As I mentioned in my last blog entry, my website is up. Today, I can report that I have made it visible to search engines, and enabled Google Analytics. Yes, my site is finished, at least enough to feel that it is worthy of display. Sure, I'm still planning to tweak bits and pieces, and add frequent blog entries (both as Santa, as well as the North Pole News) as well as episodes of "The Story of Santa", which will eventually end up in book form, but for now will provide a distraction to younger readers who find my site.
I also set up a GigSalad account. I'm not sold on the idea that this is the best way to generate business, since it comes with a fee (6%/$20/gig), and it doesn't link back to all the other social media I plan on having. But everyone tells me that it is necessary, so I set it up.
I didn't mention it in any of my previous blog entries, but during the photo session last month, the clasp on the brand new reindeer brooch I had bought to put on my Santa hat broken off. I couldn't even fix it, since I evidently lost a piece when I picked it up. Didn't particularly like those pin and clasp arrangements anyway, so I went online and bought a pack of those magnets you use on the back of fancy plastic name tags. Sticky tape on magnet replaces pin and claps, and I'm all set. The remaining 9 magnets went in my Santa tool kit for future repairs.
While I was putting my gear away, I noticed that the vinyl belt that I had used for the photo session was already tearing at the buckle hole I had used. Not too surprised, since I'm rough on belts... I usually go through a standard leather belt every year or so, so vinyl doesn't stand a chance. I have a couple of backups (in vinyl), but it's too important to depend on these things, so just before sitting down to enter this blog entry, I went on one of the sites I found for such Santa belts (https://www.yourtack.com/Santa.html) and bought a good 3 1/2" leather belt with brass buckle. I suppose that I could have found something cheaper if I'd asked around, but this is still a lot cheaper than the belt(s) that I hope to have in the future. Meanwhile, it is 1000% better than vinyl.
One of the sad things about being a beginning Santa is that I have to deal with all the expenses involved with getting started (Santa Wear, Photos, Beard Treatments, etc.), and won't be seeing any return for months. Yes, I know that gigs are assured, since I am working with the local IBRBS group, and they assure me that they're always looking for someone to offload extra work on. Next year, I fully expect to be able to have money for the "nice to have" stuff... but this year goodies like trips to Gatlingburg, Atlanta, Denver, etc. are not in the cards. Same with going to a Santa School... this year. I already have that stuff mentally penciled in for 2018 (assuming work allows, and my not being a total Santa-flop).