Software Architect / Microsoft MVP (AI) and Technical Author

Blogging, Tooling

Setting up this blog for the first time.

So, I’ve read a few books, lots of online resources about the best approach and tooling to use when setting up a blog.  I can remember a few years ago that I wrote my own blogging engine in ASP.NET and C# against a SQL Server database, it worked quite well (albeit it was simplistic), I started experimenting with WordPress and to be honest, with the community, the maturity of the platform and the sheer number of widgets that are available, it seemed the best choice.

The next thing I started to think about was, if I am to attract a reader following, share content and make sure you guys come back, I’d need some help to manage email lists, content, integration and such.  I read a few books on my Kindle and some other websites which pointed me in the direction on the following online services:

  • Feedly (
  • Buffer (
  • IFTTT ( – aka IfThisThenThat
  • AWeber (

With WordPress installed on my own leased server, I started to experiment with these services, some of the above cost a few quid each month but the benefits are worth it and you can cancel at any minute.  True SaaS offerings.

I was aware of a few like Buffer and AWeber but had never really explored them, when I started to integrate them all the collective benefit of them all soon outweighed the nominal monthly cost.

I’m not much of a graphic designer so opted for simple clean designs and used default templates that adhered to Bootstrap conventions.

After sorting all of this out, the next thing on my list was to embed Google Analytics to track who’s visiting and what you’re all looking at, I’m not trying to spy (honest!) but this will tell me which content is popular thereby giving me a feel for the audience and the kind of articles I should be writing.

The bulk of my services and platform are now up and running, so all that’s really left to do is produce and upload the content, as I learn more about the services I mentioned earlier, I’ll share my findings!

Have you used any of these or been through the same process?


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