From Blog to Book: Transforming Your Family History | The Armchair Genealogist
Start Looking

From Blog to Book: Transforming Your Family History

One of the single greatest struggles we face as family historians is finding the time and the knowledge to turn our family history research into a family history book. Many writers regardless of their genre struggle to get their books finished, and nothing could be more truer for family historians.

Enter blogging, a wonderful concept that makes perfect sense for genealogists floundering with their family history book. Whether you are already blogging about your family history or thinking of starting a family history blog, consider blogging as a serious path to completing that family history book.

There are many reasons to consider a family history blog to book.

Establish a Routine
Blogging helps you create a daily or weekly writing practice. It gives you deadlines. Once you begin to put your story out there, and your readership strengthens, a certain obligation to post regularly develops. You don’t want to disappoint your followers.

Also, there is no greater motivation then proclaiming a goal publicly. A family history book to blog can be just the public declaration you need to get the job done. 

Develop Your Writing Skill
Writing a blog on a regular basis gives you an opportunity to see what happens when you write consistently. Many family historians struggle with the writing because they consider themselves more researchers than writers. They stumble around trying to find their writing voice and turn their research into a family narrative. Writing a blog regularly is a wonderful outlet to developing these skills, one that will grow with time and effort.

The Cost
Writing a blog is free. Every form of publishing costs money. Sometimes the cost alone holds many back from producing that book. However, blogging your family history book is free, zero cost. Sorry you can’t use that as an excuse anymore! Of course the end goal is produce a book whether it is a print book or an ebook. However, until your ready to take your book prime time, consider a blog as a stepping stone to the end product. The only cost here is your time.

If you post regularly, they will come.... readers. They will read, they will comment and that I assure you, that  will motivate you to write more.  No longer are writers expected to sit in secluded cabins out in the wilderness hammering out their books. Wonder if your writing is good enough? Wonder if your story is worthy of reading? Write a blog and test the waters.  Pay attention to the feedback, and use the information from your readers to further develop your writing skills and your story.

Short blog posts are a great format for breaking down a book. Short blog posts help you to organize your into book chapters, isolate themes, develop your characters (ancestors) into manageable chunks. Essentially blogs are the ideal tool for turning what could be a very overwhelming project into small manageable tasks.

Developing an Audience
If you think your family history narrative is destined for a larger audience,  consider the successful Oh, Beautiful by John Paul Godges, one of my favourites. A perfect example of family history turned into a wonderful family narrative. Blogging your family history is a perfect opportunity to not only write your book but build a readership and a platform. When you are ready to publish, your tribe will be the first in line to purchase your book.

In the coming weeks, we will look at the nuts and bolts of creating a family history blog to book project. If your already blogging about your family history, then we will look at turning those already written blog posts into a book. If your just starting or still on the fence, we will walk you through blogging your book. We will guide you  through establishing a blog and writing posts with the purpose of creating a family history book.

Let’s Hear From You!

If you are already writing a family history blog with the intentions of making it a book, please link your blog here. If your interested in starting a family history blog to book project , then throw out your questions and concerns and I will do my best to address them in future posts.

If you want to learn more about writing your family history, consider Writing Your Family History.