Are you interested in learning how to sell digital products?
Selling digital products is one of the top ways that I generate passive income in my business. I’ve literally made thousands of dollars in extra income in a month from selling things like printables, courses, and digital downloads. So I know all about selling digital products.
If you’re new to selling things online, jumping into the digital product world might be a little intimidating, but don’t worry! I’m here to give you all of the information that you will need to be successful selling digital products online.
So let’s start with the basics. I’ll start by defining exactly what digital products are…
What are digital products
Digital products are goods that can be sold in digital form. Once purchased, they can be accessed online or downloaded to a computer or other device. They are essentially virtual products.
In some cases, digital products can become physical products—such as printables that can be printed by the customer.
Why sell digital products
There are a ton of things that you can sell online. So why sell digital products?
Well, I’ve already shared one good reason for selling digital products, but here are a few more reasons why I recommend that you sell them.
Selling digital products is a flexible option as a side hustle or full time business. Because this is a virtual business, it gives you the option to be able to work from home or literally anywhere!
Flexibility is the number one thing you’ll need to navigate around kids. As a mom, this is extremely beneficial if you don’t have the support system or help around the house. It’s also great if you just don’t have the time or energy after working a nine to five.
The amazing thing about digital products is that once you’ve created your product, you don’t have to worry about making more of it. So, it doesn’t take much to sell digital products, but having flexibility to do the little is priceless.
2. Passive income
The second thing is it is a passive income source. This means that you do not have to trade your time for money. Ultimately, you don’t have to be present in order to make money.
Digital products is something that can operate evergreen behind the scenes—making you money on a consistent basis. That’s the point of passive income sources.
You need passive income in order to build wealth.
Quite frankly, it is not sustainable to work continuously for the rest of your life. So, you have to find a way to make money without being present—whether that’s your money making money for you through investing, or whether that’s through some other passive income source.
Nonetheless, selling digital products is a passive income source that can help you build wealth.
3. No startup costs
The third thing is that it is low to no cost to start up selling digital products. Literally, you can do this on a weekend and start making money. It does not cost anything.
I have a whole list of free apps, websites, software and tools that I use to create my own digital products that cost me zero dollars that you can grab below.
So if you’re wanting to start a business or a side hustle, and you don’t have money to invest in starting a business, this is a low to no cost option that you can certainly begin literally today.
4. Doesn’t require inventory or physical space
Unlike physical products, you don’t have to worry about having a place to hold inventory and having inventory carrying costs. You also don’t have to worry about things going out of trend or expiring.
When you sell digital products, there are no upfront costs of purchasing inventory or paying for shipping. Digital products are the lowest cost products that you can sell!
5. Full control of your business
The fourth reason that I recommend selling digital products is that you have full control of your business. You have full control over your supply chain—you make and sell your product without a middleman that’s going to slow down the progress of you selling your product to the customer or take profits. (Think: dropshipping)
You have control over what you create, how much you sell, and what you sell. You have full control and autonomy when it comes to digital products online.
6. Unlimited earning potential
Selling digital products online has unlimited earning potential. Because digital products are virtual, you can sell as many digital products as humanly possible. As long as the internet works, people have email, and websites still exist, people will be able to download and buy your digital products. Therefore, your earning potential is unlimited
Digital products have unlimited earning potential because there is no physical constraint to them. In theory, you can sell a million products for $1 each and you can be a millionaire from selling digital products. There are people who have done just that.
9 Most Popular Digital products to sell online
Now that you know the “why” for selling digital products, let’s talk about the what. What digital products should you sell?
Well although almost anything that is virtual and can be packaged can technically become a digital product that you can sell, digital products tend to fall into these 9 most popular categories.
Ebooks are digital versions of books that can be downloaded or viewed from an electronic device. This type of digital product is a great option for communicating educational content, like how to do something.
An example of an ebook would be my own, Dump Debt & Build Bank: The Everyday Chick’s Guide to Money. As you can see from the title, this book teaches women how to get out of debt and build wealth.
Though I sell this in physical copies, the ebook version is very popular because customers get immediate access to it.
Printables are a type of downloadable documents that are meant to be printed by the customer. So though they are transmitted digitally, their end-use is physical.
These types of digital products come in all forms–from art printables to checklists. Ultimately, anything that can be downloaded and printed is considered a printable.
It’s no secret that apps are popular. Not just on mobile devices, but also for computers. Today, you can create apps without having any coding experience. This means that this digital product has become accessible to the everyday person.
Like printables, templates also come in different forms. Nonetheless, the overall objective of this type of digital product is for the consumer to be able to make edits and customize it for their use.
Some templates, like spreadsheets, are meant to solely be used digitally. Others like wedding invitation templates are meant to be printed.
5. Graphic designs
If you’re an artist, you should find excitement in knowing that your art can also be sold digitally. Anything from logos, fonts, to general images, they can all be sold as digital products.
You may offer this as a custom service or create premade graphic items that people can purchase as is.
6. Audio & music
Audio files and music can also be sold online as digital products. There are so many uses for audio files. Audio files can be used as background music or for sound effects.
If you’re a musical artist, you can always sell your music online. Whether its to stream or to download, it all can be packaged as a digital product.
Videos can also be sold as digital products. I first learned of this little money-making gem from Peter Koch of DollarSanity.com. He’s made over $6,000 from selling videos to media outlets. The best part is that it only requires little time commitment.
You can sell them on your own platform or upload them to websites like Newsflare, Jukin Media, or Rumble. Each of these sites are video content licensing agencies with revenue share agreements with Yahoo, MSN, AOL, and more!
You can sell your high-quality images online to websites that sell stock photos. Just sign up to be a Shutterstock or Adobe Stock contributor for free! You’ll earn royalties from your photos each time someone purchases it.
Courses can be considered the creme de la creme of digital products. That’s because they typically require the most time and resource investment, but can have the greatest return.
Online courses have become commonplace and many people have moved to self-paced education online. You can literally create a course about anything.
Courses are a combination of videos, printables, and even templates. I’ve seen courses sold for as low as $37 to as high as $2,500! The price truly depends on the value that you’re able to offer to your students.
I’ve created several courses over the years.
How to find digital product ideas to sell
There is no shortage of digital product ideas online. But, just so you’re not overwhelmed, I’ll share my top three ways to find digital product ideas to sell.
Though I’ve already shared different types of digital products that you can sell, this will give you more specific ideas of what to sell.
You can always find what’s trending on Pinterest. This visual platform is the third largest search engine, which means that a lot of people are using it.
Within a business account on Pinterest, you can use their trend feature to see what search phrases are trending. You can use this feature to search for terms like “printables” to see what kind of printables people are searching for.
Cut out the guesswork and see what other people are already selling. Etsy is a goldmine of ideas of digital products that you can sell. Doing a quick scope of the competition will show exactly what products are selling well for them so that you can make your own version to sell.
3. Google Trends
Google Trends will give you information that is very similar to what Pinterest trends will show. You can see exactly what people are searching for on Google. This will give you an idea of what to focus your product on.
4 tools for creating digital products
When it comes to creating digital products, you have many tools that you can use. Here are my favorite and most used.
- Canva – This online graphic design tool has made creating digital products accessible to the everyday person. You don’t need any graphic arts skills to use this app. Simply drag and drop using the resources available on the site. This app is great for printables, ebooks, and more!
- Google Suite
- Google Slides – This is a great tool for creating printables. It’s just like PowerPoint, except you can access it anywhere. I love Google Slides for creating printable templates that are a little bit more involved that what Canva can do.
- Google Doc – This application is great for creating ebooks or other documents on the go. You can save your document as a pdf and upload it to your shop to sell.
- Google Sheets – Google Sheets is great if you’re creating Excel spreadsheets. With sheets, you can share your link with others and sell your template as a product.
- Zoom – Zoom is great for recording video that can be used in courses. You can record your screen or yourself.
- Loom– This website is an alternative to Zoom. This free application allows you to do screen recordings as well.
You can check out my extended list of digital product tools to use in my Digital Product Starter Tool List.
Best places to sell digital products
Once you’ve settled on what type of digital product you plan on selling, the next step is to determine where you’ll sell your products.
Thankfully, there are several options that you can use as platforms to sell your products, both paid and free. Here are a few popular places to sell your products.
If you don’t have a website, then Etsy is one of the best places to sell digital products.
Yep! You might be surprised to learn that Etsy is more than handmade items for your home. It is one of the largest online marketplaces and your unique, “handmade” digital products are welcome on the platform.
Since it is a marketplace, you have a built in audience that you will be able to market your products to. This is extremely important if you don’t have a website or an audience on social media. What’s even better is that it’s free to sign up and start selling your products.
Like any platform that isn’t your own, you can expect to pay fees for listing and selling on Etsy. Nonetheless, if you need a place to start with no audience or experience, Etsy would be my recommendation.
Etsy is best for selling digital products such as printables, templates, and other downloadables.
You can start an Etsy shop here!
If you’re not interested in paying the fees associated with Etsy, then you can always use Shopify. Though it does cost to host your digital download store on Shopify, it’s completely yours to customize. Think of Shopify as your own store, because it is.
Unlike Etsy, everything isn’t put together for you, including an audience. You will have to do your own marketing to get customers to your shop. You’ll also have to install the correct apps for selling and delivering your digital products.
Shopy is best for selling printables, templates, and downloadables as well.
If you have your own WordPress website for blogging, Woocommerce is a free option for selling digital products. You can install the plugin for free and you don’t need anything extra to sell digital products.
Much like Shopify, you’ll have to bring your own audience to your shop. But if you have a blog, you should have the hang of this already.
Woocommerce is a heavy plugin. This means that I can slow your site down, so I suggest putting it on a separate domain from a blog. Although the basic features that allow you to sell digital products are free, if you want to upgrade to more advanced features, it can get pricey.
I only recommend Woocommerce as a starting point if you already have a blog. Once you’re able to get your sales up on coming in on a consistent basis, then Shopify would be the better alternative.
5 Best Apps for selling digital products
- Samcart – Samcart is a great all-in-one option for selling digital products. You can create product sales pages and a custom checkout in one place. This makes selling your digital products much easier and faster.
- Sendowl – Sendowl is a cheaper alternative to Samcart, without all of the features of course. This platform can handle just about any type of digital product sale.
- Thinkific – If you’re thinking about creating a course, then Thinkific is the BEST course platform out there. It’s where I host my courses and where I recommend my students in my Product to Profit course host theirs as well. It’s easy to use and they provide tons of educational resources if you get stuck.
- Teachable – Teachable is an alternative to Thinkific; however, it isn’t my first choice. Nonetheless, they do the same thing.
- Creative Market – If you’re looking for unique illustrations, fonts, and even web designs, this is the marketplace for you! You can find tons of items that you can use to create your digital product on Creative Mark. And, if you’re an illustrator or designer, Creative Market is a great platform to sell your digital products. It’s like the Etsy of digital art products.
How to sell digital downloads
Once you’ve created your digital products and found your ecommerce platform of choice, it’s really just a matter of uploading your files to be sold. The platforms that I’ve mentioned above will handle the delivery of your digital downloads to your customers.
Of course, you’ll need a pretty good marketing plan to attract customers to your products.