Hugo Quickstart simply doesn't work, renders blank page

Over the past few months I’ve tried on three separate occasions to use Hugo. I try and try and try. I’ve never gotten it to work.

I’m following the quickstart guide exactly.

When I run “hugo server -D” it returns:

“unmarshal failed: Near line 3 (last key parsed ‘’): bare keys cannot contain ‘\x00’”

I guess I’m fundamentally not understanding how Hugo is supposed to work. I’ve tried installing different themes. I’ve tried different solutions from stack overflow. It makes no sense. It literally just doesn’t work.

This is literally not true, since it does work for many people. But I agree that it is a PITA to get to work at the beginning. The documentation is severely lacking – not in completeness, probably, but in figuring out its audience and catering to their needs. For example, many terms are used without being explained first (assets et al), the examples are often lacking context. So yes, it is not easy to get a grip on it. But in my opinion, Hugo is a lot more malleable than, e.g., Gatsby.
Anyway, what got me finally going was this tutorial: Blog With Hugo | PäksTech
After that, I managed to fiddle and wiggle my way through.

“unmarshal failed: Near line 3 (last key parsed ‘’): bare keys cannot contain ‘\x00’”

This points to a copypaste error. Check your configuration on line 3 and fix it.