By Cat Lane
Blogging is a great way to market any business, including a self-storage property. Its understandable that while running his facility, a self-storage owner or manager might think there isnt much time to sit in front of a computer and re-tweet tweets, like pictures on Facebook or write blog posts. But the bottom line is, if you have a website, social sharing and blogging can really help your ranking in online searches and attract new customers. Here are some efficient and effective ways to add a blog to your facility website.
If you own a self-storage business in Braintree, Mass., for example, create a Gmail account and set up a Google alert for any news with the keywords Boston self-storage. Youll be notified via e-mail any time Google spots something interesting about Boston self-storage. This can generate topic ideas for your blog posts. You can simply write an intro of 50 words, quote the article using 100 words and write a 50-word conclusion. This will keep your posts fresh and current, which is what your readers want.
People love lists. The benefits of self-storage would be a good list, but there are many more topics you can probably come up with by just using a little imagination. Try conducting searches on Twitter or Pinterest for fresh ideas. Write a sentence for each listed topic and find a nice picture or two to add to the blog post.
People also love videos, and there are many ways to produce videos inexpensively and publish them to your blog. Use your smartphone to shoot walking tours of your facility and customer testimonials with your favorite clients. Incidentally, customer testimonials are still the best ways to establish credibility for your company.
When shooting video, keep away from traffic and make sure it isnt windy if youre outside. Also, be sure to speak loud and clear so your audience will hear your message. Bad audio can easily ruin a good video. Shooting the video in one good take also ensures it doesnt have to be edited.
You need to build relationships with the people who read your blog. As simple as that sounds, its surprising how few bloggers do it well. The simplest and best way to build relationships is by responding directly to them whenever they post a good comment about one of your blogs. When others see you doing that, theyll realize youre engaged and caring, and theyre far more likely to keep reading what you're writing. Maybe they'll even jump in and post a comment or two.
Know Your Resources
There are many websites containing a roster of potential guest bloggers, so you dont even have to write your own posts. You just publish their blog and give them a link.
You can also create a newswire for your business. In the world of blogging, the equivalent of a newswire is an RSS feed. These feeds make it easier for people to follow your blog. They also widen its distribution and, therefore, grow your audience quite dramatically.
Lead the Conversation
One final tip is to make sure youre always leading your conversations in a new direction. Remember, people like to learn something new when they're reading a blog. As a business owner, you have a remarkable insight into many areas. The conversation is happening online. Do you want to lead it?
Cat Lane is operations manager for Lock It Up Self-Storage , which specializes in the San Jose, Calif., market and has seven Bay-area locations. The company features video tours of all its facilities on its website.