Ultimate guide to sell Digital Products in 2024
With the rise of the digital economy in 2024, many entrepreneurs are wondering if they can really make money selling digital products.
The good news is - yes, you absolutely can build a profitable business selling digital products if you follow the right blueprint.
In this comprehensive guide, you'll discover the most in-demand and profitable types of digital products to sell right now, the best platforms to sell them on, proven methods to find lucrative niches and product ideas, how to craft different types of digital products, effective marketing strategies to launch and scale your business, and much more.
Introduction to Selling Digital Products in 2024
Selling digital products is becoming increasingly popular in 2024 due to several key benefits. As more business and commerce moves online, entrepreneurs have new opportunities to sell products without the overhead of physical inventory or shipping.
The rise of the digital economy
- Ecommerce sales have grown rapidly over the past decade. According to recent projections, global retail ecommerce sales will reach $7.4 trillion by 2025.
- More consumers are comfortable purchasing digital products and services online. Software, mobile apps, online courses, ebooks, templates, and other digital products are in high demand.
Benefits of selling digital products
Compared to physical products, digital products provide more flexibility and lower overhead:
- No inventory costs
- Easy to duplicate and distribute
- Ability to automate delivery and access
- Passive income potential
Types of digital products seeing growth
Some top-selling digital products right now include:
- Online courses and tutorials
- Subscription services
- Mobile apps and games
- Templates, graphics, themes
With low barriers to entry and high demand, now is an excellent time for entrepreneurs to get started selling digital products online. The rest of this guide will provide tips and strategies to launch your own digital product business.
What is the best product to sell in 2024?
Here are some of the most in-demand and profitable digital products to sell in 2024:
Online Courses and Memberships
Online courses and membership sites continue to grow in popularity. Topics like finance, marketing, design, programming, and more have huge audiences willing to pay for quality education and training. You can easily create and sell online courses using platforms like Teachable, Thinkific, and Kajabi.
eBooks represent one of the easiest digital products to create. You don't need any fancy technical skills, just good research and writing abilities. eBooks on topics like health and wellness, personal development, business, and money management sell exceptionally well across Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Apple Books and more.
For photographers and graphic designers, Lightroom presets and Photoshop actions are great products you can sell to save other creatives time. They allow applying custom filters and edits with one click. Sell them on your own site or platforms like Creative Market.
Printables & Templates
Printables and templates like planners, journals, social media templates, resume templates, and more are popular digital products, commonly sold on marketplaces like Etsy. Simply create them using Canva or Adobe software and allow buyers quick digital access and downloads.
The best digital products solve problems for an audience willing to pay for the solution. Identify needs, provide quality offerings, and leverage online marketplaces to sell digital products successfully in 2024.
What digital products are high in demand?
Some of the most popular and profitable digital products to sell right now include:
Online courses - Creating an online course on a topic you're knowledgeable about is one of the best digital products to sell. Topics like web development, design, business, and more tend to do well. You can sell courses through your own website or on platforms like Teachable and Udemy.
Online services - Offering services like graphic design, web development, consulting, and more can make for great digital products. You can sell access to your services through your website.
Templates - Templates for graphic design, websites, documents, and more are in demand. Graphic design templates tend to do particularly well on marketplaces like Etsy.
Software and apps - Creating software, web apps, mobile apps, plugins, or scripts can make for lucrative digital products. Sell them on your own website or platforms like Gumroad and Selz.
Educational downloads - Pre-made educational resources like ebooks, guides, checklists, and more sell well. These are easier to produce than courses and allow you to monetize your knowledge.
Digital art - If you have artistic talents, selling digital art, graphics, photography, music, and more can be profitable. Creative marketplaces like Creative Market work well.
Digital audio and images - Selling royalty-free stock audio, video footage, and images can earn passive income. Top marketplaces include Shutterstock, iStock, and Pond5.
eBooks - Publishing and selling ebooks on popular topics is a time-tested way to sell digital products successfully. Amazon Kindle Direct Publishing and Gumroad work well.
Focusing on these proven digital products can help set your business up for success quickly. Do market research to identify the most profitable and in-demand niches to maximize your earnings.
Can you really make money selling digital products?
Selling digital products can be extremely lucrative if done right. Here are some key points on how to successfully make money with digital products:
Low overhead: Digital products require very little upfront investment compared to physical products. You don't need warehouses, shipping materials, etc. This makes digital products easier to get started with.
Passive income potential: Once your digital product is created, it can generate income for years with little maintenance. This makes digital products a great source of passive or semi-passive income.
Global reach: Digital products can be sold globally, allowing you to tap into markets across the world. Geographic barriers don't limit your customer base.
Scalability: It's easy to scale digital products, as there are no physical inventory constraints. You can sell to thousands of customers without worrying about stock.
Testing ideas: You can test digital product ideas quickly and cheaply before investing lots of time into a specific product. Fail fast, learn, and move onto another idea.
While making money with digital products presents exciting opportunities, it does require an investment of time, effort, and skills. But for those willing to put in the work, digital products remain one of the best paths to generating income online.
What is the best platform to sell digital products?
When it comes to choosing the best platform to sell digital products and downloads, there are several great options to consider. Here are some of the top platforms:
Sellfy is a great platform for beginners who want to start selling digital downloads like ebooks, courses, graphics, music and more. Some key benefits of Sellfy include:
- Easy setup - you can create a store and start selling in just a few minutes
- No monthly fees - you only pay a small transaction fee when you make a sale
- Custom domains - you can use your own custom domain name
- Detailed analytics - track traffic sources, sales numbers, best selling products etc.
So if you're just starting out and want a platform that's easy to use with no monthly costs, Sellfy is a great choice.
Podia specializes in selling online courses, memberships and digital downloads. It's packed with features to help you create, market and sell your digital products. Benefits include:
- Built-in course creator - create online courses with video lessons, quizzes, downloads and more
- Memberships - offer monthly/yearly access levels and content dripping
- Marketing tools - email sequences, affiliate programs, promo codes and more
- Detailed sales and student analytics
So if you want to sell online courses or memberships, Podia has all the tools you need.
The other platforms on the list like Shopify, Gumroad, EasyDigitalDownloads, Teachable and more are also great options, each with their own strengths. Choosing the right platform depends on your specific product type, business model, technical skills and budget.
I'd recommend trying out a few platforms to see which one best fits your needs. Many have free plans to test them out initially.
Discovering Profitable Niches and Digital Product Ideas
This section provides practical guidance on selecting a profitable niche and identifying potential digital product ideas to sell online. We aim to offer clear, focused, and helpful information to effectively assist readers.
Utilizing market research tools for niche discovery
Conducting thorough market research is key to finding a profitable niche. Useful free tools include:
Google Trends to assess search volume and interest over time for potential niche keywords. Look for upward trends.
Google Keyword Planner to estimate monthly search volumes. Look for 1,000+ searches per month.
Amazon Best Sellers to evaluate market demand. Top selling products indicate buyer interest.
Research tools provide demand estimates to validate niche viability. Do not rely solely on personal assumptions. Leverage data-driven insights.
Exploring the most profitable digital products
Many online business models generate impressive revenue. Top options include:
Information products like eBooks, courses, and membership sites. High perceived value at low production cost.
Subscriptions for ongoing access. Steady, recurring passive income.
Services like design, consulting, and freelancing. Leverage skills for profit.
Evaluate personal skills and interests to determine optimal product type to sell. Information products and services have low barriers to entry. Subscriptions build residual income streams.
Narrowing down to a focused niche
A tight niche is key to succeed selling online. Niche down based on:
Specific audience - Who will buy this? Get very targeted.
Underserved needs - What problems need solving? Find gaps.
Personal passion/expertise - Leverage existing skills and interests.
The narrower the niche, the less competition and higher chance to dominate. Do extensive validation before committing.
Generating 100 digital product ideas
With a niche selected, ideate potential products around it.
Identify common problems, difficulties, frustrations. Offer solutions.
Analyze product weaknesses. Improve upon them.
Combine niche concepts in new ways. Get creative.
Brainstorm extensively. The more ideas, the better chance of developing a winning concept. Refine and validate with customer feedback before launch.
Crafting Your Digital Product
Crafting a digital product requires careful planning and execution. Here is a step-by-step guide to developing your own digital product:
Designing info products with Figma and Canva
Tools like Figma and Canva make it easy to design visually appealing info products like ebooks, online courses, templates, and more:
- Use Figma to create ebook layouts with text, images, graphics, and more. Easily export your designs to PDF.
- In Canva, choose from hundreds of templates to design beautiful covers and graphics for your info products.
- Take advantage of Canva's library of over 75 million images, graphics, and fonts to create professional designs without technical skills.
- Personalize your info products by adding your brand colors, logo, and visual style.
Developing software & apps
If you want to develop your own software, apps, plugins, themes, or other code products, it's important to learn popular programming languages like:
With coding skills, you can build and sell things like:
- Browser extensions and plugins
- Mobile apps
- Web apps
- Site themes and templates
- Custom software
Consider outsourcing development work to speed things up. Sites like Upwork and Fiverr connect you to developers worldwide.
Producing media products
Media products like music, videos, photography, and more can also be sold online. Useful tips:
- Sell your photos on stock media sites. Or create your own photography products like photo books, calendars, prints, and more.
- Produce and sell streaming audio like podcasts or music. Streaming sites allow you to charge for subscriptions.
- Create and sell streaming video content through membership sites or channels. Useful for instructional videos, films, classes, etc.
Offering digital services and productized services
You can sell digital services like:
- Web design
- Business coaching
Turn your services into standardized products to simplify selling. For example, create set packages and products around your consulting or design services.
Use tools like Calendly and Sugar Calendar to schedule and sell your services.
Launching and Selling Your Digital Product
Selling digital products can be a great way to generate income online. With low overhead costs and global reach, digital products offer flexibility and scalability that traditional businesses lack. This section covers key strategies and platforms for launching and selling your digital product once developed.
Setting up your own ecommerce site with WordPress and WooCommerce
Having your own website gives you full control over your brand, products, and customer data. While it requires more effort upfront, owning your platform allows you to customize it to your needs.
WordPress powers over 40% of all websites due to its flexibility and abundance of ecommerce features. Pairing it with WooCommerce plugins enables you to quickly build a full-fledged online store. Benefits include:
- Complete design customization
- Ability to own your domain name
- Centralized dashboard to manage products, orders, and customers
- Access to detailed sales and traffic analytics through plugins
- Expandability through the thousands of available plugins and themes
The main downside is the technical skill required for site development and maintenance. Consider hiring a web developer to setup your store initially.
Navigating marketplaces: Etsy, Amazon, and more
Online marketplaces allow you to tap into existing traffic instead of having to drive your own. Platform fees and rules can be restrictive but may suit digital products well.
Etsy continues to be popular for selling crafts, vintage goods, and digital items like SVG files or planner prints. Its audience looks for unique and creative works. As an Etsy seller, you can leverage tools like:
- Etsy SEO to optimize listings
- Etsy Payments to easily manage transactions
- Pattern by Etsy to automate administrative tasks
Amazon, Gumroad, PayHip and others have their own strengths when selling ebooks, courses, music files, and more. Do research to pick the best marketplace fit.
Building an email marketing list with Mailchimp and AWeber
Email marketing has exceptional ROI but requires building a subscriber list first. Mailchimp and AWeber are leading email services that help create automations like:
- Welcome sequences for lead nurturing
- Cart abandonment sequences to recover sales
- Promotional and seasonal campaigns
- RSS-to-email campaigns to retain customers
Offer an opt-in incentive like a discount or freebie to encourage signups. Integrate email capture forms into your website, marketplaces, and social channels.
Expanding reach through affiliate marketing
Affiliate programs incentivize external partners to promote your product for a commission on resulting sales. This provides you access to new audiences without added marketing costs.
Platforms like AffiliateWP or SendOwl allow you to easily run an affiliate program integrated with your digital product delivery. Share affiliate links with bloggers, influencers, and loyal customers to boost organic reach.
Consider offering tiered commission rates, bonuses for top performers, and relevant affiliate tools like email swipes, banner ads, and social posts.
Optimizing and Scaling Your Digital Product Business
Leveraging analytics for growth with Google Analytics
Google Analytics is an invaluable free tool for understanding user behavior and optimizing your digital product business. By connecting Google Analytics to your website or online store, you can:
Track key metrics like revenue, conversions, and sales to identify growth opportunities. Monitor goal completions to see which parts of your funnel need improvement.
Analyze traffic sources to see which marketing channels drive the most valuable users. Double down on high-converting acquisition channels.
Identify your best-selling and most popular products using behaviour flow reports. Consider making variants or expanding these top-performing products.
See demographic data on your customers like age, gender, interests, location. Use this to tailor products to your audience.
Set up custom dashboards, segments and reports to analyze the data most relevant to your business goals. Focus on actionable insights.
Continuously optimizing your digital product business with analytics can help boost revenue, conversions and growth over time.
Automating digital product delivery and security
Automating repetitive tasks is key for scaling a digital product business efficiently. Platforms like Easy Digital Downloads make digital delivery and security easy:
Accept one-time and recurring payments for instant access or drip content. New purchases trigger automatic delivery via email or hosted file downloads.
Enable self-service purchases with customizable checkout pages. Add discount codes for promotions.
Receive detailed purchase reports and customer analytics to inform business decisions.
With the product delivery automated, you can focus less on operations and more on product development and marketing.
Boosting sales with promotions and bundles
Promotions are an effective way to boost revenue by incentivizing purchases:
Offer limited-time sales on your digital products during peak shopping periods like Black Friday. Discounts create urgency.
Create discounted digital product bundles. A photo preset + Lightroom tutorial bundle provides more value.
Give away lead magnets like free samples or previews in exchange for emails. Upsell customers once on your list.
Reward loyal customers with points, badges and exclusive offers through gamification.
Partner with influencers and affiliates to promote your products to new audiences through collaborations.
Bundling products and running promotions tap into the human desire for a good deal. Use them judiciously to profitably acquire and retain customers.
Outsourcing for efficiency
Consider leveraging online freelancers to scale production and marketing:
Hire writers on Upwork to help create blog posts and email sequences at a fraction of the cost vs. full-time employees. Provides flexibility.
Use Fiverr for quick video explainers, graphics, or research to supplement your own content and product creation.
Partner with influencers and media buyers to run ad campaigns on Google, Facebook, Instagram etc. Frees up your time.
Outsource customer support and community management to provide prompt responses at scale.
The right freelancers can significantly increase output and reduce costs. Take time to find talent aligned with your brand voice and quality standards.
Conclusion: Embracing the Digital Product Marketplace
Recapping the benefits of digital product sales
Selling digital products offers many advantages, including:
- Low overhead - No physical inventory or shipping costs
- High margins - Digital products have high profit margins
- Easy to manage - Digital products are easy to create, update, distribute
- Global reach - Products can be sold globally to a huge audience
- Passive income - Products can generate revenue on autopilot
- Scalable - Easy to scale a digital business once product created
With the rise of ecommerce and digital consumption, now is an ideal time to leverage these benefits and get started selling digital products.
Overcoming common obstacles in digital sales
Some common obstacles when getting started with digital sales include:
- Lack of technical skills - Use no-code ecommerce platforms like Marketsy.ai to launch fast without coding
- Choosing the right products - Conduct market research on trends and competition first
- Building an audience - Leverage social media, SEO, affiliates to find customers
- Managing operations - Start lean and automate processes to simplify operations
However, with the right tools and mindset these hurdles can be overcome through education, outsourcing help, and starting small.
Actionable first steps to start selling digital products
If interested in launching a digital product business, some first steps to take include:
- Identify market opportunities through keyword and competitor research
- Determine the types of products you can create based on your skills
- Choose a lean ecommerce platform like Marketsy.ai to launch your first store
- Create a basic product listing to validate your idea and get initial sales
- Reinvest profits to improve products and expand product listings
The key is to start small, continually test and improve based on customer feedback, and scale up over time. With persistence and the right strategy, selling digital products can become a lucrative business.