The Art Marketing News Branding Story
Below is the post I wrote to explain why I changed my domain name. It was a big deal in many ways. It was not any easy decision to make or to implement. I could not be happier with the end result.
Making the change was scary and invigorating. What if I lost my current readers? How would Google handle all the links to my old domain name? On the plus side, it felt fantastic to accept the challenge and break through my fears and go for it. I found facing down my fears gave me courage to keep scaring myself and to keep doing more to breakout to be more, to do more and to live my life and run my business more fully.
My branding story.
Some of you may remember I changed the name of this blog and the domain it uses. The name went from the previous ArtPrintIssues.com to the current ArtMarketingNews.com. I made the change for branding purposes.
In 2005, I came up with ArtPrintIssues.com as the domain name for my blog at the same time I published my first book, How to Profit from the Art Print Market. At the time, it seemed like the smart thing to do. Looking back, it was not the best name or domain name.
You can see I created a new logo and also use the symbol as a favicon to show up in your browser title or tab.
I could not read the tea leaves ten years ago.
I am much more informed today about nearly everything. In some ways, I feel one of Malcolm Gladwell’s Outliers. In his bestselling book, Outliers: The Story of Success, he describes how spending 10,000 hours working on something will make you an expert.
Well, I am sure that I have devoted every bit of 10,000 learning how to write books and get them to market in the last ten years. I’ve learned how to build a blog and website and tons about Internet marketing, and I’m still on a steep learning curve today. It’s all good as I’m enjoying the challenge and look forward to reaping some overdue rewards for my efforts.
In 2005, I did not know I would go on to write and publish five more art marketing books and produce 600 blog posts on art marketing and the art business by the time 2016 would roll around. Nor did I realize how much my focus would widen into offering advice on dozens of other highly significant art business related topics.
An unfortunate domain name choice can cast your art business in a bad light.
If I knew then what I know now, I would not have characterized my blog’s brand with the name Art Print Issues. It was quite functional if I were only going to confine my content to information related strictly to the print market. Unfortunately, I couldn't see ahead. I didn't know about goals and forecasting as I do today.
The result was I often had to take the time to tell my story and explain the origin of the name. It felt in some way as if I was apologizing and hoping you would look beyond the domain name. I’ve found I would sometimes lose potential new readers and otherwise interested artists who thought my blog about was about art prints, which was not a topic of interest to them.
Because of some major initiatives, I am working on now; I was hit with the realization that I could no longer saddle my business' plans with a domain and blog name that did not fully support it.
Changing your domain name is important, but it needs to be done correctly.
Last weekend, I made the switch. I began by changing the blog name and description, and domain name settings inside my WordPress dashboard. I then contacted my host to request a change of the primary address for my blog and hosting account. The next step was to park the ArtPrintIssues.com domain name and forward it to the new ArtMarketingNews.com domain.
Moving on, I added code the root of my hosting account in the .htacess file to ensure the 301 redirects happened without incident. I also refreshed the Permalinks of my WordPress site. Lastly, I logged into Google Webmaster Tools and changed my domain name on that account. I was also able to update the domain name change for my Google Analytics account at the same time.
From what I have found by researching how to do this change smoothly, I will lose some search engine rankings for some keywords and keyword phrases until Google completely reindexes my site. That may take a few weeks. In the end, I’m thrilled to be done and to be sporting a new blog name with the exact same domain name.
If what you read above about changing your domain name sounds techie and scary, then hire a professional to help you. It's a one-time expense that will easily be worth not having to stress over getting it right.