Google is currently rolling out its latest algorithm update, known as the “helpful content update”, aimed at rewarding content that is written for people first then search engines, and stamping out content that is clearly written for the search engines.
So, what exactly is “helpful content”? That’s open to interpretation, but Google generally refers to helpful content as content which is unique, helps solve a problem and in a way that is better than anything else that is currently published. Certain sectors will be targeted more so than others including online educational material, shopping and tech industries.
Most of us write content that’s helpful to some extent, but how can we take it once step further, especially if we have a service business?
I’ve come up with 42 blog post ideas for service businesses that will have you thinking beyond the usual content you see for your industry and topic.
Oh and a good tip- look at blog posts ranking on page 1 in Google for the topic you’re writing about and see how you can write something better and more helpful- perhaps from a different perspective? Or with a personal story or anecdote that relates to the central theme?
42 Helpful Content Ideas For Service Businesses
1.Write about why you decided to start your business: what gap did you see in the market? What did you see was missing from what your competitors are offering? Did you start the business at a crossroads in your life?
2.Write about one of the challenges you face in your business (your clients may relate to this!). This doesn’t need to relate to the service you provide but something more general, such as finding the time to complete a task, or being a procrastinator. As you’re a service business, what you offer will most likely solve a time-constraint problem.
3.Share a step-by-step guide to a typical process or action your clients may use in their business- you can also repurpose this into an instructional video! Some examples include how to use a tool/software to solve a small but common problem. I did this in my blog post about time-saving Excel tips.
4.Choose a typical client question you receive, and write a detailed response. Look for keywords that relate to this question that you could optimise your blog post with.
5.Share a client success story. Make sure you ask your client for permission first, and also encourage them to share your post via their social media platforms. A case study like this is social proof and can be re-purposed in many ways including as part of your welcome sequence to new list subscribers.
6.Share a list of resources that you use in your business, that your clients may find useful. If you’re an affiliate for any of these resources, include your affiliate links in the blog post.
7.Create a list of some of the best content you can find within your niche- for example, other blog posts, Youtube videos, case studies etc…
8.Interview a business that offers a service that complements what you offer. For example, if you’re a copywriter, interview a web designer. If you’re a business coach, interview an accountant.
9.Share one of the biggest lessons you’ve learned in business- you can turn this into a social media video and encourage your audience to share what lessons they’ve learnt! Here’s my example about our bike business.
10.Create an infographic on a topic relating to your business- write about the different aspects of the infographic. Don’t forget to turn the infographic into a Pinterest Pin!
11.Write about “what not to do” when running a business in your clients’ niche.
12.Think about a typical “myth” relating to your business or your clients’ businesses and bust the myth in a blog post. Can you think of a “controversial” myth that most people don’t realise?
13.Write a behind-the-scenes post about what a typical day in your business looks like. Include lots of photos. You can turn this into a video or reel.
14.Write about one of the services you offer and how it can help different businesses, but not in a way that is salesy. Find a unique perspective or angle to write it from. For example, if you’re a digital marketer, you can write about how new platforms and media like TikTok and Instagram reels are important to embrace but not to forget about tried-and-true methods like email marketing.
15.Share a checklist of things your clients can do to improve an aspect of their business. You can turn this checklist into a lead magnet to get more people signing up to your email list, like I did with my On-page SEO Checklist!
16.Write about how your business is becoming more sustainable and environmentally conscious- what steps have you taken and what else do you plan to implement?
17.Share some of the goals you have for your business for the upcoming year.
18.Write about a recent business book, podcast or networking event you’ve attended, and try to link it to a topic that relates to your business. For example, I use the analogy that cold emailing and pitching to someone is like walking up to a person at a networking event, handing them your business card and pitching them without even trying to get to know them first.
19.Share your all-time favorite business books, podcasts and videos that relate to your business or a topic that your audience is interested in.
20.Share a personal story to inspire your readers.
21.Write about what’s trending in your niche this week- have a look at Twitter and Instagram!
22.Write about a current news topic relating to your niche that your audience would be interested in.
23.Write about a new product, feature, app or website that could help your readers solve a common problem.
24.Write a seasonal post. For example, you could write about things your clients should do in their businesses in the lead up to Christmas/New Year.
25.Write a thank you post to your clients! Tell them what you love about working with clients like them, or in the industry you’re in.
26.Create a roundup of “the best” of different things relating to your clients’ niche. For example, the best app to use, the best marketing campaign, the best business interview. You can do an annual roundup at the end of each year or a monthly roundup.
27.Write about stats and data relating to your services that your client would be interested in. Being a service business, time is important to your clients and so is “ease”, so think about stats relating to multi-tasking, self care, productivity or not being afraid to ask for help!
28.Write a series of blog posts on one topic.
29.Review a product that your clients may use in their business. If you’re a copywriter or marketer, review different email providers or if you’re a web developer, review different website hosting companies.
30.Write a fun comparison post between one aspect of your business, and something totally unrelated (such as a popular TV show, pop culture phenomenon or news story).
31.Find someone else’s blog post that you agree or disagree with and write reasons why you agree or disagree. You don’t need to mention the other person if it’s too icky, but even just a general “there’s been a lot of discussion recently about xyz”.
32.Ask experts to share a business tip with you and do a roundup of their responses.
33.Write a list of trends that your clients should watch out for- whether good trends or not so good!
34.Write about who your business idols are (make sure you Tweet or email them your finished blog post!)
35.Check which keywords your website is ranking well for via Google Search Console. Write about these keyword topics if you haven’t already.
36.Write about the proudest moment in your business.
37.Share what makes you different from your competitors: what are you offering that most people don’t?
38.Write about something you’re passionate about and how it impacts on your business.
39.Write about the different social media platforms your business uses and how your clients can connect with you. Maybe you found it intimidating creating your first reel? Or you had a social media post that went viral- write about the process, and why you think it went viral.
40.What are your biggest fears in your business and what are you doing to overcome them? As a service business, find fears relating to time constraints- watching your kids grow up and feeling like you’re not spending enough time with them, struggling with time when scaling your business.
41.Write about how your clients can increase their productivity.
42.Create a “pillar post” which is a summary of existing blog posts that relate to a topic. Link to these posts within the pillar post.