Genea-Opportunities – 2012 Update


Well, we are half-way into 2012 and I’ve been meaning to present an update to the series Genea-Opportunities (Let’s Make Lots of Money) which I published here in April 18, 2011.

Much has changed in the past 15 months, not just for me but in the genealogy community and industry as well.  I think it is high time we had a little refocus and hopefully generate the same lively discussion we had last year.  Are you with me?

Genealogy and Money – That’s Dirty Talk!

If you remember last year’s series of posts, it all started because many were afraid to discuss some of the issues related to earning a living in the genealogy field.  Also, since then I’ve seen some recent posts on several of the mailing lists (specifically the Transitional Genealogists Forum Mailing List) with questions about how to earn money, what are the opportunities, etc..


Just like last year, 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? – A discussion about 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 – A look at the “traditional” genealogy careers and a focus on 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 mean everything – 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 may surprise you with exact dollar figures (but you will be greatly disappointed, believe me), and at the very least 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.


As much as I don’t have time to do a lot of blogging, especially about important topics like how to make money in the genealogy field, I’ve wanted to do this update for some time.  I know that I’ll get back as much as I put into the posts and hopefully we’ll all be able to share our ideas about our passion: genealogy and family history.

©2012, copyright Thomas MacEntee

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About Thomas MacEntee

What happens when a “tech guy” with a love for history gets laid off during The Great Recession of 2008? You get Thomas MacEntee, a genealogy professional who’s also a blogger, educator, author, social media connector, online community builder and more. Thomas was laid off after a 25-year career in the information technology field, so he started his own genealogy-related business called High Definition Genealogy. He also created an online community of over 3,000 family history bloggers known as GeneaBloggers. His most recent endeavor, Hack Genealogy, is an attempt to “re-purpose today’s technology for tomorrow’s genealogy.” Thomas describes himself as a lifelong learner with a background in a multitude of topics who has finally figured out what he does best: teach, inspire, instigate, and serve as a curator and go-to-guy for concept nurturing and inspiration. Thomas is a big believer in success, and that we all succeed when we help each other find success.

22 thoughts on “Genea-Opportunities – 2012 Update

  1. I’m looking to get back into the workforce after being a full time mom. Will definitely be watching!

  2. Pingback: Genealogy blogging for fun and profit « Planting the Seeds

  3. Lots of great ideas in the 2011 series, so I look forward to see what’s coming.

  4. Pingback: Genealogy Blogging – For Fun or Profit? 2012 Update | GeneaBloggers

  5. This couldn’t have come at a better time. I’m finally entering my mid-life crisis and am struggling with many decisions both personal and professional. Maybe some of this year’s discussions will give me some ideas about what I want to do and where I should head professionally. Looking forward to the discussion…maybe I can find some time to share my own thoughts and fears on my own blog, but we’ll see, just not enough hours in my disabled life’s day.

  6. Last year’s series was excellant so I am looking forward to this year’s update. I am on the side of making money and running a business like a business. I enjoy new ideas and Thomas, you have provided me many over time.

  7. Looking forward to this series – thanks for doing this – been interested in hearing more about ads & affiliate programs since I read the tweets coming out of SCGS.

  8. Can’t wait to read this! I’m still looking for my first paying client while working on a family reunion + book for my own family…I can use all the help I can get!

  9. Pingback: Careers in Genealogy - A 2012 Update | GeneaBloggers

  10. Pingback: The Genealogy Industry - Update for 2012 | High-Definition Genealogy

  11. Pingback: Genealogy - What Do You Mean It Isn't Free? A 2012 Update | GeneaBloggers

  12. Pingback: How Do You Make Money In Genealogy? A 2012 Update | GeneaBloggers

  13. Pingback: Follow Friday — Genealogy as a Professsion, 7 Marriages, and A Hundred Years Ago | finding forgotten stories

  14. Pingback: Money Changes Everything - Or Does It? A 2012 Update | GeneaBloggers

  15. Thank you Thomas for this excellent series of posts.

    I have nominated you for the Illuminating Bloggers Award (

    Thomas MacEntee is well known in the blogging world for starting Geneabloggers and acting as a unifying force for genealogy bloggers, for his courage and willingness to share his professional life with us and for his general all round niceness.

  16. Thank you Thomas for this excellent series of posts. I have nominated you for the Illuminating Bloggers Award (
    Thomas MacEntee is well known in the blogging world for starting Geneabloggers and for acting as a unifying force for genealogy bloggers, for his courage and willingness to share his professional life with us and for his general all round niceness. He has been willing to raise issues to get them discussed and for everything he does, he is appreciated!

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