I saw the beginning of a discussion this past weekend about a post that was made at the Luxegen Genealogy and Family History blog. The discussion started on Marian Pierre-Louis’ Facebook page but has since spilled out on to many different blogs. I initially commented on Marian’s thread and said I would stay away from this topic.
I think I will at least speak what I feel about it now.
First off, what a person does with their blog is their business. Unless they are stealing content or posting complete falsehoods, I really don’t see where I, or anyone else, can tell them what to do.
Likewise, I feel that how I control my blog is up to me. If I want to post 100 ads on every page, that is my choice. If I decide (as I have) to not put any advertising on my pages, that is also up to me.
Let me just ask, why did most of us start genealogy blogs? Was it for money? For most of us, I feel the answer would be “No!” I know there are some who may have started their blogs as a way to solicit their services, but for the most part most geneabloggers are simply sharing their research in hopes of connecting with others who are interested in the same line.
Maybe I should say “a lot of bloggers” instead of “most bloggers” as I really don’t know how many genealogy bloggers there really are.
My only problem is when others begin to discuss this and the tone begins to take the topic toward a “Professional” versus “Hobbyist” cry. Isn’t there room for both?
I’ve looked into ways of making my blog more popular. I’ve subscribed to blogs that tell you how to market yourself and my realization is that I am not here to market myself. I don’t have the time to put in to keep up with my stats and sell myself to others so I can make money. That is not why I started blogging.
I’m happy to see that Thomas MacEntee is going to write some articles addressing this. I believe that it might enlighten a lot of folks to the fact that affiliate links and such are not going to make them rich. It may help them to make some spending money but that is all.
Will I ever have ads or affiliate links on my site? I have contemplated it. Not to make a living but I figure if I could just turn $10 a month it would help pay for my web hosting and domain name registration. I might even have enough left to buy a subscription to one of my favorite genealogy database sites.
My only hope is that the discussions that are taking place now will not result in a “split” of the genea-blogging community. I’ve already seen some posts that have hinted at this and it makes me very sad to read this.
There is room for everyone! Let’s not make this into a competition but let’s respectfully address what everyone wants to talk about.
Wishing you all the very best,