We live in a time where earning money doesn’t have to be a 9-5 job with your manager bossing you around.
All it takes is a bit of creativity and some effort to make enough money to live on.
Think you have an idea and skill that might benefit people? Are you a designer or a coder? Have a passion for fashion? Know a lot about technology or books? Ever wanted to make a living from retail?
Selling digital products is a great option!
It could help you earn an income and build your reputation as an expert in your field!
Even if you’re a beginner, there’s nothing to worry about.
This guide is intended for everyone who wants to start selling digital products.
We’ll walk you through every step. From selecting a product to setting up a store. We’ve got your back!
- Best digital product to sell online and earn money
- Tips for selling digital products online
Now, the first question you might have is, what are digital products?
Digital products are those that don’t have any physical form and are sold online.
For example, eBooks, a website template and software are all digital products.
These goods are stored electronically and can be sold online repeatedly.
They usually appear in the form of downloadable content or media files.
Physical products might have had their presence for hundreds of years but digital products are catching up, with a projected industry value set to reach $520 billion in 2023.
Are you ready to start selling online? Want ideas on what might work for you?
There are hundreds of digital products you can sell online but we don’t have time to cover all of them.
Instead, we’ll discuss the 17 best selling digital products. Choose one of these and you’re unlikely to go wrong!
The global software development market was valued at $429.59 billion in 2021. It is expected to expand at a rate 11.7% from 2022 to 2030.
Selling software isn’t as easy as selling other digital products on this list. But, if you have coding knowledge to create something amazing, these products can be immensely lucrative.
Software applications include mobile apps, desktop software, web apps, games, SaaS services and more.
SureTriggers is a great example of this type of product. It is a writing assistant that you can use by paying a monthly fee.
Productivity tools are among the most actively sold digital products.
A survey by salary.com shows that 89% of employees waste time at work using social media and personal emails.
If you could design a productivity tool that can help users stay focused and reduce the time spent on non-work activities, you could make a fortune.
When designing productivity tools, there are various categories you might want to consider.
Is it going to be a tool that better looks for task management or is it a time-tracking tool? Or communication and collaboration? Or is it to help users focus on productivity?
Any of these tools could become very popular!
This software can be sold on a subscription model as well as a one-time fee.
Designing such software might require a dedicated team of professionals but if you have the skills, it’s not beyond reach for a talented developer.
The global accounting software market is expected to reach $20.10 billion by 2026.
If you love WordPress and can code, creating a plugin or theme is another excellent way to make money from digital products.
Plugins solve common problems or improve features while themes provide attractive designs for non-designers.
Each can be created relatively quickly and marketed directly on WordPress.com, your own website or store or WordPress marketplaces.
Creating an online course lets you turn something you already have – your expertise – into your source of revenue.
If you have a skill and knowledge and think others could benefit from it, you can monetize it through online courses.
You can help people learn new skills, acquire knowledge and advance their careers.
You can be anywhere in the world, at any time, and offer a wide range of topics and expertise to learners.
The global eLearning market is expected to reach $374.3 billion by 2026, growing at a rate of 9.1% from 2021 to 2026.
You can start by sharing your knowledge by creating content on the subject you know a lot about.
Selling online courses and tutorials is simple with SureMembers. You can sell them on a membership basis, with one-time pricing, per course pricing, or through a monthly subscription.
Your online courses could include:
The global digital language learning market will likely reach $10.5 billion by 2025.
For example, if you want to teach English, you can start by creating video tutorials, posting assignments, adding external resources, and start selling them as courses.
Lindsay Williams is the creator of Lindsay Does Languages. She has a website and a YouTube channel dedicated to learning languages.
She offers video tutorials, and text articles and courses include assignments to test knowledge and move further with the learning process.
If you’re a programming language expert and have abundant experience in writing, testing, and formulating code, technical training courses might be your digital product.
eLearning is growing rapidly, with technical skill training being one of the most popular sectors.
Wes Bos is a popular web developer and teacher who has created multiple courses on web development. They include courses covering CSS and React. He offers courses on his website wesbos.com.
The self-improvement industry is estimated to be worth $13.2 billion in the United States alone.
Around 91% of employees believe that personal development programs are important to their overall career development.
Some of the most popular programs include time management, stress management, and communication skills.
The most popular personal development courses have a combined 100 million downloads per month.
Tony Robbins is a motivational speaker and personal development coach offering online courses and coaching programs on his website tonyrobbins.com.
He covers topics on personal growth, relationships, and leadership.
Brendon Burchard is a high professional coach offering an online course on his website about motivation, productivity, and mindset.
These are just a few examples of what your online courses and tutorials can be about!
There are larger areas of experience where we’ve seen people translate into profitable course businesses.
To give you some ideas on what you can teach:
- Business and entrepreneurship
- Technology and IT
- Creative and design
- Health and wellness
Building online courses can be time consuming but if you can build a quality course, you can make significant income from it.
Are you an artist or a graphic designer? Digital art and stock media have a great global market worldwide with an estimated value of $13.6 billion in 2021.
That’s an approximate rise from $7.9 billion in 2020!
You can easily monetize your skills and turn your hobby into a source of income if you have the creative skills.
There are two main ways to sell your digital art and stock media:
- Build your own portfolio website
- Sell images on popular marketplaces
Here’s what you can sell:
With millions of people publishing content on the web every day, there’s a huge demand for unique photography.
Alternatively, you can also sell them from your own website. You don’t have to share your profits with established marketplaces and you retain full control over your creations.
There are many creators who sell stock photos on their websites.
Jasmine Star is a popular photographer who sells her photos on her website https://jasminestar.com. She offers a wide range of photos from lifestyle, travel, and business images.
Jacob Lund is a professional photographer selling stock photos on his website. His photo covers a wide range of themes like people, nature, and lifestyle.
Stock video also has quite a market with content creators.
If you can create high quality video, you can license it to people to use in their own work in return for a commission or recurring fee .
Stock videos can be aerial shots, time-lapse, slow-motion, footage of nature, urban, sports, technology, and so much more.
If you’re handy with a handycam, this could be an excellent way to make an income!
There are plenty of startups that are in need of talented designers to create custom logos they often turn to online logo maker tools to design cost-effective branding solutions and other material for their businesses.
You can create and sell templates, stock images, icons, backgrounds, badges, banners, and 3D artwork.
James Gilleard is an illustrator and animator known for his bold and colorful style. He sells digital prints of his artwork on his site jamesgilleard.net.
Loish is a digital artist creating whimsical and imaginative illustrations. She sells digital downloads of her artwork on her website along with portraits, character designs, and landscapes.
eBooks and audiobooks have a huge market growth, with the number of units sold rising from 170 million to 191 million from 2019 to 2020.
So, if you can put your ideas into written form, you can create and sell an eBook.
You don’t have to be the world’s best writer to write a book people will buy. All you need to do is think about what you can write the best, and how you can teach it to them, in writing.
eBooks cover a wide range of topics from fiction to self-help to everything in between.
Fiction eBooks offer the audience to escape into a story and explore a different world with varied perspectives.
Andy Weir is a science fiction writer and author with a website www.andyweirauthor.com selling his eBooks directly to readers.
Non fiction eBooks can educate, inspire and broaden the knowledge of readers.
You can cover topics from history to science to business and everything in between.
Tim Ferriss is a best-selling author who has written several non-fiction books. He owns the website www.tim.blog where he sells his eBooks related to personal and professional development.
Self-help and motivation eBooks cover a wide range of topics from overcoming depression and anxiety to achieving success.
This kind of eBook draws principles of psychology, philosophy, and spirituality to offer readers a holistic approach to the areas they can improve.
It includes elements like exercises, mediation, and other practices.
Mark Mason is a popular author and coach writing about personal growth, values, and relationships.
People are often very interested in purchasing cookbooks and recipe books.
They offer a convenient way to access recipes and cooking tips and provide inspiration when you’re stuck with what to eat for dinner.
The Joy of Cooking by Thug Kitchen has plant-based recipes for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snacks as well as meals and how to shop the products.
Half Baked Harvest Super Simple has over 125 recipes for meals that are easy to cook.
If you know your food, you could create something equally valuable to sell.
The music industry generated $11.4 billion revenue in 2020.
According to the Interactive Advertising Bureau, podcast revenue is expected to reach $2 billion in 2023.
Both music and podcasts are popular forms of audio entertainment that are accessible to anyone
If you’re a talented musician, you could sell music and music-related products online.
There are thousands of producers, YouTubers, and filmmakers that might need your tracks and effects to use in their work.
The English rock band Radiohead sells its music through its website w.a.s.t.e. central.
Most podcasts are free but you can create a subscription-based model offering more features, and an in-depth guide to your users.
Tim Ferriss is a popular author and podcaster selling his podcast ‘The Tim Ferriss Show’ on his website.
Joe Rogan is a comedian and podcast host selling his podcast ‘The Joe Rogan Experience’ on his website. His fans can purchase individual episodes or enroll in a monthly subscription.
Creating a podcast can be a bit difficult compared to eBooks. You’ll need a microphone, recording software, and some guest appearance to keep the audience coming back.
Online communities and support groups can be a social network, online forums, resource boards, or a support group for specific niches.
Most products offer membership or one-time payment features the customer will have to pay to access.
Creating an online forum is not difficult. You can create a membership website and lock access to the content.
What’s important is to bring the audience into it and ask them to pay for the service.
To make that happen, we suggest including a range of benefits on your discussion board like community building, knowledge sharing, engagement and interaction, community moderation, niche, and targeted discussion, user-generated content, search engine optimization, and feedback.
ProBlogger is one of the most popular websites for bloggers and content creators.
By signing up for the website, members can gain access to exclusive discussion, resources, and networking opportunities for blogging and content creation.
Only when your forums offer value, your audience will likely be happy to pay for it.
The process of creating, marketing, and selling digital products might seem overwhelming, but they offer great benefits to everyone involved.
Here’s why you should sell digital products.
No need for inventory
Digital products can be stored electronically and sold online. You’ll never have to worry about inventory management, warehousing, and associated costs.
Neither is there a risk of overstocking or obsolete inventory.
The fact that you don’t need to have any shipping for fulfillment costs make digital products an economical option for producers as well as consumers.
With digital products there are:
- No physical materials
- No manufacturing or labor costs
- No shipping or transportation costs
Compared to physical products, they are very low-effort!
The process of creating and delivering the product is automated, reducing the need for manual labor or any cost associated with it.
They can be easily replicated and distributed to multiple users without incurring any additional costs.
Digital products can be easily accommodated by a growing user base. As demand increases, production can be scaled up to meet it without incurring production expense.
Digital products are scalable and can grow and adapt to increasing demand from customers.
You can sell thousands of eBooks and sell your music to multiple YouTubers and filmmakers.
Once created, digital products can be replicated and delivered to multiple customers with minimal effort.
You have your product up on the website, your customers are buying it, and you’re earning your recurring revenue while also doing another job!
With digital products, you get to earn revenue from ongoing sales regularly.
This can be through a subscription-based model, or a membership fee or through selling an eBook.
Now that you’ve an idea of what digital products you can sell, you probably want to get started.
There are two different ways to sell your digital products online:
A marketplace website connects creators with potential buyers.
There are products from eBooks to digital art to stock photography.
You can get started by quickly signing up for a creator account and start selling on your preferred marketplace.
They are a good choice if you’re just getting started with selling digital goods as they take care of all the technical aspects. Your product also gets in front of a large number of potential buyers quickly.
But, marketplaces have downsides.
You’ll have no control over the sales process and they take a commission for each sale.
If you don’t want the marketplaces to take control or commission, creating a website is your best option.
Because you’ll have full control over everything, you don’t have to pay commission and you’ll own your data.
Having your own website allows you to build your own identity in your niche and eventually be recognized as an expert in your field.
We have a detailed guide on how to build an online store from scratch using SureCart.
It walks you through every step of setting up a store, adding products, setting up payment and taxes and everything a store needs to function.
We are obviously biased, but we think it’s the best idea to run your store rather than sell your products on marketplaces!
Creating a digital product and placing it on your website and marketplace will not ensure that you will start earning right away.
You’ll need to market and promote it as well.
Here are a few tips for selling digital products online:
If you’re going to sell digital products on your website, ensure that it’s user-friendly and visually appealing.
Creating a responsive website ensures potential customers have a positive browsing experience. This drastically improves your chances of converting them into customers.
Here’s how you can create a visually appealing website:
- Keep the design of your website simple and clean
- Use intuitive navigation that’s easy to understand
- Ensure your website is responsive on all devices
- Use legible fonts and appropriate font sizes that make it easy for readers to focus on the content
- Enhance the visual appeal by using high-quality images
- Provide a clear call to action button
A user friendly website is the foundation of everything else you do so make sure to get it right!
Around 54% of global users use social media to research products before making a purchase.
Social media platforms like Facebook have over 2.8 billion monthly active users, making it a logical target to place advertisements.
Here are few tips on using social media for the advantage of digital products:
- Identify your target audience by understanding the demographics, interest, and online behavior
- Select the right platform and online advertising channels. If your audience is young adults, TikTok or Instagram might do a better job than LinkedIn
- Create engaging and relevant content resonating with your target audience
- Regularly post and promote your digital products to keep your audience informed and engaged
- Utilize paid advertising on Facebook Ads, Google Ads and Instagram ads
- Create relationships with your audience by replying to their messages and comments
- Collaborate with influencers
- Track and monitor the performance on your social media and online advertising
Social marketing has helped many digital online creators flourish. In fact, many creators sell their product through social media platforms like Instagram and nowhere else!
Providing excellent customer service and support is crucial for any online business.
Support gives customers the confidence to buy. That alone is why we recommend it!
Here are some tips to offer good support to customers:
- Respond to customer inquiries, questions and support requests promptly
- Communicate clearly and concisely
- Be knowledgeable about your products like features, benefits and usage
- Treat your customer as an individual personalizing your responses like using their name
- Proactively provide information or solutions to potential issues
- Make it a priority to follow up and resolve issues promptly
- Encourage customers to provide feedback on your products
Providing excellent customer service is not just about resolving the issue. It’s also about building relationships.
Do it well and those customers will keep coming back for more.
Trails and offers compel potential customers to try out your products and see if it best fits their needs before purchasing.
If you sell eBooks, you could provide a preview of a few pages to keep them hooked. If you sell eLearning courses, you could offer a brief introduction on what a course has to offer, how it benefits them and a discount.
Here are a few recommendations on offering offers and trials on your digital products:
- Create a sense of urgency among potential buyers by offering time-limited promotions
- Offers a free trial period to test your digital products
- Consider offering a freemium model where you offer the basic version of your digital product for free and upsell premium with advanced versions and additional features
- Create bundle offers by combining multiple products into a package at a discounted rate
- Utilize upselling and cross-selling techniques
- Follow up with value-add emails
Some additional tips include defining your target audience, optimizing your product list, selecting the right platform, pricing your digital product appropriately, marketing them effectively, and continuously improving your products.
Once you’re done researching a suitable digital product, the second step begins by creating them, selecting a marketplace, creating a website and finally, selling.
You’ve already taken your first step by researching the best product to sell.
We’ve mentioned the most popular digital products that you can create and start selling.
We also mentioned where you could sell these products, and shared some actionable tips to get you started.
Have you created any digital products before? Where did you decide to sell them? What are the actionable tips you suggest on start selling online?
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