Tom Donohue Tom Donohue

Why I’ve launched a new website

I’ve started a new blog for my tech articles. Here’s why.

Why I've launched a new website

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I’ve been writing articles on this website (on this, and previous domains!) for over five years now. Yikes, that is a long time.

Along the way, I’ve learned a lot about blogging.

I just want to create

During my blogging journey, I’ve learned that I love writing articles for you lot. I enjoy learning and explaining things.

I also like sharing my knowledge and teaching others.

But more recently, I’ve begun to realise that there is a wealth of tech topics which I want to write about, and the content doesn’t really fit a “personal” website anymore.

In 2019, I bought the domain tomd.xyz and moved everything under this domain, to make all my content “personal”.

But I’ve since realised that writing all my articles under the name “Tom Donohue’s Blog” is a bit restrictive. For example, how do I separate tech content, from personal blog posts, like this one?

So, a bit of a back-track – or pivot, you could say.

I’m launching a new site for my tech content. I want to let the new site speak for itself, and be a general hub for tech tutorials.

In short: I’m changing things up a bit.

The new site

Just a few weeks ago, November 2020, I launched a new website, called Tutorial Works:

Screenshot from Tutorial Works website
Tutorial Works - my new website

Tutorial Works is all about tech content, tutorials and blog articles. Actionable stuff that you can use as a software engineer or architect.

It’s still in its early stages right now, but I’ve got a lot of knowledge that I want to share on there.

Tutorial Works will be similar to my blog, but it’ll be covering a wider range of topics, and going much wider and deeper.

I’ll be writing about things like DevOps, Java, Kubernetes and containers, as I do now. And, I’ll also be writing about cloud providers, serverless, tech culture and much more.

The challenges ahead

Starting a new blog is difficult these days. Getting traffic to a new blog is difficult these days.

GIF of Judge Judy saying Yes
Google decides….

Google – the ultimate judge and jury of websites, in many ways – doesn’t just index your content, and then throw you onto the first page of the search results the next day.

Instead, Google prefers to wait and see whether your new website is any good. This is the so-called “Google sandbox” effect. It can sometimes take several months before Google decides that a new website should earn a place in the Google search results.

If you’re just starting your own developer blog, then persevere during this stage! It can be disheartening when it seems like Google doesn’t want to rank the content that you’ve poured hours and energy into writing.

In fact, right now, the site doesn’t have many visitors from Google at all:

Screenshot of Google Search Console results - all-time high of 2 clicks per day
The early days for a new blog - all-time high of 2 clicks in one day!!

Given the effects of the Google sandbox, I’m not expecting much traffic. At the moment, I’m in the content “seeding” phase. If I have an idea for a new blog post, I’m currently writing it for Tutorial Works, not here.

This means there’s already a good selection of content over on the new site which I think you’ll find useful.

For example, in my most recent post, Kubernetes Learning Resources, I do a rundown of all my favourite tools for learning Kubernetes. The list includes all the resources that I’ve been recommending to people over the past few months.

So it’s a long road, and this is the beginning.

Creating a little utopia

“Utopia?!” CRINGE. OK, bear with me.

I wrote an article earlier this year about taking action. Experimentation and trying new things are two of the best ways to learn.

You can read all of the content and blogs that you like, about creating. But, if you really want to find out whether something will work, the only way forward is to actually create it. Start something today.

The great thing about the internet is that you can start a website for free. You can write content and hit publish. Fortunately, big tech hasn’t managed to take this right away from us, yet.

I could continue writing content for this personal blog, or I could exercise my right, and try creating something new and see what happens.

It might succeed, it might not. I’m probably going to be publishing in the dark for months.

But, as with this blog, I want to create the kind of website that I would find useful. As Derek Sivers says in one of my favourite books, Anything You Want:

“When you make a business, you get to make a little universe where you control all the laws. This is your utopia.”

Substitute the word “business” for “website”, and that’s what I’m aiming for.

So what’s going to change?

Very little is going to change around here. I’ll still be publishing articles on this blog, and answering your comments and questions.

My Camel articles are not going away. 😄

But, I’m going to be writing a lot more, and most of my new content will be going onto Tutorial Works first.

Firstly, I’m going to be writing more articles over the Christmas holidays (2020) and publishing a lot of this content over there in the coming weeks.

And I’ll be using this, my personal blog, to be sharing more info. in case it inspires you to start your own blogging journey.

I’m really excited to see what happens with the new website and I hope you can join me there!

Want to read my latest content? Head on over to Tutorial Works now.

Thanks for reading this. If you’ve got any questions or it’s sparked any creativity in you, I’d love to hear your comments.

PS. Also, you should totally create your own website. :)

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