Alexey Kramin
10 minutes read
July 24, 2024
Published: July 10, 2024

From E-Books to Online Courses: The Best Selling Digital Products for Passive Income

Looking to make money while you sleep? Here's a quick guide to the top digital products for passive income:

  1. E-books ($5-$40)
  2. Online courses ($50-$500+)
  3. Templates and printables
  4. Software and apps
  5. Digital art and photography

Quick Comparison:

Product Price Range Ease of Creation Profit Potential Audience Interest
E-books $5-$40 Easy Moderate High
Online Courses $50-$500+ Difficult High High
Templates/Printables $1-$50 Easy Moderate High
Software/Apps $1-$100+ Difficult High Moderate
Digital Art/Photos $1-$100+ Moderate Moderate Moderate

Choose based on your skills, target audience, and time commitment. E-books are quick to create but have lower prices, while online courses take more effort but can earn more. Consider your niche and what your audience needs most.

1. E-Books

E-books are a good way to make money without much work in 2024. They're easy to make and sell, and many people like to buy them.

What Sells Well

People buy e-books on many topics:

  • How to do things
  • Self-help books
  • Made-up stories (teens like future world stories)
  • Kids' books
  • Women's health books

Good and Bad Points

Good Bad
Cheap to make People think they're worth less than courses
Easy to create and sell Lots of other e-books to compete with
Many places to sell them Usually sell for less money ($5-$40)
Can sell many copies Might need to sell more to make as much as courses

How to Make an E-Book

  1. Pick a topic people care about

    • Use what you know
    • Make it different from other books
  2. Write a title that gets attention

    • Use numbers for business books
    • Make story titles sound interesting
  3. Write good content

    • Tell your own stories
    • Give tips people can use
  4. Add pictures

    • Use good quality images
    • Use pictures to help explain things

How to Price Your E-Book

Think about these things when setting a price:

  • How much people want to know about your topic
  • How long and detailed your book is
  • How much your readers will pay

Most e-books cost $5-$40. If you want to charge more, make sure your book is really good. You can also sell sets of books or give discounts to make more money.

2. Online Courses

Online courses are becoming more popular for making money without constant work. They offer more than e-books and can be a good way to teach people online.

Market Potential

More people are taking online classes. This means there's a good chance to make money by creating courses in 2024.

Good and Bad Points

Good Bad
Can charge more than e-books Takes more work to make
Can make money over time People expect more
Can build a group of students Harder to create and keep up
Can lead to selling other things Might need to help students often

How to Make a Course

1. Find a good topic

  • Pick something you know well
  • Ask people if they want to learn about it

2. Make your course content

  • Plan your lessons
  • Make videos, quizzes, and other materials

3. Choose where to put your course

4. Tell people about your course

  • Use email and social media to get people excited
  • Offer early discounts

How to Price Your Course

Think about these things when setting a price:

  • How different your course is
  • How much people will pay
  • How much it cost to make
  • What other courses cost

You can offer different prices:

Level What You Get
Basic Just the course
Better Course plus extra stuff
Best Course, extra stuff, and personal help

3. Templates and Printables

Templates and printables are popular digital products for making money without constant work. They help people organize their lives and businesses.

What Sells Well

Many people buy templates and printables. On Etsy, searching for "planner" shows almost 1.6 million results. Some top sellers have over 20,000 sales. People often buy:

  • Planners (daily, weekly, monthly, yearly)
  • Journals for writing good things
  • Goal tracking sheets
  • Vision board templates
  • To-do lists
  • Checklists for getting things done
  • Habit tracking sheets

Good and Bad Points

Good Bad
Easy to make Many others selling similar things
Cheap to start People might copy and share them
Makes money while you sleep Need to tell people about your products
Helps solve specific problems Might need to update often

How to Make Templates and Printables

  1. Find out what people need
  2. Design your template using tools like Canva or Adobe
  3. Make different versions (colors, layouts)
  4. Save as PDF or other easy-to-use formats
  5. Set up a shop on Etsy or your own website

How to Price Your Products

Think about these things when setting prices:

  • How hard it was to design
  • How different it is from others
  • How much it cost to make
  • What others charge for similar things

You can offer different prices:

Level What You Get
Basic One template or printable
Pack A set of related templates
Best Templates you can change, plus help if needed

4. Software and Apps

Software and apps are good digital products for making money without constant work. They can keep earning money while fixing problems for users.

Market Size

Many people want software and apps. As more people use digital tools for work and fun, there's always a need for new ideas. This means you can make and sell software that helps specific groups or solves certain problems.

Good and Bad Points

Good Bad
Can make money while you sleep Takes time to make at first
Can sell forever Might need to fix and update
Never run out Lots of other apps to compete with
Can change prices easily Need to tell people about your app
Easy to start Might need to help customers

How to Make Software or Apps

  1. Find a specific need: Look for a problem your software can fix.

  2. Look at other apps: See what's already out there to make yours different.

  3. Make a simple version: Build a basic app to test your idea.

  4. Set up a way to sell: Make a website or use other sites to show and sell your software.

  5. Start selling and make it better: Release your product and keep improving it based on what users say.

How to Price Your Software

You can try different ways to price your software:

Price Type How It Works
One-time fee Pay once, use forever
Monthly or yearly fee Pay to keep using and get updates
Free basic version Pay for extra features
Different levels Pay more for more features

5. Digital Art and Photography

Digital art and photography are good ways to make money without constant work. You can sell your creations online to people all over the world.

Market Size

Many people want to buy digital art and photos. You can sell on websites like Etsy, ArtStation, Society6, and Redbubble. Businesses often need art for logos and marketing. People also buy art to decorate their homes.

Good and Bad Points

Good Bad
Cheap to start Many other artists to compete with
Can sell the same art many times People might use your art without paying
Can sell to people worldwide Websites take a cut of your sales
Make money while you sleep Need to tell people about your art
Can change prices easily Need to keep up with what's popular

How to Make Digital Art and Photos

  1. Pick what kind of art you want to make
  2. Use the right computer programs
  3. Make good quality art or take nice photos
  4. Make sure your files look good online
  5. Write good descriptions of your art
  6. Put your art on websites or your own site

How to Price Your Art

When setting prices for your art, think about:

  1. How much people think it's worth
  2. What other artists charge
  3. Different prices for different uses
  4. Selling art in sets

For example, you could start by selling a digital print for $5 on Etsy. Change your prices based on how well it sells and as more people know your work. Remember that websites will take some of your money, and you can charge more for special use of your art.

Good and Bad Points

Let's look at the ups and downs of e-books and online courses for making money without constant work.

What to Compare E-Books Online Courses
Price $5-$40 $50-$500+
What People Think It's Worth Less More
How Hard to Make Easier and Faster Harder, Needs More Work
Money Made While You Sleep A Lot Some to A Lot
Talking to Customers Not Much More, Might Need to Help
Room to Grow Not Much More
How Many Others Sell It Many Some
Easy to Fix or Change Very Easy Takes More Work


Good things about e-books:

  • Easy to make
  • Don't cost much to create
  • Can sell over and over without doing more work
  • Good for beginners or quick projects

Not so good things:

  • People might think they're not worth much
  • Lots of other e-books out there, hard to stand out

Online Courses

Good things about online courses:

  • Can charge more money
  • People think they're worth more
  • Can grow bigger and make a group of students
  • Might lead to selling other things

Not so good things:

  • Take more work to make
  • Need to keep helping students
  • Harder to get people to buy because they cost more

When picking between e-books and online courses, think about:

  • Who you want to sell to
  • What you can make
  • What you want to do in the future

E-books are good for quick, easy-to-read info. Online courses are better for teaching a lot about something. Choose based on what you know, how you like to teach, and what your customers need.


Choosing between e-books and online courses for making money without constant work depends on what you want to do. Both have good and bad points:

Product Price Easy to Make Money While You Sleep Best For
E-books $5-$40 Very easy Yes People who want to learn on their own
Online courses $50-$500+ Takes more work Yes, but may need to help students People who want to learn a lot

To pick the right one, think about:

  1. How much your readers will pay
  2. What you're good at teaching
  3. How much time you have to make it
  4. If you want to talk to customers often

E-books might make more money if you have many readers who want cheap, easy-to-read info. Online courses could work better if your readers will pay more for deep learning.


What is the best selling digital product?

Top selling digital products include:

Rank Product Type
1 Online courses
2 E-books
3 Software and apps
4 Templates and printables
5 Digital art and photography

These items sell well because they make good money and can be sold many times.

Is selling digital products profitable?

Yes, selling digital products can make good money. Here's why:

Advantage Explanation
Low costs No need to store or ship items
High profits Keep more of what you earn
Sell many times No limit on how many you can sell
Easy delivery Customers get products right away
Sell worldwide Reach buyers anywhere

These things help you make more money compared to selling physical items.

Is selling digital products passive income?

Selling digital products is close to passive income, but not fully hands-off. Here's what to know:

Aspect Details
Starting out Takes work to make and set up
Ongoing tasks Little upkeep needed
Sales process Happens on its own
Income Can keep coming in without constant work
Extra work May need to market and help customers

While not 100% passive, it's one of the easiest ways to make money without working all the time.

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