Many blogs are born out of inspiration. Roselyn Montero's Tempt'd came to be via a technical glitch. In 2008, more than a year after she started a beauty blog called Makeup Makes Me Happy, an online bug shut down her site for over a week. After her many attempts to contact the site administrator went unanswered, she decided to charge forward and create a new site that encompassed not only her passion for beauty, but also her love of fashion, art, and lifestyle trends. In September 2009, Tempt'd went live—and with her staff of dedicated writers (plus one very savvy intern), Roselyn has amassed quite a large and loyal following. I sat down with her over lunch this week to talk about the power of Twitter, building a site from scratch, and how makeup still makes her very, very happy.
1. How is Tempt'd different from your first blog, Makeup Makes Me Happy? Makeup Makes Me Happy was more of a personal beauty diary. I wanted to keep track of what I was buying, which products worked for me and which didn't, and so on. It wasn't trying to build an audience—I just wanted a place to write about my experiences with products. I didn't even realize how many people were reading it until the bug crashed the site and I started getting all these emails from fans asking me what happened! When I couldn't recover my original blog and had to start a new one, I decided I wanted to also cover fashion, lifestyle, and pop culture. I wanted to create a site where you could get it all—news, reviews, celebrity coverage—in one place.
2. That's a lot of work for only one person! How did you manage it all? It wasn't easy! I designed Tempt'd all by myself—I didn't use a digital platform or a creative agency. I taught myself how to do the entire thing from the ground up simply by Googling everything I needed to know. It took me eight months to build to the site. I joke that I lost half my hair during that period because I pulled it out in frustration! Once I finished building the site, though, I brought two friends on board to write for me. They also helped name the blog.
3. What made you decide to call it Tempt'd? I wanted a one-word name because I feel like it's authoritative. And the site would be about things I lust after, so my two friends and I ran through a list of words that connote that feeling. When we got to "tempted," we all really liked it and felt it encompassed everything we planned to cover. To give it a kick, we created a moniker of the word, "tempt'd."
4. Clearly I'm a fan of one-word domain names as well! How did you build your audience? It grew slowly but steadily. The power of Twitter and re-Tweet is huge—it still continues to bring us so much new traffic. We even found our amazing intern, Rachel, through Twitter! Also, we now have seven people working on the site, so we've been able to not only increase the amount of content, but also cover more topics. For instance, we now have a tech editor, Eric, who covers cool new gadgets. That's helped bring in readers who might not have come to our site otherwise. But I still write most of the beauty content, because I love it!
5. What advice do you have for aspiring beauty bloggers? First and foremost, you have to love to write. Otherwise, you're not going to consistently create posts. And take pride in what you write—you never know whose reading your blog, so don't write anything you wouldn't mind everyone you know reading.
Secondly, do your research. If you're reviewing a product, contact the brand's PR to make sure you're accurately describing the technology and the ingredients. Inaccurate reporting can not only harm the brand, it can harm your reputation, too.
Finally, stock up on makeup remover! If you want to be a trusted beauty source, then you have to try everything you review and suffer through the occasional product-related breakout. Do it for your readers, and they'll keep coming back to your site.