Monthly Archives: August 2016

Exercise 3 of 31 Days to Build a Better Blog

Today’s exercise is about promoting your blog with suggestions that include asking other bloggers to link to your blog, posting to social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter or sending out newsletters.

I can honestly say that asking someone to link to my blog is not something that sits comfortably with me. After all, their opinions may turn out to be not the same as mine. And if I felt I needed to remove their link, I expect I would feel uncomfortable advising them I had removed their link.

At this stage, I’m also not keen to start sending out newsletters.

I guess I will have to go with the suggestion to share posts on other social messaging sites such as Facebook and Twitter. I find this a far more comfortable suggestion and one in which I can hold a degree of control over what is promoted.

My blog was designed using WordPress and as a newbie to designing and operating a blog I’m enjoying learning new ways to develop the site. Looking around at compatible programs for WordPress, I thought I would try the automatic “Add a Link to Facebook” plugin. Sadly, I’m finding the instructions a tad technical.

If I haven’t set up the plugin successfully, I will have to remain content, for now, to manually add links to my posts on Facebook. At least, until I can get someone more tech savvy to show me what to do.

Exercise 2 of 31 Days to Build a Better Blog

Last week I received confirmation that I have been accepted as an official Ambassador for RootsTech 2017. After doing a little happy dance through the house, I settled down and thought about what I would do in my role and realised I could take the 31 Days to Build a Better Blog challenge one step further and use the program to promote and discuss everything RootsTech.

Today’s exercise is to write a list post. List posts can be an effective and popular tool for bloggers – eliciting easily scannable material for readers, they can be short and to the point yet comprehensive and succinct.

­­So what do I hope to see and do at RootsTech 2017:

  • Hands-on workshops
  • Interactive classes
  • Collaborative panel discussions
  • Multimedia presentations
  • Prize giving
  • One-on-one interviews
  • Networking
  • Technology advancements
  • Creative genealogy methods
  • Inspirational speakers
  • Catch-up with old and new associates
  • And in the words of Jill Ball, plenty of geneagaggle!

31 Days to Build a Better Blog

Late in July I came across an online blogger who was undertaking the 31 Days to Build a Better Blog challenge put forth by Darren Rowse of Problogger. Now this was something I could see merit in doing having started a genealogy blog late last year.

I immediately jumped in and purchased a copy of Darren’s e-book and, after reading the first couple of chapters, made the decision to dedicate the month of August to undertake the challenge. But as Robert Burns famously wrote in 1785 – The best laid schemes of mice and men, Go often askew and now it’s August 29 and I still haven’t started!

However, that will all change today. Instead of waiting for another 31-day month, I am going to make a start and continue working through the program – whether it be one post per day or several.

So to get the ball rolling …

Exercise 1 of 31-Days to Build a Better Blog

Write an Elevator Pitch – Wikipedia defines an elevator pitch as a short summary which can easily define an idea for a product, service, organisation or event that can be delivered in the time spent during an elevator ride.

I see my genealogy blog elevator pitch as being:

To attract and interest readers with personal family stories and genealogical research tips and news.

RootsTech 2017

February 2017 will see me fly off to the US for attendance at the annual RootsTech convention in Salt Lake City. I have wanted to attend RootsTech for a number of years so I am very excited to finally be able to attend, physically, IN PERSON!!! The flights are now booked as well as the accommodation.


Hosted by FamilySearch, RootsTech is hailed as the largest family history conference in the world. Between the daily keynote speakers (that have included First Lady Laura Bush and Donny Osmond in the past), and an Expo hall packed with interactive and innovative tools for genealogy, there will also be over 200 exciting classes to attend, and evening entertainment for winding down and relaxing.

Three other major events are :

  • RootsTech Showdown
  • RootsTech Family Discovery Day

And it looks like I have picked the perfect year to attend and listen to some great speakers including Kirsty Gray, Helen V Smith, Thomas MacEntee and Dear Myrtle & Cousin Russ. It will also be an opportunity to catch up with several overseas genie mates and entertaining, RootsTech Ambassador, Jill Ball – organiser of the Commonwealth Cousins casual dinner and who, like me, hails from Sydney, Australia.

When: 8-11 February 2017

Where: Salt Palace Convention Centre, Salt Lake City, Utah, USA