Setting up templating in your metalsmith project is a necessity, and extremely easy with metalsmith-templates. You can use pretty much any templating engine you choose, and that template is fed the json generated by Metalsmith and your other plugins for input.
Getting started is always the worst part of a project for me. There are so many possibilities when starting a new project, and so many choices to be made. When working on a job for work, it's easier to get started; I've got deadlines. But for a personal project you've got all the time in the world. To get over this paralysis I've adapted the same methodology in both my job and my personal projects.
I've gotten in the habbit of re-working my website every year or so due to it not having one or more features. The features I want to show are generally to highlight both my skill as a web developer and to make the website robust enough to write any type of page/tutorial/video/other.