I’m not at all sure what self-storage units have to do with boomer boom towns.
But as I wrote in my previous post, it was the blog on the website of SpareFoot — an online site to find and reserve storage units across the country — where I learned what the top 15 Boomer boom towns in the U.S. are, at least by Sparefoot’s calculations. (San Antonio, Texas, tops their list, which is based on several criteria, including boomer population growth, number of health care workers, and some economic data.)
And that’s what I like about the SpareFoot blog — it’s filled with some entertaining, educational and unexpected surprises. Some of which are related to baby boomer travel.
For instance, besides the boomer boom towns entry, there’s one post naming the fastest-growing college towns in the U.S. based on population growth between the years 2000 and 2010. (Raleigh, North Carolina, followed by College Station, Texas, and Los Cruces, New Mexico, top the list.) That’s of interest because one of the emerging baby boomer trends — which I’ll be writing about in a future post — is to move to college towns for retirement.)
Then there’s the post on the “10 Tidiest Towns in America,” based on “spending on household cleaning supplies, the number of maids and housekeepers, and the square footage of available per capita storage space.” The tidiest town? Albuquerque, New Mexico.
Another one merges a storage angle with what sounds like a tabloid item out of London, England: “London Storage Unit at the Heart of $6 Billion Drama.” It seems $6 billion went missing from an Asian bank…
And then there is “Husband Storage Helps Chinese Women Maintain Shopping Sanity at Malls.” (Have any husbands ever been accidentally or otherwise forgotten in temporary storage, like coats given over to a checkroom and then left by a “forgetful” wife?)
And “New Jersey Nabs Unlicensed Movers in Sting Operation.” (All you need to know about Jersey!)
I can even make a case for storage units being related to travel — after all, if you head off on an extended trip, you may need to store your stuff somewhere.
But then, once you’re hooked on the travel and international and New Jersey intrigue stuff, the SpareFoot blog starts hitting you with counter-intuitive pieces like “Decluttering Guru Peter Walsh: Don’t Focus on the Stuff” and “Experts Offer Five Ways to Turn Clutter Into Cash.”
If this were a typical storage company blog, they’d be telling you to spend money to get rid of your clutter — by renting a storage unit. Or they’d be trumpeting: “Hooray for Stuff!”
They even have a piece on “Getting Organized: Seven Tips for Going Paperless.” My paper piles alone would keep several storage companies in business — and yet they’re telling me to go paperless. It makes me want to immediately go out and rent a storage unit, I like this company so much. (Fortunately, when I typed in my zip code, it turned out the nearest unit was 13 miles away.)
They also have numerous blog posts on something called the “Austin Startup Games,” which sound like fun (SpareFoot, a startup, is based in Austin, Texas).
But the ultimate point here is to show that a blog doesn’t have to be (indeed, shouldn’t be) exclusively about what your company does — and certainly not dry and boring insider stuff — in order to be successful. Because the real value of a blog like this is to drive potential customers to your website, and then see if the storage unit idea rubs off on them.
And SpareFoot is doing just that. I know I never would have found it otherwise.
And if I were reading this right now, I’d probably be heading to the SpareFoot Website to check out just exactly what “husband storage” is, or what happened to that missing $6 billion.
But not before you get the answer to Last Week’s Travel Quiz:
A Hotwire survey pinpoints 14 destinations Americans would most like to travel to in 2014. Which one of these was not in the top five?
A. New York, New York
B. San Francisco, California
C. Los Angeles, California
D. Honolulu, Hawaii
E. Las Vegas, Nevada
The answer is C: Los Angeles, California