06 January 2012

Review: The Big Genealogy Blog Book by Amy Coffin

A while back I purchased the PDF version of my colleague Amy Coffin's new e-book, The Big Genealogy Blog Book. Amy's recent post on her We Tree Genealogy Blog has links to several other formats and places to purchase the book which costs only $2.99.

The book consists of the following sections:
Chapter 1 – Why Start a Genealogy Blog?
Chapter 2 – 6 Blogging Myths
Chapter 3 – Tips for Writing Good Blog Posts
Chapter 4 – How to Get More Blog Readers
Chapter 5 – How to Get More Blog Comments and Mentions
Chapter 6 – Quality Control: A Blogger’s Checklist
Chapter 7 – Jump Start Your Genealogy Blog: 52 Ideas, 52 Weeks
Chapter 8 – 52 Weeks to Better Genealogy
Chapter 9 – 52 Weeks of Personal Genealogy and History
Chapter 10 – 25 Great Topics for Genealogy Society Blogs
Chapter 11 – 20 Blog Topics for Professional Genealogists
Parting Thoughts

I bought the book because I'd like to make by own blog better. I got a lot of good ideas and now just need to make time to implement those ideas. I also like to support someone who does a lot to help our genealogical community with technical blog posts as well as old-school research tips. Amy's blog was one of the first I started following regularly and still read. Her humor is contagious and comes through in every post.

Amy's book does not give step-by-step instructions on creating a blog, but gives you links to existing guidance based on the blogging platform you choose. She does explain things you should consider as you create your blog, determine which widgets and options to include, and post articles.

Most of the book discusses interesting topics to write about. Even if you don't plan to write a word, these ideas can be useful. Your research will benefit from trying out some of the suggestions given. No law says you have to write a blog post after you learn a new technique or tool. But these are great topics to write about if you do have a blog or if you write for a society newsletter. And if you follow "52 Weeks of Personal Genealogy and History" you'll have a wonderful personal history to hand off to your descendants. I'll bet there are some topics in Amy's list you would never think to include if you just sit down to write your own history.

My only disappointment is that some really technical things aren't covered like automatic links between a blog, Facebook, and Twitter. These topics don't actually fit the genealogy topic of the book. I was just hoping someone who already knows the ins and outs of this process would save me the time it will take to search for and learn this on my own. Maybe this would make a good blog post or a topic for a future book.

Disclosure: Amy and I are both members of the Lone Star Chapter of the Association of Professional Genealogists. We've shared some good times at genealogy conferences and chapter events.

© 2012, Debbie Parker Wayne, All Rights Reserved


  1. Thanks for writing this review and including the chapter headings. I've been thinking about buying the book but because I didn't know what was it in, hesitated (even thought it was only $3.00). I believe I will have a copy in my hands soon. Thanks again.

  2. I hope you enjoy the book, Nancy. I find it hard to believe everyone can't find something useful in this book. Let us know what you think.