blog is different, there is no correct way to blog!


When can we start?!

I propose to run a series of posts over the weekend, starting on Friday, 27th April. Hopefully you’ll be a blogger by Sunday night!

In the meantime, I recommend reading as many genealogy blogs as you can, and the best place to start is Geneabloggers, for UK genealogy blogs go to the UK Genealogy Blogs List at Geneabloggers. If you enjoy a blog post then I suggest you sign up for emails or follow in a feed reader. I add all my favourite blogs to Google reader so that I never miss a post.

Have you been thinking about starting a blog? Will you be following along next weekend? Let me know what kind of a blog you would like to write.


Now read Start a WordPress Blog: Day 1


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