Fashionably Fab Female: Q & A with Alicia Palma-Espinoza of Bubbles & Ink

I am so excited to introduce you all to today’s Fashionably Fab Female, my friend, Alicia Palma. Alicia and I went to college together at FIU, but we were in “rival” sororities. (Yes, I was a sorority girl.) However, we met when a co-worker of mine, and sorority sister of hers, said we should meet because we had so many things in common. This was back in 2004 or so when we were both starting out with blogs of our own. Alicia and I would chat, exchange ideas and support each other, while we were both blogging and searching for a career change. You can say we were AOL Instant Message BFFs. She was one of those few people I mentioned in a previous blog, who read and followed my first novice attempt at blogging. Since then, we’ve both gone through different career changes, different formats with our blogs, our freelance careers and many other changes.


Alicia is now the witty voice behind Bubbles & Ink. Check her out, I promise you won’t be disappointed. She’s a lover of fashion, of art, of tattoos, of crazy pin-up posters from the ’20s or so, of culture, of beauty and a self-proclaimed makeup junkie as well. She also has a love/hate relationship with Miami, as I do. As you can see, we have a few things in common. Our writing styles are very different and sometimes when I’m slumped for ideas, I browse her site to remind myself of where our creativity once began and how far she’s come and how far I can go as well. She’s an extremely talented writer, who also studied Communications at the great blue and gold of FIU. If you’re slumped for ideas, want to know how to be a successful blogger, or want some fabulous style and makeup advice – keep reading. But don’t forget to stop by Bubbles & Ink so you can check out what I’m talking about. I’m sure her writing style will have you laughing at her sarcasm and witty anecdotes. Her mix of class and rocker-chic styles will inspire you to add a few new details to your closet, I’m sure.

Bella Vida Style (BVS): How did you get into blogging?

I’ve been blogging since back in my LiveJournal days when I was 23 and working a government job that provided me with LOTS of observational material. I missed having that kind of outlet so I decided to give it another go about two years ago.

BVS: Why did you get into blogging?

I wanted a creative writing outlet without having to fit into anyone else’s particular voice or point of view.

BVS: What pays your bills (what’s your “real” job)?

Marketing projects, copy writing, and event planning

BVS: Other than your blog, and maybe your day job, what else are you involved in?

I’m also getting back into songwriting, which is something I used to do in college. I’m getting reacquainted with my more lyrical side.

BVS: Why do you blog?
For the pure enjoyment of it. I hope to inspire and entertain.
BVS: One gadget you couldn’t live without?
Does my iPhone count? I live my life on that thing.
BVS: Best app?
Hooked on Instagram, but who isn’t? Currently loving Viggle for rewarding my TV obsession. iReconcile is also pretty great for finances/budgets.
BVS: What inspires you?
I get inspiration from everyday life. I’m fortunate enough to work in a creative field that allows me to travel, so I also enjoy getting to know other cultures and places, even just cities. The way people live their lives, the way they choose to dress, communicate, and express themselves is all really interesting to me. I also love music and film so I try to cover that on the blog as often as I can.
BVS: What do you do when you get writer’s block?
Walk away and wait for the right idea to come. It always does if I don’t force it. Then it just pours out and I find myself having to jot it all down right away before it’s gone again.
BVS: How do you come up with new and refreshing content?I try to treat my blog like a magazine (I’ve always adored them) and consider what I’d like to read about in one of my favorites. If I’m travelling somewhere, I love to share that with my readers. If I’m attending a cool event, I want everyone else to share the experience with me. If I’m shopping for something and find a cool shop, I want everyone to get the best deal for it, too.BVS: How would you describe your blog in 2 sentences or less?

Miami-born Cuban girl with a love of food, fashion, and art explores her city and the world beyond.

BVS: What’s the best way to get more followers and/or get your blog exposure?

Social Media is a huge help for getting the word out but also sharing it with friends and family is essential. Even my dad reads my blog and I think he may be one of my biggest fans/promoters.

BVS: How can someone starting out figure out how to separate themselves from the rest of the blogs out there?

I know it’s cliche, but just be yourself. Seriously. Don’t try to copy what anyone does. It will feel contrived. Go forth on your own path and you’ll figure it out. And it will always be genuine, which is what I feel attracts readers and keeps them coming back.

BVS: Some people think blogging makes you rich – what’s the truth?

Well, I think in some cases, it can open up big financial opportunities, but I wouldn’t suggest that anyone go quit their day job until they’ve started to gain regular income from blogging (which can definitely be done). But it takes a lot of hard work to monetize a blog – it’s really no different than a business. So don’t expect to become wealthy and famous overnight. Bloggers who are well-known and financially comfortable put in a heck of a lot of hard work to get there.

BVS: What’s the best way to monetize your blog?
It’s different for everyone but if you’re interested in monetizing, ad sales, sponsored posts, and links are all good ways of making income off your blog. You just have to find the one that fits your blog and goals best.
BVS: How can you successfully profit from your blog?
Same as above. It takes work and dedication – to having  a view, measurable goals, and marketing strategies just as with any other business.
BVS: Best advertising approach?
Social media, word of mouth, and even hosting events (if that fits your blog’s message).
BVS: How can a blogger better work with brands?
Working with brands is great if the brand fits your blog’s style. Usually, approaching the brand with your interest and numbers and what you hope to accomplish to mutually benefit you both will work well to start a relationship.
BVS: Any photography tips for bloggers?
If photography isn’t your thing, work with a skilled friend. If you decide to give it a go on your own, get to know the basics – lighting, composition, exposure. Clear, well-edited pictures go a long way in making your blog look and feel more polished.
BVS: If you had to pick the best 3 devices for bloggers what would they be?
A decent camera (doesn’t have to be fancy, just functional), a laptop/desktop, and a mobile device (whether smart phone or tablet) for blogging on the go, particularly if you’re a traveler.
BVS: What blog or person do you consider your example to push for better content or your mentor?

I absolutely love the way Nicolette Mason’s approach to style, writing, and blogging. I met her at the IFB conference in February and many things she said resonated with me. I don’t know her personally, but I feel like we’d probably get along pretty well.

BVS: Many times I get told that a blog is a public diary, others think it’s a waste of time or just a hobby – Why do you find blogging important or of value?

Why is blogging a priority for YOU? Blogging is something different for everyone. For me, it fulfills a personal desire to be consistently creative. It’s a challenge I set for myself to keep at it, keep thinking, keep writing.

BVS: Now we want to get to know YOU better, these are more fun, slightly more personal questions . . .

Alicia Palma, of Bubbles & Ink

BVS: Age?
32 and loving it.
BVS: Hometown?
Miami, FL – Born and raised.
BVS: Current town?
Still here in Miami – we’re currently having a tumultuous love/hate relationship. I  like having nice hair and layering clothes. Miami likes to amp up its humidity just for fun. In the winter.

BVS: What do you love best about your city?

It’s a destination that people travel to from all over the world. Everyone is trying to get here to have some fun and we’re lucky enough to experience it every day. It’s not without its faults, but at the very least, it’s never boring.

BVS: City hidden treasure?

That little block of wall that looks over the water behind La Ermita de la Caridad. My husband proposed to me there.

BVS: What music plays in the background as you write (if any)?

I actually find it really hard to concentrate with music or TV in the background. I am probably one of the few people who needs absolute silence to get the job done.

BVS: What is on your nightstand?

A copy of Glamour with Gwen Stefani on the cover (I want to recreate her makeup look), my Kindle, and a jar of Liz Earle’s Superbalm (I swear by that stuff).

BVS: What’s your vice?

Not sure I have only one. Depends on the day. Could be champagne, tattoos, handbags, or anything L.A.M.B. Sometimes it’s more than one at a time.

BVS: What are you reading right now? Any good?

The geek goddess in me is having withdrawals from having finished George R.R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire series before he got around to finishing the 6th book. So I’m having a hard time finding anything substantial to read – which led me dangerously close to reading Fifty Shades of Grey until I read the sample on my Kindle and realized I couldn’t survive 120 pages of intermittent “Oh my’s”.

BVS: Other than blogging – what hobbies do you have?

Reading, Shopping (is that a hobby?), Redecorating (often)…I’m also a big film/TV addict.

BVS: What is stylish to you?

Confidence in going about fashion your own way – despite trends.

Favorite blog to follow?

 NicoletteMason.com

BVS: Favorite shopping site?
Oh…there are so many. I do most of my shopping online. Recently, I’m obsessed with GypsyWarrior.comLulus.com, and DorothyPerkins.com

BVS: Can’t live without beauty or makeup product?

Liz Earle Superbalm – but I’m an all-around beauty junkie.

BVS: If you have $100 right now what would you spend it on?

A small clutch on Blair Ritchey’s site. Ok – maybe handbags are my most serious vice.

BVS: How can we find you on the social media of course your blog webstie? http://www.bubblesandink.com
Blog’s Facebook? facebook.com/bubblesandink
Twitter handle? @wunderland419
Instagram handle: @apalma419
BVS: What’s next for you?More blogging, hopefully more collaborations, and the development of my marketing/design business with my husband (AP Creative Services).
What did you think of Alicia? Are you a fan of Bubbles & Ink? What other blogs do you like to follow often? What do you do when looking for fashion inspiration? How about writing inspiration?
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4 responses to “Fashionably Fab Female: Q & A with Alicia Palma-Espinoza of Bubbles & Ink

  1. Pingback: The best way to monetize your blog·

  2. Pingback: Fashionably Fab Female: Q & A with Annie Vazquez of the Fashion Poet |·

  3. Thank you, thank you, thank you for your kind words and for even thinking to feature me on your beautifully written blog. I love that we’ve taken this journey together. :)

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