The most difficult part of setting up my blog was making the decision to do so. I doubted the value of my contributions despite reading compelling sources that recommended blogging. Matt Velic from Tribal SQL advocated authoring a blog "to find your inner editor." Brent Ozar explained that the blog was a good platform to prove his knowledge, which lead to unexpected opportunities. For years, I lamented not making the time for writing. The encouragement from my career coach and friends was the kick in the pants I needed to get started.
I am not one for just diving into something without researching it first. In the course of my research, I realized I needed to decide between hosting the website or to sign up for a service. My concerns with maintaining a website and servers centered around security breaches and hacking. I had envisioned spending nightmarish amounts of time patching to prevent or even worse recovering from security breaches. The purpose of the blog was to focus my time on writing, not maintaining a website. For this reason, I focused my research on blog services such as WordPress, Blogger, and Ghost. The choice was clear when I stumbled upon Troy Hunt's post about Ghost. For those of you who are unfamiliar with Troy Hunt, he is a Microsoft Most Valuable Professional for Developer Security (check out his podcasts on RunAsRadio - Heartbleed with Troy Hunt, Security Insanity with Troy Hunt, Sony, North Korea and Cyberwarfare with Troy Hunt, Learning from Data Breaches from Troy Hunt, and Hacking a Country with Troy Hunt). If an expert on security was convinced to set up a Ghost blog for his wife, then it is good enough for me.
I followed these steps in setting up my blog:
Register a domain name.
Sign up for Ghost Pro. I committed to one year, which works out to less than $1.00 per day. Take it for a free test spin and see how you like it.
Download MarkDown Pad2. Though I used the default template that comes with Ghost, I needed to add additional disclaimers to the site. It is easier to use an editor to make changes to the template.
Sign up for a free account on Cloudflare to wrap Ghost blog in SSL.
Log in as an admin on Ghost and start writing content. It is extraordinarily easy to write and post content.
I am extremely happy with my decision to start a blog. It gives me a reason to write. And, I rediscovered an activity that I enjoyed immensely since I was able to string together sentences. You might say that I am paying to post my writing but I prefer to think that I am paying Ghost to handle the plumbing on which my blog resides. For way less than the price of a daily Starbucks beverage, I have peace of mind and can focus all my time to developing and writing blog content.