It is extremely time-consuming and highly changeable selling physical products. In the process there are the added complexities of shipping, taxes, laws, importing, international customers, inventory management, and so on.
On the other hand digital products are easy to distribute, significantly more sustainable, can be replicated infinitely, and are oftentimes simpler to create. With little more than one or a few devices, any person can make a digital product worthy of sharing or selling with no physical materials, factories, or staff required, but just a computer, a sprinkle of passion and drive, and some time.
If you have something to share, you can turn it into a digital product to sell. You can share your knowledge, talents, opinions, or passion, and potentially make some money along the way. So in this post we provide you with a short list (10) of the most popular digital products you can sell online
First on our list are eBooks. Ebooks have been and continue to be one of the most popular digital products for both creators and customers. They are relatively simple to produce since they require little more than written text and a few relevant images. eBooks are simple to distribute via large marketplaces or self-created online stores. They’re easily consumed by customers, who can read them on e-readers, tablets, computers, and even their mobile phones.
The beauty of creating eBooks is that you can share almost anything you know, or are passionate about, in text form. You can educate, advise, or curate existing content with an eBook to then sell on your website.
Video is an extremely popular and effective format for delivering information online. Video content can be educational, informative, or entertaining. It’s significantly more engaging than text, and can be easily consumed by clicking a play button and watching. Users love video, and in many cases are happy to pay for it.
If you’re a great public speaker, have a visual-based passion, or just love sharing your thoughts on video, with a little editing time up your sleeve you can sell videos online.
3. Audio & music
Audio is a powerful medium for communicating messages, and there are many different types of audio digital products. People pay for audio tracks that entertain them, soothe them, inform them, inspire them and help them achieve business goals, to list just a few examples. Audio products can include:
- Recorded lectures
- Musical samples
- Foreign language lessons
- Relaxing background noises
- Karaoke versions of popular songs
- Reusable sound effects
- Full lyrical or instrumental music tracks
The software industry is enormous and consistently growing. It is also extremely ripe with opportunities. Any person’s ability to write code of any kind can result in new, useful products. Whether it be desktop software, web-based applications, website templates, mobile apps, video games, or anything else powered by code. The possibilities are endless, and an established market likely exists.
If you speak (or rather, write) a code language, you can develop numerous things to sell online. Whether you have experience with apps, plugins, themes, snippets, websites, or something else entirely different, you can turn code into cash.
High-quality, premium photos are one of the most sought-after digital products today. The biggest consumers of online photographs are bloggers and website owners.
It’s true that stock photography has commoditized the market to the point where some photos are sold for less than they are worth (or they are given away for free). However, for truly spectacular images (and not some of the cheesy stuff you’ll find on stock websites), photographers can still command fair prices.
One of the biggest downfalls of stock sites from a customer perspective is not knowing exactly how much one or two images are. In some cases, a membership to the stock photo site is required. If you’re a photographer, you can combat stock photo sites by selling your images on your own website for the price you want (and undoubtedly deserve).
A website is a vital part of a photographer’s portfolio. Showcasing your work beautifully is imperative to raising your profile. With competitive pricing, and excellent quality images, it’s possible to do very well selling your independent or client-commissioned photos on your own website.
6. Graphics & digital art
Graphic designers and digital artists can create a wide variety of unique and valuable products. From logos, to PSD templates, to icon packs, to PowerPoint themes, to original artworks, designers can apply their skills in numerous ways to create digital products for sale.
Graphic designers can create and sell card designs, patterns, brushes, backgrounds, UI assets and more. Digital artists can sell finished pieces, drawings, and sketches. Finished original art of exceptional quality can be priced higher than graphic design pieces. If you can produce artwork digitally, it’s worth selling online (just be sure to license it correctly!).
7. Web-based applications
Web-based applications are similar to software, but are not downloaded from the web. Instead this category encompasses anything customers pay to use within a web browser. Also called SaaS (Software as a Service) businesses, they are not digital products in the truest sense, but can be sold and perceived very similarly, so they are important to acknowledge.
Many software creators find themselves faced with the choice between building a web-based SaaS app, and a distributed, installable program. Examples of these applications include services for email marketing (like Drip, MailChimp, AWeber, and Constant Contact), contact management (like Salesforce, Nutshell, and Pipedrive), site monitoring (like Pingdom and Status Cake), project management (like Basecamp, Asana, Podio and Jira), online course-based learning memberships (like Team Treehouse, Lynda, Skillshare, and Coursera) and file storage (like Dropbox, iCloud, Google Drive, and MediaFire). Since customers are paying for access to tools/services, recurring payment models are standard.
Though definitely quite different from other digital products due to the fact that they are (usually) applicable only for a certain time period, relate (often) to some physical location, and (normally) have limited availability, tickets are very commonly sold in the same way everything else in this post is. Customers can make their selections, checkout and receive their ticket independently and instantly through a seller’s website. These tickets can get them into conferences, concerts, carnivals and other time-based events or can be for admission to amusement parks, zoos and museums which may not enforce a specific time. Tickets can also be sold for purely online experiences such as webinars, classes, online conferences, or in-person conference live stream feeds.
Typefaces are a great example of a digital product which is always popular and constantly experiencing change as customer preferences gradually shift over time. Fonts can be created and distributed for use on the web by website creators, or for use in desktop applications like Microsoft Word and Adobe Photoshop. Enthusiasts appreciate fresh new fonts which means continuing to expand one’s commercial catalog over time may be necessary in order to maintain revenue.
E-Learning is an industry rich in innovation, and is growing with unprecedented momentum. As it grows, we are starting to see traditional educational institutions explore new ways to make their content available to learners. As for established educational programmes, learning material can be sold in a few different ways:
- As a downloadable one-off course
- As a downloadable collection of courses
- As a memberships/subscription to a web-based service.
Courses are very often sold the same way as other digital products, and with the same tools. Some courses are entirely autonomous, while others offer interaction with a teacher or assignment reviewer. Many courses provide students with some form of certification or reward upon successful completion.
Courses are becoming an increasingly popular foundation or complementary component for online businesses, due to consumer trends, and the prevalence of affordable and easy-to-use Learning Management Systems. They offer a lucrative outlet for anyone with knowledge or expertise, and enable educators to reach a broad audience without being constrained by geography, technology or time.
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