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Tips For Researcher's

Many times Researcher's planning on listing on the Researcher's List ask my advice on pricing and ads so I decided to write up a little page giving tips on those issues. This isnt law or rules...it's just some ideas

On writing your paragraph or "ad" for the list:
Most people have done a fine job writing up their paragraphs for the page and I'm sure you will too.
You want to put yourself in the reader's place. They may want to know how much experience you've had in the area, and what resources you are experienced with and have access to. If you live close to the state archive or a major library, you should mention that because you are saving them a trip.
Qualifications and experience count. If you are certified, you definately want to mention that. I also have people on the list who have written books, work in Genealogical Libraries, or are officers in local Historical societies. All of those show experience and should be mentioned.
People usually resort to paying someone if they live so far away that they cannot get to the resources of that area. I live in Indiana and get requests from Florida, California, Texas, Oregon and other states. It's much cheaper for them to send me $50 than to fly here just to go to the courthouse. You want them to know that you have access to the things they can't get to easily.
Listing the city you are located in also helps. If you merely say "I do research in Pennsylvania" they don't know if you're near Ohio or on the eastern end of the state. It helps them figure out how close you are to their ancestors information, and they may find you by Googling that town name. It's better to say "I'm located in Philadelphia, but have resources for all parts of the state".

As for fees, I was real confused on that in the beginning too. You want to keep it cheap enough that people will pay to have you do searches, yet high enough to cover copy fees, postage, gas, and other expenses (some people incure parking fees even) and still make a little money. Me...I am pretty cheap but I get enough requests that it's decent. You have to consider your costs, the common costs incurred are Photocopying, Postage, Costs of records at courthouses etc, Gas or public transportation (taxi, bus etc).
If you do Tombstone or building photos:
These are becoming a big item, especially for people who cannot travel and would like to add more to their family histories than just names and dates. Keep the cost of a roll of film, developing, a little higher postage at times because you want to wrap the photo or use a thicker envelope...and gas can be higher at times too depending on where the cemetery is located. Another idea is to send photos on CD or a thumb drive, so include the cost of those if you use them.

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