Review of GenBiz Solutions™: Starting a Genealogy Business

GenBiz Solutions™: Starting a Genealogy Business

by Thomas MacEntee, High-Definition Genealogy

genbiz solutions logo






When I seek advice about important life events like, say, starting my own genealogy business, I prefer that the counsel I receive be honest and straightforward.  This is the first thing that struck me about this Guide. I’m told right off the bat that starting my own business won’t be easy, but it can be incredibly rewarding.  It’s scary, but completely do-able, as long as you have a plan.

I have known for a long time that I wanted a career in genealogy, eventually starting my own genealogy business.  In this 5-page guide, Thomas leaves no stone unturned when attempting to answer all the questions someone in my position might have … from the “just thinking” stage to marketing your new business to keeping your business afloat once it’s launched.  There are many (MANY) considerations that Thomas mentions that never even occurred to me regarding financing, budgeting, and professional development.

What had the most impact on me, however, was that nothing in this guide said “you can’t.”  In fact, not only did it say “you can,” but also said “… and here are all the different ways you can!”  Thomas made sure to include ways to maintain boundaries and take care of ourselves throughout the entire process – because, honestly, if we don’t take care of ourselves, we’re no good to anyone else.

The entire last page of the guide provides links to helpful tools and resources for each step of your entrepreneurial journey.

Now that I have a better idea of what to expect, I have a renewed motivation to keep pushing toward my goal.

You can get your own copy here.

Disclaimer: I was provided a free copy of GenBiz Solutions™: Starting a Genealogy Business by Thomas MacEntee to review.


Do we share any ancestors?
Please email me at lostancestors [at] gmail [dot] com

Copyright 2014 - Are My Roots Showing? All rights reserved

30 Days of Content: How I Did It

As you may or may not have noticed, I managed to publish (at least) one blog post every day for the past 30 days.  My sister and I participated in a 30-day Content Challenge hosted by marketing coach Joshua Coffy at FlightMedia.  Yes, it kicked my butt.  But you know what?  It also taught me a lot about preparation and commitment … okay, and procrastination, which I apparently do.  A lot.

But the best way to get me to do something is to tell me I can’t do it.  So … Challenge?  Ok!

Why did I do it?

First, it should be known that I have two active personal blogs: this one and The Lost Scrapbooks, plus I’m a contributor on the FGS Voice blog once a week.  I also contribute to my society’s blog Off-Shoots when I remember … which probably should be more often.  All this is quite challenging already, thank you very much.  But I couldn’t say no to this challenge for a couple of reasons:

  • to support my sister and her new marketing company (For real. She knows her stuff, and I’m not biased at all)
  • to see if posting content more often would make a difference in readership (page views on my blog, email subscribers, feedly readers, etc.) and twitter followers
  • eventually, I’m going to be begging looking for research clients – I’d like to go ahead and start getting my “brand” out there now

How did I do it?

WWMDltpkI had a little over a week to prepare for this challenge.  I had no idea what I was going to do … fresh new content every day for 30 days?!  I must be insane.  So I thought to myself, “Self, what would Melissa do?”  (That’s my sister. She’s a Virgo. I really shouldn’t need to say anymore).

So I started with a blank calendar.  Then I went to a couple of different websites to see if there were any “National _____ Day” things.  One of the best ones I found was Days of the Year.  If you’re looking for obscure holidays, this is the place (seriously … Iguana Awareness Day, anyone?).  I also went to Geneabloggers and made notes of all the blog prompts there.

Once I had those topics mapped out on my calendar, it was time to figure out what to write for each topic.  I wanted to compare my plan to what was already on my blog to make sure I wasn’t repeating the same information, but I also wanted to make sure that if I provided updated information, I linked back to previous posts if necessary.

I color coded my topics on my calendar so I could remember which topic was for which blog.  I ended up maintaining my once-a-week schedule for the FGS Voice blog and decided to focus on “Throwback Thursday” for my Lost Scrapbooks blog (since all of those revolve around newspaper articles from the early 1920s).  I also decided to keep up my “Throwback Thursday” post on this blog since I was already doing it.

Fortunately, I had a long Labor Day weekend leading into this challenge, so that gave me three days to focus on nothing but writing blog posts.  I managed to get 24 blog posts written over the course of those three days, marking them off with nice big check marks.  Once you make the decision to not let anything interrupt you (housekeeping, sleep, personal hygiene) it’s really easy to knock out some work.  I don’t recommend it as a lifestyle though …

I continued to work on writing blog posts here and there after work during the week, but only made a little progress because … you know, work.  Tired.  Plus, there were a couple of posts I wanted to write but I still had to do a little research before I could put the finishing touches on them … and I needed several straight hours to get that done, and that wasn’t happening after a full day of work.

Editorial Calendar SeptemberThe first weekend in September, I managed to get 8 more posts written, including one that required hours of research.  I was quite proud of myself!  By this point, I only had about 7 posts left to write, and they were all for the last week of the month.  I felt like I had a little breathing room … which is usually a mistake for me, from a procrastination standpoint.  But I kept my editorial calendar on the corner of my desk where I couldn’t NOT see it.  Turns out, those big check marks (or more accurately, the days that were missing those big check marks) were a great motivator to keep going.  I ended up having all of my posts for the month written by September 14 (with the exception of this one, which couldn’t be written until I was done!)  Thanks to the new WordPress Editorial Calendar’s drag-and-drop feature, when something came up at the end of the month, I was able to move some stuff around to make room for a new post that needed to be published right away.

And the results?

Obviously, these will be skewed a little, since I won’t have today’s results (which I’m sure will be through the roof, right?), but you can still get an idea.

Twitter followers increased by 5% (from 365 to 385)
Feedly subscribers increased by 12% (from 114 to 128)
Email subscribers increased by 32% (from 95 to 126)

Hits per day for September:

page views for SeptThose two very tall columns were created because apparently forms are like crack for genealogists.  Whatever, I’ll take it.

Average views per day increased from 89 to 142 (59%):

Avg per day

Hits per month increased from 2,750 to 4,041  (46%):

hits per month
Will I be doing this every month?  Probably not.  Will this help motivate me to be more consistent with my writing? Absolutely.

Do you have any hints or tips for keeping your blog content fresh and consistent?


Do we share any ancestors?
Please email me at lostancestors [at] gmail [dot] com

Copyright 2014 - Are My Roots Showing? All rights reserved

Amanuensis Monday: Diefenbach/Buttz Marriage Record 1843

This is a blog prompt stolen borrowed from Randy Seaver at Genea-Musings, who credits Geneablogger John Newmark (TransylvanianDutch blog) with starting this blog theme years ago.  John offers this definition for “amanuensis:”

“A person employed to write what another dictates or to copy what has been written by another.”

(And, let’s be honest, this is probably the only way I’m going to remember to transcribe all my documents, right?)

This is the marriage record for my 4th great grandparents, George Diefenbach and Louisiana Buttz, who were married in Vanderburgh County, Indiana in 1843.

Diefenbach Buttz marriage

Marriage license and return for George Deifenbach and Louisianna Buttz, (4 March 1843), Vanderburgh County Indiana, Marriage Records: Book 1, page 211; County Clerk’s Office, Evansville, Indiana.

Be it remembered that on the 28″ Feb 1843 a marriage license was ifsued from the Office of the Clerk of Vanderb’g Co to the following named person, to-wit:

George Deifenbach     §          And afterwards, towit: in the 1″ April
and § m’ge license      §          1843 the certificate in the words and
Louesianna Buttz        §          figures following was returned, towit:

Evansville March 4th 1843.  I do hereby certify that the marriage of George Deifenbach and Louisianna Butz was by me, in due form solemnized according to law.

P. Shumckes Minis to Methodist Church



Do we share any ancestors?
Please email me at lostancestors [at] gmail [dot] com

Copyright 2014 - Are My Roots Showing? All rights reserved

Sunday’s Obituary: Emma Rothmeyer Huber

Yankton Press & Dakotan
Unknown date, 1947; page and column unknown

Emma Rothmeyer obitMrs. Emma Huber Passes After Long Illness

Death after a lingering illness came last night to Mrs. Emma T. Huber, 76, who had been a patient at Sacred Heart hospital for some time.

Mrs. Huber, a resident of Yankton for the past six years, was a pioneer of the Sigel community with her husband, Joseph E. Huber who passed away in 1930.  Her home in Yankton has been at 509 Cedar street.

Surviving are seven children: Mrs. Clara Grimm, Huron; Mrs. Tom Slowey, Jos. P. Huber and Mrs. Clement Slowey of Yankton; Mrs. Harry B. Shane, Washington, D. C.; Mrs. Mildred Houk, Elk Point; and Paul Huber, Utica.  There are also three sisters, Mrs. Harvey Thomas and Mrs. Chas. M. Huber of Yankton and Mrs. Rupert Kurzreither of Eugene, Oregon.

Funeral services have been arranged for Monday at 8:30 a.m., from Sacred Heart church here to the Sigel cemetery where interment will be held.  The Kabeiseman-Donohoe Funeral Home in charge, and rosary will be said there Sunday evening at 8:00 o’clock.


Do we share any ancestors?
Please email me at lostancestors [at] gmail [dot] com

Copyright 2014 - Are My Roots Showing? All rights reserved

How Many Ways is Genealogy Like Polo?

I went to my first polo match last weekend.  I wish I could say that it was great fun, exciting, and that I can’t wait until the next one.  Unfortunately, I can’t.

Don’t get me wrong – I admire polo players’ stamina and their ability to handle their ponies, but I was on pins and needles the entire time I was watching.  I was so worried that one of the players would get bonked in the head with a mallet or that one of the ponies would step on the ball, break a leg, and they’d have to put it down right there on the field.  I was a wreck.  And quite honestly, I can’t even imagine royal parents allowing their children to play this “sport of kings.”  At least not any who wanted their children to actually live long enough to take the throne.

But it occurred to me – as I tried to keep my mind off the eminent tragedy that was sure to unfold – that genealogy research is a lot like a polo match.

At the start of each “chukker” in a polo match, the referee tosses the ball into the pile of players and horses, and it’s a mass of horse legs and mallets flailing about.  In genealogy, when we first get started, it’s a free-for-all!  We’re finding records and photos and other documents and it’s a flurry of activity and excitement.

In polo, the ball will break loose from the pack and a player or two will give chase down the field.  It’s all very proper … until someone comes from your blind spot and hits the ball the other way!  In genealogy, we get focused on one ancestor and start following their life and just when we think we have it all figured out, WHAM!  Something comes from nowhere and sends us in an entirely different direction!bored

Then there are the boring periods of inactivity – in polo, it’s when everyone is waiting for the referee to arrive with a new ball or waiting for a player to take a foul shot.  In genealogy, these inactive periods occur either because life gets in the way or we simply haven’t figure out where to look next.  Most of the time, they are short-lived.

And there are several times in a polo match where the players have to change ponies so they don’t get overworked.  In genealogy, sometimes the genealogist just needs a rest too.  Take time to step away from your research and spend time with living folks in your life!

I think this officially puts genealogy research and exercise on equal footing.  That means I get to have that extra piece of pie, right?

(and now you know what it’s like to be in my head for a little while!)


Do we share any ancestors?
Please email me at lostancestors [at] gmail [dot] com

Copyright 2014 - Are My Roots Showing? All rights reserved