Monthly Archives: January 2015

Revenue and the many hats of a genealogy professional

hats by Beverley Goodwin/creative commons

Recently I wrote about how to project your revenue for 2015. The example I used was a bit simplistic. It only included one source of revenue – client research. In reality most genealogy professional wear many hats. We are client researchers, speakers, writers, editors, authors, bloggers and much more.

How do we project our revenue when we have multiple income streams? Let’s walk through it. Let’s say you made $18,000 from genealogy income in 2014. Here’s how it might have broken down:

2014 revenue: $18,000
Client Research $14,400
Speaking $   1,800
Writing $   1,260
Affiliate income $     540

This is a good break down but to help us make it useful for 2015 we need the percentages. That way we can use the percentages to determine projected income in each category for 2015.

For instance, if we divide $14,400 by $18,000 (yes, use your calculator!) we get a result of 0.8 which is the equivalent of 80%. That means 80% of all revenue earned in 2014 came from client research.

If we divide all the other numbers also by $18,000 we learn that speaking was 10% of the total income, writing was 7%  and affiliate income was 3%.

Our chart now looks like this:

2014 revenue: $18,000 Percentage of total income
Client Research $14,400 80%
Speaking $   1,800 10%
Writing $   1,260 7%
Affiliate income $     540 3%

Let’s say in 2015 you’d like to make $22,000. Keep your percentages the same. Here’s your new chart:

2015 revenue: $22,000
Client Research 80%
Speaking 10%
Writing 7%
Affiliate income 3%

To find your new target revenue take $22,000 and times it by the percentage (.80, .10, .07 and .03). So in the case of client research $22,000 times .80 will equal $17,600. That’s a $3,200 increase from 2014. Work your way through the chart to determine your projected revenue for the other revenue streams. The chart will look like this in the end:

2015 revenue: $22,000
Client Research $17,600 80%
Speaking $   2,200 10%
Writing $   1,540 7%
Affiliate income $     660 3%

This is great because you now have a concrete dollar figure to work toward. These are your revenue goals for 2015. But it’s not as simple as that, is it? In order to achieve the new revenue target for 2015 we’ll have to have a plan to help you achieve this goal. We’ll work on that in the next blog post!


Photo: by Beverley Goodwin/creative commons

TGP 36 – Harold Henderson on Writing

Featured Guest

Harold Henderson, CG

Harold Henderson,CG(sm) has been a professional writer since 1979, a professional genealogist since 2009, and a board-certified genealogist since June 2012. He lives and works in northwest Indiana and at, with a focus on northern Indiana, southwestern Michigan, and northeastern Illinois (plus feeder states including Ohio, Harold Henderson on the Genealogy Professional podcastPennsylvania, and New York).

He serves as a board member of the Association of Professional Genealogists where he chairs the APG Quarterly advisory committee. He moderates the on-line Transitional Genealogists Forum.

He is the author of Finding Ancestors in Fort Wayne and In Court In LaPorte, an every-name index to the earliest (1830s) court records of La Porte County, Indiana. He has published articles in American Ancestors Journal (annual supplement to the New England Historical and Genealogical Register), the National Genealogical Society Quarterly, the New York Genealogical and Biographical Record, the APG Quarterly,’s late lamented expert series, and state publications in Indiana, Illinois, Wisconsin, Ohio, and Pennsylvania. He blogs at At any given time he would probably rather be reading a grantor index.

Contact Links

Harold Henderson on Twitter – @Midwest Roots

Harold Henderson on Google+

Midwestern Microhistory: A Genealogy Blog

Midwest Roots website

Other Links

Midwestern Microhistory: A Genealogy Blog article: “What I would have liked to know as a newbie

One Action Genealogists Can Take Right Now

Join APG, do the Pro-Gen Study Group, and do a gut check to see how much you love doing genealogy for other people

Recommended Book

Reconstruction: America’s Unfinished Revolution, 1863-1877 by Eric Foner

American Colonies: The Settling of North America, Vol. 1 by Alan Taylor

The Birth of the Republic, 1763-89, Fourth Edition by Edmund Morgan

Applied Genealogy by Eugene Aubrey Stratton

North Carolina Research: Genealogy and Local History by Helen Leary

Mastering Genealogical Proof by Dr. Thomas W. Jones

Productivity Tool

“The important application is the application of  the seat of the pants to the seat of the chair”


When you write, either write in the creative mode and just do it and get it on paper and then write in the editorial mode where you are thinking about grammar and sentence structure. Do them both but do them separately. Don’t give yourself writer’s block.

Action Item

We need to get better as genealogists at giving and receiving feedback. This will make us better genealogists because it will teach us to correct our mistakes and to strive to do better work.


Pair off with another genealogist – whether it is someone from Facebook, your local genealogical society or local library. Write up some up your genealogy according to the BCG Genealogical Standards Manual. Share your genealogy with the other person. Review what your partner has given you and then provide feedback. First, let your partner know what they have done right and then give them suggestions for how they can improve. Just going through this exercise will make you a better genealogist because you will be more comfortable sharing your work with another person. Good luck!

Direct link to this post:

Last chance to sign up this January Workshop! Two dates available.

Click the images for more details.

iSetting Business & Marketing Goals 2015 Workshop Setting Business & Marketing Goals 2015 Workshop
Friday, January 23, 2015 Saturday, January 23, 2015



Harold Henderson on the Genealogy Professional podcast /



Will You Make Enough Money in 2015?

dollars and cents

Genealogy professionals can be a little squeamish about money. We would prefer to think about research and clients. But we need to think about money if we are going to accomplish our goals. So you want to go to that national conference in the spring? You won’t be able to do it unless you have the funds to pay for all the expenses.

Let’s take a moment to think about what we are going to earn this year. You know what you earned last year. What would you like to earn in 2015?

If you have a set hourly rate then take that annual figure and divide it by your hourly rate. So if you’d like to earn $20,000 and your hourly rate is $35 then the number of project hours you need to work to achieve that in 2015 is 572 hours. That seems like a scary number doesn’t it?!!

Let’s make it more manageable. Take that 572 hours and divide by 12 months.  Rounded up that comes out to 48 hours per month.  That seems a lot more manageable, doesn’t it?

Let’s break it down even further. Take the same 572 hours and divide by 50 for the number of weeks  you will work (We’ll give you two weeks vacation. You’ll need to adjust the number if you’re taking more time off). That comes out to 12 hours per week. Is this a realistic number to strive for? This is realistic even for part-time genealogy professionals.  Keep in mind that everything you do is not covered by your billable hourly rate. There are still many tasks that you do that are not billable such as marketing, accounting, networking, business development and educational development.

Try this activity for your own business. Project the annual revenue that you would like to earn. Try to make it a bit more than you earned last year so that you can push yourself. Then calculate it out as shown above. When you get the billable hours you need to work, ask yourself if it is reasonable and manageable for you. If not, adjust up or down as needed.

TGP 35 – Pat Richley-Erickson aka Dear Myrtle

Featured Guest

Pat Richley-Erickson aka Dear Myrtle

DearMYRTLE is the nom de plume of Pat Richley-Erickson, author of the award-winning DearMYRTLE Genealogy Blog, consistently among the top 5 family history blogs Dear Myrtle on the Genealogy Professional podcastinternationally, where her focus is on beginning genealogy topics.

A speaker at regional and national conferences including several livestreamed videocasts at RootsTech2011, 2012 and 2013, Ol’ Myrt and her team presented two G+ Hangout on Air workshops at RootsTech 2014 where she will again serve as an Official RootsTech Blogger.

DearMYRTLE is a co-founder of the Genea-Quilters group on Facebook, and founder of, a centralized calendar and blog for all known genealogy webinar hosts and virtual presenters. Have fun watching Myrt LIVE on “Mondays with Myrt” on DearMYRTLE’s YouTube Channel and Google+ Community.

Online since 1985 in membership development with Q-Link’s Your Family Tree and later on the leadership team of AOL’s Golden Gate Genealogy Forum, Pat is a retired post-secondary computer instructor.  She and her husband live in Salt Lake City, Utah, just a stone’s throw from the Family History Library.

Contact LinksDear Myrtle on the Genealogy Professional podcast

Dear Myrtle Group on Facebook

Dear Myrtle on Twitter – @DearMyrtle

Dear Myrtle on Google+

Dear Myrtle Google+ Community

Dear Myrtle YouTube Channel

Dear Myrtle Website

Other Links


One Action Genealogists Can Take Right Now

Take up hang gliding. In other words, do something completely different, not involving genealogy and use the other side of your brain.

Recommended Book

Seth Godin’s blog

Facebook: Technology for Genealogy group

Anything Elizabeth Shown Mills:

Mastering Genealogical Proof by Dr. Thomas W. Jones

Productivity Tool

Cozi – a calendar sharing app


Be yourself. Don’t try to be anyone else. Figure out what is comfortable for you. That is your niche.

Action Item

Dear Myrtle is all about exploring technology and trying new things that will help us learn to do better genealogy and to find tools to help us do it easier. With that in mind let’s make it our goal to try something different this week.


For those of you who have never tried Google+ before your task is to head over to Google+ and to set up an account.  If you already have a gmail account then this will happen with the click of a button. If you don’t have a gmail account then you will need to get one to have a Google+ account (you don’t actually have to use it for email).

Once you are on Google+ then put Dear Myrtle and myself in a “circle” (ie follow us).  Search for your genealogy colleagues and friends and add them to a circle as well. Next, head over to the Dear Myrtle Community and see what that is all about.  Top it off by participating in a Hangout on Air such as Monday’s with Myrt. Google+ is a tremendous resource for genealogy professionals. You’re missing out if you’re not taking advantage of it. At least take the time to see what it’s all about.

Direct link to this post:

Don’t Miss this January Workshop! Two dates available.

Click the images for more details.

iSetting Business & Marketing Goals 2015 Workshop Setting Business & Marketing Goals 2015 Workshop
Friday, January 23, 2015 Saturday, January 23, 2015

Dear Myrtle on the Genealogy Professional podcast



TGP 34 – Ursula Krause of Rootseekers

Featured Guest

Ursula Krause

Raised in the tradition of story telling, a custom which has been cultivated in her family for centuries, Ursula Krause began to become interested in the history of her ancestors as a child.

Ursula Krause on the Genealogy Professional podcast
photo by Matthew White

Influenced by the emigration of her great-great-great-grandfather and her own long stays in the USA and Sweden, she has intensely studied and investigated the subject of emigration. As a result, she put the story of her family to paper, as seen from a socio-historical and psychological perspective.

Little by little she began to research and document the stories of other emigrant families. They are stories that give descendants and family members a picture of the country where their roots lie.

Ursula is based in Berlin, Germany and is the owner of Rootseekers, a business that recreates ancestral stories for people of German descent.

Contact Links

Facebook – Rootseekers

Twitter – Ursula Krause @Rootseekers

Rootseekers Website

Other Links

Article featuring Ursula Krause in RecordClick: “Genealogy Storytelling and Story Writing – Once Upon a Time in Germany. . .

Article on Historical Maps

Article: An Underestimated Village Chronicle

The Upside Down Book website

One Action Genealogists Can Take Right Now

You will know when the time is right to start your business. It will come to you.

Recommended Book

German-English Genealogical Dictionary by Ernest Thode

Productivity Tool

Excel Spreadsheets


Focus on tracking statistics of where your customers come from.”

Action Item

It’s the New Year! We need to stop and take a moment think about our goals for 2015 and come up with a plan to achieve them.


This week’s action item is simple. Write down your goals for 2015.  Don’t leave them in your head! Write them down and post them on the wall near your computer or where ever you spend most of your time. Look at your goals each day, figure out how you are going to achieve them, and work toward them a little bit every day.

Direct link to this post:

Two Workshops Coming up in January!

Click the images for more details.

iSetting Business & Marketing Goals 2015 Workshop Setting Business & Marketing Goals 2015 Workshop
Friday, January 23, 2015 Saturday, January 23, 2015


Ursula Krause on the Genealogy Professional podcast