thesunshinebloggeraward

The Sunshine Blogger Award

I was recently nominated by the lovely Scarlett of Scarlett’s Scribbles for The Sunshine Blogger Award! Thank you so much for thinking of me, Scarlett!

Check out her post here!

As Scarlett describes, “the Sunshine Blogger Award is given by bloggers to fellow bloggers who inspire positivity and creativity in the blogging community.”

Here are the rules:

  1. Thank the person who nominated you and link their blog to this post (done above)

  2. Answer the eleven questions asked by your nominator. (done below)

  3. Nominate eleven bloggers. (below, sort of…)

  4. Ask them eleven questions, different to the ones you’ve answered. (done below)

  5. List the rules (in progress)

  6. Display the Sunshine Blogger Award logo on your post and blog site (done below)

Firstly, the questions given by Scarlett:

What’s your favourite childhood memory?

A few come to mind, but probably my mom and grandparents surprising me with Celtic Thunder concert tickets for my 13th birthday!  I’m not as much of a super fan as I was at the time, but I still listen to their music now and I can’t help but smile when I think back to that moment.

Fruit or vegetables?

This is so hard!  At the end of the day, probably fruit (infinitely thankful in this moment that avocado is technically a fruit!). I’m sorry cauliflower–please forgive me.

What’s your favourite Disney film?

Beauty and the Beast!  Tangled is a close second, I think.

What’s your pet peeve?

Ugh, so many things. People who refuse to (and literary standards that oppose) using the Oxford comma is one that’s particularly irritating.  It’s so beneficial!  Who does it hurt to use it? No one!

What’s your unpopular opinion?

On a similarly literary point (#writerproblems), double-spacing after a full stop.  It’s so deeply ingrained from typing courses that I can’t switch no matter how hard I might try!  A lot of editors vehemently oppose it, yet here I am.

Also, at the risk of bringing the wrath of the internet upon me, Beyonce is terribly overrated. Not untalented by any means, but not at the level of amazing that some of the scariest devotees reach. Ditto for Arianna Grande and Lana del Rey, in my opinion (and the list goes on).

What song never fails to cheer you up?

With the most ridiculous answer maybe ever, “Put a Banana in Your Ear” from Charlie the Unicorn!

Why did you start blogging?

I’ve touched upon this a few times over the years, but it all started when my then-roommate mentioned her Disney blog.  I’d had a few failed attempts at blogging in years past, but hadn’t really stuck with it.  That spark of inspiration became my last blog, TO&E, which then transitioned into For the Sake of Good Taste!

Which year of your life has been your favourite so far?

Well, I decided as a child that my favourite number would be four because I didn’t want to turn five, so that year must have been pretty good (I don’t remind my reasoning much more clearly).  But, at the risk of sounding painfully corny, 23 has been treating me rather well as of late.

What’s your favourite animal?

Llamas (/alpacas) and ocelots spring to mind! More specifically though, it’s Fitz, of course.

If you could live in any fictional world, which would it be?

The Underland from Suzanne Collins’ The Underland Chronicles, though post-prophecy (war-torn nations aren’t really my forte).  But I’ve wanted nothing more than to ride a giant bat since first reading this series years ago.

And, of course, I’d be remiss (and probably lose my Harry Potter fan card) if I didn’t make a point of saying that being at Hogwarts would be pretty darn cool!

As this is the sunshine blogger award, what makes you happy?

I have a whole post about this one!  But the TLDR version? My cat, coffee/tea, books, notebooks (and writing in general), and the people that make life worth it.

Nominations

Now, I’ve done some posts like these before and tend to run into not knowing many bloggers who haven’t done this already (and are open to this sort of post in the first place).  So (in a method I believe I’ve used before), I’d like to open the invitation to any 11 bloggers to comment below and run with this “nomination!” I’ll link to you (and your post) here when it’s ready!

My Questions to the Nominees

  • What is the best piece of advice you’ve ever gotten?
  • What’s your favourite thing about yourself?
  • Who is your all-time favourite person?
  • What book do you recommend most often?
  • Who’s your favourite historical figure?
  • How do you handle stress?
  • What is your favourite vegan food? Even non-vegans can answer–chances are you like something that’s accidentally vegan or, you know, a type of fruit!
  • What’s your favourite poem? Don’t have one? Go find one! 
  • Coke or Pepsi…and why?
  • What’s your favourite fun fact?
  • What’s the most ridiculous thing you would buy if you were suddenly given a million dollars?

Thank you again to Scarlett for the nomination, and before to let me know in the comments if you take up my open nomination for the Sunshine Blogger Award!

thesunshinebloggeraward

2019 Blogging Goals

2019 Blogging Goals

Over 2018, For the Sake of Good Taste really started to hit its stride in terms of where it’s going in the future.  As I nailed this down, my ideas for 2019 blogging goals really became crystal clear!  We might not have accomplished all of our (admittedly ambitious) 2018 goals, but I’m confident this year can be bigger and better.

Like last year, I’m sharing my yearly blogging goals (and, later, my personal goals as well!) with all of you.  I hope to be a bit better at updating my progress throughout the year, too, so stay tuned!

Quadruple our traffic

Once again, I’m setting “quadruple our traffic” as a blogging goal for the year.  We didn’t quite reach our target in 2018, but we’ve continued to grow in leaps and bounds and I have no doubt that this year can be even better!  I’m rounding the quadrupled number for simplicity’s sake.

For record-keeping, here are our 2018 stats and, from there, our 2019 goal stats:

Page views:

2018: 9,530

Goal: 38,000

Sessions:

2018: 4,118

Goal: 15,000

Users:

2018: 5,250

Goal: 21,000

And, while these aren’t being tripled exactly, I’d like to improve the average time spent on the site (spend some time delving into the archives!) as well as our bounce rate.

Average Time Spent:

2018: 1:55

Goal: 5:00

Bounce Rate:

2018: 57.94%

Goal: 25%

Increase our retention

Again, this is an important goal for the year.  I love gaining new readers, but I want our already-loyal followers to keep coming back, too!  My goal for this one is 40% returning traffic, 60% new; last year, we ended up at just 4.1% vs. 95.9%.

Social Media

Facebook was a bit of a pain in the neck throughout 2018, but we otherwise did remarkably well on our 2018 social media goals!  With that in mind, I’m hoping to once again blow it out of the water when it comes to our primary social media channels this year.

I’m including LinkedIn and Quora here, too, though they don’t quite fit the standard “social media” profile.  Quora has proved to be a really great source of traffic (the key is to give really helpful answers to relevant questions!).  And while I haven’t really utilised LinkedIn much in terms of blogging growth, I’m hoping to develop it throughout the year.

For LinkedIn, I plan to track how many times I share blog updates, rather than the likes/followers I’m tracking for other networks.

So, our 2019 social media goals:

Facebook: 150 likes

Twitter: 2,000 followers

Instagram: 1,000 followers

Pinterest: 750 followers

BlogLovin’: 100 followers

LinkedIn: 100 updates

Quora: 50 followers

Feature four guest posts

This breaks down to at least one a quarter and doubles our 2018 goal.  Since we were able to share three guest posts in 2018, I’m confident we can have at least four amazing bloggers visit this year!

We’ve already got one guest post lined up for later this month, so so far, so good!

Are you a blogger who’d like to learn more? Check out our media kit and shoot us an email!

Share two guests posts

I didn’t set a goal to guest post on other blogs in 2018, but I’d really like to do so this year.  I actually did share three last year despite the lack of a formal goal, so I’m hoping to keep up that momentum!

Are you a blogger looking for guest posters? Check out our media kit and shoot us an email!

Work with five brands

As our stats continue to improve, I’m confident that we can get even more brands excited to work with For the Sake of Good Taste!

I’m also planning to pitch a few brands directly, something that I have yet to do successfully (I tried once with my last blog, to no avail!).  It’s moderately terrifying, but I’m going to do it!

Are you a brand who’d like to learn more? Check out our media kit and shoot us an email!

Create three original products

With our upcoming ebook and a course already in the works, this one should be relatively painless.  A successful launch on the other hand?  Well, fingers crossed!

Swap It! should be coming your way later this quarter, with the course later in the year. I’m still brainstorming some ideas for a third product, so let me know if you’ve got any suggestions!

Fellow bloggers, what are your 2019 blogging goals?

2019 Blogging Goals

Blogmas Post Ideas

50 Blogmas Post Ideas for Lifestyle Bloggers (Blogmas 2018, Day Four)

If you’re doing Blogmas this year, you may have had all of your posts scheduled way in advance.  Or, you may be posting daily as we go! If you’re in the latter camp, or if you’re reading this post preparing for Blogmas in the future, here are some Blogmas post ideas for lifestyle bloggers!

Of course, nearly all of these can be adjusted for your holiday of choice–please don’t feel limited if I refer to a Christmas post! Additionally, many of these would work for Vlogmas, too.

Be sure to check out our Blogmas 2018 posts for even more inspiration!

50 Blogmas Post Ideas for Lifestyle Bloggers

  1. DIY Christmas cards
  2. Winter Beauty Looks
  3. Gift Guides for ______
  4. Review of a holiday product
  5. Family-favourite Holiday Recipes
  6. Decoration Haul
  7. Ideas for winter break
  8. Reasons you’re on the naughty/nice list this year
  9. Gift Haul (if your recipients don’t read your blog–don’t give away their presents before they receive them!
  10.  Holiday Nail Art
  11.  Looks for the Holiday Season
  12. Favourite Holiday Quotes
  13. Holiday Crafts
  14. Hot chocolate recipes
  15. Copycat recipes of holiday favourites
  16.  Favourite places to buy gifts
  17. Things to be grateful for over the holidays
  18. Snow Day Activities
  19. Best Christmas stories
  20. How you’ve spent Christmas
  21. The best trips to take over the holidays
  22. Ways to spread the holiday spirit
  23. Favourite Christmas memories
  24. Best Gifts You’ve Gotten
  25. Favourite Holiday Outfits
  26. Ways to Include Your Pets in the Festivities
  27. Holiday Tips for Spoonies
  28. Guide to the Holidays in Your Favourite City
  29. Christmas Printables
  30. Pros and Cons of Christmas
  31. How to deal with difficult family members/questions from family
  32. Unique Holiday traditions from your culture
  33. Least favourite Christmas songs/movies/etc.
  34. DIY Decorations
  35. Ways to help those less fortunate this Christmas
  36. Elf on the Shelf inspiration
  37. Holiday activities for _____
  38. Unique/unusual gift ideas
  39. Inspiration for setting the Christmas table
  40. Best Christmas jumpers
  41. Holiday party ideas
  42. Tips/Ideas for festive Instagram shots
  43. Gingerbread house inspiration
  44. How to stay sane over the chaos of the holidays
  45.  Cleaning/organisation ideas for the holidays
  46. Testing Pinterest holiday ideas
  47. DIY gifts
  48. Favourite festive YouTube videos
  49. Celebrating Christmas in a warm/tropical climate
  50. Holiday perfumes/fragrances

Blogmas Post Ideas

Are you participating in Blogmas this year? What post ideas are you most excited about?

Happy Blogmas

Blogs to Follow

20 Blogs to Follow ASAP

Of course, I’m of the opinion that you should be following For the Sake of Good Taste.  But it’s just one of the countless blogs that you seriously need to be following to get the most out of your internet life. Here’s a selection of some of the best blogs to follow (in my humble opinion).

Future Jules here!  It’s now November 2018 and I’m giving this post a quick makeover.  Some of these lovely bloggers have rebranded and a few are no long in the blogosphere, so I’m adjusting accordingly.  Even better?  I’m including even more amazing bloggers! 

A Little Ashley

Ashley recently graduated from Clemson University and is now getting her master’s in marketing research as well as blogging!  She describes her blog as being “about college tips, life advice, and other random ramblings.”

Check out:

Galveston Island Travel Guide

Simplified Planner Organization

Formal Dresses Under $70

July Highlights & Birthday Post

A Little Guide: Gameday

Julia Does

Julia’s blog covers sustainable living, mental health, college life, travel, and more!  She’s also the founder of The Empathy Collective, which I didn’t realise for far too long.

Check out:

Things My Anxiety Makes Me Do

How to be an Active Citizen

How to Make the Most of Your Syllabus

Why I Became Vegetarian

The Truth About Therapy

Living in Full Bloom

Alyssa from Living in Full Bloom describes her site as “a college advice blog focused on helping you have an amazing college experience!”  And she’s so right!  From organization advice to book recommendations, there’s something here for everyone.

Check out:

How to See Paris in Three Days (On a Budget)

8 Must-Have Summer Break Essentials

Adulting Hack:  I Tried Habit Trackers

How to Deal with Your Student Loans after College

How to Practice Self-Care in Your Twenties

Patience and Pajamas

In sharing her life with chronic illness, Peyton is one of the bloggers I relate to the most.  She’s incredibly honest about the struggles she encounters, but she still manages to be absolutely inspiring.  She’s also a college student and shares her college experience, too.

Check out:

3 Podcasts I am Loving Right Now

Flying with POTS: How I Prepare and What I Bring

Three Ways to Help Save Hundreds Shopping for Your College Dorm

What’s In My Hospital Bag? Infusion Edition

10 Things Not to Say to a Service Dog Handler

The Wise Willow

Another Alyssa and a fellow vegan!  She introduces herself as ” a third-year college student passionate about writing, minimalism, vegan living, and coffee.”  Is it any wonder we get along?  Plus, she’s got the best menu headings on her site, from “Literary Love” to “Inspiration and Musings.”  So creative—I love it!

Check out:

Your Comprehensive Guide to Cruelty-Free and Vegan Brands

DIY Gratitude Journal

The Art of Abandoning Your Comfort Zone

Traveling on a Tight Budget:  Tips & Tricks

Toothbrushes Made Out of Bamboo?

Lauren’s Journey

Lauren’s Journey is a mental health and lifestyle blog–with frequent appearances by some of the cutest furry friends!  Lauren is one of the sweetest people I’ve met through blogging and I’m so happy to call her a friend!

Check out:

Self Care While Studying Abroad

Updated Everyday Makeup Routine

The Most Picturesque Place in Edinburgh

The Daily Self-Care Bag I Never Leave Home Without

The Difference Between Emotional Support Animals and Psychiatric Service Animals

This Girl Knows It

Charlotte recently rebranded her site and I am so excited to see where this new direction takes her!  I love seeing our old group of college bloggers go off into the world and do amazing things! This Girl Knows It’s tagline is “Travel More, Blog Often,” and I absolutely love it

Check out:

7 Must-Have Tips to Successfully Tour London in Under 24 Hours

5 Steps to Requesting and Receiving the Best Recommendation Letter Ever

My Disney College Program Bucket List

The Display Dorm Room vs the Real Dorm Room:  Why You Need to See Both

The Must-Have Guide to Conquering Long Reading Assignments

Scarlett’s Scribbles

I met Scarlett fairly recently through a blogging group and we’ve hit it off beautifully!  I was fortunate enough to guest post on her blog, too.  Scarlett’s a fellow English B.A., but blogs about a whole array of fantastic topics.

Check out:

My 5 Top Tips for University

The Room Where It Happened: Hamilton, A Review

Introduction: 100 Bucket List Films

Review #1: 100 Bucket List Films

Review:  The Silent Patient by Alex Michaelides

Tiny Ray of Sunshine

Kim is “a San Diego based bullet journalist who’s been Bullet Journaling for over 2 years. I share how to optimize your Bullet Journal® through ideas, insight, and advice.”  Tiny Ray of Sunshine is without a doubt one of my go-to sites for bullet journal inspiration, as well as her posts on BulletJournal.com!

Check out:

The 8 Stages of the Bullet Journal Addiction

Highlight Lines to make your charts and trackers easier to read in your Bullet Journal

What are Some Things That Make You Smile?

Happy NaJoWriMo:  Some thoughts on Journaling

Free Bullet Journal Reference Guide

A Word with Liu Miao

I’ve been fortunate enough to work with Liu Miao a few times now, most recently on guest posts for her National Adoption Month and Spoonie Series! She blogs about college, chronic illness, adoption, and more.

Check out:

College Life Lessons

What’s in my Purse: Spoonie Edition

Snacks to Bring to College Classes

What’s On My iPhone

My Spoonie Story

GenTwenty

GenTwenty is actually a group of contributors, but it “was founded in 2013 by Nicole Booz and Gina Oursler, two friends passionate about dispelling myths about Gen Y while providing their peers with support and reassurance during the crazy twenty-something years.”  You’ll find anything from (physical AND mental) health to financial tips.  There’s truly something for everyone!

Check out:

Keep the Avocado Toast:  Here’s How to Really Save Money

5 Things to Purge at the End of the Year

How Working Abroad Can Accelerate Your Career

How to Gain Respect When You’re the Youngest in the Office

5 Holiday Self-Care Tips to Use this Season

My Lifelines

I’ve gotten to know Abby the best out of the three wonderful ladies who run My Lifelines, but the entire trio is absolutely fantastic!  They are the most incredibly supportive people and are so passionate about empowering other women.  Their enthusiasm is contagious!

Check out:

Examining Gender Roles

F.T.L.: Breed Compassion

Women Wednesday:  Top 10 Inspirational Women of 2018

Insecurities

Q&A with ALJ

Jessica Dimas

Jessica writes:  “I mostly write about utilizing the law of attraction and the importance of self-care .” She’s such an inspiration!  Her site really teaches you to follow its tagline:  dwell in magic.  I love how open and sincere she is about her life!  I recently got far more into the law of attraction than ever before and Jessica’s site has been my top resource along the way!

Check out:

Creating Abundance When Surrounded by Lack

Getting Started with Self-Care

Why & How I Use Crystals

Practical Tips for Manifesting Your Goals

10 Spiritual Items I’m Loving

There Might Be Coffee

Nat is another blogger I’ve gotten to know through our little group of collaborators and she’s so sweet!  She loves all things geeky, which I, of course, love!

Check out:

Jennifairy x Sour Attitude Club Pika Sweets Cafe Pin Badges

November Wish List ’18

Barry M Unicorn Primer Drops – Review

London Adventure – What I Plan To Do

Another 10 Facts About Me!

Productive & Pretty (currently unavailable, 1/12)

Another go-to for bullet journal ideas.  Jen and Liz are “passionate about productivity in all forms, so you’ll see a variety of posts around here from general productivity, organizing, DIY projects, and of course our current favourite, Bullet Journaling!”  Even if bullet journaling isn’t your thing (which, really, you should give it a try!), you can find posts on productivity, organizing, crafts, and more.

Check out:

Simple Strategies to Help You Do It All

How Dot Grid Paper Will Make You More Productive

Small Changes for a Better Life

10 Ways to Get More Time (So You Can Have a Life)

10 Easy Steps for a More Organised Life

The Happy Arkansan

You might recognise Amanda from her guest post here on For the Sake of Good Taste!  Amanda is one of the most positive people I know and she’s also one of the most incredibly productive bloggers and freelancers.

Check out:

5 Things Freelancers Have to Stop Telling Ourselves

Leaving Academia for the Hustle:  Finding My Version of Financial Freedom Online

Style File:  Learning to Love Leopard Print

10 Extra Ways to Get Your Organization Noticed On Campus

11 Shows That Will Soothe Your Quarter-Life Anxiety

Cozy Stylist

Lindsey is a fellow blogger here in PA with a fantastic fashion sense (and a love for cats!). Her comfy, cosy outfit picks are fantastic–I’ll never turn down something that’s both cosy and cute!

Check out:

What to Pack for a Fall Trip to New England

Stylish Olive Green Jacket Outfits

How to Dress for Work When It’s Hot Outside

From Couch to 5k – My Workout Outfit

How to Shop for Clothes on Amazon

Lavrax

Lav is a blogger from London who I’ve only recently gotten to know, but I’ll already call a favourite!

Check out:

How to Deal with Imposters Syndrome

Learning Your Partner’s Native Language

How My Dad’s Veganism Affected My Life

Baby Loss Awareness Week

Hangover Day: Lavrax Style

Kay at Home

Kay is the fourth blogger in our little group chat!  She’s a craft and lifestyle blogger from Cornwall with excellent taste!

Check out:

Inspirational Gifts for Kids – Quentin Blake and the Science Museum

*Date Night* – 8 Years, 8 Things

My Upcycled Craft Room – Statement Cork Notice Board with Crown Paints

Days Out – A Doorway to Wonderland at Antony House

In the Kitchen – Not So Spooky Shortbread Bats

Coffee with Summer

Summer is another PA life & style blogger, and a fellow INFJ!

Check out:

How to Develop a Creative Process for Your Blog

Edgy Outfit for Fall

World Suicide Prevention Day – Part of My Story

5 Nashville Murals You Must Visit

How to Grow in Confidence & Positive Self-Talk

You’re still here? You have a whole list of new blogs to follow!  Which one is your favourite?

Blogs to Follow