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Make More Use of github.io for Blogging

MikeLevinSEO shares his strategy for publishing a book, including his plan to use Jekyll and switch his domains from GoDaddy to NameCheap. He explains how he prioritizes his work using three metaphors, and shares his plan to use mikelevinseo.com as his domain name. Follow MikeLevinSEO's journey as he embarks on his book publishing adventure!

Embarking on a Book Publishing Adventure: My Strategy for Using github.io and Jekyll

By Michael Levin

Thursday, August 5, 2021

Welcome to MikeLevinSEO.com. My name is my blog. And the best place to start is at the beginning. So here we go.

I’ve wanted to publish a book my whole life. But for whatever reasons, I never have. Yet publishing has become easier than ever. So now there’s almost legitimately no reason that if I REALLY DO want to publish, rather than just saying that, I should be ashamed of myself for not doing so, at least a more regular blog without the years-at-a-time time-outs. So this is it. Tackle each issue and make it the subject of the book itself.

It’s always too meta with me. Meta just means being self-referential. In my industry, meta tags are invisible information about the page that could work as instructions to browsers or search engines like Google. However, meta also refers to that strange quality of human consciousness that lets us say I think therefore I am. The best laid plans are laid waste by allowing your mind to go meta about a thing too soon. There I go again. Shoot, gotta get over that every time I start out trying to tap my creative abilities. There is no surer way to self-sabotage more than to think too much about what you’re doing. Just keep writing and let it flow.

1, 2, 3… 1? That is my forever-motto. I always seem to be on step #1. But hey, if you’re making up the rules as you go, why not? Oh yeah, I am always making up the rules as I go, because I rarely if ever fall into a static state. Actually, I do all the time and I’m projecting terribly by saying that I don’t. My objective in life and career is actually to avoid falling into a static state, ever. However, I know that I do. Heard of the funk? Yup, the daily grind, the routine, call it what you will. While it is safe and eases the scared animal within us all that hates the uncertainty and tomorrow, it is also the soul-crusher and the source of much unhappiness and early death.

Step 1 in this case is actually getting this first bit of typing published. You’d think that the publishing platforms and tools would have come first. I own a WordPress instance on a cheap Web host and could totally push this out there. But that site is one of the things that’s wrong right now and will be the subject of a WordPress to plain-text (markdown) migration. I don’t want a WordPress instance in my life. I don’t want the hosting issues. I don’t want the cost. And I don’t even want the general tech-liability. It’s a moving-parts thing. Simplicity is generally best. Even if things are complex under the hood, as they probably are in the method I’m moving to, I don’t ever have to see or think about them.

After I export my old blog as markdown files, which are really just text-files with bare minimum formatting instructions, I’ll be dropping them onto Github where the github.io system will automatically formats them into pretty HTML with a tool called Jekyll that’s built into Github. Really there’s probably a lot of complexity going on here. But from my perspective, I’m just going to be pushing a bunch of text-files onto Github with a git push. More on git later. Suffice to say for now, I actually write nearly every day. Writing is not the problem for me. It’s getting it out there, and I’m piggybacking on all the other tools I use for day-to-day work, the way I earn my living, in order to push the files out there without too much tech-liability or overhead added to my life. And this is good.

I’ve already got one site published on github.io currently. All I’ve got to do is to see how to make a second registered domain (apex domain) resolve (be hosted) there. So I’m going to go look at my portfolio of domains. That brings up the issue that I’ll be switching all my registered domains from GoDaddy over to NameCheap, but that’ll be another story. I need a strategy for this book publishing, and it’s going to be following:

I’m already running out of time in this writing session. And so I need to do a quick 80/20-rule evaluation:

That’s 3 metaphors. They’re my 3 daily metaphors of organizing my work, and eventually getting through everything. I need to figure out how to host a 2nd domain name on github.io. So, pick a domain… GoDaddy / My Name / My Products / Domains. Okay, in my typical tradition it’s going to be mikelevinseo.com. So click “Use My Domain” and then DNS / Manage Zones.