It's been a good 100 days. I've seen some improvement on my designs, I've learned a little about how to make a blog, and I had a lot of fun.
I did get screwed by Google and got my ad account closed. I was hoping to be able to make a little money on the side from this. I've had some suggestions for alternate ways of earning from the blog.. I intend to look into them.
I have some plans in store for this blog. I intend to extend it to more than just the daily posts. Things have been very busy for me lately, school and a busy month entertaining have prevented me from giving this blog the attention I'd like to.
Here is where I declare some things I want to do with the blog, and hope that by putting it out there that I'll be able to force myself to follow through with it.
1. More instructional videos. I have several already filmed, but editing takes a long time. I would love to get to a point where I'm putting out a video every week, or at least a couple a month.
2. I would like to develop more awareness withing the balloon community. One of the reasons I began shooting my videos and then started the blog is because I want to help improve the quality of ballooning as a whole. I am passionate about this business, and I think that it could be accepted as a real art with the right people behind it. With shows like The Unpoppables on TLC helping to bring balloon entertainment into the main stream I think that in the coming years there could be a real surge in people getting interested in balloon twisting and entertaining.
When I tell people I do this for a living, they think of clowns making simple shapes at kids birthday parties. (I don't want that to sound like I'm speaking negatively about clowns. I have some close friends that clown professionally. If anything I'm intimidated by them. They go through hours of preparation to get into their costumes, and have to deal with a lot more social stigma than I do as a balloon entertainer or magician.)
What I'm trying to say is that I hear several times a week that I'm the best balloon twister people have ever seen. When they see me working, or pictures of what I've done, they say that they can't believe these things can be made from balloons.
Those of us that are doing this are in an interesting place. We can take our clients completely by surprise. Most people have no idea what we can do, and if we're smart about the decisions we make and the way we reveal ourselves to the world we could make a huge impact that would help to put our work on the map.
3. If this blog starts getting enough traffic, I'd like to open it up to other contributers. I've already gotten it to the point that I'm getting a couple hundred page views a day. I would like to turn this into a site other balloon twisters would come to for reference or help with their work. If it gets big enough I'd even take it off blogspot and give it it's own .com
I think that I'd have to find a way to make the blog profitable (or at least breaking even) before I invest in it's own hosting package... so if people have any suggestion for good ways to help a blog earn some money I'd love to hear them.
100 days ago I started this blog as an experiment. I didn't have a single follower for the first few weeks and I was just doing this more or less for myself. Today I've gotten it to a point where I think that there could be a future for this crazy idea of mine.
You guys have given me the drive to keep coming back. If there wasn't interest in what I was doing, I don't think I would have kept posting.
I want to get to a point where I could approach some of the bigger names in the community and try for some interviews.
I didn't get into this to make money. I started posting videos on Youtube because someone in a message board asked for help on a design and nobody else was able to provide it. I like helping people, and I think this blog could be a good vehicle for it. If I can get things to a point where the blog could sustain itself on it's own site, then I would love to expand it with a gallery section and a place where videos are collected.
If It gets popular enough, and I have people interested in contributing, then I would love to be able to pay them a little something for their work.
I've grown a hobby into a business in my neck of the woods. I've expanded that to helping other people develop their own skills. I would love to some day say I helped build a community.
So... now that I've given my long winded couple pages... He's what I need from you guys.
Keep coming back. It's the fact that I know people are paying attention to what is happening here that I've kept this up and will continue to do it.
Share this with people you think may be interested. If you know someone that is interested in balloons, send them this way. They just might find something here that they like.
Check out the videos. I know there aren't a lot right now, but I'm going to keep posting them. If I can get the site and the videos to have high enough view counts I can approach sponsors and convince people that it would be worth their time to support the blog.
Give me feedback. What do you like about the blog and what I'm doing? What don't you like? I'm new to this sort of thing, and I'm always happy to hear from someone more experienced than me about what I could do to make things better.
Make requests. I'm not just doing this to help myself improve. I hope that I can help others show improvement with their own work. What do you want to learn? Should I focus more on my little talks about marketing ideas that have worked for me? Are there certain designs that I've posted that you'd like me to make a video for? Are there designs I haven't posted yet that you'd like to see? Make a comment in one of the threads, or contact me personally. I'm trying to make a running list of what people want me to make. I also love to hear from you guys.
Because of this blog and my videos I've had the opportunity to have some really great conversations with people all over the world. I can't tell you how much I'd like that to continue.
Thank you all.
I hope that you will all continue to check back with this blog.
Now, for the picture for today.
I spent some time with a local photographer getting some pictures taken in preparation for Valentines Day. You've seen some of the pictures here on the blog, they are the really nice and shiny ones.
He surprised me with a great composite picture of a lot of the balloons I had brought in. I think it looks great, and I thought it would be a fun one for today.
I'll see you tomorrow.