Want to start a side-hustle but don’t know what activity fits your budget and skills? Selling digital products is common for both starting and experienced online entrepreneurs. Because of the abundance of digital products to sell, you can generate profits from this business. You don’t need special skills to succeed, but earning money from selling digital products requires a lot of work.
You can sell online through your WordPress website or well-known platforms like Amazon and eBay. Running your own selling platform gives you more control and flexibility, so we prefer using WordPress to sell digital products.
Keep reading this guide to learn what a digital product is, which are the most popular and profitable digital products, and how to sell them.
Digital Products at Glance
A digital product is intangible and immaterial, but it can be understood and used. You can’t feel or touch a digital product, whereas a physical product is touchable and material. Nowadays, only an infinitesimal part of the population has never used at least one digital product. We will use more and more digital products, so the market of digital assets will constantly expand.
Online courses, video streams, e-books, podcasts, WordPress themes, plugins, and UI/UX items are common examples of digital products. Anyone with adequate skills can create digital products like these from the comfort of their own home or office. Besides, digital products come with some notable advantages.
The Advantages of Digital Products
Even though digital products’ advantages are pretty solid, we aren’t suggesting that selling physical products isn’t profitable. We can’t live without physical products, but we did live thousands of years without digital products. Here is a rundown of the major advantages of digital products.
- No Substantial Upfront Capital. In some conditions, you can create a website to sell digital products with no investment. It’s even possible to create cool digital products with zero financial investment. However, there is a catch—you’ll need to do a lot of work if you don’t want to open your wallet. A few hundred dollars is more than enough for a WordPress website to sell online. The initial investment is much lower than in the instance of businesses selling physical products.
- Simple Logistics. Your digital products don’t need complex inventories, stocks, manufacturing partners, packaging solutions, or shipping rates. In this way, you avoid plenty of issues and problems with personnel and customers.
- Hassle-free Scaling Up. Your business is easy to scale up as long as you don’t have big logistic issues. More or less, your main issue is the availability and security of your website. By choosing a reliable WordPress host, you considerably reduce all the threads.
- Wide Customer Base. You have a well-delimited public target by selling jewelry. Your potential customers are more numerous if you sell online courses. The reason is simple—anyone from Asia can download a digital product hosted in America. The download is almost instant and doesn’t have fees or costs. Conversely, shipping a physical product from Asia to America takes time and money. Hence, it makes sense to target a wide audience for digital products.
- Passive Income. It’s quite common to configure a WordPress website to sell digital products, and the shopping process is fully automated. You make money while you sleep.
Digital Products to Sell
We wrote dozens of articles showing you how to set up an online store with WordPress, the best plugins for a website, and how to select the proper theme for your online business. Now, it’s time to list the best digital products to sell. We emphasize that this list is not exhaustive, as there are thousands of digital product ideas. Here are our recommendations:
Online education is here to stay. Despite the huge number of free and paid online courses, the market isn’t saturated. The traditional school will remain the best option for basic education. However, online education is the most efficient for self-preparation. People tend to learn faster and easier by watching a video. In addition to practice, it’s the most effective way to learn. Consequently, if you plan to create an online course don’t forget to include practice exercises.
Consider selling online courses if you have enough experience under your belt in a particular area. The initial setup is low cost—your computer and a good microphone are enough in the beginning. Depending on the topic, you may add complementary digital materials, like an excel file or a template.
Ebooks are the most common product to sell online. You can earn thousands of dollars with minimum investment. Eventually, you will need a proofreader and a cover designer to sell an excellent product. The competition is harsh; many authors freely offer genuine pieces of content. As a result, you should provide real value in your ebook, or else no one will pay for your work.
Ebooks don’t necessarily need to be hundreds of pages. Some topics might only need a few dozen pages. Your experience and marketing strategy are crucial for the quality of a book.
Photography as One of the Digital Products to Sell
Are you a skilled photographer? Do you have many captivating unused photos? Consider selling them—there is a constant need for expressive and professional photos. If you don’t have time to market your website to sell digital assets, you can go for heavily visited marketplaces like Shutterstock or Adobe Stock (formerly Fotolia).
The truth is that many quality photos are free to download on various royalty-free websites. But these are used by webmasters all around the world, and you risk using the same photos as your competitors. In this light, it makes sense to invest in premium photos for your site. Sell your impressive photos to get a new revenue source to secure your finances.
UI/UX Templates and Tools
Many designers and coders make seven figures through selling UI/UX templates and tools. WordPress themes and plugins are a special subcategory—these were and still are highly profitable digital assets. UI/UX sets are also profitable. Website crafters will pay for them as long as they are high-quality.
Fonts, icons, and illustrations are small details that make a huge difference, and experienced webmasters know it. They also know how to distinguish top-class digital assets, so you have a big chance to make money from your excellent works.
Logos and Graphic Products
Are you a skilled designer who knows all the Adobe Illustrator and Photoshop tricks? Selling logos and premade graphic products is a good option for an additional stream of money. The income relies on the traffic your site gets, so it needs to attract a considerable number of visitors. Content marketing is a good solution to grow organically—you write posts describing your workflow, and it entices people to buy from you. The positive aspect is that you are free to work on which projects you like the most. No client requirement, just your pure passion. When you work on the projects you love, you are most productive!
Clubhouse social network was a hot topic at the beginning of 2022. The unique selling point of the network is the possibility of creating rooms for discussions with others. It focuses on audio, not text, images, or videos, like the rest of social networks. Despite that, Clubhouse became obsolete in just a few months. But don’t let that discourage you; audio has a huge market, and you can be part of it. Think of selling podcasts, online lectures, or audiobooks. Music production is another huge industry where you can make serious money. Create stock music, samples, sound effects, remixes, or your own compositions to upload and sell on your website.
Foreign Language Classes as Digital Products to Sell
Foreign language classes fall into the online courses category but need special attention. That’s because teaching a language may take different digital shapes—ebooks, videos, audio, downloadable files, podcasts, etc. An integrated approach is even more helpful for students. For example, sell an ebook to introduce the grammar rules, a video to explain the basic vocabulary, and a podcast to familiarize students with the spoken language. This approach is why I consider these classes as separate digital product ideas.
Tutorials and Guides
Sometimes, people don’t have the time and patience to read an ebook or watch a video course. They need simple and concise explanations. A tutorial or guide about a particular topic is better suited for these people. Tutorials and guides are cool types of digital products that may bring you extra revenue. The competition is steep in this area, but users are constantly looking for short, concise, and professionally explained tutorials. A positive image as a content creator is much needed. In addition, previously published quality tutorials and guides increase the chance of earning serious money from this activity.
It’s only a matter of an Internet search to find a quality newsletter in any industry. However, some paid newsletters contain more valuable information. Some people prefer to pay a few bucks monthly just to avoid searching for the best newsletter.
You may start a paid newsletter if you are well-known in your area of activity. People want to read what an expert writes, and some will pay to get your insights in their inboxes. Choose a topic that you are skilled enough and people are interested in, select a reliable email marketing platform, and start crafting your best content. It’s a long journey to get profitable, but there are many paid newsletters that generate serious amounts of money.
Professional audits are a simple and effective modality of earning good money, especially if you are a genuine expert in your area. Audit templates should clearly explain what and how you perform the audits. Put them on your website and highlight what’s included. Be as concise and clear as possible to avoid any misunderstandings.
For instance, craft a website accessibility template that includes all the steps you perform during the audit. Let the users know your workflow and how such an audit improves their businesses. Of course, upsell and cross-sell your services by extensively helping your customers.
Are you creative? Do you like designing printables like calendars, workbooks, planners, agendas, or art prints? You should have decent print and creative design skills to sell digital files for print. Designers have created all types of printables and many of these products are of high quality. Yet, people constantly look for new types of printables, so you have a chance by selling original ideas.
Membership sites are the perfect choice for anyone wanting to build a community around a topic. Indeed, a membership site isn’t a digital product per se. Still, the monetization method makes it similar to a digital product. It’s simple—you manage a website and people pay a one-time or recurrent fee to access exclusive content. It’s up to you to establish different types of subscriptions and access tiers.
You don’t need to be a developer to run a membership site. Building one in WordPress isn’t rocket science. You could also hire an agency or a freelancer to create the site if you don’t have the skills or the time to experiment. Either way, running these sites is accessible even for non-coders. The capital problem is providing members with quality content.
Tickets as Digital Products You Can Sell
Tickets aren’t exclusively for physical events. It started before the pandemic, but during the lockdowns, the number of online events boomed. Selling tickets to online events is one of the newest digital product ideas. Your skills, industry, and imagination will dictate the way you design online events. It fits for simple events like webinars or live coding sessions, but also for summits or bootcamps. Build an event, create some buzz around it, and sell the tickets on your website.
Recipes and Meal Plans
Everyone is interested in getting fitter and healthier, but only a few people manage to have a healthy life. Are you an example of a healthy guy or gal? Are you patient and motivated to help people get in shape? Show off your daily routine, your good habits, and your meals. Build an active community by sharing ideas, plans, and recipes with them. Engage with your followers and let them know that they matter to you. They will happily pay for your recipes or meal plans. Don’t limit yourself to writing boring pdf guides with recipes or meal plans. Diversify your digital products. For instance, upload videos of you cooking the meals on your site or on YouTube or Vimeo. Design downloadable nutrition trackers to help people lose weight. A membership site with exclusive content is a great complementary approach.
One of the oldest types of digital products to sell is software programs. Have you identified a pain point for users or a solution for saving their time? Create a software program to resolve a common issue or to save the users’ time and they will pay for your digital product. The market for software solutions is extensive, but there is always demand for better alternatives.
The truth is it’s harder and harder to break into this industry. Competition is extreme and users have high expectations. It’s the most complicated digital product to create and sell, but it is accordingly profitable. Many online entrepreneurs share their experiences with building software, so you can learn from their insights.
Mobile Apps as Digital Products to Sell
It goes without saying that people spend worrying amounts of time on their smartphones. You should be where your customers are, so why not be present on their smartphones? Building a mobile app isn’t too difficult, but building a profitable one is way more challenging. To succeed, you need a great idea, a skilled development team, and a top-class marketer. There are multiple ways to earn money through your app; the most common is to ask for a one-time subscription, monthly subscription, or by displaying ads.
You have to be well-known in your industry and always ready to help people in order to be a mentor. Altogether, it’s fulfilling to know that people regard you as a genuine model for them. It depends on your mentality, but the quality of your mentoring is proportional to your experience. You should have many years of experience under your belt to become a successful mentor. Additionally, you should have decent emotional intelligence and patience. A good mentor meets all these requirements. Consider offering your vast experience to others. Inform people that you offer mentoring sessions, create a pricing strategy, and be receptive to anyone needing your help. It’s a win-win situation: you get a new revenue stream, and your mentees learn from your experiences.
Mentoring isn’t for you, but you’re looking for a way to capitalize on your experience? Online consultations are an alternative—customers get pieces of advice from an experienced voice in the industry, and you have a new revenue stream. It works for startups, important acquisitions, personal life, lifestyle, or career decisions. Of course, there are many other areas when people need a competent opinion.
You don’t need any prior investment—a Zoom/Skype/Google Meet session might be enough. Additionally, you may create consultation packages for complicated situations.
Take a look at Fiverr to better understand the concept of productized services. Is it a service or a product? It doesn’t matter to the consumers; it only matters that you can resolve their problems. Start by assessing your skills—are you good at writing or marketing? Are you a WordPress guru? Or do you know how to write attractive Tinder profiles (it’s not a joke, it’s a profitable business on Fiverr)? Next, productize your skills; develop templates of what you will do when people buy that productized service. Conciseness and clarity are a must. People will buy the productized services if these bring value to them.
I am sure you watched at least one YouTube or TikTok video yesterday or today! Everyone watches videos, and there is no sign people won’t continue enjoying videos. YouTubers and TikTokers should come up with more creative and useful ideas to impress the viewers. Consequently, the demand for cool video animations is considerable, and you should use this fact to your advantage. Make up an impressive portfolio, show off your coolest video animations, and let people know that you are available for hire.
Wrapping Up on Digital Products to Sell
Selling digital products has plenty of advantages. Many people started selling digital products just to have a new line of income. For some, things went quite well and turned into a serious stream of revenue. They all say that patience and consistency are more important than great product ideas. Hence, be prepared for hard work if you want to generate serious profits from selling digital products. What really matters is that you have countless products for such a business. The above suggestions are a good start, but the sky’s the limit!