Create and sell digital products online for profit

What you need to know about creating and selling digital products online for profit.

You can make money selling digital products such as eBooks, digital courses, and audiobooks. Upload and sell your digital product to an online sales platform or promote someone else’s product for a commission. Use organic traffic methods or paid promotion to find potential customers.

Imagine, making $1,000 to $2,000 per month from selling digital courses. You wake up each morning and see a $49 notification from PayPal. 

As you keep growing your business, PayPal notifications keep blowing up your phone. Money keeps hitting your bank account without any more effort from you.

Luckily for you, I’m going to show you what you need to know to create and sell digital products online. I’ll show you what kind of products you can sell, where to find products, and how to make your first sale. With enough work, you could quit your 9-5 job selling products online.

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What kind of digital products can I sell?

Digital courses, eBooks, audiobooks, printables, software, lead generation, and visuals are examples of products you can sell. You can create and sell your own digital products or earn commissions for selling other people’s products.

You can create a digital product for any interest or problem someone has. The key is to find a low-competition, but profitable niche to create products around.

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Digital Courses

Digital courses help someone solve a problem or teach a new skill, like making sourdough. Usually, digital courses are done with video content. You get on camera and teach someone how to do something or solve a problem.

Just look on Teachable to find inspiration. Browsing the Teachable marketplace, I can find courses on gaining Twitter followers, email marketing, changing your habits, and more!

Creating and selling digital courses is one of the fastest ways to build an online business. Depending on your product, courses can sell anywhere from $10 all the way up to $1,000 or more.

However, a lot of people don’t start selling digital courses because they’re too scared to show their face. Luckily, there are many ways to create video content without showing your face.

eBooks

eBooks are similar to digital courses, but eBooks are usually a short pdf. Typically, you wouldn’t sell an eBook for more than $50, not that you couldn’t. You really have to focus on making something of immense value when making an eBook.

A lot of beginners make the mistake of trying to sell an eBook with generic information. You need to provide value to customers or risk losing customer trust.

Personally, I’ve purchased an eBook from someone who’s been blogging for a long time and well-respected. Unfortunately, the eBook was horrible. 

The eBook looked like it was slapped together in an afternoon and half the pages were “Write your thoughts down.” I essentially paid $35 for blank pages. Needless to say, I never purchased anything from that specific blogger again.

So if you’re going to make an eBook, overdeliver and undercharge. Honestly, it is a good practice to provide more value than you could charge so your customers are happy.

eBooks are still good money makers. Although, putting your information into a digital course could be a better way to connect with your customer. In addition, you can usually sell digital courses for more money.

Audiobooks

A good solution to not showing your face is audio content. You can outline, record, and publish an audiobook in less than a weekend. Consumers buy audiobooks on sites like Audible all the time to listen during work, commuting, or even at home.

Printables

Printables are extremely profitable if you have a craft, organizational, or mom blog. Typically, printables are relatively cheap, but they sell fairly well. Most consumers don’t mind spending $7 for a well designed downloadable product.

For example, you can create a downloadable yearly planner, journal, grocery or task list. You create the product once and it’s available for sale time and time again. 

At $5-7, most consumers won’t even think before making a purchase. It’s a low cost item and if the customer is disappointed, it was only $7. 

Software

Creating software is a bit of a challenge, but it can be very profitable. I would imagine most of you would be more interested in selling someone else’s software. The idea is to find useful software that has an affiliate program so you can earn a commission.

Most software programs have recurring commissions. In other words, you get paid every month as long as the person you referred is paying for the software.

For example, teachable has an affiliate program where you can earn 30% of the subscription price. If you signed up for Teachable and paid for the $99 plan, the person who referred you would earn almost $30 per month. The person who referred you would continue to earn as long as you continued to use the software.

Lead Generation

Lead generation is the process of getting someone interested in a product or service. You earn by giving the company a lead to a potential sale, regardless if the person buys or not.

For example, Survey Junkie offers a $1.25 pay per lead. For every person that signs up for the service, the referrer earns $1.25. It doesn’t matter if the person ever completes a survey.

Visuals

Visuals are a great way for photographers and graphic designers to earn money. Upload your photos or designs to a marketplace and earn when someone buys rights to them. For example, you can earn money by selling photos on Shutterstock.

How do you make money selling digital products?

Make money selling digital products by earning a commission, having affiliates, or earning a referral. Having your own product and affiliates can make the most amount of money, but requires the most work. Most marketers earn a commission or by getting leads for companies.

Earn commissions on sales

A commission is money you earn for helping someone make a sale. You can find a digital product online and sign up for the affiliate program if one exists. As an affiliate, you will have a special link which tracks sales of a product that were made through your link.

Have affiliates to sell for you

A profitable strategy for selling digital products is creating your own product. Find people in your niche and ask if they would like to earn a commission to sell your product. Now, your affiliates are working hard to sell your product.

Let’s assume you are able to get 100 people willing to be your affiliate. In other words, you have 100 people that are actively promoting your product. What if on average, each affiliate was able to get 200 people per month to visit your product page?

Those 100 affiliates would get 20,000 people to look at your product per month! Should only 1% of those people buy your product, that’s 200 sales. Assuming you make $20 on an affiliate sale, you’re now earning $4,000 per month.

Earn for referral

Earn money by referring business or lead generation. As previously discussed, you earn money by getting a potential customer to sign up for a service or product. You earn money regardless of the company making a sale or any money.

Where can I find and sell digital products?

You can find digital products to sell on marketplaces such as ShareASale, Gumroad, Teachable, and Clickbank. Online marketplaces give you one location to signup, find companies to promote, and earn commission for qualified sales. The marketplace tracks your sales activity and sends you your payment.

When finding someone else’s product to sell, it’s a good idea to buy and test the product yourself.  You will be able to test the product quality, so you can be sure people will love it. 

Additionally, buying the product allows you to be more familiar which allows you to give better reviews. Product reviews always sound better coming from someone who’s used the product. It’s really hard to get a sense of product pros and cons when you’ve never used it.

ShareASale

ShareASale is a good place to find physical products you can sell and earn a commission. You never have to stock inventory because you’re promoting someone else’s product. ShareASale has thousands of companies that you can apply to work with.

Gumroad

Gumroad has a collection of digital products made by individuals. You can get paid weekly as an affiliate for products on Gumroad! I’ve seen a lot of course creators have good success selling products through Gumroad.

Teachable

Teachable has a new marketplace for you to browse courses uploaded to Teachable. You can browse and buy the products and then contact the creator to become an affiliate. The course creator will set your affiliate commissions.

ClickBank

You have to be careful when finding products to sell on Clickbank. The marketplace isn’t well regulated, so you can find a lot of low-quality products. However, there are some good products on the marketplace and people are making money.

How do I sell digital products?

Sell digital products by creating organic reach through blogging and social media or using email marketing or paid advertising. Organic traffic results in high profit margins because you aren’t paying for advertising. However, advertising is a good way to get quick sales.

Blogging

Blogging can be a good way to sell digital products by writing SEO focused articles. Your goal is to get an article that ranks on the front page of Google that promotes your product.

Maybe you’re selling a dog training course. You could create a dog blog and write articles like, “Why won’t my dog sit?” or “How to stop your dog from barking?” In your articles, you link to your digital course which promotes your dog training course.

Once you’ve mastered SEO, you can get hundreds of thousands of traffic to your site. The more people that visit your site the higher potential for product sales.

YouTube

YouTube is similar to blogging, but in video format. However, your goal with YouTube is to build a loyal following that loves your content. Link to your product in the video description and mention it to your audience.

YouTube converts product sales very well. Your audience starts to build trust with you if they like your content. If you are selling a digital course, YouTube is one of the best methods to make sales.

Twitter

Twitter works well for selling digital courses under $100. Personally, I’ve seen people build a large following and thousands of dollars in sales in less than a year. However, it takes time to build your following to a point where they’ll buy from you.

Your job is to start building your following by tweeting helpful or funny content around a niche, like investing. As you tweet content that resonates with people, you’ll gain followers. As your followers take in your free value, they become customers when you ask them to buy.

Instagram

Instagram isn’t the best place to sell digital products, but it does fairly well for physical items. Just like Twitter, you’re going to want to build up your follower base. Placing items in your photos is a good way to generate interest.

Email Marketing

Most companies understand the value of email marketing. Your customers are giving you permission to contact them directly. Therefore, you need to provide constant value to your email list and then ask them to buy every now and then.

Some of the best marketers build entire businesses using email. All they have to do is type up a weekly email, pay for ads to generate leads, and watch as their email list grows. Each subscriber is a potential customer.

Email marketing does take significant work. You’re constantly having to email your list and keep your audience engaged. If you go a couple months without emailing your list they’ll grow cold and possibly unsubscribe.

Paid Product Placement

In some cases, you can ask social media influencers to pitch your product. For example, you might find a YouTuber with 1,000,000 subscribers. You could ask how much they charge to shout out your product in their next video.

Paid product placement is going to require cash up front to pay your social media influencer. The more your product matches their audience’s interest, the better your product will convert.

However, just because you paid someone to pitch your product doesn’t mean it’s going to sell. You could be spending a lot of money and not see any sales or engagement. 

Paid Advertising

Paid advertising is the quickest way to start making sales of digital products. You are paying to get eyes on your product, hopefully to an interested crowd. However, paid advertising can be competitive and expensive.

Typically, your product will have to be $100-$200 in order to keep up with the advertising fees. Otherwise, you might end up spending more money on advertising than you’re getting in sales.

The key with paid advertising is to start small and maximize your conversions. Once you’ve identified a successful ad campaign, you can scale up.

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Summary: Create and sell digital products online for profit

As you can see, it is possible to make money with creating and selling digital products online. You can make products like eBooks, Audiobooks, digital courses, printables, software, lead gen, and visuals.

If you own the product, you’re going to make money every time you sell a course. However, you can get other people to sell your product for a commission. You can also earn a commission selling other people’s products or referring business or leads.

You can find other people’s products to sell on online marketplaces. Examples of online marketplaces include ShareASale, Gumroad, Teachable, and Clickbank. It’s best practice to buy the product before you promote it.

You can sell digital products by creating organic traffic through social media, blogging, or YouTube. Alternatively, you can take advantage of paid product placement or advertising.