The world of ecommerce is growing at a rapid pace, and it's easier than ever to sell digital products online. With the help of the internet, you can reach a global audience, reduce overhead costs and automate your sales process. In this article, we'll cover the steps to successfully sell digital products online and give you seven popular digital products to sell online in 2023.
Why sell digital products online?
Selling digital products is a great business idea for 2023 because of the shift towards digital lifestyles and the growing demand for online solutions. The COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated the online commerce trend, with more and more people shopping, learning and working online. This has created a large and growing market for digital products, from ebooks and courses to software and apps.
Another advantage of selling digital products is that they offer a high level of scalability and flexibility, making them an attractive option for entrepreneurs and businesses of all sizes. Unlike physical products, digital products can be easily reproduced and delivered to customers all over the world, without the costs and limitations associated with shipping and storage. This enables businesses to reach a global audience and scale their operations to meet growing demand.
Selling digital products is a cost-effective and low-risk online business model, as there are no physical costs associated with production, storage or delivery. This makes it a great option for entrepreneurs and businesses who are just starting out or who are looking for a low-cost, high-reward opportunity.
Digital products offer a recurring source of income, as customers can continue to purchase and use your products over time, providing a stable and long-term revenue stream. With the right strategy and execution, selling digital products online can be a lucrative and rewarding business idea for 2023.
🇨🇦 Learn all about starting an online business in Canada with our detailed guide.
How do I get an idea for a digital product?
Okay, so you want to sell digital products online and make money. But how do you even find digital product ideas?
First, identify your area of expertise or passion. What are you knowledgeable about or what skills do you have that others might be interested in learning? This can be anything from cooking and fitness to technology and design. Once you have a general area in mind, think about the problems and challenges that people in that field face, then consider creating a product that offers a solution to those problems.
Second, do some market research to see what’s already available and what’s in demand. Look at the best-selling and most profitable digital products in your target market and analyze what makes them successful. You can also survey potential customers to see what they are looking for and what they would be willing to pay for. This information can help you refine your idea and create a product that meets the needs of your target audience.
By following these steps, you can turn your expertise and passions into a digital product that offers real value to your target audience and provides a profitable business opportunity. Whether you are a seasoned entrepreneur or just starting out, finding the right idea for a digital product is the first step towards success with your online business.
☝🏽 Hey, speaking of products, check out our list of the best dropshipping products to sell in 2023.
What are the best digital products to sell online?
Now that your heart is set on it, let’s have a look at some in-demand digital products to sell online.
Ebooks are a popular digital product that people can purchase and download instantly. They can be about any topic and can offer value to your target market, whether by providing information and solutions to their problems or simply by entertaining them.
Selling ebooks has many benefits. Here are some of them:
- Ebooks are a cost-effective option for both the creator and the buyer, as there are no printing or shipping costs.
- Ebooks can be easily distributed and sold worldwide through various online platforms, such as Amazon Kindle Direct Publishing or Sellfy, or even on your own website. This makes it possible to reach a large and diverse audience, increasing your potential earnings.
- Ebooks are an excellent way to generate passive income. Once you write and publish your ebook, you don’t have to worry about making copies or anything like that.
- Ebooks are eco-friendly and convenient for the buyer, as they can be accessed on various digital devices, making it easy for the buyer to access your content on the go.
- Ebooks can be updated and revised at any time, making it possible to improve your content and reach a wider audience.
The quality of your ebook content will determine its success. If you’re writing nonfiction, your ebook should provide value to your target market by offering useful information and solutions to their problems. It should be well-researched, well-written and visually appealing. Is fiction more up your alley? Then all you have to do is pour your creativity out and into your novel, short stories or poems.
Whatever route you decide to take with your ebook, make sure to proofread it and have it reviewed by others before launching it.
🌱 Being eco-friendly is good for the planet and your business. Learn more about green marketing to develop sustainable business strategies.
2. Online courses
Online courses are another popular digital product to sell. They can be video-based, audio-based or text-based, and they can cover a wide range of topics. Online courses offer value to your target market by providing them with the knowledge and skills they need to achieve their goals.
Selling online courses is a fantastic way to make money as it allows you to reach a large audience and share your knowledge and expertise with people from all over the world.
With the increasing popularity of online learning and the rise of e-learning platforms, it’s much easier now to create, market and sell your own online course. This provides a tremendous opportunity to leverage your skills and make a substantial income while working from the comfort of your own home.
Online courses offer a high level of flexibility and scalability, making them an ideal revenue stream for individuals and businesses alike. Once you have created your course, you can sell it over and over again, with very little overhead costs involved.
Additionally, you have complete control over the pricing, content and marketing of your course, allowing you to tailor it to your target audience and maximize your earnings. With a well-designed and market-oriented course, you can generate a passive income stream that will continue to grow over time.
3. Software and apps
Software solutions are digital products that help solve a specific problem or improve a particular process. They can be desktop applications, mobile apps or cloud-based solutions.
Selling software and apps can become a lucrative business for several reasons. First, there is a growing demand for online solutions and technology, as more and more people use their smartphones and computers for daily tasks and activities. This has created a large and growing market for software and apps, from productivity tools and entertainment apps to educational software and business solutions.
Second, software and apps offer a high level of scalability and flexibility, making them an attractive option for entrepreneurs and businesses of all sizes. When you sell physical products, you often have to invest in and manage shipping and storage solutions. Software and apps, on the other hand, can be easily delivered to customers all over the world, without the costs and limitations associated with shipping and storage.
Another benefit of picking software and apps as your digital products to sell online: they can be continuously updated and improved, providing a recurring source of revenue and a stable and long-term business opportunity.
4. Stock photos and graphics
Photos and graphics are in high demand, as they can be used by individuals, businesses and organizations for a wide range of projects, such as website design, marketing materials, and presentations. By providing your customers with high-quality, ready-to-use visual content, you’ll be saving them time and money.
Selling digital products like stock photos and graphics allows you to reach a global audience. As digital files, they can be easily distributed and sold online through stock photography websites, such as Shutterstock or iStock.
Another upside is that you can sell the same photos and graphics multiple times, providing a passive source of income. Besides, you have the potential to earn royalties from each sale, providing a long-term source of income. As your digital product business grows, you can add more items to your portfolio, increasing your potential earnings over time.
To make sure you’re working with profitable digital products, research what types of photos and graphics are in demand and ensure that your portfolio includes a diverse range of images that cater to different industries and niches.
Another important tip is to have high-quality, unique and eye-catching images in your portfolio. Make sure that your photos and graphics are well-lit, in focus and have a clear composition.
You should take advantage of social media and other digital marketing channels to promote your portfolio and reach a wider audience. Use keyword-rich tags, descriptions and titles to help your images get found in search results. And be open to feedback and continuously improve your skills and the quality of your work to stay competitive in the market.
5. Digital art
The rise of the internet has made it easier for people to buy and sell digital products online, and the already high demand for digital art continues to increase as more people use technology for creative projects.
With digital art, there is no need for shipping, handling or storage, making it a cost-effective option for both artists and buyers.
Selling digital art offers you a level of flexibility you can’t get with traditional art forms. Digital art can be sold as unlimited copies, making it easy to reach a large audience and increase your potential earnings. You can sell your digital art through various online platforms, such as marketplaces, your own website or even through social media. This gives you the ability to sell your art to people all over the world.
💡 Quick tip: Digital art is versatile, and many buyers may want to make changes to fit their specific needs. Consider offering customizable options, such as changing colors or adding text, to make your pieces more appealing to potential buyers. You can also offer different file formats to ensure easy digital downloads.
🎨 Digital art isn't the only kind of art you want to sell? Then check out our super guide on how to sell crafts online!
6. Virtual events and webinars
You’ve probably attended one of those professional online events. Why not make money organizing them? By bringing together experts in a specific field to share their knowledge and insights, you provide customers with access to high-quality content and networking opportunities from the comfort of their own home.
Not a big fan of corporate events? Not a problem! There are many other kinds of online events you can organize and sell, from live concerts to workshops and fitness classes.
One of the key benefits of selling virtual events and webinars is that they allow you to reach a global audience without the constraints of time and location. It’s a flexible and scalable business model, which means that you can hold events and webinars, large or small, for customers all over the world, without the costs and limitations associated with physical events.
7. Online memberships and subscriptions
Memberships and subscriptions are digital products that offer ongoing access to exclusive content, resources and support. They can be lucrative online businesses because they provide you with recurring revenue, as opposed to one-time sales. This can help to stabilize your cash flow and give you a better understanding of your business's financial performance.
With a membership or subscription model, you can develop a strong and loyal customer base, who is invested in your products or services and is more likely to stick around for the long term.
Another advantage of selling memberships and subscriptions is that it enables you to offer exclusive content, services or benefits to your customers. This can be used as a way to differentiate your business from competitors and provide added value to your customers. Furthermore, memberships and subscriptions can be easily scaled to accommodate growth and can be customized to fit the needs of different segments of your target market.
Here are some cool ideas for membership services:
- At-home physical activities
- Online communities for professionals of a particular field
- Online courses and tutorials
- Discussion groups for fans, enthusiasts etc.
- Members-only content such as podcasts, videos and articles
- Exclusive environment for language practice
And here are 6 ideas of subscription services you can offer:
- Books from a particular genre or with a specific profile (second-hand, vampire, etc.)
- Meal prep ingredients and recipes
- Stationery and school supplies
- Eco-friendly cleaning products
- Coffee of the month (or any kind of drink/food you love)
- Healthy pet treats
👩💻 If your membership business will include a blog, find out how to start a blog and make the most of it.
How to create digital products to sell online
Creating digital products to sell online is a great way to turn your knowledge and expertise into a profitable business. Whether you are an artist, writer, teacher or entrepreneur, you can leverage your skills and create digital products that meet the needs of your target audience. Here are a few steps to help you get started:
1. Identify your target audience
The first step in creating a digital product is to identify who your target audience is and what their needs and wants are. This will help you determine what type of product to create and how to position it in the market.
2. Choose a product type
There are many different types of digital products you can create—you’ve seen a few options here in this blog post. Choose a product type that aligns with your expertise and goals, and that you are confident you can create and sell effectively.
3. Plan and create your product
Once you have chosen your product type, it's time to start planning and creating your product. This may involve writing content, creating videos, designing graphics or programming software. Be sure to focus on creating a high-quality product that provides real value to your target audience.
4. Test and refine your product
Before launching your product, test it and gather feedback from a small group of customers or beta testers. This will help you identify any issues and make any necessary improvements.
How to sell digital products online in 6 steps
Your digital product is ready! Now how can you take it to your potential customers? Check out these steps to help you sell digital products online.
Step 1: Define your target market
Yeah, we know, you did this before you created your digital product. But we can’t emphasize enough how important it is that you know who you’re selling to.
If you haven’t had a chance to dig a little deeper, now it’s time to do it. You can conduct market research through online surveys, customer feedback and competitive analysis. Once you have a clear understanding of your target market, you can tailor your product offerings and marketing strategies to meet their needs.
Step 2: Choose the right platform
Basically, there are two paths you can take here: you can either go with a platform that specializes in your kind of digital product (e.g. Amazon for ebooks), or you can create your own website.
While places like Amazon make it super easy for you to get started, standing out from the millions of other sellers can be quite challenging. Having a website, on the other hand, can demand a little more time and investment from you, but you’ll have the opportunity to make it all yours.
💡 Quick tip: Going for a website of your own? When choosing the right ecommerce platform for your digital products, consider factors such as ease of use, payment options and customization options.
Step 3: Price your product
Pricing your product correctly is critical to your success. You want to set a price that reflects the value you're offering and that your target market is willing to pay.
Research the prices of similar products in your market and determine what pricing strategy works best for your target audience.
Step 4: Develop a marketing plan
To sell digital products online, you need to have a solid marketing plan in place. This plan should include tactics to reach your target market and promote your product, such as social media marketing, SEO (search engine optimization) and email marketing. Your marketing plan should also include a budget for advertising and promotions.
Once you have created a high-quality product, it's time to launch and market it to your target audience. Utilize social media, email marketing and other online marketing channels to boost your store traffic and drive sales.
Step 5: Launch your product
It's finally time to launch your digital product!
Use a pre-launch strategy to build excitement and generate buzz around your digital product. Here are five suggestions to get you going:
- Build a strong social media presence, using platforms like Twitter, TikTok, Instagram and LinkedIn to create anticipation and excitement for your launch.
- Network with influencers and bloggers who have a significant following in your niche to help spread the word about your launch.
- Host pre-launch events such as exclusive previews, beta tests or meet-and-greets to generate interest and buzz.
- Offer exclusive promotions, discounts or early access to your digital product to generate excitement and interest.
- Reach out to media outlets and journalists to generate press coverage and spread the word about your launch. Consider utilizing a PR firm or press release distribution service to help get your message out to the right audience.
💡 Quick tip: On launch day, make sure that your website is ready and that you have a clear and easy checkout process in place.
Step 6: Continuously improve your digital products
Once you begin to actually sell digital products online, listen to customer feedback, analyze sales data and make changes to your digital products and marketing plan as needed. This will help you keep your digital product business relevant and ensure long-term success.
Selling digital products online: conclusion
In conclusion, selling digital products online is a lucrative business opportunity that can be easily accessible with the right tools and strategies. By offering unique and in-demand products such as online courses, ebooks, stock photos, software and more, you can reach a large audience and generate significant income.
We hope you enjoyed our selection of digital products to sell online! To maximize your success, be sure to market your products effectively, offer exceptional customer service and use a reliable ecommerce platform to securely process transactions.
With the right approach, selling digital products online can provide a flexible and rewarding business opportunity that can help you reach your financial goals.