Most Profitable Digital Products To Sell Online
Why do we people go online?
Digital products have two heavy advantages over physical goods: no shipping and no inventory.
WHAT IS PASSIVE INCOME?
Passive income is any stream of income in your business where you’re not trading dollars for hours, and instead you’re creating some kind of content once and selling it over and over again. The term passive income is thrown around a lot in the online business world, but it can be a little bit of a misnomer. Yes, in the end, passive income is indeed passive, but in the beginning it’s quite active, and usually it takes some additional seasons of activity to keep it all running smoothly and consistently. This stream of income is great for adding some recurring revenue to your business that can eventually run on autopilot, so you can focus on other aspects of running your business.
WHAT ARE DIGITAL PRODUCTS?
Digital products are a way of creating passive income for your business. They are basically any type of information product you deliver electronically rather than physically ship. Some popular examples in the creative entrepreneur world would be online courses, video workshops, e-books, PDF guides, worksheets or printables, or design resources like icons, illustrations, stock photos, templates, and more. (See the mega list of digital product ideas included at the end of this post!)
WHAT ARE ADVANTAGES TO CREATING + SELLING DIGITAL PRODUCTS?
There are many great reasons to sell digital products – mainly because it adds stream of passive income for your business. Again, they’re a lot of work upfront depending on the content you’re selling, but once they’re in place, you can sell them over and over on autopilot. For this reason, they’re more scalable than a traditional business model of selling a service or physical product. Since you’re no longer trading dollars for hours, the sky’s the limit for product development and potential income.
Since nothing physical is produced or shipped, digital products are also far less expensive to produce (sometimes free to produce depending on the skills you have and programs you already use), so as a result they’re also much less risky. Worst case scenario, if no one buys your digital product, you’ll be out your time, but not necessarily much (if any) money. Finally, selling digital products related to existing services or products you already offer helps establish you as an expert in your eld and provides further education opportunities for your clients or colleagues.
WHAT ARE DISADVANTAGES TO CREATING + SELLING DIGITAL PRODUCTS?
The main downside that keeps many small business owners from selling digital products is the lack of control over the customer’s use of your product. There’s almost nothing you can do to keep a customer from sharing a digital file with a friend. But as a designer who’s been selling products like these for a long time, that’s just a risk that comes with the nature of this kind of business. For me, that risk is worth the return I see on my products.
That being said, it’s also important to “patrol” your content, so to speak, and be aware of anyone trying to resell your products as their own. This is quite different than just forwarding a file to friend – when they’re profiting off of a product that you created, that is definitely something you want to take action on and put an end to.
PAID VS. FREE DIGITAL PRODUCTS + WHY IT’S GOOD TO HAVE BOTH
Digital products don’t necessarily have to be paid products, but it is good to make sure some kind of trade or transaction is taking place so you have something in return. A common way to do this is to exchange an email address instead of exchanging money. Using digital products as free incentives to signup for email lists is the most popular way of doing this, and one I highly recommend. (And one I use myself… hint hint… keep scrolling.)
It’s a good idea to have a combination of both paid and free digital products in your business because it allows your customer to give your products a test drive before investing. If you offer something free, they’ll be able to check out the quality of your work without any risk, and be more likely to purchase a paid product from you in the future.
eBooks are the fastest growing digital product online. Electronic books are all the rage these days as they provide easy access to reading materials. With the rise of devices like Kindle and Kobo, readers won’t find it hard to read all their favorite books. Furthermore, the upsurge of eBooks have exceeded traditional books. So if you enjoy writing and want your content to reach a wide audience, working with eBook is the way to go.
What is an eBook?
I bet you’ve opened a PDF document or seen a PowerPoint presentation before. Any type of written information (with or without photos and multi-media) is considered a digital book (eBook in short).
I strongly believe any type of information, regardless the topic or its format, can and should be sold online. The problem is that most people offer general information that can be easily found online for free, or they don’t talk from their experience, which makes the product look amateurish or simply put, theory-based.
Here’s a secret most people don’t know about:
1) People having major challenges (divorce, wedding, job switches) serious problems (anxiety, acne) or desperate needs (getting rid of smoking) are the best buyers, and would do almost anything to solve their problems. That means paying for an eBook, as it can be instantly accessed, compared with print books, which are received anywhere from 24 hours to days.
There are a growing trend of people addicted to self-help, online money making and the Internet.
The “learning” industry is booming.
Revenue from eBook sales in the United States was $2,569 million in 2011. By 2015 this revenue will more than double, according to leading online statistics company, Statista.
2) New or established tools and services also make ideal solutions for eBooks. Just look around. How many eBooks are there already on the subject of YouTube, WordPress, Twitter, Facebook, or Photoshop? Short answer: countless and growing.
How do I start creating my first eBook?
You can go deep down your inner world (and analyze any of your passion, hobby or skills) or you can try the outer world: check trending topics, see what’s selling and find the top web searches people type in into the search engines.
Most ebook sellers fail to create a hot selling ebook because they don’t take the time to go in the right mood, and perform in depth research. This is common because most people either don’t have enough time to spend for quality research or don’t have somebody who could guide them along the way.
The content can vary as much as:
Novels, and more
Read More: How To Create eBook
Are you a photo nerd? Then this is your chance to showcase your photography skills and make money at the same time. The number of photos sold on websites like Shutterstock and Dreamstime rise every minute. Got a DSLR? Well then, you’re ready for business. Apparently, as in any industry, building your brand takes time and a lot of effort. But if you stay consistent and are willing to improve your photography skills, your earning potential is unlimited.
3. Online Courses
While traditional schools and brick-and-mortar establishments are still spinning their tires, the avenue for innovative digital learners and thinkers is selling products online. Those who are ready to compete in the online world can make it big by selling online courses. Now creating an online course is not just about putting up PDF files for sale, it’s also about producing high-level content and having it accessible to the audience. So whether you are an expert in entrepreneurship, finance, technology, lifestyle or in the health industry, selling online courses will give you a solid ROI.
4. Graphic Design
themes, patterns, brushes, wallpapers, logos
There are plenty of app designers who have taken advantage of the app market in the hopes to create the next Snapchat. One obvious reason is that app purchases have soared and years from now, app sales would net billions. Though most apps can be sold on app stores like Google Play and Apple’s App Store, those who have developer capabilities can sell their apps in other forums. One thing to note is it’s not only apps that sell fast, you can also sell databases, templates, WordPress, and other downloadable products.
Podcast hosting services like Blubbry and Podbean have made it easier for consumers to learn information by listening to their favorite shows. If you are interested in selling your podcast, increase your online exposure first. Start by setting up a website and social media networks around it. Then give out your content for free to attract new listeners. You can even create some products around it to use for extra sales or promos. But remember, make sure every podcast you release is effective and engaging.
Also, make your podcasts even more entertaining by providing downloadable vocabulary lists or worksheets from your website. Start a forum to encourage listeners to participate in discussions and share information with others. If you’re ready to start charging for your podcast, make sure you producing top-of-the-line content and including promos, contests, and giveaways in it. To further boost your sales, offer a monthly, quarterly or yearly subscription.
7. WordPress themes & plugins
If you have experience writing code, your skills are more in demand than ever. And if you are also creative and in tune with what’s going on in the world of technology, there is no reason why you could not be the creator of the next smartphone app to go viral. All it takes is an innovative idea and dedication to see it come to fruition. If you haven’t quite discovered your big idea yet, or don’t have enough to invest in a big project, you can make money by doing smaller jobs, like creating themes for blogging services such as Tumblr, WordPress or the new up and comer Ghost.
Recipes can be sold to many people — not only housewives.
If you have a food blog, recipes will be a good way to monetize it. If you’ve got a cookie recipe from your grandmother, but you do not want to open your own bakery, you can make a website and sell the recipe to restaurants, bakeries, and cuisine magazines.
Do not neglect your cooking skills or the secret family recipes you know — you can win a contest and add value to your recipe by rewarding it with a medal.
Choose Instagram for your marketing strategy, learn more about beautiful food photography, and share links to recipes on your online store.
Recipes can be available online for free. They are also sold as digital goods. People can download an entire recipe book instead of just one recipe. This gives them many new recipes from a favorite cook. People who want to impress their friends and family will likely pay for good recipes.
Other Digital Products to Consider
Private Label Rights (PLR)
Fonts & vector images
Sewing & knitting patterns (read how this couple is earning $600,000 per year selling doll patterns)