Blogging feels like one big interconnected community and, as well as being a weekly blogger myself, I enjoy following other bloggers, reading their words and understanding their issues and journey
Not all of the blogs I follow are travel blogs, but many of them are and each has their own unique ‘voice’ and take on what they are seeing and experiencing.
Over the next 6 months or so I will introduce you to some of my favourite blogs and share some of their blogging wisdom…
Blog: Trepidatious Traveller – camino blog
Blog theme/topic: The focus is very much on detailed itineraries for walking a variety of caminos in Spain. She also shares a number of other posts covering trips around Spain, Portugal and a foray into Asia.
No. of Followers: not shown on the site
No. of hits: 788 400 as @ 22 September 2019
Started blogging in: 2013
How Often They Post: Pre-, during and post-camino
The Burning Questions
- Way back when you started your blog, what was your motivation or inspiration?
I wanted to start a blog when I travelled to Bangkok, Sri Lanka and India with my daughter. I knew that I wanted to remember every minute of the adventure, but knew equally well that I have a terrible memory. Of course a blog needs to be set up and tested well before the big adventure begins and I had left it too late, so I wrote a post every day and saved it to ‘notes’ on my iPad. I never did completely upload it to my blog, although I got halfway through. Perhaps a project for the coming months!
By the time my next adventure began, along the Camino Frances with the same daughter back in 2013, the blog was well tested and ready to go.
- Over time, has that changed?
Probably not nearly as much as it should have! Each of my following six caminos has been along lesser walked routes and so I now include information that I think will be useful to others, relating to distance, elevation, landscape, accommodation and lots of photos.
I have gleaned so many gems from other people’s blogs that I wanted to do my bit of sharing.
Also, having struggled with the poor layout and design of other blogs, I try to make mine as user-friendly as possible.
- In your opinion, what are the most enjoyable/best things about blogging?
Absolutely, definitely the feedback. I love receiving comments. Some chatty exchanges, some with useful tips and others saying how useful they found the information I shared.
And also, the fact that I can go back and re-live my caminos by reading through past posts.
- What do you find the most challenging?
Whilst I am walking it is most definitely a labour of love to write the blog. After walking all day, whilst others are relaxing and interacting I am struggling to upload photos and tidy up my text. I have become quite good at juggling the interaction with the blog writing, but I probably don’t do either exercise as well as I would like. It is easier if there is a group of pilgrims and then I don’t feel guilty about ignoring my companion if I have one.
On the other hand, on the occasions that I find myself alone in the evening on the camino, writing the blog is a useful tool to keep me occupied.
- Why do you think people follow your blog? What do they get out of it? How do they respond?
Some follow because they are my friends and are interested in what I’m doing. Oddly my family do not follow the blog. Others have come across the blog whilst searching the internet for camino-related information.
Some may see a link I have posted on a forum or have seen a recommendation on another blog. Many people who visit the blog stick around for years and regularly make comments. These fine people feel like real friends and I greatly value their contribution (Mel being a prime example).
I have had very few negative comments. One or two questioning my thoughts or actions which I respond to as best as I am able. And only two particularly unpleasant trolls, both of whom I ignored.
- What bloggers do you admire? And why?
I admire any bloggers who write well and hold my attention. I don’t follow as many as I used to.
A lot of people report on their caminos on the Internet forum and I avidly follow some of these, particularly when they have been walking more remote routes.
- Has blogging opened up any doors or provided any unusual opportunities for you?
Not really. I haven’t tried very hard to promote the blog, which I guess I could as I am approaching 900 000 views.
It really is just a hobby, I don’t have the discipline to write regularly when I am not walking.
- What do you think is the recipe for a good blog post?
- I guess, the same as with any writing – to have a beginning, middle and end, which is very easy with what I write about.
- To balance story telling with useful information.
- I tend to keep my posts quite light-hearted, I try to be positive even when I am soaking wet and freezing and the albergue is entirely out of my comfort zone (and my albergue comfort zone has become extremely wide!).
- What has been your favourite trip or blog topic?
Probably 95 percent of my posts are camino-related and it is impossible to choose a favourite camino. I have walked with wonderful people who have become firm and true friends and that has made a camino very special. But I have also walked entirely alone for a full week (off camino) and I got a huge buzz from coping with all that that entailed.
- If you started all over again, what would you do differently? Any advice for the beginners?
- I’m not sure I would do much differently. I don’t have any great aims for the blog.
- I would recommend a new blogger to put a lot of thought into the layout and design – keep it simple, uncluttered and logical. It must be easy to negotiate otherwise readers may just get fed up and leave.
- Make it intuitive for your reader to click a well-placed button to progress to the next post.
- If you are unsure where to start, find a blog that you like the look of and try to emulate it.
My Thoughts/Comments on this Blog:
- Being a fan of caminos, I find Maggie’s blog compulsory reading when she is walking and when I am researching my next adventure. The amount of relevant and up-to-date information she provides as she walks including maps, elevations and accommodation information creates a VERY useful camino resource for anyone who is contemplating a stroll through Spain.
- Maggie’s voice is warm and friendly and she is not afraid to ‘tell it like it is’ when things haven’t gone as planned or she has been entertained until 400am by a fiesta rock band in the piazza next to where she is trying to sleep!
- The photos included in each blog post are of high quality and really capture what Maggie is experiencing as she steps out. These are perfect for giving you an idea of what to expect, but terrible for creating a bad case of wanderlust!
- Maggie has gumption! Being of mature years, like myself, she doesn’t let that stop her tackling +35km days or rewarding herself with a chilled beverage or two at the end of the day.
- Read this blog for information and inspiration.