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!

Treat Yourself Sweeter

1. Tell us about yourself and your blog at Treat Yourself Sweeter

Kirsten Burrows on Blogging Tips 101I 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.

Google + / Twitter / Facebook / Pinterest

Would you like to be considered for an interview at Friday’s Featured Blogger? 

Please complete the form below, and provide some information about yourself and your blog.

You will be contacted once your application has been considered.

Your Name (required)

Your Email (required)


Your Message


Written by

Catherine Holt is the founder of Blogging Tips 101. She has been an internet marketer since 2012. Connect with her on Twitter, Facebook, Google and Pinterest.

16 Responses to “Blogging Tips From Kirsten Burrows At Treat Yourself Sweeter”

written by Kirsten @ Treat Yourself Sweeter On 3 October 2014 Reply

Thank you so much for this opportunity! I love – it has helped me find my way through the blogging maze! A great resource for anyone wanting to learn more

written by Catherine Holt On 3 October 2014 Reply

Your welcome Kirsten. Every blogger has to start somewhere and you are a great example of someone who achieves great things when they have the determination and the commitment. It was a pleasure featuring you :-)

written by Ryan Biddulph On 5 October 2014 Reply

Hi Catherine and Kirsten,

Amen 5 times over on having patience. Patient bloggers rock out their niche because they have fun – ties nicely into your other advice – and miss out on the struggles that impatient bloggers seem to find themselves facing, so much of the time.

By being patient I created value and made friends with top shelf bloggers, and as I was more patient, the quality and amount of good, helpful content, that I churned out, improved, and the quality of my blogging network improved too.

Win-win, on both levels.

Thanks so much guys. Tweeting through Triberr and signing off from Fiji.


written by Catherine Holt On 6 October 2014 Reply

A blogger without patience wont last long will they Ryan. Good things come to those who wait…so they say! And also those who go out and grab the opportunities with both hands….lol.

Your right tho, having the patience will greatly benefit all aspects of your blogging. From building those much needed connections (which can not be done overnight), to learning how to create the awesome content. It is all something that is done over time and the more patient you are, the more benefits you will see.

Thanks for sharing with us, have a great week!

written by Kirsten @ Treat Yourself Sweeter On 8 October 2014 Reply

Thanks Ryan! Sometimes I think my site is growing unusually slow compared to others- I like the idea of creating value and especially connecting and becoming friends with those top self bloggers (like Catherine!) Enjoy the Fijian sun! I am hoping to enjoy some of that next year ;)

written by Marc On 7 October 2014 Reply

Hi Kirsten, it’s interesting to read your story. It reminds me of the days I spent working on my blog part-time while having another full-time job. I worked evenings and weekends on my blog for about a year and a half before finally being able to replace my full-time income and quit my job in 2008. From reading your responses to Catherine’s questions it seems like you have a great perspective, which I think is critical. You seem to have very realistic expectations and you’re willing to put in the work, so I am sure you will reach your goals if you stick with it.

One thing that really helped me when I was just getting started was to write for other blogs as much as possible (without totally neglecting your own blog). When I first left my full-time job I actually made more than 50% of my income from freelance blogging. I didn’t intend to do it forever, but it allowed me to leave my job a lot sooner than if I had to wait for my own blog to make several thousand dollars per month. If you can get a few on-going gigs writing for other blogs it can be a good use of your time. Just as important as the income, it’s a great way to build a strong network and get to know some influential bloggers and editors, and it also helps to build your name recognition.

As far as traffic is concerned, do you use Pinterest? I think your content would do really well there. I don’t have any experience with food or recipes, but I use Pinterest for a site in the photography industry and I see tons of recipes and stuff on there all the time. And one of the best things about Pinterest is that it can send traffic that is more sustained rather than just sending visitors for one day and then fading off, like Twitter or Facebook.

written by Catherine Holt On 7 October 2014 Reply

Wow Marc, the fact that you were able to quit your FT job in only a year and a half shows your dedication to your work! That is awesome!

After you have been blogging for a while it is easy to forget what it is like at the beginning and it’s great to have refreshers to think back to where you have come from and being able to assist others in their journey.

You have raised some great points here for Kirsten. I agree that Pinterest is an awesome platform for her blog, and would be an uber source for traffc.

Thanks for stopping by and sharing a comment here :-)

written by Kirsten @ Treat Yourself Sweeter On 8 October 2014 Reply

Hi Marc. Thank you- you made me smile! I love hearing that others have been successful with their blogs. I am very aware that not all blogs survive, so words like yours from an experienced blogger really means a lot! Congratulations on your blog- you must have worked so hard! A year and a half is awesome!
I am lucky that I connected with Catherine and my blog has grown from her tips. I will definitely look into free lance writing as I really enjoy it. Thanks for the tip.
You gave me a really good reminder- I need to not be so slack with Pinterest. I get a bit of traffic from there but I am not very good at pinning my photos. I think I have some catching up to do today ;)
Thanks for taking the time to share your story and advice.

[…] Kirsten is a dedicated food blogger who has a passion for cooking. Learn the blogging tips she shares in this interview.  […]

written by Kevin Duncan On 8 October 2014 Reply

Hi Kirsten and Catherine,

What a wonderful feature. Thank you, Catherine, for introducing Kirsten to me. I’d never before had the pleasure.

Kirsten, it was good learning about you. I wholeheartedly agree with your “patience” insight. That’s a struggle for me (sometimes), too, but it’s OH so important in the blogging world! :-)

Hope both of you are having wonderful weeks so far!

- Kevin

written by Catherine Holt On 8 October 2014 Reply

Always happy to introduce bloggers Kevin :-) And Kirsten’s blog is certainly one for those midnight cravings…lol

Patience, patience, patience….it’s one of those things that we all need, but sometimes is sooo hard to find. I think if you can crack that, you are half way to success!

Thanks for stopping by Kevin and I hope you enjoy Kirsten’s blog as much as I do :-)

written by Kirsten @ Treat Yourself Sweeter On 8 October 2014 Reply

Hi Kevin- argh, patience. I think that is the one lesson I need to learn. I’m the one that eats the cookie dough and the half baked cake ;)

written by Mi Muba On 8 October 2014 Reply

Hello Kirsten

First of a warm welcome to you here at Catherine’s blog.

It is really good to know diversity in interest has no limit. One expects a primary teacher may blog on blogging, teaching or education niche. But your blog on food niche is the proof that it is not must your profession is always your niche.

Being non-techie is the problem of many successful bloggers but it is also a candid fact that most of the successful bloggers were non-techie in the beginning and eventually they learnt it.

Thanks a lot Catherine for bringing such a wonderful blogger who shared her great blogging experiences with us.

written by Catherine Holt On 8 October 2014 Reply

I’ll put my hands up to being one of those non-techie bloggers too Mi!! I knew nothing…lol. But like you said, many successful bloggers were non-techie too which is proof that it can be learnt. Plus, where would the fun be, if there wern’t at least some challenges :-)

written by Kirsten @ Treat Yourself Sweeter On 8 October 2014 Reply

Thank you for the inspiration Mi! I hope I can too become one of those ‘non techie successful bloggers!’. I love teaching but food is definitely my passion… although I could definitely write a lot about teaching. Once I get my head around this blog, maybe I can try to balance two :)

written by Shubh On 10 October 2014 Reply

Thnx for sharing such a valuable information. I am new to blogging and hope it will help me.

Leave a Comment