Geneabloggers Thomas MacEntee posted the following on his blog—be sure to visit the site to join the conversation:

“With apologies to the Pet Shop Boys (and their song Opportunities (Let’s Make Lots of Money), I’ve decided to start a series of posts here at GeneaBloggers about genealogy and money.

Why? Well I am in agreement with several bloggers and others in the genealogy community that we don’t talk enough about how to take one’s passion for genealogy as a hobby and turn a profit. Some think this is dirty talk. Others think it is a betrayal of what the genealogy community stands for in terms of sharing and collaboration.

On the other hand, there are many of us who through various life circumstances are at a cross-roads in our lives and careers where we must pursue our passion in its business and money-making form in order to survive and support our families.


I’ll be posting all week on these topics – I hope you’ll join me in having a conversation within the genealogy community that is meaningful yet still allows a wide spectrum of opinions. Leave your comments in the posts or post at your own blog and cross-reference these posts. I’d also love to see the conversation picked up in the various genealogy mailing lists.

  • Monday: Genealogy Blogging – For Fun or Profit? – we’ll discuss whether or not a blog should have advertising, affiliate links, etc. and what constitutes a commercial genealogy blog, an individual genealogy blog and is there a balance that can and should be maintained?
  • Tuesday: Careers in Genealogy – this was meant to be the Open Thread Thursday post here at GeneaBloggers last week yet I never got around to posting. We’ll discuss the “traditional” genealogy careers and look at some genealogists and family historians who are thinking “outside the genealogy charts” as I put it to carve out their own career paths.
  • Wednesday: What Do You Mean It Isn’t Free? – how do we as a community deal with the perception that everything – and I meaneverything – is free for the taking when it comes to genealogy. From commercial databases, to freely stealing content from a blog or website, to being incensed when a genealogist charges for a webinar or a syllabus.  This will be a no-holds barred looked at why certain perceptions exist in the genealogy community and how they must change in order for the industry to move forward in the 21st century.
  • Thursday: How Do You Make Money in Genealogy? – most readers here at GeneaBloggers and at my other sites know that I am a pretty open and transparent guy when it comes to disclosing my material relationships with other genealogy vendors and organizations. Well, I am willing to spell out what I currently do in the genealogy field to try and make a buck.  I’m not going to give exact dollar figures (because you will be greatly disappointed, believe me), but I will be upfront about some current projects.  I’m hoping my colleagues might consider doing the same.
  • Friday: Money Changes Everything – Or Does It? – finally at the end of the series we’ll recap the discussion and see how the genealogy community and industry needs to move forward in terms of its relationship to money.


I hope you’ll join me on what will prove to be an interesting and informative journey with a bit of soul searching thrown in.  If you have other topics you think should be covered, let me know.

I want to especially thank Joan Miller at Luxegen for her post Genea-Bodies – The New Somebodies which started some great conversations on Facebook and Twitter. Also thanks to Kerry Scott of Clue Wagon and Marian Pierre-Louis of the Roots and Rambles blog for their comments and insights.”


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