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Genealogy Blog: Who, What, Where, and How Questions for the Plan

Children of John and Helena Anderson, circa 1916, WisconsinWhile traveling recently in a small Class C motor home through Oregon, digging into our family’s history, my mother and I spent a lot of time digging into the who, what, where, how, and everything else we needed to consider to put together our family history and genealogy blog.

We ended up with pages and pages of questions, covering things I knew I needed to consider, and a ton of things I hadn’t considered at all. And even more things I didn’t even want to think about, like legal and privacy issues. Yuk. Still, these things are important to any website or blog, especially for a genealogy blog where releasing private information about the living, and possibly even the dead, runs some very nasty risks.

I would love to publish every single one of the brainstorming questions we came up with, but I don’t have enough blog space, and you would be bored. I’ve condensed it down to the key factors questions we came up with and segregated the answers to these questions into different posts as part of this series on building a blog.

I encourage you to spend some serious time with yourself and a partner to go through all of these issues and more. Make your own monster list of questions, thinking through all the various aspects and responsibilities that may come with your blog. Especially if you are doing a personal or family history blog.

The more questions you ask yourself, the better your plan. The more questions you ask, and answer, the better prepared you are for almost every eventuality, legal and otherwise.

From the answers to all of these questions, we came up with a plan of action, budget, responsibilities, legal statements, and a web page design, just to name a few. Without all these questions, I be playing it by ear and shooting in the dark, literally.

For the most part, while the issue of a genealogy blog expanded our questions to legal and privacy issues, the questions, and forthcoming answers, below are the same set of questions facing any new blogger or website developer.

The Core Questions That Need Answers to Create Your Blog’s Plan

I’ve grouped the questions into these question categories to help narrow each specific area I need to explore as part of developing my blog’s plan. They will be answered in future posts on this series on building a blog.

  1. Who will pay?
    • Who is going to pay for this?
    • What is the budget?
    • How long do you want to host/pay for the website and domain name? You want a genealogy blog to last longer than a typical blog, so will 3-10 years work into your budget? What about 20 or more years?
    • Will it need to generate income?
  2. What kind of blog site, host, and service do we need?
    • How many photographs, images, podcasts, videocasts, and files will be included for an estimate of future storage space?
    • What is your estimate of future traffic levels for your blog?
    • What additional features and services will you need from your host server such as like email, podcasting, newsletters, auto-reply, forums, chats, wikis, or other website elements you would like to include?
    • Which host server is the best one to choose for your specific needs?
    • Should you try a hosted free blog, like , or a paid host?
  3. How will the blog be managed?
    • Will there be more than one user or administrator?
    • What kind of expertise is required to keep and maintain your genealogy blog?
    • What will you have to learn in order to keep and maintain your genealogy blog?
    • How much time will you dedicate to keeping and maintaining your genealogy blog?
    • What are the legal, privacy, and copyright issues that need blog policies?
    • Which CMS or blogging tool program will you choose?
    • Do you want free, paid, or do-it-yourself CMS or blogging tool software programs?
  4. What is your blog model/type?
    • What is the purpose and goal of the blog?
    • What services, information, and resources will be offered?
    • What is the title of the blog?
    • What is the URL?

These questions are probably best summed up by asking yourself:

How much time and money and effort do you want to expend setting up a full version site with the customization that may be needed to accommodate your “dream genealogy blog”?

The first section, the blog budget, is next on our list of things to do, and finding the answers to the questions about building our blog.

Genealogy Blog: Building a Blog Series

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Copyright Lorelle VanFossen, member of the 9Rules Network

Member of the 9Rules Blogging Network

One Comment

  1. Marquez
    Posted August 4, 2006 at 7:40 pm | Permalink

    I am also trying to find my familys history.

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