There are so many fascinating people in the fragrance and beauty community. From the creative minds that bring products to us to the critics who tell us what to buy, you can learn so much by asking a few questions.
In this new series I send a list of questions to individuals I look up to and share their answers with you. This week, we have my friend Sunnee from Fragrance Obsessed. Sunnee is a blogger who writes about scented wax, perfume and beauty products. She also posts her beautiful photography and lovely articles on the blog, which attracts readers who are passionate about whatever topics she features. She recently wrote about a trip she took to Los Angles and the niche perfumes and candles she found there, as well as a fascinating garlic-themed restaurant. You can check out the piece here.
Below are her thoughts about blogging, the ideal wax, and blog recommendations.
1. How did you get started in blogging? Did it begin with the wax, or was it a gradual obsession that took over?
I started blogging in the early 2000’s with a Live Journal account. I don’t think it was called blogging back then but I was using it to document random thoughts and daily life. I’ve had my blogger account since November of 2001 when I was signing up with all the blog platforms to see which one was the most user friendly. Then, I chose Live Journal but I’ve since come back to blogger when I was doing family photography and now for my Fragrance Obsessed blog.
2. What has been the best thing that’s come out of this experience for you, and why?
By far, meeting new friends and getting to know other bloggers. When you first start blogging, it can be a difficult and lonely endeavor. In the beginning, it’s very rare that readers just land on your space by chance so when you do start corresponding with others through the comment section, social media or email, it’s a hugely sentimental and rewarding experience.
3. If you could do it all over again, would you change anything? What is it, and why?
I would choose a different name for my blog and Facebook profile name. I used Fragrance Obsessed for both and I’ve come to discover that it is not as relatable as I would like.
4. Think back to any particular event in your blogging experience that stands out, negatively or positively. What was it, and what did you take from it?
The first time I was offered complimentary product. Although it was never my goal, the offers always validated my desire to have a professional and honest blog. In the indie vendor wax market, I decided it was in the best interest for the blog to decline free wax. Recently, I’ve been contacted by bigger corporations and have begun to accept sponsored product if it is something I would normally purchase and use.
5. What is your blogging process? Does it start with a product, an idea, or something else?
When I started out with Fragrance Obsessed, blog ideas and content were never an issue and were much easier to conceptualize than it is now. My current process is to have scheduled weekly and monthly content that is recurring in addition to hauls and detailed reviews. I use a pocket calendar to write all of my content ideas in.
Picture taking and editing is a huge part of my process and probably takes up almost half of the time and effort for each post.
6. How do you manage the administrative side of your platform?
I try to answer all my emails within a twenty four hour period. Comments and emails are the best form of feedback we have as bloggers and I try very hard not to take them for granted. For most of my posts, I receive a combination of blog comments and emails from readers who prefer to chat through the ‘contact me’ feature.
I also make sure to post regularly. I don’t schedule posts in advance as much as I should so the majority of my entries are written the night before they go live.
7. What advice would you give to aspiring bloggers?
Write about what you love and make sure there is regular content appearing on your blog. Acknowledge and communicate with your readers as much as you can. Support other bloggers, especially new ones who are just starting out too.
Most of all, enjoy it! Plan a strategy to obtain readers and stick to it but don’t obsess about page views or hits too much.
Write content that you want to read. Be fiercely honest but always gracious.
8. You have a very active community built around your blog. How do you keep the audience engaged?
Content must be fresh and it must be honest. If I were to come across as phony or insincere in my reviews and hauls, I think I would immediately loose much of the readership that I have engaged with over the last year and a half.
Being approachable is important to me. When readers are comfortable enough to email me with ideas they would like to see or questions they have, I’m building a bond with them that will hopefully keep them coming back and reading.
9. Any product you’re currently obsessed with? What makes it stand out?
I obsess over so many things. Right now I’m loving my MAC cleanse off oil because it takes off my makeup like no other cleanser I’ve ever tried.
Also, I’m loving my old school Victoria Secret Amber Romance shower gel and lotion so much! It’s the perfect layering scent and compliments nearly all of my perfumes.
Dark polish. As soon as I’m finished with this questionnaire, I’m putting a coat of Cult Nails “Fetish” on my nails. It’s a fierce matte black.
10. A fragrance you hated in recent memory? What made it so horrible, and does it have any redeeming qualities?
As much as I love Lush, I did not enjoy their cleanser “Let the Good Times Roll” one bit. It left an oily residue on my face and I wasn’t a fan of such a gourmand scent for my facial cleanser. Don’t get me wrong, it smells amazing! But for cookies, not my face. The one thing I did like about it was the gentle exfoliation it provided.
11. Do you think that after years of cultivating your opinions you would put them to use in making your own wax or body products? Why or why not?
As for wax, I think many of us who have purchased an excessive amount of wax have given the idea of making our own a thought or two. I’ve completely ruled out making my own wax as a possibility because I’m afraid of the potential toxicity of melting so much paraffin or soy all at once without proper ventilation. I know this doesn’t entirely make sense because I melt quite a bit of scented wax anyway but for some reason making it in mass quantities scares me.
With body products, I’ve honestly never given the idea much thought at all. I’m not sure I have the interest in putting the effort to research a quality and sellable product.
12. What does the future hold for Fragrance Obsessed?
I’d like to continue transitioning the blog from being heavily focused on scented wax to more personal content such as my love of travel and cooking.
This year I plan to add more beauty product reviews and get back to regular giveaways of products that I absolutely love.
13. Any up and coming wax bloggers to watch for?
Not too many new faces in the wax blogging arena but I have loved Sara’s blog at What I’m Melting (http://whatimmelting.blogspot.com).
I can’t help but mention my friends and fellow wax bloggers when listing my favorite wax blogs:
Deb at …It’s Always Something (http://somethingalwayz.blogspot.com)
Julie at The Redolent Mermaid (http://theredolentmermaid.blogspot.com)
Lauren at Lolo Loves Scents (http://lololovesscents.blogspot.com)
Michelle at Waxing About (http://waxing-about.blogspot.com)
14. What would be your ‘ideal wax’? What qualities do you look for in the product and service?
Anything highly scented. I love chunks, scent shots and anything else that can be placed in my wax warmer easily and without too much fuss (uncut loaves are my least favorite form of wax).
I’ve experienced excellent customer service with most of the wax vendors that I’ve purchased from. As long as communication is timely and honest, I’m a satisfied customer.
15. Do you ever look at your collection and think ‘that’s enough’? Do you think that you will ever?
Almost every day! I know I have enough but there’s such an excitement in blending, plotting, receiving and even organizing new wax. I am a true wax addict!
I would like to thank Sunnee for taking time to share her ideas with me. You can find her at her blog.