It’s hard to believe that it is October already. It seems just yesterday I was making these goals and had the whole year ahead of me. Of course life often hijacks us with new challenges and opportunities and you have to learn to “roll with it”. I am starting to think that I should start making mini-goals for a quarter of the year so that I can readjust as needed. Perhaps in January I’ll do this. In the meantime, here’s my progress this year.
- Minimize hopping around on my family tree. I haven’t actually had a lot of time to do my own research. I have spent a fair bit of time on my Morse research, but overall not much has been done.
- Develop a research plan and consistently add to it. No progress on this.
- Go back and document earlier research. I have been gradually checking my sources and updating my RootsMagic file with more information and doing a better job of citing sources as I go.
- Take advantage of at least one free webinar each month. This has been hit or miss. So many of the webinars that I am interested in are at times I cannot attend. I am trying to work through all the ones on YouTube though.
- Attend the 2013 Family History Jamboree in Dayton. Goal met! I got a lot out of it too!
- Attend the 2013 Ohio Genealogical Society Conference in Cincinnati, Ohio. Yes! Had a great time and learned a lot.
- Attend the 2013 Federation of Genealogical Societies Conference in Ft. Wayne, Indiana. Yes! I learned a lot about publishing and even had time for some research and fun.
Blog & Social Networking
- Write smaller and more frequent blog posts. I have been trying to do the “Book of Me” prompts, but seem to remain a few weeks behind.
- Respond to all comments. I have kept up with this one.
- Share relevant blogs and articles of interest to others through my social networks. I have kept up with this too.
In-Depth Genealogist Writing
- Meet all writing obligations and have articles and blog posts completed 2 months ahead of schedule. I haven’t been as good about this due to my increased responsibilities as a partner in IDG. I do try to write my Jewish genealogy column every few months, but the blog posts have been almost non-existent.
- Complete the State Resource pages. I made some headway on this and added 6 more states to the list.
- Create more resource pages for the columnists. I have not started on this.
- Participate in The Family History Writing Challenge by writing 300 words a day for the month of February. My focus will be the Morse family. Totally sucked on this goal…
- Complete a book on the Morse family including citations, photographs, and narratives. Probably not going to happen this year. Too much other writing to do!
- Submit the three assigned articles for publishing as part of the Archives.com Expert Series. So far I’ve submitted 5 articles to Archives!
- Contact genealogy magazines about possible writing assignments. I did a QuickGuide for Legacy about Jewish Genealogy and I’m in the process of writing a Jewish Gen class for NIGS. I still would like to try writing for a printed magazine like Family Tree or Internet Genealogy. Perhaps next year!
- Use SEO and keyword linking throughout pages and posts. I have been working on this.
- Add more free features to drive others to my site. I added a free calendar of events for Central Ohio educational events.
Communication with Clients
- Better educate clients about the research process before getting to the point of developing a research plan or contract. Haven’t had the opportunity to work on this.
- Keep track of time spent on Pro Bono work for IDG, Generous Genealogists, Family Search indexing, and the Morse family website. I have done this! So far I’ve spent 397 hours (16.5 days) on Pro Bono work. Although really if I were to split out IDG it is 387 of those hours. Those are an investment in the business really.
- Document the time spent on Marketing, Research, Finances, and Potential Clients. I’ve been keeping track of this too.
Family Tree Designs
- Advertise trees to other genealogists for use in their books for clients (or themselves). No progress.
- Develop new designs for sale. I created a couple new designs.
Increase Client Work
- Contact potential clients quickly with a thorough explanation of available services. No progress.
- Follow up with potential clients about why they did or did not choose to go ahead with my help. No progress.
- Advertise my business more in the local community. No progress.
- Advertise my services to other genealogists. No progress.
In summary, it’s clear that I’ve been focusing most of my time on The In-Depth Genealogist instead of my own business. I think part of the reason is that I’ve been really enjoying my work as Publisher and feel like there is a huge potential with the organization. I’ve also been spending a lot more time on my writing and presentations rather than research. It may make sense in the long run to refocus my business along those lines. All thoughts to ponder as I continue this journey!