Maintaining a blog for your local genealogy society is an economical (often free) way to publicize your group and attract new members. Blogging is very easy and minimal technical knowledge is needed. In fact, the biggest challenge is keeping blog posts fresh and current. Here are 25 ideas to get your society’s genealogy blog up and running:
1. On the first of each month, list the society’s upcoming events.
Remind members what’s on the calendar and advertise to potential members what your society is all about. This subject provides at least nine posts if your group takes summers off, and twelve posts if your group meets year-round.
2. Invite youth genealogists to be guest bloggers. This blogging idea is win/win--your society gets a fresh look on issues and youth genealogists are brought into the organization. Having a bi-monthly guest blogger you give you six posts of new material.
3. Spotlight a current society member. Give a little love to a long-time member or stand-out volunteer.
4. Write a tribute to a society member no longer with us. Use your blog to preserve some of your society’s history. Write about a deceased member who helped make your society what it is today.
5. Share descriptions of your society’s events. This is your chance to spotlight the fun and informative happenings in your society. Warning: may attract new members!
6. List volunteer opportunities. Use your blog to recruit volunteers.
Many folks are under the impression that a volunteer gig takes a lot of time and special expertise. Announce some of your society’s opportunities and see what happens.
7. Share the table of contents and/or brief descriptions of your society’s newsletter. Show potential members all the informational treasures to which they would gain access if they became members.
8. Highlight an item in your library’s collection. Don’t have a collection? Describe an item that would be helpful for society members to know about.
9. Use your blog as a forum to get member feedback. If your society has ideas forming in the pipeline, blog posts are a good way to get opinions. If you feel such an open forum could lead to heated debate, comment moderation can be used.
10. Publicize your society’s events, meetings or booth location at upcoming conferences. This is a great way to advertise your group and reach out to others who will be at the same event.
11. Publicize local events outside the society that may be of interest to members. Show blog readers that your society is on the pulse of what’s happening in the genealogy world.
12. Report on genealogy conference attendance. Wrangle up members who attend regional or national conferences and have them share their experiences, new ideas, etc.
13. Give tips on genealogy conference attendance for first-time attendees. Encourage others to attend local and regional conferences and give them advice on how to make the most of their time.
14. Share photos of your society’s events. This is an easy, fast way to show others the great work that goes on in your society.
15. Share old photos and comment on them. Use photos from your library or invite members to share old local photos. Provide comments, stories and/or memories of the past in your area.
16. Prepare mini-histories of local buildings, houses and landmarks. Locate old buildings in your society’s area and describe their history. This is a great way to attract potential new members. Share your historical blog posts with local press and maybe you’ll get even more publicity for your group.
17. Talk about major historical events and their impact on your local area. The way to get others interested in history (and genealogy) is relate events to their lives.
18. Reminisce about old businesses and restaurants in your society’s area. Remember the old diner? That store that sold that candy? This is another great idea to get others interested in local history (and new members to boot).
19. Write about celebrities and notorious folks from the area.
Important people all come from somewhere. Talk about yours!
20. Share surnames of society members. When you’re running low on blog ideas, offer up some member surnames. Provide details on location and scope of search and see if there are any distant cousins out there.
21. Have an advice column. Do society members approach officers with research questions? Use your blog to publish the answers.
22. Present genealogy brick walls and invite readers to assist in solving the research problems. This is an easy way to get readers involved in your blog.
23. Offer research tips and tricks. There’s always something new to learn with genealogy research.
24. Highlight local cemeteries. Each cemetery is unique as are the people buried there. Discuss some of the unique characteristics of the location and the people.
25. Interview an elderly local citizen and preserve history. This is a fantastic way to honor our elders, preserve their stories and draw the attention of potential society members.
These 25 ideas are enough to give your blog about two posts a month. If you use these topics more than once, you’ll get even more material and more opportunities to reach out to current and potential members.
These tips are available in document format for distribution during genealogy events. Please contact me (email address is at the top right of this blog) for permission to use and access to the file. Thank you.