31 Weeks to a Better Genealogy Blog

Does your genealogy blog need a kickstart?  Do you want to learn more about successful blogging?  Have you gotten in a rut and need some fresh ideas to make blogging fun and interesting again?

Then join me as I spend the next 31 weeks putting into practice tips and tricks from ProBlogger, Darren Rowse.

This program is based on Darren’s highly popular challenge “31 Days to Build a Better Blog,” which he has made available as an e-book.  31 days does not work for my schedule (especially in the summer), so I’m switching it to a weekly challenge.

How It Works

  1. Each Sunday, beginning July 3, I’ll post my take on a chapter from Darren’s book, including at least one action item (which may have a genea-blogger twist).
  2. After you complete the action item, come back and let us know what you learned (or what you thought about the challenge) in the comments section.  If you write a post about it, leave a link.  I’ll be doing all the action items, as well, and reporting back on my experiences.  If you don’t want to do all 31 weeks, that’s okay.  Jump in and out as often as you like.


Yes, that’s right, there will be weekly giveaways.  I got so much awesome stuff at Jamboree that I want to share the love.  Each week will offer an opportunity to win something.  In fact, we are going to start this week.  The first prize is a discount on an annual subscription to GenealogyBank. The regular price for an annual subscription is $69.95, but I have a coupon code for 20% off, which equals an annual cost of $55.95.  I would keep this for myself, but I don’t have time to take full advantage of another subscription, right now.*

This coupon expires on 6/30/11, so we have a short window of opportunity.  Leave a comment on this post by midnight, 6/28/11.  On 6/29/11, I’ll choose a randomly-numbered comment and contact the winner with the coupon code.

What Can You Do to Get Ready?

All these are optional.  You don’t have to do any of them to participate, but some will make it more fun.

  1. Buy the e-book:  This is strictly optional.  I’ll be summarizing key concepts from each chapter and posting them every Sunday and you can find a lot of the information at the Problogger site.  But, if you are like me, and like to have everything in one place, the e-book is the way to go – (I converted it to Kindle format and have been reading it by the pool).  I’m dipping my toe in the affiliate-link waters, so if you decide to purchase the book and you click the image to the right, I’ll get a small portion of the purchase price.  The cost to you is the same, either way.
  2. Roll Call:  If you want to play, leave a comment below with a link to your blog and your Twitter ID.
  3. Get Connected on Twitter:  What?  You mean you are not already using Twitter?  Come on and join the fun!  If you are already on Twitter, the hashtag for this challenge is #31WBGB.
  4. Grab the badge:  Tell your readers that you are building a better genealogy blog by displaying the button on your website.  They might want to play, too!

Check back next Sunday and we’ll get this party started!


*And just so we’re clear, I received the GenealogyBank discount as part of the Geneabloggers Welcome Bag from the Southern California Genealogical Jamboree.  I’m not affiliated with GenealogyBank and receive no remuneration from them.

Series Navigation#31WBGB: Write an Elevator Pitch for Your Blog >>

Related posts:

Share this article!


  1. says

    Sounds like a great challenge, Tonia. I think breaking it up into weeks instead of days is a good idea. I hope I have time to play along.

  2. says

    Twitter: heritagehappens
    I have a copy of this and I have not been able to get through it. I am hoping by going along with you I can at least get a few challenges in! I LOVE that you are doing this as a weekly challenge! I will participate as much as I can! Thanks Tonia!

  3. Joanne says

    I thought I knew a lot but after reading some of your blog postings, I am thinking “uh oh” So I will try to follow along!

  4. says

    Twitter: GenuinelyLAF
    I have been meaning to start a genealogy blog forever but never did. Your 31 weeks has motivated me to get going. I spent all morning setting up the site :) Now I will start week 1 and build it from teh bottom up. Stay tuned!

    • Tonia Kendrick says

      That’s great, Lisa! Let me point you to Geneabloggers, if you are not already familiar with the site. There is a lot of great information geared toward both new and experienced genealogy bloggers.

      • says

        Twitter: GenuinelyLAF
        That’s terrific! What great resources. Thanks for the tip. I have my work cut out for me this week!

  5. says

    Twitter: ancestorsfound
    Thanks so much for taking the lead in coordinating this challenge! I’ve only recently started blogging and have been overwhelmed with ideas. I hope this will give me the focus I need. Meet new peeps & fun too!


    • Tonia Kendrick says

      Hi Sandi! It’s easy to get overwhelmed with all the ideas you have and it doesn’t only happen at the beginning. I have it going on right now. : ) My advice is to start a list – jot down whatever information you need to make sure you don’t lose all the ideas. The day will come when you’ll need that list for inspiration.

      Welcome aboard!

  6. says

    Twitter: kinfolknews
    Tonia, Just found this post. (I’m truly afraid to open my Google Reader I’m so far behind!) This sounds like a great exercise. I can’t promise to take every challenge but I LOVE the idea and might even buy the book. Thanks for making it your own and including us as well! =^)

  7. Tonia Kendrick says

    Hey Regina! I know what you mean about Google Reader. I opened mine about a week ago and it said 1000+. Yikes! I’ve whittled it down to the 300s, a number which I used to think was a lot. : )

    Anyway, glad you found the post. . .I think it will be a lot of fun!

  8. says

    Twitter: afamilymystery
    I’m gonna jump in on this and try to take every challenge. I need to refine my blogging skills and make my blog more appealing to a wider audience. Thanks for the motivation!

  9. says

    Hi, Tania – thank you for coming up with such an inspiring project. I am one of those people who doesn’t tweet, but I look forward to following your themes and getting ideas on better blogging. I have already learnt something new as I had no idea what an “elevator pitch” was.

    • Tonia Kendrick says

      Hi Jane! I’m glad you are joining in. Don’t feel like you have to do everything from the first three weeks. Feel free to jump in with this week’s challenge.

  10. says

    I’m a little behind but should be able to catch up soon! Great idea. I recently started my blog and need a little bit of focus since I can’t find the happy medium between no-posts and life-consuming!
    Geeky Texan´s last blog post ..Alaska Mafia

    • Tonia Kendrick says

      Hi Carole, I knew I’d never go all the way through the book without something to keep me accountable. . .hence the challenge. : )

      We’ll be glad to have you join in when you get that thesis finished. Good luck!

  11. says


    I’ve been reading all of Michael’s Hait’s posts on this theme. To be honest I was a bit confused (I didn’t look carefully enough) with your 31 weeks meme and all the other 52 week genealogy memes that the other folks do. I’m a little slow but I have caught on now! I’ll be playing catch-up just like Michael did. Great idea!!

    Marian Pierre-Louis´s last blog post ..Be Respectful But Don’t Miss a Good Photo Op

    • Tonia Kendrick says

      Thanks Lisa! I have to thank @moultriecreek for introducing me to the Organize Series plug-in. Here’s the post, if anyone is interested.

      I do want to see if I can change the formatting, but I like the ability to pull all the posts in a series together.

  12. says

    Thanks for this Tonia. I found your challenge by putting “genealogy” into Google+ sparks. I have a very dormant blog – now is the time to revitalise…. but I’ll be following several weeks behind!

  13. says

    I couldn’t follow along last year because my job was just crazy!! But things have settled down and I am ready to take this on now. Thanks for hosting this. I am looking forward to learning lots!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>

CommentLuv badge