Over ten years ago, when I had been learning about web design and had been running a forum for a couple of years, I decided to build my own websites. I registered two domains, illusio.net and illusiocreative.co.uk.
The first, illusio.net was to be my hobby domain for my writing and art, and the latter for web design. I chose a user/brand name because the culture of the web was different back then. It was more common for people to use nicknames, as anonymity was encouraged and the use of ones own name was not favoured, for many reasons. It was mostly about guarding ones privacy. At that time, I had still not considered selling myself as an artist online or creating a porftolio. I did blog however, and had an account on Live Journal.
Later on I decided not to use the illusiocreative.co.uk domain for web design and use it for my art instead. Continuing with the brand name, Illusio Creative still seemed a good idea at the time.
However, in the last year or so, I have come to the conclusion that this is maybe not the best way for me to move forward in terms of marketing myself as an artist/illustrator. I have noticed that very few artists and illustrators use branding, and most use their own names. I don’t feel comfortable with it any more, and in fact a couple of years ago, I did register a domain with my own name.
Why not use a brand name any more? Well, because, I am not a brand. I don’t really want to be. I am a person. I am a person that creates unique and personal art. I know for sure that people are happier and more willing to to engage with a person, not a brand. I know that people are more interested in a person, and not a brand. I know that ones name has ultimately more longevity in terms of art than a brand. I know that people identity with a person more than a brand. How many artists that you know and admire use a brand name?
Now, this has been a big decision. I have for some months been changing account names, deleting others and so on. to this end I also created a new Facebook Page using my own name, despite that my old one now has currently 2,719 followers.
I am also seriously considering dropping the use of this domain and transferring the content to the lorriewhittington.co.uk domain. This would be a BIG change and a decision not to be taken lightly. The current domain is ten years old, whereas lorriewhittington.co.uk is only two years old.
As far as SEO, the older a domain, the stronger it’s web presence and ranking. But, this can also have a down side in terms of spam and spider traffic. Moving all the content would not be easy, though not impossible. I have also been using the associated email addresses for years. It means having to rebuild my ranking and web presence, which will not be easy. So, that has to be thought through.
Whilst leaning towards the use of my ‘name’ domain and dropping this one, I am still not sure. I will be talking it through with my hosting company to see how viable it is. It’s a BIG deal as I said. But, in the meantime I have retitled this site to use my own name and making similar changes elsewhere. If I do take up the new domain and transfer the content from this one, I will forward this domain to the new one. So, when people click on any illusiocreative.co.uk links they will be automatically forwarded to the new domain.
So, this may be my last post as Illusio Creative. We shall see. If you have any thoughts, views and feedback, they are welcomed, believe me.