It is Follow Friday! This is a blogging meme in which authors recommend other blogs, websites, repositories, or anything else. In keeping with the theme of this blog, I will spotlight different resources for professional and aspiring professional genealogists each week: not only genealogy-related, but also others of interest.
Today I will not recommend one site, but many.
If you are a professional genealogist or an aspiring/transitional professional genealogist, you need to have a website. Above and beyond anything else, your website will be your #1 marketing tool. I can honestly say that no less than 90% of the research clients that I have had in my career have spent at least some time on my website. How do I know this? Because their initial email to me comes through the “Contact Me” form on my website.
When you are developing a website, look at the websites of other professional genealogists, especially those with long standing careers. What do you like and what don’t you like? How much information do you want to include on your website?
One of the best ways to see other researchers’ websites is to go look to the membership directory of the Association of Professional Genealogists. The APG website allows you to search for a researcher by name, location, research specialty, or geographic specialty, and many of the entries include links to the members’ professional websites.
Take a look at researchers similar to yourself, that is, those researching in a similar location, research specialty, or geographic specialty. After all, these researchers are your direct competition–though in the genealogical community, there is rarely animosity (and often cooperation) among competitors. All the same, a potential client looking for a researcher is as likely to find their website as yours. How can you make yourself stand out? It all starts with your website.
Below are a few examples of websites belonging to professional genealogists. There are both positive and negative aspects of all of them. Some are better than others. Some have great content, but lack in design. Some have great design, but little content. I am not espousing any of these researchers over any others, and cannot vouch for any of their research skills. Not all of these professionals accept research projects. Not all of them are members of the APG.
Still, take a look:
- Aha! Seminars, Inc. (George G. Morgan)
- Unpuzzling Your Past (Emily Anne Croom)
- Memory Lane Genealogy (Pamela Boyer Sayre, CG, CGL)
- Tim Pinnick
- Arlene H. Eakle, PhD
- Fieldstone Historic Research (Marian Pierre-Louis)
- Ancestral Analysis (Rondina Muncy)
- AdventuResearch (Renee Meade)
- Civil War Vignettes (researcher not identified)
- Bridge to Yesterday (Cafi Cohen & Cheryl Storton)
- Michael Hait, Family History Research Services
I had to slip that last one in.
If you are a professional genealogist, please feel free to add your site in the comments (but please no advertising). What do you like most about these or other websites?