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NEW & Improved Camino Blogging Survival Guide

JJinWI

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
May-June (2018) Camino Frances
Greetings All,

I had a little extra time over the weekend and decided to write a "Camino Blogging Survival Guide" for those who might be interested in doing a blog.

The guide covers many things like setting-up a FREE site on WordPress.com, free training on using WordPress, photography tips, photo editing software...

I'm no expert, but I hope that you might find this guide helpful if you are considering doing a blog.

Cheers,


-jj

PS If you see errors in this document or have ideas to make this guide better, please contact me.
 

Attachments

tomnorth

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances: September 24 - October 31 (2015); Fall (2020) I hope
Thanks for putting this together. I have downloaded the guide. I did notice one discrepancy. I am able to upload videos directly to my Wordpress.com blog. I do not need to first upload to YouTube.
 

JJinWI

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
May-June (2018) Camino Frances
Thanks for putting this together. I have downloaded the guide. I did notice one discrepancy. I am able to upload videos directly to my Wordpress.com blog. I do not need to first upload to YouTube.
Tom,

Did you pay for an upgrade on WordPress??? Everytime I try & upload a video into my WordPress media folder it says I have to pay to upgrade my account for videos. (I have the FREE account)

-jj
 

Margaret Butterworth

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
2013 (Pamplona to Burgos)
2014 (Burgos to Villafranca del Bierzo)
2015 (Villafranca to Santiago)
2016 (Le Puy to Conques; SJPP To Pamplona)
I loved the brilliant photos on your blog. Memo to self: don't just rely on the iPhone - take a real camera next time!
 

Kanga

Moderator
Staff member
Camino(s) past & future
Francés x 5, Le Puy x 2, Arles, Tours, Norte, Madrid, Via de la Plata, Portuguese.
I am a novice but on the Via de la Plata I used FindPenguins. Found it easy and love the way it automatically tracks and saves the footprints on the map, so people can watch your progress.
 

JJinWI

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
May-June (2018) Camino Frances
I loved the brilliant photos on your blog. Memo to self: don't just rely on the iPhone - take a real camera next time!
Thanks for the kind words!

Regardless of what you use to capture your photos (camera or phone)... use some photo editing software. That is my "secret sauce" :cool:

Cheers,
 

JJinWI

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
May-June (2018) Camino Frances
I am a novice but on the Via de la Plata I used FindPenguins. Found it easy and love the way it automatically tracks and saves the footprints on the map, so people can watch your progress.
YES, there are many site that offer similar functions and are kind of neat. But I have a couple of concerns:
  • Some will cost you money. (Where as a blog on WoedPress.com is totally free)
  • Some of these type of sites have already gone out of business (and you lose your photos/text...) WordPress.com should be around for a long time.
Just my thoughts...

Cheers,

-jj
 

tomnorth

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances: September 24 - October 31 (2015); Fall (2020) I hope
Tom,

Did you pay for an upgrade on WordPress??? Everytime I try & upload a video into my WordPress media folder it says I have to pay to upgrade my account for videos. (I have the FREE account)

-jj
No, I didn’t pay for the upgrade. What I am doing is inserting the video directly into a blog post. I am not uploading it to my media folder.
 

JJinWI

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
May-June (2018) Camino Frances
No, I didn’t pay for the upgrade. What I am doing is inserting the video directly into a blog post. I am not uploading it to my media folder.
OK... the same as me.

If you have a video on your phone/camera and want to put it in your blog, you first have to get it YouTube... then insert it into your blog in WordPress.
 

tomnorth

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances: September 24 - October 31 (2015); Fall (2020) I hope
OK... the same as me.

If you have a video on your phone/camera and want to put it in your blog, you first have to get it YouTube... then insert it into your blog in WordPress.
That doesn't sound the same. I am able to insert a video from my iPhone directly into a blog post. I do not have to upload the video to YouTube first. I click on the "+" button when composing a blog post and then select the icon that looks like a photo, then I select the video I want to insert and hit the okay button (or whatever they call it) and in it goes.
 

tomnorth

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances: September 24 - October 31 (2015); Fall (2020) I hope
OK... the same as me.

If you have a video on your phone/camera and want to put it in your blog, you first have to get it YouTube... then insert it into your blog in WordPress.
Could it be that you have to upload YouTube because of storage limitations?
 

JJinWI

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
May-June (2018) Camino Frances
Could it be that you have to upload YouTube because of storage limitations?
No problems with my storage.

Since you can't upload/store videos on the FREE version of WordPress.com, the video has to hosted somewhere on the internet.

In my case, I upload it to YouTube and then link it to my blog.

I suspect that in your case, your iPhone videos must be on your iCloud account and then it is linked to your blog.

Cheers,

-jj
 

tomnorth

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances: September 24 - October 31 (2015); Fall (2020) I hope
No problems with my storage.

Since you can't upload/store videos on the FREE version of WordPress.com, the video has to hosted somewhere on the internet.

In my case, I upload it to YouTube and then link it to my blog.

I suspect that in your case, your iPhone videos must be on your iCloud account and then it is linked to your blog.

Cheers,

-jj
I don’t think that is the case. When I look in my Wordpress media folder I see videos there. Perhaps there is a size limitation for videos. Another possibility is that it depends on where you are located. I am in the States.
 

tomnorth

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances: September 24 - October 31 (2015); Fall (2020) I hope
No problems with my storage.

Since you can't upload/store videos on the FREE version of WordPress.com, the video has to hosted somewhere on the internet.

In my case, I upload it to YouTube and then link it to my blog.

I suspect that in your case, your iPhone videos must be on your iCloud account and then it is linked to your blog.

Cheers,

-jj
Well this is really strange. I have dug into this a bit more on Wordpress. While I have a free plan, for some reason I am able to upload videos the way I could if I had a premium plan. Perhaps this is some sort of introductory offer, although I can’t find anything that reflects that.
 

MPH2556

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Spring 2018
Greetings All,

I had a little extra time over the weekend and decided to write a "Camino Blogging Survival Guide" for those who might be interested in doing a blog.

The guide covers many things like setting-up a FREE site on WordPress.com, free training on using WordPress, photography tips, photo editing software...

I'm no expert, but I hope that you might find this guide helpful if you are considering doing a blog.

Cheers,


-jj

PS If you see errors in this document or have ideas to make this guide better, please contact me.
This is great. We are headed out to our first Camino late Sept and have been looking for an easy way to let all back home and others follow our walk. Thanks again for putting this together.
MPH
 

AfriCat

My camino tattoo
Camino(s) past & future
2014 - parts of Via Augusta, VdlP, Madrid and Portuguese
Thank you for the guide - well put together with plenty of links for those who want to delve further. I did my first camino in 2014 and started off really well on my blog, but soon found I begrudged the time needed to update it - I'd much rather head out and enjoy the town where I was staying. To keep others happy, who were following my progress, I took to uploading a few photos with short descriptions to my public Facebook album instead. I'm doing another camio next year and intend to go down the blogging route again, only not daily.
 

JillGat

la tierra encantada
Camino(s) past & future
C. Frances
SJPP - Finisterre - Muxia, May 2016
C. Frances, Sept 2017
Camino Portugues, June 2019
I have been experimenting with WordPress. The stumbling block I have faced is that I joined someone's blog on WordPress many years ago and the site keeps sending me back to that one. Wish there was some way I could disconnect from the old one!
 

ChipFrazier

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (2019), Portuguese (2019)
Greetings All,

I had a little extra time over the weekend and decided to write a "Camino Blogging Survival Guide" for those who might be interested in doing a blog.

The guide covers many things like setting-up a FREE site on WordPress.com, free training on using WordPress, photography tips, photo editing software...

I'm no expert, but I hope that you might find this guide helpful if you are considering doing a blog.

Cheers,


-jj

PS If you see errors in this document or have ideas to make this guide better, please contact me.
Many thanks, JJ! I downloaded your pdf and am digesting the idea of a digital journal on WordPress.com to share with my friends.

I regret not keeping journals (before the digital age) and blogs since then for my travels to UK, Germany, Denmark, Paris, Provence, and Tuscany. Your blog guide has motivated me to consider it on our Camino Frances in September 2019. My wife, Sue, plans to keep a traditional journal, but she is more technically challenged/adverse. My challenge will be to blog as efficiently (in time, money, and weight) as possible. The quality will not rival yours, but may get the message across all the same. Thanks for broadening my horizons!
 

JJinWI

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
May-June (2018) Camino Frances
Many thanks, JJ! I downloaded your pdf and am digesting the idea of a digital journal on WordPress.com to share with my friends.

I regret not keeping journals (before the digital age) and blogs since then for my travels to UK, Germany, Denmark, Paris, Provence, and Tuscany. Your blog guide has motivated me to consider it on our Camino Frances in September 2019. My wife, Sue, plans to keep a traditional journal, but she is more technically challenged/adverse. My challenge will be to blog as efficiently (in time, money, and weight) as possible. The quality will not rival yours, but may get the message across all the same. Thanks for broadening my horizons!
Chip,

Thanks for the kind words!!!

A few comments:
  • I too regret not blogging earlier. In my past jobs I used to travel the world (and spent some time sight-seeing/doing some fun things... spent a night at the Ice Hotel, skiing in the Alps, Japan, cruising through the fjords of Norway, hot air balloon rides in France, sailing in the Baltic Sea...). Now I mostly travel on my own dime :mad:
  • "Your blog guide has motivated me to consider ..." That is exactly why I created my Survival Guide. Hopefully you will learn enough from the guide to make a wise decision on whether to blog or not.
  • ALSO... I can't stress enough how important the Lynda.com training is. In just 2.5 hours, you will have all you need to know to use WordPress.com.
  • "My challenge will be to blog as efficiently" Great point. I spent about 60-90 minutes a day to do my Camino blog. I would spend ~30-45 minutes culling/editing my photos and the same amount of time to write/upload my blog. To be honest... the hardest/most time consuming part was the horrible WiFi speeds at many/most of the places I stayed. It was the most frustrating part of my blogging experience on the Camino.
  • ALSO...you might consider doing a test blog if you have a trip/vacation planned before your Camino. I did this when I went on spring break for a week.
  • Aside from the WiFi issues, I actually enjoyed sitting down after a day of hiking and blog/reflect on the day. It was rather civilized :cool: I found that if I envisioned a person back home... what would I tell them about my day... really helped me write my blog.
  • "The quality will not rival yours, ..." Everyone does their blogging differently. For me, I focused (pun intended) on my photos and added just enough words to explain the day. Others like to write in great detail about their day with a couple of photos. It is up to you and what you feel comfortable with.
Hope this helps!!!

Cheers,

-jj
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Inglés (from Ferrol June 2014)
Camino Portuguese (from Tui May 2015)
ALSO...you might consider doing a test blog if you have a trip/vacation planned before your Camino
This is a great idea! I wish I had done a separate "test blog" just to learn how it all worked. Instead, I did it on my only blog, and really should go back to remove/edit some things. But it was helpful to just learning how to manage the mechanics of adding photos, captions, and in my case, words in Spanish.

Thanks also @JJinWI for all of the detailed info - I will definitely look into that Lynda.com info!
 

Tim Greig

Pilgrim
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances 2016
Via Podiensis 2017
Via Francigena 2018
Many thanks for your excellent guide. It's all good advice. I prefer to pay Wordpress.com which means I use my own domain name and gives me access to their experts. They can setup your website while you watch, according to your instructions! When I finish a pilgrimage, I copy my blogs into a photobook which is a wonderful lasting souvenir of the walk. My recent Via Francigena book is 358 pages with a hardcover, dust jacket and a print run of 1; it cost less than £100 at Blurb. I can't put it down!
 

JJinWI

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
May-June (2018) Camino Frances
Tim... Thanks for the kind words!!!!

I did consider paying for my own domain... but I'm cheap 🆒 PLUS, the money I save will allow me to buy the next "latest & greatest" camera :)

Nice idea about doing a photo book.

Cheers,

-jj
 
Camino(s) past & future
Plan on walking the Camino Frances May 2019, God willing
All these have been quite a find, thank you JJ and all! - It is all still a bit confusing for this older brain. I started blogging on Wordpress a couple of years ago but while traveling I find that some times it gets very cumbersome to finish a post, to upload pictures (depending on connection??) and other times I am just too tired. Some of my posts are out of order and I am looking forward to trying to finding a way to re-order. Hopefully I can master it a bit before my Camino in September!
 

JJinWI

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
May-June (2018) Camino Frances
Thanks for the kind words...

As far as the order of your posts...
  • You can change the Publish Date to get your posts in order.
  • When you edit/create a post... look in the right column (near the top) and you will find the Publish Date.
  • Click on the date and change it.
  • The big dilemma is should your posts be oldest to newest (i.e. day 1, day 2, day 3...)OR newest to oldest (i.e. day 3, day 2. day 1...)
  • For my blog, I did it both ways... While I was on the Camino (and lots of my friends were following my adventures daily) I did newest to oldest. This way they would see the newest posts on top... and not have to scroll to the bottom. When I got home, I changed the publish dates so my posts were in oldest to newest. This way a new person would see day 1 at the top and continue chronologically.
FYI... with the release of WordPress, they have introduced "blocks"... which is a nice feature for blogging.

Hope this helps!!!

-jj
 
Camino(s) past & future
Plan on walking the Camino Frances May 2019, God willing
Thanks for the kind words...

As far as the order of your posts...
  • You can change the Publish Date to get your posts in order.
  • When you edit/create a post... look in the right column (near the top) and you will find the Publish Date.
  • Click on the date and change it.
  • The big dilemma is should your posts be oldest to newest (i.e. day 1, day 2, day 3...)OR newest to oldest (i.e. day 3, day 2. day 1...)
  • For my blog, I did it both ways... While I was on the Camino (and lots of my friends were following my adventures daily) I did newest to oldest. This way they would see the newest posts on top... and not have to scroll to the bottom. When I got home, I changed the publish dates so my posts were in oldest to newest. This way a new person would see day 1 at the top and continue chronologically.
FYI... with the release of WordPress, they have introduced "blocks"... which is a nice feature for blogging.

Hope this helps!!!

-jj
Thanks for the kind words...

As far as the order of your posts...
  • You can change the Publish Date to get your posts in order.
  • When you edit/create a post... look in the right column (near the top) and you will find the Publish Date.
  • Click on the date and change it.
  • The big dilemma is should your posts be oldest to newest (i.e. day 1, day 2, day 3...)OR newest to oldest (i.e. day 3, day 2. day 1...)
  • For my blog, I did it both ways... While I was on the Camino (and lots of my friends were following my adventures daily) I did newest to oldest. This way they would see the newest posts on top... and not have to scroll to the bottom. When I got home, I changed the publish dates so my posts were in oldest to newest. This way a new person would see day 1 at the top and continue chronologically.
FYI... with the release of WordPress, they have introduced "blocks"... which is a nice feature for blogging.

Hope this helps!!!

-jj
OKAY!! I will have to get going and do some editing. Thank you so much!
 
Camino(s) past & future
(2019)
Hi JJ

Nice guide. Good advice. Agree with the real camera suggestion, but more comments below.

I intend to write a blog while on the camino frances later this year 2019.

I have used wordpress for a few years, most of which were with wordpress software on my own website. That version gives many more options, mainly in widgets. I recently changed over to a wordpress hosted site with a custom domain name (vk1da.blog - my hobby of amateur radio is the main focus of my site) which is not free but adds some more options.

One thing about themes. One might think that once content has been written and published within a chosen theme, the theme is locked and you are stuck with it. No, in fact the theme is a dynamic part of the website that’s separate from your content. On my sites I have changed the theme many times over the last 10 years.
A fixed theme may be a limitation of the free account service, but on a paid site it is an option to change the theme which is useful when you realise a different theme suits your site better.

An additional comment about photos. I find that uploading full size photos can bump into a wordpress limit as well as taking long upload times and, if users try to view them, then require long download times for those viewing your site, only to find the beautiful 25 Mp photo from your Canon or Sony camera is cut down (squashed) by the browser to display on the user’s screen, which is say 1600 x 1200 or 900, so only barely 2 Mp (megapixels). Even less if viewed on a smaller screen. So my practice is to reduce photos to say 1024 x 768 or a similar size for 16:9 format) before uploading to wordpress. Wordpress automatically creates several smaller sizes of each photo, including a medium size and a thumbnail.

When adding a photo in a post I choose the option to display the photo in a medium size (300x 200 ish) and link to the larger size photo stored on wordpress. The option to do that describes the full size photo as “media item”. A user wanting to see the detail in the larger photo can click or touch the small photo and only then they are loading the larger photo for viewing (still limited by browser and screen size). On the ipad i use Batch Resize app to convert photos to a lower pixel sizing. I store the resized photos in a separate folder from the default.

I still retain and backup my original full size photos.

Recent phone cameras are much more powerful and feature rich than those of even 5 years ago so I think it is a real option for a peregrino/a to do it all with a smartphone. However as my old iphone 5s does not have those new features and I prefer my real camera, I plan to take most photos with my compact Pentax. (Optio 18)

Thanks again for your work writing the wordpress guide.

Andrew in Oz
 
Last edited:

JJinWI

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
May-June (2018) Camino Frances
Andrew, thanks for the kind words...

Recent phone cameras are much more powerful and feature rich than those of even 5 years ago so
Yes, but even the best are still not up to a cheap point/shoot camera. It really comes down to the size of the sensor and the phone sensors are still really tiny...

ALSO, the new version of WordPress now uses blocks... very nice!!!

Good Luck on your Camino!!!

Cheers,

-jj
 
Camino(s) past & future
SdC-Muxía-Fisterra (May 2015)
Inglés (Sept 2018)
Frances-Fisterra (April 2019)
Thanks for sharing @JJinWI - the style of your guide is really enabling; a blog feels eminently possible and even appealing after reading!

My previous caminos I also included a digital detox, and I loved just tossing the phone in my bag and leaving it there for a week. But you have me thinking.... 🤔

Blessings.
 

JJinWI

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
May-June (2018) Camino Frances
Thanks for sharing @JJinWI - the style of your guide is really enabling; a blog feels eminently possible and even appealing after reading!
Thanks for the kind words!!!

YES... doing a blog is possible... even easy :) (The key is to use wordpress.COM NOT wordpress.ORG. Wordpress.ORG is for hardcore bloggers, very powerful, but harder to learn. Wordpress.COM is a "lite" version of wordpress.ORG AND it is FREE to use!!!!)

If you do the 2-hour Lynda.com training, you will have the confidence/knowledge to build a blog for your next Camino. (FYI... you can get a 30-day free trial @ Lynda.com)

Good Luck & Happy Blogging!!!

-jj
 
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