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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.

Part of that content strategy includes 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

Graphic for article 21 helpful ebook ideas for small business so you can  add to the success from your advertising services

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 businesses and bloggers (or anyone wanting to sell digital products). So grab a notebook and start brainstorming your next eBook. These eBook ideas are also perfect for blog posts, too.

Helpful eBook Ideas 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:

Joanna Penn is full of helpful ebook ideas and has published many books online, some with selz ecommerce

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 _____

eBook Ideas 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. Social media moves fast, and a great place to promote and sell your eBooks. Whether it’s day, hours, or weeks, the more unusual or creative you can be as you lead readers to the outcome, the better.

7. How To Make _____ in __ Minutes

8. How To Make _____ in __ Hours

9. How To _____ in 24 Hours

10. How To _____ in a Week

11. 365 Days to _____

Helpful Book Ideas 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. Photoshop site, Zbrush Guides, offers some free eBooks to drive demand for his other guides and services:

helpful ebook ideas include a variety of guides to show potential buyers your best products

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

12. Step-by-Step for _____

13. __ Day Guide to _____

14. The ____ Guide to _____

15. The _____ Handbook

eBook Ideas Category 4: Lists

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

Looking at targeted advertising and other competitors in your niche is a great place to find more helpful ebook ideas.

Don’t be afraid to expand your eBook title either, like Unbounce did. The more descriptive your title is, the easier it is to influence people to download from your site, or directly from your blog.

16. Top _____ Mistakes

17. 101 Tips For _____

18. 20 Ways to _____

19. 30 _____ for  ____

Helpful eBook Ideas 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:

Learn from these Helpful Ebook Ideas and publish and sell your ebooks online with Selz ecommerce for business growth

20. What I Wish I Knew Before I _____

21. My Journey to _____

So, what are you going to write next?

We hope this gives you some solid ideas for your next eBook. And if you’re new to creating eBooks from scratch, there are some great tools to make a book online. Remember that you’re the expert, so share what you know and build it into part of your content strategy.

About the author

Kristen Runvik

Content strategist and holistic herbalist with experience in collaborative content creation and strategy implementation, multidimensional and highly creative content development, ecommerce growth, and medicinal plant, flower, and herb expertise.

Kristen is also the Founder of Lagom Body Co., a multidimensional skincare and lifestyle brand.


  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

  2. Kathy Louis-Sanders

    Great ideas, very helpful.

  3. Kristen

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

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