Christine Mielke didn't start wearing makeup until college, "I wasn't allowed to wear it growing up," she recalls, "but in college I really started exploring and it became a passion." After trying dozens of products and writing reviews of her favorites, Christine wanted a single space to house her passion project, so in 2006 she launched the website Temptalia.com. "1-2 years into my site," she explains, "MAC Cosmetics reached out to me looking to partner on a project, and a light bulb went off in my mind immediately that this could be more than a hobby – this could be a business."
Christine Mielke, CEO and Founder
How Christine got started
Why ad revenue?
How Christine makes an impact
As the business grew, Christine pursued a variety of ad revenue solutions. "We've run the gamut in terms of advertising solutions," she says. "We started with AdSense, then as more ad networks started popping up we went to Glam Media and used Google Ad Exchange as backfill. Eventually, Glam Media went bankrupt and we chose Google Ad Manager as our next ad server. For me, Ad Manager was always the most complete and easiest platform to ramp up on - there are a lot of tutorials that can help you get set up. I just moved my inventory over and it was easy and fast."
Now Christine uses a combination of ad revenue and affiliate marketing to earn money from her website, a revenue model that she chose to help keep her content free to access. "It's really hard to convince people to pay for content because they can get it for free somewhere else," she says "So for me, to maintain my traffic and support my audience, it makes more sense to make content as accessible as it can be and use ad revenue to support the business."
To make strategic content decisions, Christine uses Google Analytics. "We use Analytics to understand who's on the site, what they're looking for, what content is popular, how people are accessing it, and determine priority brands to cover. Analytics helps us learn more about what people want and what's resonating." And hearing what's resonating with her audience is one of the most rewarding parts of her job. "I love engaging with readers in comments or on social media," she says. "Helping people buy better products, be happier in their purchases, and feel confident inside and out gives me a lot of joy in my job."
As for the future of Temptalia, "we're focused on continuing to do what we do best," says Christine. "We'll continue to deliver clear, quality information with honest, unbiased reviews and build new tools and features to help shoppers make smarter makeup decisions."