Blogging Tips From Kirsten Burrows At Treat Yourself Sweeter
Today I would like to introduce you to Kirsten from Treat Yourself Sweeter. I first had the pleasure of meeting Kirsten on Triberr, and since that time she has become a guest contributor over at my site at Smart Party Planning. Aside from Kirsten’s mouth watering recipes, the thing that really captured my attention was her commitment to her blogging and her absolute passion for what she does.
Whilst Kirsten is relatively new to the blogging world, you wouldn’t think so when looking at her slick, clean and confident site. She knows the meaning of ‘engaged blogging’ and she is certainly someone to watch in the future.
So please make Kirsten feel welcome and connect with her at the end of the post!
1. Tell us about yourself and your blog at Treat Yourself Sweeter
I am Kirsten, a full time primary school teacher, I also own my own cake and cupcake business and I am a full time blogger- life is busy!
A chocolate, liquorice and peanut butter lover, I have a passion for food and cooking is almost my favourite thing to do.
I grew up in a Hungarian family where food is a huge part of life; celebrations, family gatherings and generally just chatting about our love of food.
All of this glorious food was not always the best for you, so over the years I began to explore, create and recreate recipes with a focus on healthier options.
2. What made you start blogging?
Quite often I am asked at family functions ‘How did you make this? Can I have the recipe?’
I love chatting about food, sharing my creations and encouraging healthier menu options, with the occasional treat.
The Treat Yourself Sweeter blog was the perfect way to share my love of cooking with people all over the world!
3. On average, how much time do you dedicate to your blogging and how do you keep track of what you are doing?
The short version is, not enough time!
Work in the blogging world never seems to end; there is always something else to do. I try to dedicate at least a couple of hours each night and then spend more time on the weekend cooking, creating and catching up on things I missed during the week.
I am not very good at keeping a calendar, timetable or roster of posts (I need to get better!) but I keep everything in labelled folders on the computer. That helps keep some sort of order!
4. If you could have told yourself ONE thing when you started blogging, what would it be?
Have patience! I think I am testing myself because that is the one thing I am really not good at!
I have learnt that you need to have a lot of patience, it all takes time; good content, traffic, comments. I am really happy with the work I have done so far, but I have big dreams and big expectations, so having patience with myself and acknowledging realistic goals has been tricky.
5. Do you already, or do you plan to make an online income from your blog? If you are making money already, what has been your most successful method?
Ideally, I would love to earn extra income from my blog, who wouldn’t? Realistically though, I have a lot to learn.
In my first few weeks of blogging I spent a lot of time getting to know the tech guys! I think a few of them knew me by name and my site like the back of their hand by the end of the second week.
Earning an income from my blog is my next goal, but I haven’t work out how to go about this. Happy for any advice!
6. I understand that you also work as a teacher. How do you juggle the demands of working life as well as blogging?
Late nights and a very supportive partner!
I have to be really organised to ensure that I have enough time for both school and Treat Yourself Sweeter. I try to look at what is coming up in my work schedule and use weekends and non-meeting nights to make up the difference.
I would say on average that I work 6 or 6 1/2 days full time (plus nights). Sundays are usually dedicated to getting things organised for the coming week. It can be extremely tiring, but when you love what you do, it doesn’t feel like ‘work’.
7. What would you say is your favourite social media platform and why?
Thanks to a certain someone, named Catherine Holt- Google + is now my favourite. I had never been on it before and found juggling Facebook and Twitter frustrating as I saw little reward in return.
The communities on Google + have been great and I have seen a spike in my traffic since I began. Things seem to be shared more on Google + with like-minded people who are more likely to comment and engage with you and your post.
8. What has been the biggest hurdle that you have come across in your blogging career to date? How did you overcome this?
Number one, without a doubt – technology.
My experience with the tech world was very limited (I discovered) not only with the setting up (I originally thought a blog and widget was the same thing…) but also learning the ropes around the social media maze. I have spent hours on the phone to techs, from not being able to get something to work to when I accidently brought my whole site down. Oops!
Having a good supportive system was vital. For me, none of my friends are experts in this field, so having companies with tech support that was friendly, supportive and patient was vital. I don’t know how many times I said, ‘I have NO idea what you are talking about’.
9. How do you drive traffic to your blog and grow your readership?
I find this one a hard one. So far in my short blogging career, I have relied on social media as well as linking sites where I can post my recipes.
I have found that photos have really been the maker or breaker of being accepted or rejected. I always take on the feedback I get, whether from family, friends, comments or other sites and try to use that to improve. I look at traffic to see what visitors are engaging with and use that for future posts.
10. What is the most important piece of advice you could give to a new blogger?
Chill out, relax, enjoy the ride.
Do it because you love it and are passionate about your content. If you don’t get your blog post done because you are busy or you have writer’s block- the world, or your blog won’t end!
11. What are your bigger plans for your blogging? What will we see happening next on Treat Yourself Sweeter?
Continue to provide great recipes and I am hoping to eventually have information posts about certain food groups and ingredients.
My plan is to use those with expertise in the field to inform people about nutritional information and also the energetic properties of certain foods, such as those used in Chinese Medicine. Down the track, I would love to sell some of my own products and creations- that would be awesome!
I’d like to say a huge thank you to Kirsten for sharing with us today. If you would like to connect further with her, you can do so at her social media profiles.
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Please complete the form below, and provide some information about yourself and your blog.
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