There’s more to naming your art business than meets the eye. I GOT IT ALL WRONG. Now it’s too late. It turns out that art business names are more important than I thought. So, in hindsight, what should I have done?
As an artist, you should use your own name as the name of your business. The right name is easy to read, spell and remember. A good business name should be as short as possible and be part of your website’s URL for search engines. A good name should also be broad and generic and not too specific.
Of course, it’s not always easy. Your name could be already taken or hard to spell. You’ll have to get creative but there are some key points to remember and they will affect how your site develops. I know that from bitter experience.
Let me explain
(I get commissions for purchases made through links in this post. However, I only promote products I like and recommend)
Why Naming Your Art Business is Important
If you are reading this, you are probably where I was at a few years ago. You are eager to start your own business and you have a hundred and one exciting ideas swirling around your head.
I’ll bet that thinking up creative art business names is not a priority. I thought that too. It was just one of those things I could think about later. Yet it’s one of the most important things to get right.
The mistake I made, right at the beginning, is not taking the name of my own art business seriously enough. I assumed, wrongly as it turned out, that I could simply change my brand name at will.
That’s not quite as straightforward as it seems. You can change your company name in the real world, but it’s not so easy with your domain name.
I didn’t realize that once your domain name has started to rank on Google with your chosen URL, that changing it can kill your rankings. In the eyes of Google, you are starting again. That’s not a big deal when you don’t have traffic, but a very big deal when you do.
I called my site wildlifeartstore.com because I thought was a good descriptive name, containing the keyword I was targeting, and it was a .com domain. All things I knew to be important at the time. Plus it was a catchy name and I liked it.
I went wrong by not considering the possibility that the direction of my business might have to change. As it turned out wildlife art is a very small niche.
Instead of being a suitable name for my website, it has become restrictive. When I began writing art blogs I soon realized that very few people search for wildlife art. I had to broaden my appeal. There wasn’t enough traffic.
Had I used my own name as my brand identity, I could’ve taken my website in any direction I pleased. In effect, I shot myself in the foot.
You’ll be interested in this: How to Start an Art Blog and Make Money for Beginners
Ironically, I registered my full name as a .com domain years ago and decided that there was no need to renew it. When I realized my mistake, someone had bought it and had it up for sale for $100!
My domain name is great for what was intended. Wildlifeartstore.com is perfect for an e-commerce store selling wildlife art. My mistake was to add a blog to the store. I should’ve started a new blog site and linked it to my store.
If I rebranded now, not only would I risk losing all my traffic, I would need to change my social media names and my business cards too. Damn it.
I should’ve researched everything more before I committed myself, and that is what you should do. Step back and don’t rush in. Easier said than done, I know.
There are a few good classes out there that would really help a newbie, such as this one by Katy on Domestika (affiliate). She has good reviews and plenty of sales. Check her out, the course is inexpensive.
Keep The Name of Your Art Business Simple
Ideally, a good art business name reflects who you are and what you’re offering. In other words something like your first name+lastname+art
The trick is finding a unique name that’s both simple and memorable, not an easy task. If you are lucky enough to have a memorable name that hasn’t been bought already, GRAB IT.
Names are important, check this out: How to Name Your Art and Find a Title That Sells
Think about the spelling. Do people get confused and write your name in different ways? In my case, people misspell my last name and replace the ‘e’ with an ‘o’.
That’s a minor issue in most areas of life, but when someone searches for your name online and gets redirected elsewhere you can lose potential buyers.
If your name is difficult, can you shorten it? or what about using a pseudonym for your business? Plenty of authors choose to do so.
You must also consider the length of the domain. You are allowed 60 characters but your name should be much shorter. I’m a member of a blogging site called Project24, and they advise members to find the shortest domain names possible.
Do not use numbers, special characters, or any hint of sexual innuendo, and long names are tedious to write and hard to remember.
The dream is to find a great name below 10 characters, but in reality, domain availability is an issue. Most short pithy domain names were bought years ago. Your best hope is your own name with a prefix or suffix attached.
Find an ONLINE COURSE that suits you.
How to Choose an Art Business Name
It’s only when you start searching and brainstorming names that you realize that others got there long before you appeared. Finding the best art business names takes time and can be frustrating. You will have to research it.
Choose a ‘.com’ domain name. Like it or not, the public associate ‘.com’ with authority. If you choose to name your site YOURNAME.co.uk for instance, you will alienate a lot of searchers in the USA who’ll assume .co.uk is not relevant to them. Why do that?
And that brings up another issue, American spelling. When in doubt, use the American form. Unless you are trying to target a very local market, most of your visitors are likely to be from the States, and naturally, they will search using American English.
As an Englishman, I have only just learned that ‘learnt’ is not used in America. There are many differences and I use an American spellchecker to make sure I don’t make too many errors.
If your name is not available try variations of your name. Let’s make a random name up, we’ll say, Stephen Miller. Let’s presume it’s taken. You could try:
DO NOT use hyphens or underscores.
If your name is unavailable, think tangentially. What describes you and what you do? But be careful not to trap yourself. If you describe yourself as a watercolorist and change your medium later, you’ll regret it.
Be aware that your new business name might be very close to that of another site, or it might be close to a trademark or have a double meaning. If you do choose a name that can be mistaken for another site, all you are doing is sending them your traffic.
Check out the competition and see what they are doing. Google your keywords and see what comes up.
I did some keyword research recently around drawing water and it had a good search volume. When I googled it, people were searching for drawing water from a well. Who’d have thought that? Good job I checked.
Try thinking of a creative name that gives you some wiggle room. Authority words that can evoke your expertise. I wrote a few ideas down when I was brainstorming and these can be the perfect suffix or prefix to your name:
You get the point. They say something about you and your business without being too specific. Get creative.
If on the other hand, if you intend to deliberately make a site targeting a separate type of art, style, or medium, be as specific as you can, but please make sure that your target audience is big enough first. Don’t repeat my mistake.
Check Your Art Business Name On Social media
It’s a good idea to have a name that can be transferred to other social platforms. Check out the major sites, Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube. especially.
Read this I dug deep: Social Media For Artists: The Best 13 Platforms for Creatives
Dot Lung has a popular course on Domestika and it’s cheap too!
If you’re not already active on those networks, it’s worth joining and grabbing your name in case you need it later on.
Branding is all about consistency. Your domain name is like your logo, it’s immediately recognizable. If you can secure your chosen name across your platforms it gives you better exposure and builds trust.
Art Business Name Ideas and Generators
When you Google ‘art business names’ you will see sites listing hundreds of potential names but they fail for one obvious reason. Everyone is skimming the same lists and searching for the same business names.
They are handing your names on a plate, but you are not the first to see them. You are going to waste a lot of time chasing dead ends.
Lists are not totally useless, they can trigger a few ideas but a big list is out of date as soon as it gets published.
Your best option is to visit a site like Nameboy and enter your own keywords to find the domain availability. Use it as your starting point. That’s probably where the list posts got their ideas anyway.
At least you know the names are available right now. Your best option is to visit a site like Nameboy and enter your own keywords to find the domain availability. You can use it as your starting point.
That’s probably where the list posts got their ideas anyway.
I just entered ‘Art’ to see the results and to my amazement, some cool art names appeared.
They want you to join Bluehost hosting. I did that when I first started. All the sites promote them. I didn’t rate their support, and after switching to Hostgator and then to GoDaddy, I found GreenGeeks.
First of all, I get fantastic support and as a non-techy, I need it, plus they are carbon neutral, and that matters to me. They offer the same super cheap introductory offers as all the rest and renew at the standard rates. I like them.
Naming Your Art Business: Final Thoughts
Naming Your Art Business is more important than most beginners realize. I’m living proof that jumping in and registering the wrong name is a big mistake. I was too impatient and I wanted to get things up and running quickly.
Be realistic when you search for catchy art business names, they’re elusive. You might not find the perfect name but there will be plenty of names that are good enough.
Your aim is to choose a name that fits with what you do and doesn’t mislead or deter potential customers.
Keep the characters down to the minimum and look for names below 15 characters if you Don’t waste your time looking for single word names, they’re too hard to find.
Good names do come up all the time, these things are not static. Expired domain names return to the market in their thousands every day. Your perfect name might be one of them.
For more info go to Namecheap and read about expired domains and auctions
Good luck with your search and make sure to read my other articles about starting your own art business.
If you like the way I draw and want to try things for yourself, this is my basic kit: (Amazon affiliate links)
- Pentel Mechanical Pencils 0.3mm
- Derwent Graphic Drawing Pencils
- Daler-Rowney Heavyweight Cartridge Paper
- Jakar Battery Eraser
- Tombo Mono Eraser Pen
- Faber Castell Putty Eraser
- Blu Tack
- French Box Easel
This is a business and you have to think that way. If you want to know how to sell your art for a living the practical way. I’ll show you how.
There are plenty more posts like this, have a look at these:
- How to Sell Landscape Paintings: 13 Ways to Make More Money
- Limited Edition Prints: All You Need to Know
- Can You Copy Art and Sell a Painting of a Painting? I Found Out
- This is How Artists Make Passive Income
- How to Find Art Commissions: A Selling Guide
- Is Selling Art Online Worth It? Can You Make Money?
- What Kind of Art Sells Best? The Popular Subjects Revealed
- 25 Selling Platforms For Artists
Plus find an ONLINE COURSE that suits you.
PIN IT AND SAVE IT