#31WBGB: Analyze a Top Genealogy Blog

31 Weeks to a Better Genealogy BlogWelcome to Week 4 of 31 Weeks to a Better Genealogy Blog!

Week 4’s topic is analyzing a top genealogy blog.  The purpose here is simply to observe and learn from others.  You probably already read a lot of genealogy blogs (we are a pretty close community), so pick one that you admire, dig in, and think about some of the following:


  • What topics are they covering?
  • What topics are they ignoring?
  • How often do they post?

Reader Engagement

  • What topics generate the most comments?
  • What styles of posts seem to connect with readers the best?
  • Are they using any tools to connect with their readers (i.e. forums, Twitter, newsletters, activities, etc.)


  • What’s your first impression of their design?
  • What have they done well?
  • Is there anything that could be improved?


  • Are they doing anything to make money from the blog?  Affiliate programs?  Google ads? Do they have sponsors?
  • If yes, what kinds of advertisers are targeting this blog?
  • How do they implement monetization efforts on their site?  Sidebar?  Footer?  Within the content?


  1. Don’t spend so much time analyzing other blogs that you lose focus of your own.  This analysis is something to do from time to time.
  2. Be unique.  Learn from others and be inspired by them, but don’t copy them.


The awesome folks at the National Institute for Genealogical Studies have given me* a gift certificate for one free Record or General Methodology Class.  Their classes are normally $89.00 each, so this is a great prize.  To enter the contest, leave a comment below telling us which blog you analyzed this week and/or which NIGS class you will take if you win.  One winner will be selected randomly. Giveaway ends at 11:59 Eastern time on Saturday, July 30, 2011.

Action Items

  • What is one thing you want to START doing based on this analysis?
  • Is there anything about your blog that you want to change, now that you’ve done this analysis?
  • When you’ve answered these questions, come back and leave a comment.  If you’ve written a blog post about this, please be sure to leave a link.

If you are just joining us, then “welcome.” You can read the kick-off post about 31 Weeks to a Better Genealogy blog here.  Feel free to start with this week’s reading and action items – you are not behind!

*NIGS Librarianship and Analysis courses are not included.   I received this coupon as a blogger gift at SCGS Jamboree.  I have no affiliation with NIGS.

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    • says

      What a wonderful blog – thank you for bringing it to my attention! And apologies for posting this here and not on your own post, but I was unable to login via WP, so was unable to leave a comment there.

  1. says

    With apologies. Ignore my earlier comment – full of typing erros. I pressed submit too quickly – so here is my corrected version.

    Hi, Tonia – another thought-provoking topic which I have approached slightly differently, but hope still makes some worthwhile points.

    See my post at http://scotsue-familyhistoryfun.blogspot.com.

    Susan Donaldson´s last [type] ..31 Weeks of Better Genealogy Blogging: Week 4 – A Good Blog:
    Susan Donaldson´s last blog post ..31 Weeks of Better Genealogy Blogging: Week 4 – A Good Blog:

  2. says

    Twitter: afamilymystery
    Wow – I’d love to take the Methodology 6 course. I’d really like to take the Librarianship courses, but guess I’ll have to do that on my own. lol Love this weeks blog topic. I’ve been super busy, but I’ll try to get it written and up on my blog tomorrow! I think I may go through the steps you mention above, but also compare and contrast with my existing blog to help me develop a more comprehensive plan for improving my blog. Even if I’m late, I’ll come back and leave you a link – I love getting feedback! That’s a big thing I need to tackle – why doesn’t anyone ever leave me comments, even when I specifically ask for feedback?
    Tara Anderson´s last blog post ..Follow Friday – A Few of my Favorite Blogs (+1 website)

    • Tonia Kendrick says

      NIGS has so many great courses. . .it’s hard to choose. Your compare and contrast plan sounds interesting; I can’t wait to see what you come up with.

    • says

      Ooops – I guess I forgot to mention the course. I’m currently taking a couple of methodology courses with them – so I’d probably take the next one. :)

  3. Tonia Kendrick says

    Congratulations to Tara Anderson who was the randomly selected winner of the free course from NIGS!

    Thanks to everyone who participated this week. It has been very interesting reading all the blog analyses.


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