I’m too busy NOT to read blogs and newsletters. It’s counter-intuitive. Taking time to read the writings of others saves me both time and money in my genealogy/family history research. You too will benefit from this fun discipline. Here’s how.
“Time is money”, the saying goes. Most genealogists and family researchers have significant limits of both. How we spend our limited time and money will often determine the measure of our success. Our success in family research is measured by uncovering our family’s story and documenting it for future generations. If we’re going to spend the time and money discovering our family’s past, we need to spend the time to do it right.
Books, genealogy site subscriptions, seminars, conferences, research guides, genealogy software, supplies, etc. all cost us money and time. How does reading free blogs and newsletters save us on both?
What Can Blogs and Newsletters Do for You?
- Provide you with time and money saving tips and tricks – for free!
- Instruct you in a specific area of your genealogical research.
- Inform you of other great places to find time and money saving help.
- Connect you with others researching your family lines.
- Show you the best use of technology in your research.
- Alert you to upcoming events in your areas of interests.
- Bring to your attention money saving discounts.
- Introduce you to someone with whom you can converse about genealogy.
- Provide genealogical case studies and models in writing family history.
- Entertain you. That’s right, relax and enjoy the stories and foibles of others. Laugh a little.
How to Find the Right Blogs and Newsletters
With hundreds of genealogical blogs and newsletters, how do you decide which ones to follow for their updates?
- Think free! My paid ancestry research sites and software often come with a blog included. I use them, but I don’t consider them free. There are many good free sites. They often offer products or services but you need not purchase them.
- Use the Google search terms “genealogy blog” in your search engine. You’ll find all you need to get started. Don’t overdo it. Take your time, over time. Be willing to “upgrade” and “kick one to curb” if you find others who do a better job providing you with your research needs or interests.
- Listen for a blog in your voice. All blogs are not equal for many different reasons. One characteristic seldom mentioned is “voice”. Certain writers “speak” to me. They write in a way I can “see, hear and understand”. These aren’t the only blogs ending up in my inbox but they’re the primary ones.
- Select blog writers who encourage you to use “best use” genealogical practices.
- Once you find a blog that meets your criteria, see if they recommend other blogs and check those out.
- Your favorite blogs list will always be in flux. Never be afraid to discard one blog for another that better meets your needs.
Blogs and newsletters arrive in my inbox throughout the week. I’ve selected these for all of the reasons previously listed. I always “peek” at these before I discard them for the day. I want to see what they contain but I don’t always read them or all their content. Part of my research time is set aside to determine if these particular blogs or newsletters will help make me successful. Will they save me time or money? The ones that make it into my inbox, by my invitation, will more often than not do both.
Be choosy. Yes. Save yourself some time and money. Select the right blogs and newsletters for you.
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