The year 2013 is turning out to be very good year for me in terms of my GenealogyCanada blog (http://GenealogyCanada.blogspot.com), which I have been writing since 2008.
Like Dick Eastman, I, too, had progressed to a blog format from a newsletter (and in my case, also a website – (http://GenealogyCanada.com) where I presented (and still do) the latest in Canadian genealogy, heritage, and history news.
Everything was going along at a nice easy pace until one fine morning this past April, after taking a moment to check the number of visitors to my blog. At first, I thought something was wrong. When I looked at where the traffic was coming from, I realized that my blog had just been chosen as one of the Top 40 genealogy blogs of 2013 by Family Tree Magazine (http://www.familytreemagazine.com/article/Top-40-Genealogy-Blogs-2013)
It was the beginning.
In June, I was again surprised by a review of the Top 25 genealogy blogs by American genealogist, Tony Bandy, for Internet Genealogy Magazine (http://internet-genealogy.com/issue_contents.htm). Once more, it caught the eye of my readers, and as predicted by my first experience with such a review, the statistics of my blog again went through the roof.
There is an old saying—“three times lucky”—and I was, as my blog was now chosen as one of the Top 90 genealogy blogs of 2013 by the FreePeopleSearch website (http://freepeoplesearch.org/blog/the-top-90-genealogy-blogs.html).
So, by all accounts, I have had a good run in the first six months of this year, especially in the latter half.
So what does it mean to a blogger to be chosen one of “the best of 2013”?
- Increased readership – It has definitely increased my readers by four-fold since before being picked as one of the best, even though I was gaining a steady following since late last year. More readers means more comments, and instead of getting them occasionally, I now receive them almost daily, either by e-mail, or directly on the blog.
- The number of blog followers has increased, and it also means that I now have more followers on Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/GenealogyCanada) and Twitter (https://twitter.com/GenealogyCanada) than I had before, which goes to show how seemingly popular these magazines and websites have become, and accepted, as reliable sources.
- In April, I decided to change the title of my weekly Monday morning blog post from “New/Updated Canadian Websites, Blogs, Facebook, and Newspaper Articles” to “Canadian Week in Review”. While social media is an important part of today’s research arsenal, I found from my readers that keeping current with specific news and events in one place is more interesting and less time-consuming for them than having to ferret out the same information through individual visits to websites, blogs, Facebook pages, and so on.
- Since November 2012, I have placed three contests on my blog as publicity. Usually, I ask a skill-testing question related to Canada. For example, in the latest contest—in honour of Canada’s 146th birthday on July 1st—I asked readers to name the original four provinces that made up Canada. Then they were asked to send in their Canadian brick walls, and I would choose four winners, giving each one a free consultation. This was done in conjunction with my research business website, Elizabeth Lapointe Research Services (http://www.elrs.biz). The response has been overwhelming!
So as you can see, this year, to date, has been very good for me. I now have greater visibility, and know that my work continues to be validated through an increased readership.