By Amy Campbell
It seems everyone has a blog these days—from your teenager to famous athletes. And while it seems to make sense for many, self-storage operators may be wondering how blogging can truly benefit their facility. After all, there’s definitely a time commitment involved in building and maintaining a quality blog. Even if you set aside the technical aspects of regularly posting a blog to your facility website, you’ll still likely spend hours thinking about a topic, then writing about it.
So you may be asking yourself, “Is it really worth it?” There’s definitely evidence that shows not only is it worth it, but there are dozens of self-storage operators who are already very successful at blogging.
I recently came across this article about the benefits of blogging for business owners. The author zeroes in on four key areas: driving traffic to your website, converting that traffic to leads, establishing authority and driving long-term results.
The first one is a no-brainer. In simplest terms, blogs add indexed pages and fresh content (if you blog regularly) to your website. And the more indexed pages you have—complete with keywords to attract search engines—the better.
A great example of a company that has generated loads of indexed pages is Canada’s Jiffy Self-Storage. Their website contains dozens of blog pages dating back to 2009. It also offers links via an archive, recent posts and even by category. Super simple, yet loaded with keywords and indexed pages. Nice!
Next, you need to turn these online visitors into real leads. You do this with a call to action. Once you get them to your blog, you can offer some kind of incentive to do business with you. Your call to action should be subtle. For example, this blog by Price Self Storage is designed to attract college students looking for storage for the summer months. It offers suggestions about keeping a dorm room organized and tidy, then planning ahead when leaving school. It then offers a simple solution to this very specific audience—store your stuff with Price Self Storage. While the blog is informative, there’s also a clear call to action. Well done!
Establishing authority is probably the best thing about blogging. It allows a self-storage operator to show he knows his stuff—from how to pack to choosing a quality facility. This blog from Move It Self Storage offers sound advice for packing and storing household appliances. This is awesome information for potential renters. It also includes a call to action, “When you're ready to store, contact Move It Self Storage - Villa Maria to rent your unit.” The link leads to the facility’s online reservation page. Excellent information and a great call to action!
Finally, let’s talk about driving long-term results. You know what they say about the Internet, once it’s online it’s there forever. For bloggers, that’s a very good thing. Your words of wisdom won’t be viewed just the day you post them, but foooorrreeevvveeerr. The indexed pages will continue to rank in the search engines, with your keywords leading online users to your website. One blog post—and let’s hope you do more!—can lead to hundreds of views. And while that person reading your blog today may not need storage right now, he might in a few weeks, months or even in a year. If you’ve provided great content, such as how to properly pack your belongings for storage, he’ll likely remember your business.
One final note, it’s OK to have fun with your blogs. Not every entry needs to be about packing or storing. AA-1 Self Storage recently posted a wonderful blog about things to do in Sussex County, N.J., during the summer. You can also write about a charity you regularly support, a community event you attended, news about your facility such as a remodel, or employee or facility awards. You can even post a recipe or funny cartoon. The list of topics is truly endless. If you’re having fun with blogging, your readers will, too.
Have a self-storage blog? Or do you think it’s a waste of time? Share your thoughts by adding a comment below or on Self-Storage Talk, the industry’s largest online community. By the way, that’s MY call to action!