Setting Up a Blog: My Takedown

If only I could have read these words before setting up my original blog.

The post photo shows the original “before” version of my blog. You are now reading the re-launched version of that blog. Here’s hoping my missteps will help you!

Need a theme

My biggest mistake was picking Eleventy for my blogging platform. I cloned the blogging repo and started updating the pages. Eleventy offers high flexibility and is a great option for many. But as a newbie, my challenges are writing clearly and mustering the courage to post. So, I needed a theme to simplify my delivery. Thus, the move to the Hugo uBlogger theme.

Theme flexibility helps

With the uBlogger theme, I love the generated posts, tags, and categories pages. I am fond of the featured photo layout and post styles. Additionally, the theme is installed as a git submodule, so it can be updated. I was able to tweak the javascript used for link defaults. Also, styles can be overwritten by updating a Sass file.

Inline comments can wait

Communities like Indie Hackers, Twitter, or, have their own commenting forums. As a beginner, I don’t expect to get much SEO traffic. So adding Disqus to my original blog was unnecessary. Honestly, I am not a fan of the look and bloat it added. So, for now, I will hope to get comments in communities where my blog is posted.

Newsletter for better distribution?

With the promise of more user engagement, I added a newsletter using ConvertKit. The idea that newsletters are replacing RSS feeds is interesting to me.

Seek out blogging examples

Multitudes of blogs exist in your niche. Most bloggers will give credit to the frameworks they are using in their blog footer. My impression is that indie makers and founders tend to have more polished blogs than developers. So, inspiration for this blog change came from respected bloggers, too!

What’s next?

Someday, I expect to perform another redo of this blog as my needs evolve. But, for now, I would like to focus on product development and sharing the lessons I learn along the way.

I would love to hear your ideas and feedback on blogging. My handle on Twitter is @ardith_falkner.

Special thanks …

to Monica Lent for her Blogging For Devs 7-day email course.