So you’re ready to monetize your blog or online business with digital products? That’s awesome! It’s such a fun way to make passive income. But before I share with you these 8 ways to sell digital products online, I want to give you some ideas of what digital products you might want to sell:
- Online Courses
- Audio Files
- Stock Photography
- Printable Art
- Kindle Books
- Website Templates
- Coloring Books/Pages
- Stock Videos
- Lessons (music, language, etc.)
- Social Media Templates
- Email courses
- Fine Art Photography
I could go on and on…. In fact, I have! You can check out this “Ultimate List of Digital Products You Can Sell Passively Online” for more inspiration (the link will open in a new tab so you won’t lose your place here.) But this post is about how to sell digital products online, so let’s get to that!
8 ways to sell digital products online
Etsy is an easy way to get started selling digital downloads because of it’s low barriers to entry. Each listing on Etsy is only .20 cents (and in fact, if you haven’t opened an Etsy shop yet, you can get your first 40 listings free by clicking here) and if/when your items sell, they charge an additional 5%. So there are very little up-front or ongoing costs.
The nice thing about selling digital downloads on Etsy is that they make it super easy and “deliver” the product(s) directly to the buyers for you, who then have access to it via their Etsy account forever (so if they lose the file, etc., they can just log back into Etsy and download it again.)
If you already have a website and/or want to sell from your own online shop, I (use and) recommend Shopify. There is a monthly fee attached to your Shopify shop (starting at just $9 a month) but they offer a free 14 day trial and and you can start selling your digital products right away. There are several advantages (in my opinion) to selling with Shopify. For instance, you can sell directly on Instagram, Pinterest, Amazon, and Facebook, etc., with your Shopify store. You can also use an app to allow affiliates to help you sell even more of your product(s).
I like SendOwl in particular for selling eBooks, but you can also sell other digital downloads, software, and even physical goods. They make it SUPER easy to get started (dare I say even easier than Etsy?!) and have a built-in affiliate programs so you can get people to help sell more of what you create. SendOwl also integrates with many of the other software and programs I use, like ConvertKit, Google Analytics, etc.
If you’re looking for a robust online course platform, I think Thinkific is an excellent choice. I use them for my Art Sales on Autopilot course, and have found that, even though I spent a lot of time creating my course, actually setting it up for sale was a breeze! I know there are some people who prefer Teachable, which I have used in the past. But I found, personally, that Thinkific offered a lot of the same functionality, for about the same price, but with Thinkific you get access to your funds right away, whereas Teachable holds on to them for a month or more.
Kajabi is similar to Thinkific and Teachable, in that it’s an online course platform, but from what I’ve heard and read, it takes it to a whole other level. (Of course, that “whole other level” comes at an up-leveled price, too, starting at $129 per month!) But you’ll be able to send emails and have a membership site. Higher plans also include the ability to have affiliates, remove the “Kajabi” labeling, etc.
While I’ve never personally sold anything on Creative Market, I sure have bought a lot from there! 🤑 It’s my go-to spot for fonts, website themes and product/art mock-ups, but you can also sell other digital products that you create like stock photography, graphics and illustrations, 3D images, web site elements, add-ons, templates for all kinds of marketing goods (like brochures, business cards, etc.), and more. (I also love that they offer free goods each week!)
I used Gumroad to sell an eBook I wrote back in 2015, and sold thousands of copies and never had a serious problem. But if I were going to do it again, I’d probably choose Selz. You can sell similar products on both platforms: ebooks, digital products, physical products (although that’s where the similarities end, because on Selz you can sell services and Gumroad you can sell subscriptions and even pre-sell). The prices are similar but Selz has a free program where Gumroad does not.
If you’re going to sell ebooks, you might as well sell Kindle versions on Amazon, too! It seems like a no-brainer to me, because Amazon has such a HUGE market of potential buyers. I know authors who sell there and actually give away the Kindle versions of their books for free for a limited time, and then sell them for $0.99-$2.99. Even with Amazon taking a cut, they still out-make there over what they try to sell on their own.
Bonus idea: Teaching on Skillshare.
If you’re not quite ready to take the big leap of creating your own online store, you might want to consider teaching on Skillshare. It’s a great platform to get started on, because they take care of a lot of the hard work for you. You record and upload your class, and you work together to promote it. You engage with students in your class, but they handle the customer service side of things.
Yes, it’s possible you could make more money selling your program directly (because Skillshare currently pays a royalty based on how many minutes your students are watching, plus some additional engagement factors) but I’ve been receiving 4 figure checks from them since October 2017 based on the 10 short classes I’ve taught there (no class is longer than 45 minutes) over the last year and a half or so. (You also can earn $10 for every new member who signs up via your link.)
So there you have it: 8 Ways to Sell Digital Products Online (plus a bonus idea!)
What do you think: will you try any of these? Let us know in the comments below!