Written By: Owain
There are many different ways for you to make some extra cash from your love of family history. Or if you are a professional genealogist you maybe wondering what more you could do to supplement your income further. In this post, I will explain how to make money from genealogy and also how I have started to make a career helping people trace their ancestry.
First a little background to my story!
My father would tell me countless stories about my family when I was growing up. I knew that I would have to record these stories before they got lost with time. So I started to trace my family history about seven years ago and with the help of my father we have discovered new branches and ancestors along the way.
Although overwhelming at times I have thoroughly enjoyed tracing my ancestry. Because of this love for this hobby I wanted to give back to the genealogy world. And so I created The Genealogy Guide website.
Affiliate Marketing and Blogging
One way that I make money through my site is to promote and review products and services that can help people trace their genealogy. This is known as affiliate marketing. And I do this by regularly writing blog posts on my website.
To earn money you will first need to join up to affiliate programs. You can easily find them by searching online for the term “affiliate program genealogy“. Or maybe you are interested in a particular area of genealogy such as DNA testing. So, for example, you could search for the term “affiliate program genealogy DNA testing“.
If you are unfamiliar with blogging, then Start Here.
Once you have found suitable programs then you can join them and start promoting their products on your own site. Or you could promote through social media as well as a website.
When people click through to a product from a link on your site and buy the product then you will earn commission on that sale. The rate of commissions varies with each program.
I have received commissions from reviewing books, magazines, software, video downloads and more. Just think about what you like about genealogy and consider what you can promote and review.
Following on from blogging you may want to be more adventurous and write books or maybe articles for websites and magazines. You can do this whether you are an amateur or a professional genealogist.
As genealogy has become the second most popular hobby there is definitely a need for books to help the family historian. You could sell your books through Amazon or Lulu.com where you can create, publish and sell your book for free.
Lecturing and Teaching
If you a professional genealogist then you may consider lecturing and teaching. You can give talks and presentations at many genealogy conferences that are held around the country. Or you may go to libraries, schools, family history society meetings.
You could also teach genealogy classes at colleges and universities. If no course is currently in place then you will need to write it yourself from scratch.
Many genealogists also earn money by conducting webinars. These are available to students of these institutions as well as on popular genealogy sites such as Ancestry.
Transcribing and Translating
Today genealogy search websites are continually adding records to their websites all the time. They do this by scanning original documents and uploading them to their site. They will also transcribe what is written on these documents.
There is also money to be made from translating old documents written in other languages. Our ancestors may have migrated from a foreign land. And so we may not be familiar with our native tongue.
Research Family Trees
You have probably become interested in genealogy by tracing your own family history. What better way to help others find their ancestors than to trace their family history for them?
You can set out a pricing structure depending on how far back you will go and the level of information that you will research. There is also the possibility that you will carry on work that has already been started.
If you are fortunate enough you may work for an academic institution or a trust. From this could earn an income by tracing an important family within the community or area.
To be respected as a credible researcher you will need to be recognised by genealogy associations. In the United States there is the Association of Professional Genealogists (APG), and within the U.K. there is the Association of Genealogists and Researchers in Archives (AGRA).
By becoming recognised your clients will have confidence in hiring you. Also, you can expect to get more work and clients by this connection to a genealogy association.
You may offer your services to an asset recovery firm. These firms are responsible for finding inheritors to unclaimed funds. They will subcontract family history researchers from all over the world.
As a result of people losing touch with family, many funds and estates can go unclaimed. And so there is a need for researchers to help these firms reunite funds with their rightful heirs.
If you are not interested in researching someone’s family history then you can plan their trip to their ancestor’s homeland. This can include arranging their flights and accommodations, and also where they will eat and what they will see during their trip.
In order to find out what the client will want or expect to do on these trips, you will need to set up meetings with them. You can guide them on what they can do to get the most from their trip.
This can mean how to find the information that they are looking for when they arrive at a church or a graveyard.
Librarian and Archivist
Many, if not all, libraries will have a family history section. You can offer your services to your local library and help the community trace their ancestry.
Or you could help maintain the record collections at your nearest archive centre. Providing customer service is also another great way that you can help.
I hope that you have enjoyed this post explaining how to make money from genealogy. There are just so many different ways for you. It doesn’t matter if you choose to just use one of these methods as you can still earn enough to make a career from it.
To become a professional genealogist you may have to first offer your services for free. This could be for a library, family history society, archive or maybe helping family and friends trace their ancestry.
By volunteering your services you can gain valuable skills and experience. It is just one way that you can get your foot in the door as a professional genealogist.