Zoom Village – Create a Heritage Tourism Site and Earn Money

Zoom Village

This morning, via Blogging for Good in the Modern World, I found out about a new website called Zoom Village:

“The site provides an interactive platform for creating online tourism guides for any town in the United States (and a few other countries). The developersstarted from covering the town, they actually reside (Litchfield, CT) to give an example of the site features and capabilities. The central point is the offer to all the fellows bloggers to join the project and to get a portion of the generated revenues.”

I can see how genealogy bloggers could create a heritage tourism guide for their hometown or one of the towns they are researching for their own family history. One of my favorite ProGen assignments was to create a Research Guide and while I listed all the usual information for my ancestral hometown – Lowville, New York – I also listed items such as restaurants and bed & breakfast locations. In fact, one B&B owner was so impressed they asked for a copy to place in their information rack for guests!

There can only be one “mayor” for each location so like the Oklahoma Sooners, you need to act fast, create an account and “claim” your location. Only the Mayor can receive advertising revenues!

I think it would be neat if genealogy bloggers could start claiming some of the smaller towns and adding historical information, while at the same time making a little “mad money.”

©2011, copyright Thomas MacEntee

How Can I Make Money By Blogging?

Many of us have started our genealogy blogs because we either wanted to document our journey of finding our roots or we wanted to make sure others in our family could access and benefit from our recent discoveries.

Over time, besides seeing a proliferation of blogs (which is natural – most geneabloggers end up with more than one blog), some of us wonder if we can somehow bring in a little income with our blogs. And many experienced geneabloggers might say, “That’s what you’ll get – a little income.”

Here is an overview of methods – some easier than others – for you to use to monetize your blog if that is your desire.  One point of caution: many readers and potential visitors to your blog may be turned off by overt advertising or methods you might use to bring in some money.  As a blog owner you need to understand your audience and decide how you want to handle potential negative feedback.


Although the payrate for “click advertising” where readers click on ads that take them to the advertiser’s site is low, many of us do include either specific genealogy-related ads (such as Ancestry, footnote, etc.) or we utilize Google AdSense to deliver targeted advertising based on blog content and keywords.

One of my favorite blogs about “the biz” of blogging is ProBlogger with great ideas about every aspect of blogging including how to monetize your blog.  Check out this recent article: 5 Ways to find Direct Advertisers for your Blog.

Ancestry’s Advertising Program

Google AdSense


There are a myriad of affialiates programs available to bloggers, the most notable being Amazon Associates.  The Amazon program allows you to display items of possible interest to your audience and if they click the Amazon ad and follow through with a purchase you can get paid a commission on the item.

Amazon Associates Program

footnote Affiliates Program

Write Articles

One way to generate some traffic to your blog and hopefully to your advertisements is to do some article writing.  By this I mean writing an article for an online publication and drive traffic by linking from those articles back to your blog.

One method is to post at one of the top article directories available on the Web.

EZine Articles



Some Advice

If you decide to incorporate any of these methods, you will need to focus on increasing traffic to your blog.  Miriam at AnceStories has a great series of posts entitled Getting More Traffic To Your Blog which every geneablogger should review.

Also, especially new bloggers, be judicious in who you select to affiliate with or use for advertising – after all it does serve as a reflection on your blog

And avoid come-ons from emails or sites that ask you to pay a monthly fee to bring in revenue and traffic to your blog.  Most of these are “fly-by-night” organizations and they are the only ones profitting from the “pay to play” arrangement.

© 2009, copyright Thomas MacEntee