Friday, December 21, 2012

Reflections of Blog Goals 2012

It has been an exciting year here on Sakura Haruka, to say the least. I set some blog goals for 2012 to give myself some direction. Now that it's the end of 2012, it's time to look back on those goals to see how I fared, and to reminisce on some highlights of the year.

1. Build a better brand presence
I identified myself as a Parenting & Lifestyle blogger to provide some perspective into what people {readers & sponsors} can expect to find here. Indeed, over the year, I have written many posts on this aspect.

As a parent, I was anxious as a first-time preschooler's parent, I pondered on the issue of household chores and maids at home, grinned widely whenever I found matching accessories to wear with Lil Pumpkin, enjoyed exploring old playgrounds with my family, and feared for my girl's health when Singapore faced an epidemic in Hand-Food-Mouth Diseases or when she had eczema flare-ups.

As an individual juggling different lifestyles, I shared tips as a busy working mum, introduced the sights & sounds of Singapore, and shared my passions for food {have you tried my pineapple & kiwifruits fried rice recipe??}, fashion and travel amongst other things.

In building a better brand presence, I also got myself some name-cards, prepared my media kit {still need touch-ups, but finally!!}, and designed a blog makeover in July all by myself thank you very much :) Am very pleased with the result and don't think I'll be doing another one anytime soon haha.

One important thing that I neglected for a better online presence was to be more SEO-optimised though. I think doing that would take up a lot of time and require a lot of technical knowledge so I side-lined it. What's your thoughts on this?

2. Build content
I don't really have an editorial calendar whereby I plan way ahead the content, when to write and when to publish it. The earliest I will schedule a post is just about 2 weeks ahead, as I like to keep things current. However, I did set some perimeters to post usually on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays. I host a weekly Wordless Wednesday Linky and I do love my parties with Jess and Grace :)

As planned, I rolled out more regular feature series throughout the year to engage readers on their favourite topics. These included:
I think I did a fairly well job of creating interesting content here. They may not be the wittiest, funniest, or most wonderfully-crafted posts around, but they are definitely written from the heart and I am proud of them.

3. Build community
This was definitely the hardest bit, and one which I spent much effort on - to build better relationships with my readers, fellow bloggers, and sponsors. This was done both on the blog, and off via Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and lately I've joined Tumblr too heh. If you haven't connected with me off the blog yet, please do!

I did join the local bloggers club which provided opportunities for me to run the Greenwich V Amazing Race,  be an ambassador for Casio Sheen watches, meet other Hello Kitty lovers, travel to Macau, and even be recognised for my efforts as a family blogger at the Singapore Blog Awards 2012. The Singapore mum bloggers also provided me another avenue to meet other mums {had about 4 playdates for Lil Pumpkin organised yay!} with the same interest in blogging and to share our experiences.

1 year isn't too short, but it isn't too long either, and relationships certainly need time to flourish. I hope that you have gotten to know me a little better this past year, and continue to grow your friendship with me in 2013. That really is how I see my readers, fellow bloggers and sponsors - as genuine friends wanting the best for each other.

Overall, I think I accomplished the my 2012 blog goals :) So what's in-store for 2013? Check it out here!

How did you think I fared in my blog goals for 2012? 
Did you complete the resolutions you set for yourself?




Aroha @ Colours of Sunset said...

you've had a year of imagining what you wanted this space to be and then building it, i'm sure 2013 will see even more growth and community. enjoy your trip, and looking forward to following along in 2013!

Kylie Purtell said...

I think you have done fabulously reaching your blogging goals. I've really enjoyed getting to know you after finding you through Wordless Wednesday and I look forward to reading even more in 2013.

Thanks for being such a wonderful WW host as well, I've really enjoyed the danboard pics each week.

I hope you and your family have a wonderful Christmas and New Year and that 2013 is filled with even more love and happiness.

The Kids Are All Right said...

It sounds like you've been really committed - good for you. As for SEO, I started to properly optimise articles as I wrote them and it's definitely made a difference. You don't need to do it to all of them IMO, but definitely have some optimised. Good luck for next year.

Seana Smith said...

Hello, what a great idea to list the blog goals and then to recap at the end of the year. I didn't do the one or the other! Just wanted to say that I have learned to optimise for SEO a lot better this year and it isn't too hard at all. I'd really recomment the ebook on I heard Nicole talk on the topic and it helped me a huge amount.

Unknown said...

great ideas-I will be bookmarking this post as I will be doing the same in 2013. Building a blog is handwork. Congrats on all your achievements.Merry Xmas

Ai Sakura said...

Aroha: thanks fur supporting the past year.. I'm excited to see what 2013 brings for all of us too :)

Kylie: thank you! it's been lovely having you around and Mia is such a doll. Happy Holidays to you too!

The Kids are All Right: Yes I will definitely have to look into being more SEO-savvy next yr ;p

Seana: Oh thanks for the recommendation! I've have a look there

Mummy Manifest: good luck in your coming blog goals! Merry Christmas to you too

Veronica @ Mixed Gems said...

These are great, Ai! I can think of the sorts of things I'd set as blog goals if I knew I could stick to them. Maybe in the future sometime. :-) Now the juicy question.....what are your 2013 blog goals?!

Kel said...

I've only recently found you and I feel a little late to the party! But I do think you are an inspiring blogger and you've done well in achieving your goals. Wishing you continued success in the new year.
Merry Christmas xx

Grace said...

"1 year isn't too short, but it isn't too long either, and relationships certainly need time to flourish" - Love this quote.
I've really enjoyed getting to know you this year, Ai. I've loved how your foodie photos have made me crave for Asian food and have enjoyed reading your inspiring posts about family life in Singapore. Look forward to getting to know you even better next year! x

Redcliffe Style said...

It's a great idea to set goals. I have been trying to set blogging goals for myself and I really does help. I have loved following your blog this year and look forward to next year. Have a fantastic Christmas, Rachel xx

Mommy Chuck said...

Hi Ai! It's been great following your inspiring blog n linking up with some of your WW (must admit i have been too busy recently to do so:( ) Enjoy your holiday n I hope u have something similar to WW for 2013! Merry Xmas!

Unknown said...

You've had a great year Sakura. Looking forward to reading more in 2013!

Dominique Goh said...

I've met all of my blog goals for 2012 and am going to be setting some new ones for 2013. All the best in meeting your blog goals for next year.

Susan said...

Blog goals, wow I haven't really given them much thought. But perhaps I should too. Thanks for hosting your WW, I've met some new friends from there. Keep up the good work on your blog :) It's been a real pleasure to follow your blog.

Angie @ Simply Mommie said...

Congrats on meeting yr goals! I just picked up blogging again in July so no blogging goals at all! Lol!

Rina said...

You have done excellent job mama! :) Congrats for meeting your goals in 2012. I am not a resolution keeper. I think I had set some resolutions for 2012 back then but I can't remember about it lol.
But I am setting blog goals for 2013 now and determined to take them seriously :)
I am writing about blog hop dos and don'ts and your linky party is definitely on my top recommendation! (it will be published soon as I am in the middle of writing it right now when decided to pop up here)
Hail 2013!!

Theresa Mahoney said...

Those are some great goals to focus on. I need to set some of my own, but blogging hasn't been a top priority in my life this past year. I am hoping to get a little more organized and come up with a plan of my own to eventually grow, but I've only been blogging for a year, so I am still pretty new at all of this.

Anonymous said...

This is great that you accomplished so much in 2012! It was certainly a busy blogging year for you! Best wishes for the New Year!