What would be the proper way to build a blog using REACT / NEXT.JS?

So I want to properly build a blog… many of the examples I have found are using markdown? do I really need to use markdown to build a blog?

I think currently my blog structure / engineering is not the best… I have a blog component under the component page, then I take the component into each individual blog page and fill in the blanks… for pagination I have a forward and backward buttons which I manually input the proper links… for each page I also include a set of meta data that goes on each blog page… (meta data is important to me, that is why I am using Next.js for REACT)

Current problems / challenges with this structure:

  1. I would like to implement automatic pagination on the blog posts… so that I don’t have to manually add links to each page… mapping data from the files in a folder is not the same as mapping data from a single json file…

  2. I would like to include a front summary page of the blog showing all posts… this could also have its own pagination and search box… again… the problem is getting the data from files …

NOTE: I do have a pagination and search structure working from a json file that is being display on a table… I was thinking I could use the same structure for the blog…

What about MarkDown? Or just put the blog in a Json file and extract info to display in each page?

The blog samples I have seen in Next.js are using automatic generated slugs… meaning??? there is no an actual physical page where I could place the meta data? … Also, the meta data I am using is a bit long, and I rather copy/paste,/modify the header section to see better everything I am doing in that section…

What do you think its the best way to build a blog and why?