Monday's question is:
- Monday: Genealogy Blogging – For Fun or Profit? – we’ll discuss whether or not a blog should have advertising, affiliate links, etc. and what constitutes a commercial genealogy blog, an individual genealogy blog and is there a balance that can and should be maintained?
1) It's entirely up to the genea-blogger whether to have advertising and/or affiliate links, or any other sort of money-making method. Or not. I choose to not do any of that - it's not worth the hassle to me. I think that I would feel beholden to promote the affiliates or whoever has remunerated me.
2) Some might say that I'm a bit hypocritical here, and I'm aware of it. I have accepted travel expenses, database subscriptions, review books and commercial products as a result of being a genea-blogger. I have not overtly requested any remuneration, but have accepted some offers over the past three years. I've also disclosed these facts at the time of the events in my blog posts. This remuneration came about solely because of my genea-blogging activities. My readers can judge my objectivity.
3) I write my genealogy blogs for FUN, not for profit. They are personal genealogy blogs, with my own research experiences, reviews and opinions. I try to stay on top of the genealogy industry news and online resources, and will often publicize and try out databases or trees that I'm experimenting with or use. I try to be objective when I write about these websites, and will often complain or recommend actions to genealogy providers.
4) Why not for profit? Since I have not done this, I don't know how much time and commitment are involved in setting up affiliate links, or Google Ads, or whatever. My opinion is that there is very little money to be made with ads and links, and, frankly, it's not worth the trouble to me. Maybe I'm wrong. I'll be interested to see other responses!
5) Why not blog for money if it is offered? I teach for money, speak for money, and have done research for money. Why not write for money? I would write for money if my goal was to write for a living and publish articles in genealogy magazines or in books. It's been offered before, and I have not accepted the offer because of my time schedule and the effort involved. I do write for the FGS FORUM Magazine, but the only remuneration is a free digital copy of the magazine and the satisfaction of seeing my name and work in print (well, digital print!). Frankly, I'm retired with a pension, and we live within our income and still take tourist and genealogy vacations.
6) Every time I make, or contribute to, a presentation about genea-blogging, I get the question "Do you have ads on your site?" The implication is that having ads makes a blogger beholden to the companies providing remuneration. This goes along with, I think, one strain of thinking about the genealogy industry that "everything should be free." That's a topic for Wednesday in this series.
7) Does the fact that some genea-blogging colleagues write for money, or accept remuneration for their efforts, affect my opinion of them? Nope - I continually read and evaluate the body of their work, and see objective and reasonable efforts from them. The disclosure rules that most of my colleagues follow help me to judge their objectivity. Each genea-blogger has a reputation to form and keep, and it is a precious thing. I think that we're all aware of that, and work hard to keep it. My opinion of the work of my genea-blogging colleagues, many of whom I have corresponded with and met in person, is based solely on their body of work, and the personal interactions I've had with them. My own philosophy is that everyone is unique, and nobody's perfect. I enjoy meeting and discussing genealogy with different people.
Tuesday's topic is Careers in Genealogy. Stay tuned for Randy's musings about that.