In Part 1 of Writing Solar Blog Headlines That Attract Readers, we discussed some of the very general rules and guidelines that go into the process. In Part 2, we look at different categories of headlines and why they’re effective.
Strictly speaking, blogs are not traditional sales tools. Unlike slogans or ads, there’s a lot less pressure to come up with a killer headline that leads directly to purchases.
But you still want people to read the post. Your solar headline must entice people to click on the link.
In entertainment, politics, and romance, this process is much easier. Open-ended questions, provocative claims, and Top 10 lists tend to be the norm:
- Did Brad Pitt Just Say What I Think He Said?
- What the President Doesn’t Want You to Know
- 10 Ways to Tell She’s Lying to You
Unfortunately, solar energy is a slightly different animal. It’s much harder to weave in scandalous and intriguing titles when you’re dealing with renewables. But with the right approach, you can still entice readers.
Below are some potential candidates:
Humor & Puns – Probably the most challenging (and riskiest) approach involves using comedy to connect with your target audience. Done correctly, you can illicit a solid chuckle and perhaps a little curiosity. I rarely use these because, well… solar energy simply isn’t that funny.
Example 1: Are Fossil Fuels Really Oil Washed Up? (ouch!!!)
Example 2: Solar Energy: the Dawn of a New Era
Warnings & Advisories – No one likes being out of the loop. You can use uncertainty to motivate readers to learn more. I don’t recommend doing this too much since it can quickly lose its effectiveness. But a few advisory solar headlines here and there can help keep readership healthy and active.
Example 1: The Truth about Acme Solar Inverters
Example 2: What Your Solar Installer Doesn’t Want You to Know
Example 3: Experts Predict Energy Prices Will Double Over Next 10 Years
Questions – Similar to warnings/advisories, enticing questions can use uncertainty to motivate readers.
Example 1: Are You Making This Common Solar Marketing Mistake?
Example 2: Do Your Competitors Know Something You Don’t?
Example 3: Is China Really the Best Place to Divert Your Resources?
Lists – Lists are super popular these days – perhaps too popular. It seems like every news site is using them more and more frequently. But it’s not hard to see why – few people can resist clicking on Top 5s and Top 10s, even when they have no real connection to the topic.
We’ve all done it – standing in line at the supermarket, drawn by some stupid Top 5 headline about a soap opera or celebrity couple we care nothing about.
Example 1: 5 Ways to Bring the Cost of Your Solar PV System Down
Example 2: Top 10 Solar Hotspots Worldwide (and How They Got That Way)
Example 3: 3 Reasons Why Your Next Solar Project Might Fail
Direct – The direct approach can be very effective depending on your audience.
Like the name implies, your title spells out exactly what the blog is about – with no frills or whistles. Sometimes you can throw a “How To” into the headline. I often use these in my own blog because many of my readers are looking for very specific information about a very specific topic.
Example 2: How Important Is SEO for Your Solar Website?
Example 3: Why Every Solar Company Should Have a Blog
Solar Headlines Must Be Relevant & Truthful
This probably should have gone into Part 1 since it’s a “guideline.” But I wanted to save it for last because it’s so important.
Online real estate is extremely competitive. But that’s never an excuse for overpromising or making false claims in order to hook the reader. The content of your post must deliver whatever your headline says it will deliver. It must be relevant to the copy that follows.
In addition, the content must be truthful and, to the best of your ability, accurate. Otherwise, your readers feel cheated, you lose credibility, and your company moves farther away from any potential sales later down the road.
If you deceive or mislead, you’ll be worse off than if you had never had the blog to begin with.
Solar Headlines – No Magic Bullet. Only Common Sense & Practice
Because every industry, company, and client is so different, there is no magic formula for writing headlines – only a perpetually growing list of best practices.
In addition, prepare yourself for round after round of revisions. Writing headlines is a process. With time and practice, you’ll get better.
This list is far from complete. In future posts, I hope to expand.