To learn more about Eryka, check out the Busy Little Izzy spotlight

Eryka Spera, creator of the blog Busy Little Izzy, started her blog around Izzy’s first birthday after a couple of blogger friends suggested she share her favorite products for new moms and Izzy’s latest fashions. Over the course of her blogging career, Eryka has become a pro at creating meaningful connections with her audience and her fellow bloggers, all who enjoy following her life with her adorable daughter Izzy.

Read on for Eryka’s tips on how to engage and grow your blogging community!

You have a very active audience on your blog and social channels! How do you encourage their engagement?

I like to be sure I keep a steady amount of unsponsored posts on my channels and blog. Although being paid doesn’t alter my opinion, sometimes I think followers feel you are unauthentic if EVERYTHING you post has been sponsored. I also try to ask questions on my Instagram stories and posts to let my followers know, I’m not just talking at them, I want to talk to and with them.

I also feel it’s important to find a group of influencers that you build a tribe with. I am excited to watch my tribe’s IG stories and see their posts and even read their blogs. They have become my virtual friends and I think this relationship is important because when your followers see people like and comment on your posts and this encourages your followers to engage in that manner as well.

Lastly, when you get comments on your blog, or social channels or IG stories, respond! Let them know that when they reach out, you will engage back with them. I have built a relationship with many followers and they reach out and we chat about anything from fashion to motherhood. I have built trust and friendships and isn’t this what being an influencer is all about?

What are your best tips for building a community on social media?

  1. Engage with your followers (this means like their photos, respond to their comments or questions and ask them questions via your posts or IG stories)
  2. Find a tribe of influencers you enjoy following and engage with them regularly
  3. Be yourself. People will sniff out pretty quickly when you are not being authentic

Are you part of a blogging community? If so, how did you find/form it?

Yes! So I was probably at under 4K on IG and there were some women I just loved engaging with. One of the women took the initiative to create us a little IG group where we chat daily. We check in with one another and share good and bad. We are truly a support team and cheerleaders for each other, but it’s also beyond the influencer world. We slowly added a few more mamas and now we have all grown to be a little family. We give each other tips, support, ideas, and kindness. (Kindness can be hard to find in a woman dominated atmosphere.)

How do you make time to engage with your audience

I do my best to engage when my child is sleeping (nap or bed). Honestly, that’s when I get pretty much all of my work done. I’m a full-time mommy and full-time blogger so every day is busy busy.

Do you ever take content suggestions from your audience based on what they want to see more of?

Yes! I actually have even asked in mommy Facebook groups what they would like to read or what kind of content they have been looking for.

What would you say is the most effective way of communicating with your readers?

I think Instagram Stories is my favorite way, but honestly I reach different people on Facebook than Instagram and so on and so forth. So I think all channels are important. Especially Pinterest….that is floating around forever and when I have pins go viral I reach so many new people.

How did you first find initial success at engaging your audience and how has that changed in recent years?

I would say before the algorithm changes on Instagram I could easily reach just about EVERYONE who followed me by posting on IG or FB. Now, it’s not as easy. There are bloggers I follow that I have to make an effort to go to their IG feed to catch up on what’s been going on in their life. So like I said in question 6, they are all very important. I do really love IG stories and being able to have my audience see me without makeup and in my baseball cap, looking at them and talking right to them.

What is the best advice you’ve received from another blogger?

Don’t lose yourself. This is such amazing advice and the best! I remember trying to find a “filter” for my feed. But although I loved the dark and gloomy look for others, that’s not me. I love colors and brightness! This also means don’t take campaigns that have NOTHING to do with your niche or life. I have turned down a lot of money/campaigns that just didn’t fit me. I often love cold emailing and pitching to companies about products I’ve used of theirs & love and see if they would be willing to partner up.

How has being part of the influencer community elevated your skills and career?

When you are around other influencers you learn the mistakes they made and get tips on how they edit photos, reach their audiences, send viral pins… any new piece of info you can gain from someone if valuable. I have learned a lot from trial and error, and the error was devastating at times (like paying for vs .org and then having to pay someone to transfer it). That was expensive, I wish someone told me in the first place to sign up for .org with WordPress. So now I really try to help other influencers not make the same mistakes as me.

What is your favorite part about being part of the influencer community?

Friendship! I have gained friendships with women I’ve been lucky enough to meet and person and hope to meet. We have helped each other grow as influencers, friends, mothers and spouses