Friday, July 13, 2012

How Do I Make Money in Genealogy?

Yesterday's topic in Thomas MacEntee's series on money in genealogy is How Do You Make Money in Genealogy? describes his income producing activities, his administrative and overhead activities, and his volunteer work.  I really appreciate and admire Thomas' work ethic, accomplishments and willingness to share this information with the genealogy world.  It is enlightening and instructive.

What about Randy?  Unlike Thomas, I do not support myself to any great extent with my genealogy work.  I am retired from aerospace engineering, have a pension, Social Security and a 401K, and we live comfortably with no mortgage, and with no significant health problems (knock on wood!).  We can afford occasional vacations, genealogy conferences, visits to the grandchildren and research trips.

My income producing activities fall into three categories:

1)  Speaking on genealogy topics to genealogical societies, historical societies, service groups, heritage groups, library groups, family reunions and social groups.

I have presented this year to date:

*  5 January 2012:  Linares Chapter of Daughters of the American Revolution on "Genealogy - Be An Ancestor Detective!"
*  25 January 2012:  Chula Vista Genealogical Society  on "Genealogy is Fun, Seriously!"
*  18 February 2012:  South Orange County California Genealogical Society on "Searching Ancestry.com Effectively"
*  3 March 2012:  Escondido Family History Fair on "Wikis for Genealogy"
*  3 March 2012:  Escondido Family History Fair on "Genealogy Blogging"
*  7  April 2012:  Orange County California Genealogical Society on  "The Genealogical Proof Standard and Doing a Reasonably Exhaustive Search"
*  25 April 2012:  San Diego PEO Chapter on "Genealogy - Be An Ancestor Detective" (short)
*  20 May 2012:  Legacy Family Tree Cruise on "The Genealogical Proof Standard and Doing a Reasonably Exhaustive Search"
*  20 May 2012:  Legacy Family Tree Cruise:  "Searching Ancestry.com Effectively"
*  12 June 2012:  North San Diego County Genealogical Society on "Exploring FamilySearch: The Very Best Free Genealogy Website"
*  30 June 2012:  Chula Vista Genealogical Society on "Genealogy in the Cloud"

The presentations booked for the rest of 2012 are:

*  14 July 2012:  San Diego Genealogical Society on "Discovering Jane's Roots in California, Australia and England"
*  14 July 2012:  San Diego Genealogical Society on "Genealogy and Cloud Computing"
*  21 July 2012:  Genealogical Society of North Orange County California on "Discovering Jane's Roots in California, Australia and England"
*  4 August 2012:  Chula Vista Genealogical Society on "A RootsMagic Workshop"
*  18 August 2012:  Computer Genealogical Society of San Diego on "Genealogical Proof Standard and doing a Reasonably Exhaustive Search"
*  31 October 2012:  Chula Vista Genealogical Society on "Discovering Jane's Roots in California, Australia and England"
*  8 November 2012:  Sweetwater Women's Club on "Genealogy - Be An Ancestor Detective" (short)
*  12 November 2012:  Temecula Valley Genealogical Society on "Searching Ancestry.com Effectively"

In general, I usually receive $50 to $100 for each hour-long presentation (the Family History Fair was free, some CVGS talks are free), plus mileage expenses (from some of the non-San Diego societies).  I appreciate the honorariums paid, and the expenses paid, by the organizations.

2)  Teaching and being a Genealogy Evangelist:

I have presented this year to date: 

*  16 February 2012:  OASIS sponsored talk at University City Library on "Genealogy - Be An Ancestor Detective"
*  March:  OASIS Adult Education Class (4 sessions, 8 hours) on "Beginning Computer Genealogy"
*  20 June 2012:  OASIS sponsored talk at Benjamin Library on "Genealogy - Be An Ancestor Detective"
*  July:  OASIS Adult Education Class (4 sessions, 8 hours) on "Beginning Computer Genealogy"

Teaching and Evangelism talks booked for the rest of 2012:

*  24 July 2012:  OASIS sponsored talk at Mission Valley Library on "Genealogy - Be An Ancestor Detective"
*  November:  OASIS Adult Education Class (4 sessions, 8 hours) on "Beginning Computer Genealogy"

In general, I receive $100 for each OASIS Class (for all four sessions) and for each sponsored talk.

3)  I do receive some gratuities from conferences for registration, food, and blogger gifts, and I receive some books from publishers for writing a review.

To sum up, I will give about 34 presentations during 2012, and will receive perhaps $1,800 for the effort.  

So there you have my money earning activities.  I don't take research clients (except for pro bono selected people), I don't speak at Conferences (yet), or have advertising or affiliate links on my blogs.  It's pretty much a labor of love...and I'm enjoying all of it.  

Of course, there are expenses involved in creating and improving or editing the presentations and the handouts.  For a new presentation, it usually takes me 20 to 30 hours to create an 80 to 120 slide Powerpoint presentation (which are usually graphics heavy rather than text heavy) and the handout.  Revising a presentation to update it usually takes 3 to 5 hours, unless it needs heavy revision due to new material.  

So this year, I have, or will, create three new presentations, and have or will revise 14 others.  I'm not making much money on doing presentations, am I?  But then creating presentations are not taking away from other money making opportunities, since I don't have any except cashing my retirement checks.

In conclusion, I use the income to fund my genealogy society memberships, my historical record collection subscriptions, buying genealogy books, going on research trips and vacations (including conference travel registration, hotel and other expenses).  Except for the travel and hotel expenses, I essentially break even every year!  Or at least that's what I tell my wife.

The URL for this post is:  http://www.geneamusings.com/2012/07/how-do-i-make-money-in-genealogy.html

Copyright (c) 2012, Randall J. Seaver

2 comments:

Nancy said...

Hi Randy, enjoyed reading your post, just because I'm curious. I continually find your blog posts both informative and fun. Just wanted to say so.
Nancy

Denise Spurlock said...

Hi, Randy, It's been interesting to read your perspective on these topics. I appreciated your including the amount of time it takes to review and update a presentation each time it is given. I think many are unaware that, even though a presentation has been given before, it needs review and updating before being presented again.