The Value of a Descriptive URL
More importantly than the commoditized value of your URL is the priceless value of your personal brand of which your URL should be an important part.
I began publishing Art Print Issues in 2005. Initially, it came was delivered as an 8-page PDF newsletter and available in HTML at: www.artprintissues.barneydavey.com, a subdomain of my www.barneydavey.com Web site. BarneyDavey.com serves to promote my book and consulting services. You can find links to those early newsletter archives here on Art Print Issues.
Choosing the right blogging platform is helpful
A couple of years ago, I converted to blogging using Typepad as my platform. At the time, I felt the free Blogger was not robust enough for my tastes and WordPress platform required too much tech ability. Although both alternatives have made great improvements, I have never regretted the choice.
Choosing and using the right URL is both smart and crucial
Until recently, despite owning the ArtPrintIssues.com URL since well before its newsletter inception in 2005, I forwarded the address to my BarneyDavey.blogs.com Typepad URL. That was partly due my domain registrar not allowing me to do domain mapping. With domain mapping, one can use a service such as Typepad and have their personal URL function as their blog address. This looks so much more professional than having a composite subdomain address.
I had a confessed complacency with my doing something about my Art Print Issues URL. Since the Typepad URL contained my name, I delayed the hassle of transferring my URL to another domain registrar. I was also unnecessarily concerned about losing traffic or causing confusion during the process.
Choosing the right domain registrar makes your life and marketing easier
If you pay close attention to goings on here, you may have noticed I finally put in the request to transfer from Namesecure to GoDaddy for my Art
Print Issues domain. Now I wish I had done it sooner. Namesecure.com, my former domain registrar, has no way to contact or communicate with it besides email. It takes 24 or more hours to get a response. If you have issues, you have to be patient. GoDaddy, by comparison, has 24/7 US-based live help for all its services. There is no comparison. I have found the GoDaddy service to be top notch with professional, friendly and knowledgeable. It took about a week to get the URL transferred. ICANN rules state they have to be done in 5 business days.
Once I had Art Print Issues with GoDaddy, it only took a few minutes to make the well documented changes provided by Typepad to the CNAME records. A couple of hours or less later and my Art Print Issues began to appear to my blog readers in the address bar. If you have any posts saved or bookmarked to the former URL, don’t worry. They still work and will point directly to what you wanted to keep.
A good domain name is worth thousands, even millions!
Domains have a commoditized value. A check at www.urlappraisal.net shows ArtPrintIssues.com has an auction value of $5,629 while BarneyDavey.com is $7,540. When you think about name value, it makes the effort to get a URL in your own name as opposed to borrowing one from one of the free services worthwhile. When you use www.yourname.blogger.com, you do not own the URL and it has no value to you. I cannot be too smug about the value of my URLs when compared to ArtBizCoach.com which comes in at $32,645, or Art.com only worth a whopping $17 million and change.
The marketing communication branding value of a good domain to an artist is priceless
More importantly than the commoditized value of your URL is the priceless value of your personal brand of which your URL should be an important part. It can be debated, but I believe using your name in your URL is the best thing you can do. It helps with keyword searches, with personal branding, with recognition, and with memory. If someone knows how to spell my name, they can easily find my Web address. If I tell someone to find my blog just remember Art Print Issues, they can get there easily without having to write down or remember some long, complicated multi-part (yourname.blogspot.com) nomenclature.
When it comes to promoting your art, you are the brand. I think taglines like “Painter of Light” are nonsensical and pretty much useless. Every painter paints light; some might capture it better, but do they truly sell more work because they say something like that in a slogan? I doubt it. To my ears, such phrases sound like empty words of blah-blah bravado. If the slogan were descriptive, “Painter of Vintage Autos,” it would at least have communication and marketing value. But, I digress.
It’s not too late to start using a good domain to help market and promote your art business
If you don’t own the URL that is your name, and it is available in any form, get it. If you need to make it: www.johnsmithartist.com, or some other variation, then get the one that works best. I realize some names are long or difficult to pronounce and this is a special challenge. In such cases, you may to be creative in how you brand yourself. Whatever you decide, stick with it and promote it like there is no tomorrow. You may have a considerable investment in branding a URL without your name, you have to decide what the value is and what the future value of using your name would be to you. It could be a tough thing to change, but in many cases, especially for emerging artists, it’s better to bite the bullet now than waiting until you feel you have no options.
If you have a blog or Website that uses a multi-part URL that you don’t own, try to get it domain mapped using your new URL. GoDaddy arguably is the easiest, and it provides an email account with your URL. Speaking of email, set yours up so you can use the URL as your email address even if it is forwarded to your Gmail, Yahoo, or AOL email address. This is just another case of looking professional and extending your brand into cyberspace. The more searchable your name, the better off you are. The more professional you appear in the details, the more confidence you give to dealers and collectors. A lot of little things that are nearly intangible go into making your best presentation of yourself and your business.