Saturday, July 2nd, 2011


Coffee is always a good blogging companion!

Behind-the-Scenes:  Lessons from Blogging

One of the most frequently asked questions I receive via e-mail is, “How do I start a beauty blog?” or some variation on that theme—why do you blog, when did you start, how do I get readers, how do you manage your time, and so on and so forth. I thought with today being Saturday and part of the long, holiday weekend, that perhaps I’d take a post to try and give some advice to any aspiring beauty bloggers and some insight on the behind-the-scenes at Temptalia.

Get the Resources and Tools to Become a Beauty Blogger

I do want to make a point that I take blogging seriously; this is not just a hobby to me. I believe that you get what you put in. With that being said, my advice is from that perspective—I plan my life around the blog, not the other way around. This is what has worked for me, but I understand many who want to blog more as a hobby and escape from their everyday lives. These are not rules but lessons I’ve learned from the past (almost) five years of blogging that I want to share to those who may aspire to blog or are already blogging but would like more insight.

From time management to content to motivation…

Time Management

Plan ahead! When I had a big paper due or final exam to take, I knew well in advance what those dates would be, so I could do more pre-work and spend less time blogging when other parts of my life were busier. The only time I have ever not posted for the day was when I was sick with the swine flu (I have never been so sick in my life). I missed one day—a single post when up on October 10th, 2009. This is why having a few posts in your back pocket can be helpful when life turns upside down or you’re up against tight deadlines at school/work.

Keep organized! One of the biggest ways to waste time is by spending all your time looking for things, whether it’s trying to find your camera, batteries (or charging them!), files, or that one lipstick you wanted to write about. I could do better with file management after dumping my memory card on my computer, but I am pretty good keeping products organized. I have three major tiers of organization: to review, not reviewing soon but possibly in the future, and reviewed. Within each category, I organize by type of product, so I keep lipsticks I need to photograph together, while lipsticks that need to be photographed on lips are elsewhere. I take photos of all labels so I know which set of photos go with which product.

Write a to-do list! I keep weekly to-do lists that are broken down by day, and I give myself 5-8 tasks each day. I focus and stay on track better when I write out certain goals for the day. It’s also extremely satisfying to cross off each item once you have accomplished it! It’s important that you are realistic, though; you don’t want to write yourself a to-do list that just overwhelms you. You want it to be helpful and encouraging.

Posts: Length, Frequency, Content

Keep it short and sweet. Think about how many blogs and websites you visit regularly and how much time you might spend on each. The average person doesn’t have time to read a novel at each of the blogs they visit, and if they do, it has to be on just the right topic—one that truly appeals to them. There is nothing wrong with writing a lot, but presentation matters. This post is not short and sweet, because I know this post is meant for those who actually want to read the whole thing. I also don’t want to bog the blog down with non-beauty posts.

If there is a topic I want to write on at length, I will break up the posts and create a series. This allows for better, more focused discussion in the comments and helps me be more succinct with each post. Always keep your audience in mind, though—if you are known for your 1,000 word posts, there is no reason to drop down to 500. On Temptalia, I know the longer the review, the less it gets read, so I make sure to include bullet points when a review gets lengthy to highlight the important takeaways.

Is it a hobby or something else? Temptalia began as a hobby. I never thought it would be where it is today when I started it. I try to post between six and eight times a day, and this includes posts that aren’t written by me or review in nature (like “Temptalia Asks You”). I post on weekends, and yes, I post if I go on vacation (my philosophy is you should never know I’m on vacation unless I tell you!). You have to find a schedule that works well for you and what you want to make out of your blog.

If it’s a labor of love that you just want to enjoy, there is no need to force yourself to write everyday if you don’t want to. It’s important that you enjoy what you do. I enjoy daily posting—maybe I’m sick and twisted for it—but productivity is like a drug to me.

I can’t tell you what kind of content to post or not post; there is no right or wrong way to choose your content. The majority of the content on Temptalia is based on readers’ expectations and their requests. Sometimes I’ll have readers give input on what they would like to see specifically or poll Facebook/Twitter fans and followers about what to post next. I try to address the needs of my readers in a way that makes sense.

Photography

I shoot with a Nikon D90 and D3s and the following lenses: 18-55mm zoom lens, 35mm, 50mm, and 60mm micro. I shoot in RAW+JPEG, and I use Adobe’s Creative Suite for all of my post-production needs. My video camera is a Canon Vixia S10. I honestly know next to nothing about photography, lighting, lenses, cameras, etc. I really don’t. I can tell you that money doesn’t buy you knowledge, so if you can pick up a real interest in learning your way around the nuances of lighting and photography, more power to you. I always try but very few things stick.

Lighting is more important than equipment—it is the single most impactful factor that you can change. I don’t use a light box, just because I have never found them to work for me. I’ve built them, bought them, and always hated them. They work well for many others, though, and many people who do product photography extoll their values. I use a white tabletop (from Ikea, which was $40~), and there is a big window that is right above the desk. I wish I had more photography advice for you, but I have so much to learn myself!

Product Samples

If you start your blog, and the first thing on your agenda is getting product samples to review, you might want to rethink your approach to blogging. The beauty blogging community is saturated with hundreds and hundreds of blogs, from big to small and everything in between. Contrary to popular belief, PR firms are not stocked to the brim with products ready to be sent to anyone who asks. More and more brands are looking for audience, content, and quality. It’s not just a numbers game about who has how many visitors, but it’s as important to build credibility with your audience as it is with any brands you interact with.

Ideally, you love what you blog about, which means you already have lots of products you have bought in the past—why not write about those—and more than likely will buy more products in the future. Head to Sephora and swatch a few products. Ask for samples at local beauty counters. Lookout for good sales, GWPs, or value sets if you’re really set on writing about new products.

Edited:  When you have established yourself with the beauty community, you can consider reaching out to your favorite brands.  I have seen a lot of bloggers say that brands will find you, which can be true, but I contacted many, many brands myself in the beginning.  Part of that was there was less emphasis on blogs as part of a brand’s overall marketing strategy.  If you’re polite, smart, and savvy, you can establish relationships by you reaching out.  Otherwise, ensure your contact information is easy to find on your website so that brands that want to contact you can do so.

Positivity = Productivity

Good feedback is valuable, whether it’s constructive criticism or praise. It’s important to recognize that there is a great deal of anonymity on the internet, which allows people to leave comments as they please without consequences. Dwelling on a comment like, “U R UGLIEZ!” is a waste of your time. Delete and move on—if necessary, re-read some of your favorite comments and emails from readers. There will always be comments that hit home, which is why having a good support system is vital, so don’t keep your blog a secret from your friends/family! Vent to them and move on; go for a walk and move on; watch your favorite movie and move on.

Staying Motivated

Readers motivate me. There is nothing more motivating than your very own readers. I save my favorite comments and emails and go over them whenever I need some encouragement—whether it’s just a bad day or I hardly slept and can barely function. I also like to take short breaks throughout the day to stretch, play with Mellan, or go for a walk. When I come back, I’m reenergized and ready to cross something else off my to-do list.

As mentioned earlier, to-do lists can actually be quite motivating, because as you cross off each item on the list, there is a sense of encouragement, satisfaction, and just that “I’m getting things DONE!” feeling.

Content is King

At the end of the day, content truly is king. Readers do not come back if there isn’t a good reason to come back. This is why your focus should be about creating enjoyable content for your audience. Temptalia regularly surveys our readers to find out what posts they love/hate, where we can improve, and what they want to see in the future. This feedback is incredibly valuable to determine what we do right and where we can improve. If you’re not sure readers like your content, ask them if they do, how you can improve, what they’d like to see.

Discussion and debate are highly encouraged, and we expect community members to participate respectfully. When asking a question, please check the FAQ section (above) for information about purchasing, price, dupes, and the like. If you have general feedback or need technical support, please contact us.

Comments that include advertisements, self-promotion, insults, etc. may be in violation of our comment policy and subject to deletion. Please see our comment policy for more information.

196 thoughts on “Behind-the-Scenes: Lessons from Blogging

  1. Patty

    This is really great advice, not even just for beauty bloggers, but for anyone who wants to be more productive! You are the productivity queen! When I am stressed out about a lot of school work ahead of me, I just think to myself “if Christine can get a degree AND manage a beauty blog, I can totally get this paper done on time!” You’re an inspiration to those of us who go to juggle going to school AND something else, whether it be running a beauty blog or having a job.

    • Haha, I have my burnouts, though. Like after a MAC day, I’m so tired and like “BLAH!” the next day.

      Thank you so much, Patty!

  2. Great post. Posting 8 times per day. WOW!!! Respect!!!
    Mine is only a 3 month old baby-blog, and I’ve been looking around for blogging tips so that I can improve it and get my readers really engaged and entertained. Mine isn’t quite a beauty blog, it is about cosmetic surgery, but your post is still really relevant.
    I like the part about asking readers what they’d like to see. Simple. I’m going to do that as a post.
    Thanks :)

  3. Christine, thank you. I think I speak for everyone when I say if any of us could all be one blogger in the world, we’d want to be you.

    I love temptalia.com, I visit it either daily or every other day. I love how professional and clean it is, I love that YOU love it so much, it really does show. As for photography – I think your photographs are amazing. You may not be an expert but you definitely know what you’re doing.

    You’re always polite, every single question I have asked you whether it be on Twitter or on here, you have answered which is more than a lot of bloggers and youtubers do these days.

    I just want to say thank you, for everything you do. You’re truly an inspiration.

    • Hey Caitlin!

      LOL, Freaky Friday moment, eh?

      Oh, definitely – my photos have improved SO much over time, I just don’t understand how to really get them to the next level since I can’t keep any of the photography lessons in my head for some reason (sure, I remember that MAC collection from 2007, but lighting tips? Pfft!). I’m one of those people who threw money at the problem and today’s digital technology is pretty amazing and fixes a lot of my user errors!

  4. Christelle

    Thanks so much Christine for those insights.
    It was a pleasure to read as always and so inspiring.
    I’m thinking about blogging because I want cosmetics to be a part of my life and I want to share, I just want to find something interesting to talk about, a new way of presenting things. But I’ll work my way there.
    So thank you again

  5. Thank you so much!!! This post is very helpful for someone like me, who just started blogging two months ago :)

  6. Thanks for all the tips Christine! Great advice.

  7. Bee

    Thank you so much for taking the time and writing that article. :)

  8. Awesome post, Christine! Very good advice from a veteran beauty blogger to the rest of us aspiring beauty bloggers. Thanks for sharing. =)
    So… I take it that blogging is your full time job?

  9. shuz4ever

    Thank you Christine for sharing what goes on behind the scenes. It is a lot of hardwork and most readers don’t realize the enormity of it. I’ve been an avid reader of u’r blog since the beginning and have personally witnessed how much it has morphed into the success it is today. Just when i think u’r blog can’t get any better – u suprise me by adding innovative features – like the foundation matrix; swatch gallery etc. Thank you for u’r dedication and commitment and most important – understanding the pulse of u’r readership.

  10. Avatar of Etaoin baby in a corner

    Great post, I’ve read temptalia daily for about a year now – its my total go to for swatches and I love how your personality shines through.

    Re product samples – to be honest as an avid blog reader the posts i love the best are reviews on favourite products of that beauty blogger/ personal faves etc. I like this personalisation and the fact that the blogger bought and paid for the item reinforces its usefulness. Thats not to criticize any blog that reviews everything but just to say there is a place for small personalised blogs too.

    • Thank you! I’m always very interested in what a person’s favorite products are, because I think it shows where they’re coming from and what kind of products they have tried in the past. I’m a better reviewer today than I was 4 years ago because I’ve had more exposure to different brands, products, and the like. This is why it’s important to never forget about your tried & true products!

  11. Bee

    Wonderful, truly lovely post! Christine, you are an inspiration!

  12. Jennifer

    We know this is hard work with school, but I apprciate everything you do for us! I look at you like the one person (besides my mother) that doesn’t want me to waste my money on something I won’t need! Thank again, you and your blog are the best Christine :)

  13. Hi Christine!
    I needed to write to you and tell you that I not only really & thoroughly enjoyed this post, but found it to me truly well said. I have been a long time fan of your blog and have always admired your productivity; it is amazing to me how much you put out, without any drop in quality or content. I began my blog about 9 months ago as a hobby, but I have found that I enjoy it so much more than I thought I would and every day is a wonderful new learning experience. I found myself nodding in agreement with every single point you made here and I also think it’s wonderful that you would give of your time like this (not to mention some insider scoop!). One more thing: I have come to learn that the beauty blogging community is quite tight-knit and so incredibly supportive one to the other, and the biggest bonus of being a beauty blogger has got to be all the bonds I’ve created with people all around the world, as well as getting to know make some really great new friends!
    Your blog, and you, are a true inspiration Christine! Hugs!

  14. Christine I salute you for what you are and where you are …. God now I think I always repeat the same words but I LOVE YOU so much honey and each time you have excelled in your field … YOU are THE BEST

    I know you have wishes right left center and let me include mine here ….
    I wish you loads of Success in future and loads of health and happiness with your partner and family.
    Love and hugs to Melan :D :D
    God Bless you dear and you truly are a GEM :D :D
    Loved this post and couldn’t have asked anything else at this time :D :D

  15. John

    What an insightful and eloquent post! Any aspiring blogger who desires a succinct, no BS guide to building a successful blog should bookmark this post ASAP. All I can say Christine, is <3. Teehee.

  16. Avatar of Mariella Mariella

    What a great and informative overview of blogging in general (in all its aspects) and of the way you’ve gone about shaping Temptalia as it developed over the years. I think of it as one of the best sources of information available to us as consumers. I’ve seen some other blogs. Most are nice – but they are more like personalized “ramblings” (which is how blogs started, I guess) where Temptalia seems more objective and “professional”, if you know what I mean (and I don’t mean any insult to other bloggers).

    • Oh, Mariella, I totally get what you mean! It was my personal decision to make Temptalia more about readers and content than me, my life, etc. It works for some, to incorporate their daily lives and stories into their posts, but I just don’t think it works for me, my writing style, and at this point, what readers want to see. I get my weekly Mellan photo in and I’m good! Sometimes I get comments asking me to insert more of my personality into posts or talk more about my outside life, but c’mon, I’d just talk about Mellan all the time and who wants to hear about my dog in every post? (Besides me!) LOL!

      • Nicole

        Me! No seriously, you are all lucky that I haven’t started a blog because I would struggle not not include my puppies (a 5 year old gold retriever and a 12 week old great dane) in every post!
        But huge cudos to you for creating the amazing blog that Temptalia is. It’s a huge amount of work and you make it appear so effortless. We all thank you though since we would be lost without your posts and reviews!

  17. Holly

    Wow, thank you Christine, this was so helpful! It was so interesting to read

  18. Aneta

    Christine, U R UGLIEZ!

    Just kidding :) Great post! I read all of it, even though I do not have time to be a beauty blogger!

  19. Excellent advice!

  20. Thank you sooooooo much for this post. You are a wise, intelligent women who is a great role model to many of us. I value everything you say because you truly dedicate yourself to what you do.

    This post has just pushed me into using daily to-do lists, which I had never done before. My usual approach was one big long massive list that only ever seemed to get longer. I know my blog will be better for doing it your way!

    • Ooh, do try the daily list instead. Sometimes I put weekly goals down, too, if necessary. I keep a running weekly/monthly/forever to-do list and find that so few things off of that list get done, but I can really get through a smaller, daily to-do list.

      Thanks, Kimmi!

  21. Eva

    Wow, you are so dedicated! :) Haha never really thought about all of the work that goes into a blog, let alone this one… I really appreciate you putting in the time for it, it is SO so helpful. :D

  22. Great advice i had a blog that i started about two years ago and due to time I stopped updating it for about a year… I am getting back at it now.. The advice for having a post on standby is brilliant

  23. Ashley Marie

    I don’t ever plan on writting a blog but I really enjoyed this post. Its nice to get a sense of what you do, Christine! Good job.

  24. Thanks for this very informative and inspiring post! It is very confusing being new to the beauty blog community. We try to go on instinct, but in the early days of no feedback and comments, what is a guideline to greatness? We are trying hard and not giving up. Thanks for reminding us that “the Temptalia” had a beginning and your vision came to fruition :)

  25. Melinda

    Yours is the most professional beauty blog I’ve seen. Keep up the good work!

  26. Avatar of Gala Gala

    Those are all great tips, Christine!
    I stumbled upon your blog a few months ago and since then I’ve been a loyal reader, if not that much of a commenter, and also caught up on posts since about 2008.
    I really can feel that you write this blog with great passion and it shows, this is why I keep checking it about 5 times a day. You have also established a community of knowledgeable readers, from whom I’ve also learned quite a bit.
    Keep doing the great work you’re doing, with the quality reviews, excellent photos and brilliant comparisons. You’re right; I can never tell if you’re on vacation, the posts keep on coming. I know it has to be time consuming and the effort is much appreciated!
    I really really Love this blog! Thanks a lot for having it!

    • As long as you’re there reading, I’m a happy camper :) Comments are like icing on an already perfectly baked and delicious cake!

      Thank you, Gala!

  27. Sally

    Christine, I think it is so great that you would take all this time and effort to write such a helpful, encouraging post! It really shows how nice you are. Sometimes, the beauty community warms my heart, and this is one of those times!

    Thank you for everything you do :)

    • Happy to share, Sally! I always worry that I come off sounding WAY TOO serious, even though I am totally serious about this stuff, and someone will take it the wrong way!

  28. Teresa

    I’ve thought about creating a blog but…I don’t have the time…& idk what I’d blog about. I love make up and baking but I don’t think that would go well together. I love coming to your site to see upcoming collections and reviews. You are so well spoken in your videos! And always very imformative in your reviews/blog posts. I can tell you put a lot of time and effort in your blog. :) Keep it up girl. & Thanks for the cool blog!!!

    • Thank you, Teresa! :)

      You would be surprised – people enjoy all sorts of mixes of content, and over time, you might find you prefer one or the other!

    • Maria

      Teresa – have you heard of Milk and Mode or Cashmere and Cupcakes? They are fashion bloggers but also heavily feature baking or cooking posts. Makeup and baking might go together more than you think! :)

    • Rie

      Teresa, I have a food and beauty blog too. It’s not as far fetched as you think! ;)

  29. Nicole

    thank you so much this helped out alot I have a blog an I love writing on it just for fun, I don’t have many followers but I’m not doing it for that just for me, an to tell the world of things i love whether it’s a beauty product or my pets haha

  30. Sound advice, Christine. The only times I don’t blog is when it’s finals weeks, or there’s some technical problem (recently I lost a bunch of photos by accident, grrrr). One thing I try to do is throw in some jokes and funny lines to amuse my readers. It helps to get a smile on someone’s face. I agree that content and quality really matter. A post can be 20 words or 100 words long, but in the end, did the readers walk away with something? I try to keep that in mind.
    I also pay attention to search engine terms to find out what people are looking for. That’s how I found out my blog is relevant. A lot of people want to see swatches on tanned skin (NC42), or find out which lipsticks are best for NC42 skin. I like knowing that people are being helped by my blog. That’s why I do it. :)

  31. Avatar of Diana Lady Di.

    Oh Christine, you are just the best. You put so much into your blog and now give us advice on how we can do it too…you are like a virtual best friend! haha And we all just love you.

  32. “U R UGLIEZ!” xD That would be so funny to get, I don’t even know it would upset me.

    I really like what you had to say here, Christine. I’ve really been trying hard to get a decent backlog of posts so I’m not literally writing posts the day they go up. So far it’s been a fail, though. xP

    • It’s hard! I’m rarely all that ahead – maybe a day or two – unless I’m going somewhere, then I manage to get ahead a little bit. But if you can, it’s so worth it.

  33. Great article! Bookmarked. Thanks Christine!

    I can’t believe you don’t use a lightbox, though. That was kind of a shocker for me!

  34. Avatar of Joanna Joanna

    That was very interesting to read, even though I don’t blog. I think you are wise beyond your years!

  35. This is such a good post! Thanks for writing it :) And I do exactly the same with to-do lists :) Love them!

  36. Luka

    Ive always wondered, how much product do you purchase vs receive samples of? Great article!

    • I don’t really keep track of the percentage, but I spend quite a bit each year on products to review–and it only gets larger each year.

      • blue_eyed_girlie

        I have been following you for years. I can’t remember the exact year, but you are amazing! Your blog is the first one I read each day. =) Where did you come up with the name Temptalia?

        I love your Mellan photos. He is such a cutie. =)

        • So glad you love the Mellan photos, too!

          I just made it up – I wanted to describe the perfect woman. She was sexy, smart, confident, and all-around-amazing!

  37. Absolutely fabulous post.

  38. IBC

    Christine, thanks so much for sharing this post with us.You’ve been a great source of inspiration & constant motivation for me to start blogging.
    I’ve been a beauty blogger for past 5 months and between juggling 14 hours of office work plus 2 hours of blogging everyday there are times when I honestly don’t have the energy or motivation to do a post, but when I see your 7-8 posts everyday like a clockwork, it motivates me to carry on.
    Thanks for the great work you are putting up. Keep the Temptalia flag flying high.

    Cheers
    Pooja @indianbeautycentral.com

  39. Lena Vaz

    Great, great article, Christine! I started a blog almost a year ago, but it didn’t go any further than 2 months! I don’t have that kind of discipline, I discovered… But you… You’re truly a blessing for us make up lovers! :)

  40. Great words of advice for not only those starting out, but to those of us who have been around for awhile!

    And I so agree, there’s NOTHING like crossing an item off a ‘to do” list. So satisfying.

  41. Jyz

    Christine,

    You make me wanna blog!!! :D

    :>

  42. Debra

    Excellent advice for anyone who is self-employed. And you really do follow your own advice!

  43. Ginnia

    I’m not a blogger but this was a really interesting, read. Kudos to you on your dedication and organization! The best beauty blog around.

  44. Devi

    I’m not planning on blogging, but I’m still glad that I’ve read the whole thing. It’s funny how hobbies evolve into something that you actually plan the rest of your life around. I actually had a hobby where I would make graphics and post it on this website for a kid’s cartoon a few years back. Three years later, my skills have grown, I’m majoring in graphic design, and I’m about to start a website hosted under my scholarship program that features far more professional graphic design.

    Gah, sorry for talking about myself, it’s just that I related to your story in a sense. But your blogging journey is inspiring, and I’m so glad that you keep your readers in mind. It’s only been 5 months since I got interested in cosmetics, and of all the beauty blogs that I’ve browsed, this is the only one that I ever check everyday, 5 times a day even. Your posts are not biased in any way, shape or form. While you do have your favorite brands, you do not grade a product based on its brand. The pictures and information your provide are so clear and helpful. This site is so easy to navigate (I should probably thank THE tech guy for that though, huh?) and I have learned so much about so many different products and brands thanks to your site.

    Sorry for typing so much… I tend to do that. >.< But your are very inspiring, and I just admire how you operate.

  45. Fantastic advice, really informative and well spelled out. I’m really getting into blogging lately, and a lot of your organisational and time tips have definitely helped me.. thank you! :)

  46. Nytavia

    Thanks so much for this post. I want to try and start a blog myself and I was kinda lost on how to start but his has given me motivation to start!!!

  47. Thanks for this post, Christine! I’ve been doing a blog of my illustrations and other hobbies for a year and a half now and I’ve been a bit discouraged by how few people visit and follow me.

    But the truth is, I love sharing my work with whoever does visit and it’s great to have a platform no matter how many or how few people enjoy it :).

    You post like a champ — I’m always amazed at how much content you can put out every day! You’re definitely my favourite blogger and I look forward to your posts every day. You deserve all of your success, you’ve earned it!

  48. Avatar of Maja Maya

    Thank you for your hard work. Temptalia is amazing!

  49. I love your blog. I check it everyday, multiple times a day, even when I’m traveling internationally! I even check it before I check my own personal email! That’s how much I love your blog :)

  50. Bernice

    Awesome post :D

  51. Yvonne

    Thank you for the great post! I’m in the middle of starting up my own beauty blog, and this is very helpful. I’ll be doing it on something I truly love, lip products, so I’m really excited about it.

  52. Avatar of Dini Dini

    Thank you for sharing this great post. It reminds to not to take all the wonderful posts, reviews, and photos that I see on this blog (and others) for granted. It must take a lot of effort for the posts I look forward to reading every day to make it online. Keep up the great work!

  53. Brenda

    I’m not planning to start a blog, it’s interesting to take a look behind the scenes! I really apreciate that you take the time to answer mails and comments! So thank you very much, your blog is the best in the world, and you’re the sweetest blogger ever!

  54. Avatar of Lisa Lisa

    I love your long posts! Usually the more words there are, the more likely I am to read it… but I’m weird :)

    Christine your blog is amazing. I am constantly dabbling in and out of blogs but only yours and Karen’s blog are ones that I consistantly stick with. Kudos!

  55. I am so amazed to discover that it’s just a tabletop! My mouth literally dropped because your photos are amazing and I always thought you were using a light tent.

    I have also discovered that the light tent is not for me. I have wasted alot of time constructing box after box only to be defeated. So one day I decided I would go in the backyard and voila! Awesome photos.

    Thank you so much! xoxo

  56. Thank you for all your advise!
    As a nail blogger I believe my pictures are my life! So I try to take color accurate images, and let them speak for themselves.
    I post twice a day, everyday, and I tend to schedule my posts so I won’t miss any time,
    Thank you for all your advise, and keep up the good work!

  57. I just want to say, You are an amazing blogger. I’ve been blogging for four years and your blog has been one of the ones that I always have kept reading. You’re an amazing writer, and just an incredible blogger. Thanks for this. I will tweet this article, because it’s a must read!

  58. Erin

    Hi Christine,

    I also want to thank you for your dedication and passion – I’ve only been reading temptalia for 1 year so far (I can’t believe I didn’t discover it earlier T_T), but you have taught me so much about different products, what to expect for quality, colours, finishes, textures……so much so that I feel I am a much more informed consumer and fellow makeup lover. Thanks to you, I have something fun to read daily, all the products I buy are top notch (thus, nothing gets wasted or returned), I get to find out about MAC and other brands’ limited edition collections BEFORE they come out, and I have discovered an entire community of people who share what I love. I hope you will always continue to contribute to this blog (for I will never stop visiting it), and I will always respect you and your opinions as they have helped me in so many ways. Thank you very much Christine!

    p.s. I absolutely LOVE jealousy wakes!!

  59. Christine, I FREAKING LOVE YOU!! you’re so amazing! Everything from photos and reviews, weekly posts, fun random ones like this that are thrown in make me love Temptalia even more. You’re so dedicated and passionate about this and you still manage to juggle Shaun the tech guy :), school, and Mellan. I’m 15 and I’ve loved makeup since I was three and you’re such an inspiration. I discovered Temptalia about a year ago looking for reviews of the naked palette. From then on, I’ve been hooked. I’m constantly checking to see if you’ve posted anything. Blessings to you my friend (and Mellan!!! I wanna see more pics of that dog!)

    SWAK, Jadyn :)

  60. I still dont know how you have a degree and manage to run this site every day! You are superwoman x

  61. Jenny

    I have tnought about starting a beauty blog, but I feel about blogging the way I feel about YouTube beauty gurus. That there are already too many of them, and adding to it, would just add to the noise. I also feel like there are so many people who do it so well already, that I would rather just enjoy what they do as an observer. If I think of an angle that hasn’t been explored yet I might try it one day but until then I will just enjoy your site. I love your site BTW.

  62. Airisu

    Christine – I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again – thank you! Ever since I discovered your blog I’ve come back almost daily because you post relevant information in an easy no-nonsense format. Sometimes I’ll read the whole post, sometimes I’ll just look at your photos (I think they’re really good/professional -looking, if I hadn’t read what you wrote about not really being a photography wiz I honestly wouldn’t have known) – regardless, I appreciate the time and love you put into this. I love that, despite it being written very professionally, the love you have for bringing these beauty goodies to us really shines through. I also appreciate that you take the time to answer people’s questions and incorporate reader feedback into your posts. You are a true inspiration!

    My blog is only about 2 months old and sometimes I’ll feel kind of blah about it because no one leaves me comments or anything, but you remind me that it’s a labor of love. Thanks :)

  63. Avatar of stephanie Stephanie

    you inspire me thanks for the tips

  64. Avatar of Elizabeth beth maiorana

    Am in total agreement with you about the coffee- that cup up there looks tantalizing!! Your accomplishment with Temptalia has to make you so PROUD- it’s awesome. I am so amazed to realize that this is not ALL you do with your day. Wow. xo ;-)

  65. Such an awesome article!! Very informative and helpful..This is gonna help loads of aspiring beauty bloggers, including me!! :)

  66. Great post, Christine!! Bravo for all your dedication…and success!

  67. Love this Christine! I admire your organization & dedication. I agree, this doesn’t only apply to blogs, but this advice is also useful for beauty “vloggers” or procrastinators! :) great job! (I hope you save this comment as one of those that you look back on when you’re having a rough day :) )

  68. Hey Christine!
    First of all, I just want to say I appreciate all that you do.
    I am going to be starting off blogging, and I was wondering if you would reccomend word press as a hosting site for a new blogger? I was also wondering if you knew of any sites or books that gave help towards learning the crazy language of html (I remember a bit from my myspace queen days, but oh boy, that’s nothing to pat myself on the back about!) to help with templates and design. You truly are my role model, and I hope my blog could be a fraction of what yours is… and I could die happy!
    Thank you so much for your time and inspiration, you are truly a ‘temptalia’!

  69. Hey Christine!
    First of all, I just want to say I appreciate all that you do.
    I am going to be starting off blogging, and I was wondering if you would reccomend word press as a hosting site for a new blogger? I was also wondering if you knew of any sites or books that gave help towards learning the crazy language of html (I remember a bit from my myspace queen days, but oh boy, that’s nothing to pat myself on the back about!) to help with templates and design. You truly are my role model, and I hope my blog could be a fraction of what yours is… and I could die happy!
    Thank you so much for your time and inspiration, you are truly a ‘temptalia’!
    :)

  70. Violet

    If I were you, I’d throw in a comment about the importance of proper grammar as well. I hate when bloggers use text language/forego using spell-check/doesn’t read over their post. So unprofessional! There’s a big difference between the occasional typo and flat out laziness. People can definitely take a page from your book! :)

  71. Oh, man, this post is so well-timed–I was just wondering yesterday if I should really start a proper blog like I’ve wanted to (I don’t think reblogging a bunch of pretty pictures on my tumblr really counts!). I tried once, but I gave up after about a month. I’m VERY lazy; anti-productive, really. But I love to write and share my thoughts (and photos).
    I’ll keep this page bookmarked in case I eventually decide to! Thanks, Christine :D

  72. Stephanie

    I think the reason I checked your blog so often in the beginning is because of how many times a day you post, but now I check it because I trust and value your opinions. You are definitely an inspiration to me when I’m slacking off on my school-work or just feel like I can’t get anything done. Thank you for your awesome blog!

  73. Thank you so much for this post, Christine.
    Your blog is one of the bests, and you derserve all good things that happen to you.
    Thanks a lot for all the work you’re doing for us.

  74. DRTVrMoi

    This is one of your finest postings. I’ve been endlessly impressed by both your quantity and quality, ranging from drug store to boutique brands. You’ve mastered a style and format that is entertaining and accessible. Kudos for your efforts and now for sharing your insights. I’m a bit outside your demographic but I never miss a posting. Brava!

  75. Lauren

    This has to be one of my all-time favorite posts. Of course I love all of your beauty related posts, but there’s something special about receiving behind-the scenes insight – it’s much more personal. It’s wonderful how encouraging you are of other bloggers. Thanks so much for sharing! I always enjoy the fruits of your labor. :-)

  76. Glad you wrote this (and so well!) Christine! I get asked all of these same questions…but number one is always “How can I get free samples” or “Do you know the contact for…” To me, as a serious beauty blogger, that is the most frustrating question of all because that’s not what blogging is about.

    I’m excited to finally get to see you again at the end of this month!
    xx
    Shannon

  77. Thank you so much for sharing this! This advise came out just in time for me. I started a blog few months ago to unleash my passion of makeup and anything I feel beautiful about :). I blog as a hobby but I still want quality. Love you!

    p/s: You’re extremely dedicated to your blog. I really admire your productivity!

  78. Great tips and advice! You truely are in my opinion the best makeup blogger around. Every time I see a MAC product I like I always use your dupe list to find a decent alternative and I love your makeup tutorials :)

  79. jilian

    Lol. That cup of coffee (or espresso) immediately got my attention, thanks for the tips Christine!!!

  80. cloudburst

    As someone who started their own blog with a friends over a year ago I can say your blog Christine really is the gold standard for beauty blogs out there!

  81. Lee

    I have a blog and I am trying to get viewers myself. I also have a youtube and my subscribers and views are growing but my blog is going slow with comments and followers. This definitely helped thank you!!

  82. Melissa E.

    I really love this post on your blog. It is very inspirational. I really feel that this is what I needed to get myself motivated to get myself going.

    Thanks Christine!:) xoxoxo

  83. thanks so much for this post!

    I started blogging because i just love to share my opinion about cosmetics with others, i have worked for several cosmetics companies and blogging has replaced that for me in a way that I can express my feelings about certain products to others :) Another reason is the lack of interest of some beauty editors in the glossy magazines…I do read them but I turn red of madness when they spell a brand name incorrect….grrrrr lol :) So Christine thanks again for posting this item! You are so right about being organized!

    • Thank you, Crystal!

      I’m appalled to see spelling mistakes in print magazines when it comes to names – you just feel like they HAVE to have many people working on it!

  84. Michaela

    Christine,
    You are simply amazing!:) I really appreciate all of the hard word you put into your site. Temptalia has been my #1 source for valid information and swatches for years now. You are a blessing (and an enabler at the same time) lol! I just wanted to thank you for sharing your passion with commitment and integrity. You rock!

  85. This is an amazing post! I post daily but life has taken over recently and I’ve not posted for around 2 weeks – which leaves me feeling on edge because I love being productive too. When I read that you aim to post 8 x/complete 8 tasks daily my jaw hit the floor in utter amazement and sheer envy lol, which then turned into inspiration. I always have a to do list but daily ones are so much more sensible I dont know why I never thought of it for myself. I dont know if I could do the amount that you do on your blog but you’ve certainly inspired me to try and be as productive as you are so I can get the most out of my blog and bring it to its full potential

    Thanks

    Sam xoxo

  86. Great article – thanks Christine! :)

  87. Thanks for taking the time to post your advice, Your passion is truly evident in this post and through your whole blog! Inspiring :)

  88. Rie

    Christine, I want to thank you for taking time out to create this wonderful article! I created my blog in May to share my love of nail polish, makeup and food (strange combo, right? :P) and I have been having so much fun with it. It’s been an interesting road trying to find a way to showcase what I love while maintaining my personality, I feel like every day I find something to tweak or areas where I can improve. Your post helps reassure me that I am at least on the right track. :)

  89. Thanks for the great advice! My blog is on a totally different topic (Sustainability and Preparedness), but your advice is perfect for me too.

  90. LMAO@ “U R UGLIEZ!” whew, that caught me off guard! I needed that laugh!

  91. OMG!!! ^^
    Thank you so much for sharing!!!!

  92. Niki

    What an awesome post and this is why Temptalia is my go-to beauty blog!

  93. Thanks for all the great tips. I also noticed that you replied to practically every comment personally which is pretty impressive. A lot of site owners don’t engage with their readership to that degree. I suspect it contributes to your success (along with the great content). Kudos to you. :)

  94. Felicia

    Christine -

    When you contacted MAC and other brands about receiving product samples to review, how did you go about doing so?

  95. This is great advice! It is inspiring know that it came from you. You inspired me to start beauty blogging, and I am truly thankful because it is now something I really enjoy! :D

    More power to you and Temptalia.com! I don’t go through a day without visiting your website. Before I buy products, I make sure to read your reviews first. Thank you so much for sharing with us your beauty know-how! :)