Tips for Creating and Selling Digital Products

The internet has opened up countless opportunities for entrepreneurs to make money online. One of the best ways is by creating and selling digital products.

Digital products are items that can be downloaded or accessed instantly. They require no physical shipping or inventory. Once created, they can be sold over and over again with little additional effort.

Some examples of popular digital products include ebooks, online courses, videos, music, software, templates, and more. The possibilities are endless when it comes to digital products you can create and sell.

In this comprehensive guide, we will share the 15 most popular and profitable digital products you can sell online right now. We will also provide tips, tools, and resources to help you successfully create and market these products.

What Are Digital Products?

Before diving into specific examples, let‘s briefly go over what constitutes a digital product.

A digital product is any intangible product that can be purchased and delivered online. The buyer can instantly access and download the product to their computer or mobile device.

Common types of digital products include:

  • Ebooks and PDF guides
  • Online courses and tutorials
  • Software, plugins, and apps
  • Website themes and templates
  • Music, podcasts, and audiobooks
  • Videos and photography
  • Graphic design resources
  • Digital art and 3D assets

The format of digital products allows for instant delivery and unlimited scalability. You don‘t need to worry about printing costs, shipping fees, or inventory management.

This makes digital products extremely convenient and cost-effective both for sellers and buyers alike.

Now let‘s look at the 15 most popular and profitable digital products you can create for your online business.

1. Ebooks

Ebooks and PDF guides are one of the easiest digital products you can create. You likely already have enough blog content or expertise to create a lengthy guide around a specific topic.

For example, you can take your most in-depth blog posts and combine them into a comprehensive guide. Or turn your specialized knowledge into a step-by-step handbook or checklist.

The great thing about ebooks is that they are versatile. You can create ebooks on any topic, niche, or industry that people are interested in learning about.

Some examples of popular ebook topics include:

  • Cooking and recipes
  • Exercise and fitness
  • Personal finance and investing
  • Business and entrepreneurship
  • Software tutorials and guides
  • Health and wellness
  • Pet care and training

Once you‘ve written your ebook, you can sell it on your own website or on ebook marketplaces like Gumroad and Selz.

For the full details on creating, formatting, and selling ebooks online, refer to our complete guide to getting started.

2. Online Courses

Online courses are the next go-to digital product you can create. These allow you to share your expertise through a structured learning program.

Courses are typically organized into modules with individual video or text-based lessons. You can also integrate quizzes, worksheets, and discussion forums.

Some examples of popular course topics include:

  • Web design and development
  • Photography and graphic design
  • Marketing and business strategy
  • Software and technical skills
  • Health, nutrition, and fitness
  • Music production and audio editing

You can sell your online course by creating a membership site or using a platform like Teachable, Thinkific, or Podia. These tools make it easy to create, market, and sell your course with no technical skills required.

Check out our guide on creating an online course for step-by-step instructions.

3. Memberships and Communities

Offering exclusive membership content and community access is a lucrative digital product opportunity.

With a membership site, you can charge subscribers monthly or yearly fees to gain access to your premium content. This content might include courses, ebooks, exclusive articles and videos, Q&As, discussion forums, and more.

Having a membership and community element allows you to build ongoing relationships with your audience. This leads to higher customer retention and recurring revenue.

Some examples of membership site niches include:

  • Cooking and meal plans
  • Fitness and workouts
  • Business coaching and advice
  • Productivity and goal-setting
  • Money management and budgeting
  • Crafts, gardening, and hobbies

You can use WordPress plugins like MemberPress or Memberful to easily create and run a membership site.

For step-by-step guidance, see our complete membership site tutorial.

4. Informational Products

Informational products like guides, cheat sheets, templates, and checklists are easy digital downloads you can create.

These are commonly one-off products that solve a single pain point or need for your target customer. You can sell them individually or as part of a package.

For example, you might create:

  • An SEO audit checklist for bloggers
  • A social media posting template
  • A project management template
  • A guide to starting an Etsy shop

The key is creating useful, actionable resources that your audience will benefit from immediately. This adds value and establishes you as an expert.

Focus on crafting in-depth, research-backed products that go beyond surface-level tips. This increases the perceived value and justifies charging premium rates.

Learn more in our guide on creating and selling informational products.

5. Software, Apps, and Plugins

If you have advanced coding skills, you can develop and sell software, mobile apps, and website plugins.

These are highly valued digital products that generally charge monthly or yearly subscription fees. The recurring revenue can quickly add up, especially if you have a large user base.

Some examples include:

  • Productivity and project management tools
  • Design and photo editing software
  • SEO and marketing plugins
  • Widgets and website themes
  • Interactive apps and games

You can sell software and plugins through marketplaces like Envato or sell them directly through your own website.

For mobile apps, you would publish your app through the Apple App Store or Google Play Store.

6. Website Themes and Templates

Website themes and templates are another lucrative digital product opportunity.

These pre-designed layouts and assets help buyers quickly create professional websites without coding skills.

Popular theme and template options include:

  • WordPress themes
  • HTML website templates
  • Shopify themes
  • Squarespace templates
  • Wix templates

You can list your themes and templates on marketplaces like ThemeForest and TemplateMonster.

Or better yet, create your own website to sell themes directly to consumers. This allows you to keep 100% of the profits.

7. Stock Media

Stock photos, video footage, illustrations, and audio clips are commonly sold online by creatives.

These types of digital media assets offer passive income potential, with some sites paying per download or per view.

You can sell stock media through established marketplaces like:

  • Shutterstock
  • iStock
  • Adobe Stock
  • Pond5
  • AudioJungle

Or you can retain all earnings by selling your work directly through your own website.

No matter which platform you choose, focus on creating unique and high-quality assets that fill a specific need.

8. Digital Art and 3D Models

Digital artwork and 3D models have become popular digital products for creative entrepreneurs to sell.

Digital artists might sell their original graphics, illustrations, patterns, brushes, and other resources.

3D artists can sell 3D models like characters, buildings, vehicles, furniture, landscapes, and more.

These types of digital art assets have many applications, especially for industries like gaming, animation, and product design.

Some examples of marketplaces to sell digital art and 3D models include:

  • Turbosquid
  • CGTrader
  • Creative Market
  • Gumroad
  • Sketchfab

9. Video Courses

Video learning courses are engaging, information-rich digital products. Visual learners especially benefit from being able to see and hear concepts demonstrated.

You can produce video courses on all types of topics through a screen recording program like Camtasia or Screencast-o-matic.

Or, you can simply record lessons and tutorials with your webcam, smartphone, or DSLR camera.

Some examples of popular video course topics:

  • Cooking and baking skills
  • Arts and crafts
  • Home improvement and woodworking
  • Technology tutorials
  • Business and career advice
  • Fitness and exercise

Once complete, video courses can be sold on your own membership site or third-party marketplaces like Udemy and Skillshare.

10. Music

Selling music online is easier than ever thanks to digital music stores and streaming services.

As a musician or producer, you can sell your songs, albums, and beats through outlets like:

  • iTunes and Apple Music
  • Spotify
  • Amazon Music
  • Bandcamp
  • BeatStars

The key is tapping into music licensing opportunities and building a loyal fanbase that supports your work. Offering premium content through a membership community can help generate recurring income.

11. Audiobooks and Podcasts

Audiobooks and podcasts make engaging, screen-free digital products to sell or promote a personal brand.

For audiobooks, you can hire voice talent to read your written content aloud. Then sell the audiobooks through stores like Audible or Findaway Voices.

Podcasts involve regularly releasing free audio content to build an audience. You can then monetize podcasts by selling ad spots or offering a "premium" version of the show to paying subscribers.

Top podcasting niches include:

  • Business and marketing
  • Technology and software
  • Health, fitness, and nutrition
  • Religion and spirituality
  • Education and learning
  • Arts, entertainment, and pop culture

Popular podcast hosting platforms include BuzzSprout, Libsyn, Sounder, and Blubrry. These make it easy to distribute your show everywhere people listen to podcasts.

12. Paid Newsletters

Paid newsletters allow you to turn your email subscribers into a source of recurring revenue.

Rather than offering your newsletter for free, you can charge a subscription fee for premium, members-only content.

For instance, you might publish paid newsletters on topics like:

  • Investing tips and stock picks
  • Fitness and diet plans
  • Job search and career advancement strategies
  • Mental health and self-improvement
  • Book summaries and author interviews
  • Industry insider analysis and predictions

Premium newsletter services like Substack and ConvertKit make the process seamless.

13. Online Reports and Market Research

In-depth industry reports, market forecasts, consumer research, and survey data hold immense value for businesses.

You can compile this type of premium content in online reports to sell for high ticket prices.

For instance, create and sell:

  • Competitive landscape analyses
  • Industry benchmark reports
  • Market sizing forecasts
  • Consumer/user surveys and insights
  • Earnings summaries and financial modeling

This business model aligns well with consulting and advisory services. You can sell data-rich reports directly to clients for an additional revenue stream.

14. Dropshipping eBooks and Merchandise

Even if you don‘t create your own digital products, you can generate income through dropshipping.

With dropshipping, you sell products from a third-party supplier that handles order fulfillment. You simply market and advertise the products, then collect a portion of the profits.

Great dropshipping products include:

  • Trendy ebooks and PDF guides
  • Print-on-demand merchandise like t-shirts, mugs, and phone cases
  • Self-help workbooks and planners
  • Coloring books and journals
  • Online courses and memberships

Popular platforms to source dropshipping products include Printful, Printify, Teespring, and Etsy.

15. Licensed and Resale Products

A creative way to offer digital products without creating them yourself is through licensing and reselling.

You can partner with product creators to sell their items for a commission. Or you can purchase the license or resale rights to content you did not originally create.

Examples include:

  • Reselling ebooks
  • Promoting software affiliate programs
  • Selling licensed stock media
  • Registering as an official vendor to resell digital courses
  • Joining a dropshipping supplier program

The key is adding value through your marketing reach, branding, or target audience access. This provides mutual benefit for you and the original seller.

Now that we‘ve covered the most popular digital product models, here are some tips to succeed:

Pick a niche. Choose a specific niche, topic, or industry to focus your products on. This will help attract a target audience and establish your expertise.

Solve a problem. Make sure your product addresses and provides a clear solution to a pain point, need, or desire your audience has.

Highlight benefits. Explain how your product will improve your customers‘ lives and make their jobs easier.

Price strategically. Research competitors and perceived value to set fair prices. Offer packages and bundles to boost average order value.

Build your brand. Create a professional brand identity for your business and products to stand out.

Focus on marketing. Allocate time and budget to promote your products through ads, email, social media, SEO, and more.

Use analytics. Track sales, traffic sources, conversions, and other metrics to gain insights and refine your strategy.

Gather feedback. Ask for reviews and testimonials. Send surveys to identify new product ideas customers request.

Here are some helpful tools and platforms for creating, marketing, and selling digital products:

  • Membership plugins: MemberPress, Memberful
  • Course platforms: Teachable, Thinkific, Podia
  • Email marketing: Mailchimp, ConvertKit, Drip
  • Landing pages: Leadpages, ClickFunnels, Instapage
  • eCommerce: WooCommerce, Easy Digital Downloads, Selz
  • Payment processing: Stripe, PayPal,
  • Marketing automation: ActiveCampaign, Ontraport
  • Website analytics: Google Analytics, Mixpanel, Heap

Check out our guides to choosing the best ecommerce platforms and email marketing software for more recommendations.

Selling digital products is one of the most accessible online business models for generating income. The low startup costs and overhead make it possible to get started quickly.

This guide covered 15 of the most popular and profitable digital product categories to consider. The opportunities are endless for creating products and monetizing your skills, knowledge, and creativity.

Determine what you‘re most passionate about and turn it into a high-value digital product that serves your audience.

Use the tips provided to optimize your product strategy and marketing approach. Leverage the tools and platforms highlighted above to streamline the product creation and selling process.

With focus and consistency, you can build a sustainable digital product business and brand that enjoys lasting success.

Written by Jason Striegel

C/C++, Java, Python, Linux developer for 18 years, A-Tech enthusiast love to share some useful tech hacks.