I always like to spend the last days of December reflecting the brightest moments of the old year, remembering my achievements and failures, and making resolutions for the new year. 2012 was crazy for me in many aspects: so many things happened both in my professional and personal life. Here is the short list I made of what I have done during the year 2012 and what I am planning to do in 2013.
Enrollement in KCL School for Diploma in Interior Design. There was a huge research I made choosing where to study: I needed a distance-learning education with good student support service and extensive online resources. I have chosen KLC School in London and so far I am very happy with them.
Submitting my first projectin school and receiving an “A” mark for it. My second project is 90% ready and I regret that I couldn’t send it before New Year. However it gives me opportunity to revise it again and improve it.
Starting to learn CAD – I finished introduction courses to AutoCAD, ArchiCad and SketchUp. I found AutoCAD to be an amazing software for creating detailed designs of furniture and interiors but at the same time quite complicated to learn and understand. ArchiCAD on the contrary is very easy to learn (much easier than AutoCAD) and it is a perfect tool for drawing architectural plans. CAD skills are essential for interior designers today so I am planning to strongly focus on improving them in 2013.
Launching L’Essenziale Home Designs. I was never blogging before in my life and the whole experience of creating blog and writing articles for it was very new, exciting and interesting. Here are some interesting facts and figures:
My blog gained more than 180 followers in just 4 months
The majority of my readers come from Russian Federation, USA and UK.
Social Media presence. No blog becomes popular without promotion. Social media is a perfect tool for it. Since launching L’Essenziale I was promoting it in 4 social networks: Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Pinterest. I have read plenty of articles on how to use Social Media for promoting blogs and I found posts from Hubspot and Traffic Generation Cafe to be especially useful. Here are 4 simple strategies I developed for increasing popularity of my blog through Social networks:
Twitter – to gain as many followers as possible. I tweet several times per day with my latest blog posts, interior design tips, articles I recommend, home decor products I like. My tweets are visible on Facebook and on my Blog. I follow every day 3-5 new people. They have to be from the same industry and tweet about interesting and useful things. I don’t aim for “big fishes” with thousands of followers who will not probably follow me back, preferring people from the same niche as me. I give them some time to follow me back and then if they don’t I “unfollow” them. This creates a good ratio between “following” and “followers” on my Twitter account.
LinkedIn – targeted promotion in professional groups. I joined several professional groups, such as “Interior Design Professionals”, “The Elite Interior Design Group”, and many others. I read the news posted in these groups, participate in discussions, leave comments and when appropriate mention posts from my blog.
Facebook – to get as many likes as possible. I created Facebook professional page dedicated to my blog with my posts automatically publicized on it. I promote my FB page to my friends, and also via LinkedIn and Twitter. If people “like” my page they automatically start to receive updates from it in their news feed.
Writing a book. Azerbaijan is one of the most famous producers of handmade carpets. While being here I collected a lot of interesting information about carpet production, patterns and categories which I write about in my book. Hopefully I will publish it next year. About my carpet explorations you can read here,here and here.
A lot of traveling. In 2012 I traveled in 8 different countries, including such beautiful and interesting places as Odessa, Istanbul, Georgia, Latvia, Italy, Azerbaijan. The most important thing is that I finally realized the dream trip of my life – cruise on one of the most beautiful ships in the world Royal Clipper. And I must say that it was absolutely fantastic!
MY NEW YEAR RESOLUTIONS:
Study hard and submit my next 2 projects in the school
Get internship in an interior design company
Update my blog regularly
Learn something new every day
Be active in Social Media
Never give up
I am going for my vacations tomorrow, so I presume this is the last post this year. I want to thank my family and especially my husband for their support, my followers for encouraging me, and God for giving me so many amazing opportunities in 2012.