If you’ve ever thought about making money online and trying out virtual entrepreneurship, you’ve likely come across the term “digital products.” Unlike physical items, digital products are easy to create, manage, and sell, and they come with a bunch of benefits for starting a business.
Digital products aren’t physical objects you can touch or hold, but we all use them—like music, videos, ebooks, and online courses.
Many entrepreneurs actually build whole businesses around these intangible products because they’re so popular and easy to share. Others create digital products that complement the physical things or services they provide.
In this article, we’re going to share some practical and proven strategies for making money by selling digital products.
Table of Contents
What Are Digital Products?
Digital products are like virtual treasures – they’re things you can’t physically touch, but you can sell and share them online over and over again without worrying about running out.
These goodies usually come as files you can download or stream, such as MP3 songs, PDF documents, videos, cool plug-ins, and handy templates.
Make Money Selling Digital Products
Step 1: Come up with a Digital Product Idea
Start by unleashing your creativity and jotting down ideas. Remember, this is just the beginning, so don’t be too hard on yourself. Sometimes, even the seemingly wild ideas can lead to fantastic ones. The trick is not to overthink things – just let your ideas flow freely.
Need a little inspiration for crafting downloadable products to sell online? Ask yourself:
- Can you teach your customers how to make the most of your products? If you’re into knitting, consider offering sessions on advanced knitting techniques.
- Are there ways you can assist your customers within your industry? Selling surfboards? How about a home workout plan for maintaining that surf-ready physique?
- What values does your business stand for, and what topics align with them? For eco-friendly fashion brands, a course on sustainable living could be a hit.
- How about fostering a sense of community among your customers? If kitchen supplies are your thing, how about hosting a virtual guided wine tasting event?
- Identify your strengths. If you’re a pro at product photography, why not share your skills and help others improve too?
Step 2: Understand Your Customers
To create top-notch digital products that truly resonate, pinpoint the pain points your customers experience. Think about your product, your industry, your values, and even topics that spark excitement. Your aim is to provide value through educational offerings.
Here’s where to begin your research:
- Facebook Groups: Dive into niche Facebook groups to discover what your potential customers care about. These groups are treasure troves of insights.
- Industry Forums: Explore forums dedicated to your industry or hobbies to get a better understanding of people’s desires and needs.
- Product Reviews: Check out both your product reviews and those of your competitors. These reviews, whether on product pages or blogs, can spark fresh ideas.
- Blog Posts and Comments: Immerse yourself in the blogosphere that your community reads. Don’t forget to explore the comments section – it’s brimming with insights.
- Customer Emails: Don’t overlook the emails and messages from your customers. These communications often hold valuable insights from your most engaged customers.
Step 3: Validate Your Idea
Before you fully dive into the exciting world of selling digital products, it’s important to validate your idea to ensure its viability. After all, you wouldn’t want to invest significant time and resources into a venture without knowing it stands a good chance of success.
Here are some effective ways to validate your digital product idea:
Keyword Insights: Utilize a keyword research tool to gauge the demand for your chosen topics. This provides a snapshot of the potential audience for each idea.
Harness Google Trends: Search your selected topics on Google Trends to identify trends and growing interests. This reveals which topics hold promise for future growth.
Engage with Your Audience: Reach out to your customers directly via email or social media. Conducting polls or surveys enables you to gather invaluable feedback straight from the source.
Begin with Baby Steps: Sometimes, the best way to validate an idea is to start with a scaled-down version that leaves room for expansion. Swiftly introduce your concept to the world, allowing you to test its waters and enhance it based on real-world feedback.
No matter your industry, your unique expertise holds immense value for your customers, making the creation and sale of digital products a rewarding endeavor.
Step 4: Select Your Digital Sales Platform
After you’ve confirmed the potential of your digital product idea, it’s time to pick the perfect platform for selling. This choice hinges on what you’re offering and your budget. Also, consider factors like user-friendliness and customization options for your store’s appearance.
With new digital sales platforms emerging regularly, let’s delve into six established industry standards and how they serve various needs:
Selling on Amazon
Amazon, a tech titan, might seem like the obvious choice. However, it’s primarily tailored for physical products. While music and videos can be sold, there are better options for digital items.
Yet, Amazon excels in ebook sales, capturing a significant market share. Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP) offers an effortless entry point into online publishing, especially for ebooks.
Selling on Etsy
Etsy, a stronghold for artisans and vintage sellers, is also a platform for digital products. It’s particularly suited for visually appealing offerings like craft guides or downloadable prints. Although it caters well to the visually rich, it may not be ideal for audio or video products.
Selling on Shopify
Shopify, renowned for e-commerce, accommodates digital downloads through its plugin. It’s versatile, allowing you to offer various products alongside your digital items, such as online courses and merchandise.
Selling on Online Course Marketplaces – Udemy & Skillshare
Udemy and Skillshare are online course marketplaces that can generate awareness, but their profit-sharing models might limit your revenue. They can serve as lead generation sources, directing customers to your independent online course platform for more substantial sales.
Selling on Thinkific
If you’re eager to create and sell online courses independently, Thinkific shines. It empowers instructors to maintain full control over pricing, design, and revenue.
Whether you’re transitioning from ebooks or seeking to enrich your content, Thinkific offers a seamless path to transform your knowledge into engaging online courses.
Step 5: Promote Your Digital Products
Promoting your digital products is your key to success, but the approach can vary depending on your platform and product. Yet, certain principles remain universal.
First off, don’t just rely on your selling platform for promotion. Whether it’s Etsy or Amazon, the spotlight won’t shine solely on you. Instead, use social media powerhouses like Instagram and TikTok to cultivate your audience. Take cues from trending content and adapt their magic to your creations.
As your audience blooms, consider networking with fellow digital product creators in your realm. Sharing insights, tips, and even engaging in cross-promotions can unlock fresh opportunities.
If your budget permits, try paid social media advertisements or explore platform-supported ads. Experiment with diverse strategies and track which ones lure the most buyers to your offerings.
Popular Digital Products To Sell Online
1. Templates for Professionals
Professionals like graphic designers, HR specialists, and web designers can create digital templates. These templates, such as CVs, website designs, presentations, and social media posts, streamline workflows for various industries.
2. eBooks for Information and Stories
Share your stories or knowledge through eBooks, versatile digital products that can be given away for free or sold. Writers, bloggers, and entrepreneurs use eBooks to engage audiences and convey insights.
3. Stock Photography and Videos
Marketers and content creators rely on stock photos and videos. Platforms like Unsplash and Shutterstock offer a variety of digital assets to enhance visual content.
4. Music and Art
Musicians and artists can showcase their talents online. Convert artwork into downloadable wallpapers or provide streaming access to live art shows. Various digital platforms support artists in selling their creations.
5. Online Courses and Educational Products
Leverage platforms like LearnWorlds to create online courses. Offer skills and knowledge to a global audience, making learning accessible and convenient.
Host podcasts using platforms like Buzzsprout and Resonate. These audio recordings can be used for product promotion, sharing expertise, or building a community.
7. Online Tools for Specific Tasks
Discover a wide range of digital tools for tasks in business, design, and development. From specialized tools to comprehensive application software, these resources enhance efficiency.
8. Virtual Services
Professionals such as consultants, lawyers, and developers can provide services online. Platforms like Upwork and PeoplePerHour connect freelancers with clients seeking expertise.
9. Digital Coaching Programs
Create scalable coaching programs by combining in-person and online training. Offer personalized guidance to customers at their convenience, enabling flexible learning.
10. Recurring Memberships
Foster lasting customer relationships through membership models. Provide exclusive content or discounts on products and services to encourage ongoing engagement and loyalty.
Digital products are essentially information that can be delivered electronically. This covers a wide range, from online courses and eBooks to software and digital artwork. If it can be sent digitally, it’s a digital product. The best part? They’re quick to buy and download, providing convenience for both buyers and sellers.
Sure, digital products have their quirks – some might not work perfectly on every device. But the convenience of accessing valuable information from home outweighs the downsides.
Got an idea for a digital product? Don’t wait – take the plunge. With smart planning and execution, you can have your creation up and running in no time.