Many genealogists take time out of their research to work on their very own, personal, genealogy blog. While some of these blogs are entertaining, informative, and inspirational, others are a chore to try and read. Here are some tips to keep your blog from being deemed “the worst genealogy blog of the year”.
Anyone can make a blog. There are several websites that will let you sign up and instantly start creating a blog about whatever topic you like for free. This is both good and bad.
It allows every genealogist who desires to make a family history blog the ability to do so without worrying about the cost. It also enables people who have poor writing skills and a lack of understanding about copyright to clutter up the internet with genealogy blogs that are difficult, and frustrating, to read.
There is a blog called The Ancestor Hunt that has a post titled: “The Worst Genealogy Blogs of 2012”. Rather than list off the names of blogs that this particular blogger considered to be the “worst”, the blogger did something really smart. He wrote some tips about what characteristics makes a blog “the worst”. I suggest you read his blog as a starting point.
Here is some of my own advice about how to prevent your genealogy blog from being considered to be “the worst genealogy blog of the year”. Follow these tips, and your blog will be more inviting to readers.
A blog that is filled with misspelled words becomes very difficult to read. Several misspelled words within one blog makes it look like you threw it together at the last minute. It undermines the credibility of the information you are sharing.
Take the time to edit.
This is another great way to make your blog look professional, informative, and credible. Certain words (their, there, they’re) can be easy to make an error with if you are rushing to write a blog. Does what you wrote make sense? Is it what you were trying to say when you started? Editing will help you answer those questions.
Don’t be a pirate.
You can put photos that you took on your blog with little issue. (You may want to ask the living relatives that are in the photo for permission to post it on your blog). Some photos and images have been released through creative commons. If you use one of those, make sure you properly attribute it. Don’t post photos or images that you don’t have permission to use.
If you include a quote, or text, from someone else’s blog or news article, make sure you link to it. It is also good to specifically state within your blog where you got the quote or paragraph from. If you copy and paste information from something that you did not write, and don’t attribute it, you are plagiarizing.
Image by Charles LeBlanc on Flickr