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Selling online means having a content strategy. Content is everything from the email marketing letters you send to your list, the social media posts you create, and the blog posts you write.

Did you know? Content marketing leaders experience 7.8 times more site traffic than non-leaders

Part of that content strategy is also giving away and selling ebooks. If you are looking for helpful ebook ideas, you should read on.

Top 5 Helpful Ebook Idea Categories:

1. How-To Ebooks
2. Time Sensitive Ebooks
3. Step-by-Step Guides
4. List Ebooks
5. Inspirational Ebooks

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helpful ebook ideas

With these helpful ebook ideas, you can continue to grow your email list while making sales, too. With online businesses becoming the norm, it’s even more important to stand out with different content. Whether you sell or give away your next ebook, it will show your readers that you want to help them along their journey.

Here are 21 helpful ebook ideas, specifically for online entrepreneurs and bloggers (or anyone wanting to sell digital products). Open Evernote or grab a notebook and start brainstorming your next ebook. These ebook ideas are also perfect for blog posts, too.

Idea Category 1: How-To Ebooks

It’s no doubt that the most helpful and popular books are how-tos. Your readers want to learn from you, whether that’s how to rework their budget so they can save more than 40% of their current income for early retirement or how to easily prep vegetarian meals.

Check out this example from Joanna Penn:

helpful ebook ideas

If you don’t know what to write about, a how-to about what you’re an expert in is always a good idea.

1| How To _____ Without Spending A Dime

2| How To _____ For $___

3| How To Get The Most Out Of Your _____

4| How To _____

5| How To Easily _____

6| How to _____ In A _____

Idea Category 2: Time Sensitive Titles

Humans respond well to time-sensitive offers: It’s compelling! Think about what you know and how you can do it in a certain amount of time. One of our fave sellers, Jessica Sepel, offers a 14-day slimdown plan in the form of a digital guide:

helpful ebook ideas

Whether it’s day, hours, or weeks, the more unusual or creative way you lead readers to the outcome, the better.

7| How To Make _____ In __ Days

8| How To Make _____ In __ Hours

9| How To _____ In 24 Hours

10| How To _____ In A Week

11| 365 Days To _____

Idea Category 3: Step-by-Step Guides

Everyone loves a good old step-by-step guide. These are similar to how-tos, but they literally give the reader an instruction manual on how to do something. Health blog, Balance me Beautiful, uses their ebook 10 Healthy Weight Loss Secrets! as a free opt-in to their email list and as a content upgrade on the side of their blog post The Ultimate Guide to Scientifically-Backed Coconut Oil Uses:

ebook ideas

Step-by-step guides are especially good for target audiences who need a bit of handholding.

12| Step-by-Step To _____

13| __ Day Guide To _____

14| The ____ Guide To _____

15| The _____ Handbook

Idea Category 4: Lists

You can never go wrong with a list! Lists are great for quick ebooks that can especially be used for your email newsletter opt-in. A great example of a list ebook is from Unbounce: Attention-Driven Design: 23 Visual Principles For Designing More Persuasive Landing Pages:

helpful ebook ideas

Don’t be afraid to expand your ebook title either, like Unbounce did. The more descriptive, the easier it is to influence people to download.

16| Top _____ Mistakes

17| 101 Tips For _____

18| 20 Ways To _____

19| 30 _____ For  ____

Idea Category 5: Inspirational Ebooks

Tell your story! What do you know now that you wish you would have known before? Showing your authentic, vulnerable side with your readers can build an emotional connection with your brand, even if the content doesn’t give them a step by step or how-to. They’ll learn simply through reading your story, like one of our favorite books #GIRLBOSS, which is also sold as an ebook:

Helpful Ebook Ideas

20| What I Wish I Knew Before _____

21| My Journey To _____

So, what are you going to write next?

We hope this gives you some solid ideas for your next ebook, whether it’s a free or paid one. Remember that you’re the expert, so share what you know and build it into part of your content strategy. Leave us some of the ebook ideas you are walking away from this blog post with below.

About the author

Kristen Runvik

Kristen Runvik

Kristen transforms her passion for writing, fun, and kindness into community support.


    1. Kristen Runvik Selz


      Hey Kathy, thanks for stopping by — we’re glad you found these ideas helpful :)

  1. Larry Kulchawik

    Perhaps you can help me to sell more of my books? Available in both hard cover and e format. Presently working with Amazon, but I am a little fish in a big pond.
    My book is the only one of its kind and applies to a small audience of readers who organize, or are a supplier for, trade show marketing.
    Looking for suggestions.

    Larry Kulchawik

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