Digital Products 101: What You Need to Know About Selling Online

Here’s a riddle for you: what is something you cannot physically touch but can access from anywhere? A digital product!

Physical products are built in factories with workers, machines, and massive overhead costs. But digital products? You can build those right on your laptop. 

Thanks to tech getting better all the time and more people shopping from their sofas, ecommerce digital products are booming. And for those with something to teach or share, it’s a great time to earn.

Whether you’re a coach, consultant, or creator, digital products let you reach people all over the globe. This means you can help more people and make more money, all from your personal computer.

So let’s dive into the basics of digital goods and how you can turn them into profitable digital products.

In this article:

Why Create Digital Products?

Digital products offer fantastic perks for anyone looking to share their knowledge or creativity online. Here’s why digital products could be your ticket to business growth:

Easy to Scale

Scaling up your business with digital products is straightforward and efficient. You can multiply your impact and reach without the complexities associated with physical goods.

Replicate with Ease

Once you’ve created a digital product, you can sell it over and over again, without any extra costs. Unlike physical goods, there’s no need to worry about running out of stock.

Go Global

Sell your products to anyone, anywhere. No shipping, no fuss! This means your business can grow bigger and faster on an international scale.

Graphic of world showing how easy it is to scale a digital product internationally

Cut Costs, Not Corners

Embracing digital products not only streamlines your operations but also significantly cuts down on costs. Digital products can simplify your business processes while boosting profitability.

No Need for Storage

Digital products live online, so you don’t need to keep any inventory. This cuts down on costs and space.

Simpler Operations

Forget about the headaches of shipping and handling. Digital products mean fewer logistics and more time to focus on creating more products.

Instant Satisfaction

Digital downloads provide the instant gratification that modern day customers expect. Offering quick and easy access to your digital files can enhance customer satisfaction and encourage loyalty.

Immediate Access

Your customers can download and use your products right away. None of this “ships in 5-7 business days.” They get your product NOW. Fast delivery equals happy customers.

Keep Customers Coming Back

When customers are happy, there’s a good chance they’ll buy from you again and might even leave a great review to help spread the word.

An online customer rating his newly purchased digital product on his smart phone

Make Money While You Sleep

Embrace the power of automation to turn your digital product business into a 24/7 revenue-generating machine. Setting up automated systems can keep your earnings flowing day and night.

Automate Everything

Set up systems one time to handle tasks such as sales processing and email marketing automatically and let them run. Your own website can make sales day and night without you having to lift a finger.

Earn Ongoing Revenue

With subscriptions or memberships, you can keep earning from the same customers, providing a stable and predictable income.

Stay Agile and Innovative

In the fast-paced world of business, staying agile and innovative is key to success. Selling a digital product makes that easy.

Quickly Update Products

Easily tweak your products to stay ahead of market trends or respond to customer feedback.

More Sales Opportunities

Use upselling or cross-selling to boost your earnings. For example, you could sell an ebook and then cross-sell an exclusive webinar at a special price to sweeten the deal.

Digital products aren’t just a smart choice — they’re a strategic move for anyone looking to make a mark in today’s digital-first world. Whether you’re just starting out or you’re ready to take your online business to the next level, digital products open the door to financial freedom and business growth.

How to Pick Winning Digital Product Ideas

So you know why selling a digital product is a good idea. But which one should you sell?

No matter the type of digital product you choose to sell on your ecommerce platform, the number one rule for all of them should be: create captivating content. The best content creators design assets that grab and keep attention. Your content should be clear, engaging, and designed to make learning fun. Set that as your north star and follow it all the way to success.

Using a free design site like Canva can help make your products pop. Including bold fonts and engaging stock photos can help share your knowledge in a dynamic way.Here’s how you can spot those winning ideas that customers will love and that’ll make your online store a hit.

A potential customer searching for digital products on his laptop

Step 1: Choose Your Product Type

Diving into the digital product space starts with picking the right product. Think about what you know and see if there’s a gap in the market that matches your expertise. Some top-selling digital product categories are:

Online Courses: Teach What You Know

Online courses are a great way to share your skills. Whether it’s a course on leadership or a tutorial on how to start a podcast, the key is offering valuable knowledge that you’re passionate about.

An e-learning course could also be a part of a larger membership site for your audience that includes exclusive additional resources like live Q&A webinars and a community message board. There are several membership site pricing options for course creators you can consider.

Online Course Examples

  • A life coach might offer a course called “Transform Your Life in 30 Days,” with daily tasks to boost well-being and productivity.
  • A financial coach might offer a course titled “Personal Finance Mastery,” teaching budgeting, saving, and investing principles to help individuals achieve financial freedom.
  • An art teacher might create a course called “Paint Like a Pro in Six Weeks,” where students learn various painting techniques and complete a new piece of art each week.
  • A business strategist could develop a course named “Launch Your Startup Successfully,” providing aspiring entrepreneurs with step-by-step guidance on turning ideas into profitable businesses.
  • A yoga instructor might offer a course titled “Yoga for Everyday Wellness,” featuring daily routines to improve flexibility, reduce stress, and enhance overall health.

Templates: Make Life Easier

People love templates because they simplify complicated tasks they don’t have to do from scratch. Whether it’s a budget tracker or a resume builder, these tools help save time and reduce stress.

Template Examples

  • A business coach could create financial planning templates to help small business owners manage their budgets more effectively.
  • A social media expert might offer “Content Calendar Templates,” designed to help digital marketers and influencers plan and schedule their posts across platforms efficiently.
  • A project manager could create “Project Tracking Templates” for Excel, which allow teams to monitor project progress, deadlines, and budgets in a centralized, easy-to-understand format.
  • A graphic designer might develop “Brand Identity Design Templates,” including logo options, color palettes, and typography presets to help small businesses establish a cohesive brand look quickly.

An HR professional could offer “Employee Onboarding Checklists,” designed to streamline the process of integrating new employees into an organization, ensuring nothing is overlooked.

A woman relaxing on a couch buying a digital product on her tablet

eBooks: Write and Share

eBooks package your knowledge into easy-to-read formats, perfect for those who like to learn at their own pace. They can range from simple how-to guides to in-depth explorations of complex topics. If you want to learn more, here’s a step-by-step guide for how to write a successful eBook

eBook Examples

  • A marketing expert could pen “The Ultimate Guide to Digital Content Marketing,” a step-by-step eBook to mastering content creator strategies.
  • A health coach might write “Eat Clean, Live Vibrant,” an eBook offering recipes, meal plans, and nutritional advice to help readers adopt a healthier lifestyle.
  • A productivity expert could author “Half-Day Hustle,” providing techniques and tips for maximizing efficiency to potentially cut down working hours while increasing output.
  • A personal development coach could produce “Mindfulness for Everyday Living,” an eBook designed to teach beginners various mindfulness exercises that can be incorporated into daily routines to reduce stress and increase focus.
  • A gardening enthusiast might create “Urban Gardening for Beginners,” a guide for city dwellers looking to start their own gardens in small spaces, from balconies to windowsills.

Podcasts: Connect Through Conversation

Podcasts let you talk directly to your target audience, making them feel like they’re part of the conversation. They’re great for storytelling or deep dives into niche topics.

Podcast Examples

  • A financial expert might start a podcast named “Smart Money Moves,” offering tips and interviews on budgeting and investing.
  • A fitness coach might host a podcast called “Fit and Fearless,” where each episode features discussions on different workout routines, health tips, and motivational interviews with fitness experts and enthusiasts.
  • A career counselor could create “The Job Journey,” a podcast that provides advice on career development, resume building, and navigating job searches, with episodes featuring hiring managers and successful professionals sharing their insights.
  • An environmental activist might start a podcast named “Green Tomorrow,” focusing on sustainability topics, featuring interviews with experts in renewable energy, waste reduction, and eco-friendly living.
  • A tech enthusiast named Tom could launch “Tech Trends with Tom,” a podcast exploring the latest developments in technology, including AI, gadgets, and cybersecurity, with expert guests discussing implications for everyday tech users.

Printables: Ready-to-Use Resources

Printables like planners or educational worksheets are extremely popular for their convenience and practicality. They’re easy to download and use right away, perfect for quick learning or organizing.

Printable Examples

  • An art instructor could provide printable drawing guides that help beginners learn sketching basics step-by-step.
  • A wedding planner might create “Wedding Planning Checklists,” comprehensive guides that help couples organize their big day, from vendor lists to day-of schedules.
  • A financial advisor could offer “Monthly Budget Planners,” spreadsheets that allow individuals to track their income, expenses, and savings goals, helping them manage their finances more effectively.
  • An elementary school teacher might produce “Multiplication Table Worksheets,” colorful and engaging printable designed to help young students practice and improve their multiplication skills.
  • A life coach could provide “Goal Setting Templates,” designed to help users define, plan, and track their personal and professional goals throughout the year.

By choosing the right digital product based on what you know and love, you’re laying the groundwork for a successful digital venture.

Kickstart Your Digital Product Journey

Starting your journey with digital products is exciting and full of potential. As we’ve seen, there’s a huge opportunity for making scalable, passive income by sharing your expertise online. Another great aspect about making your first digital product sales is that you’re creating a group of customers primed for upselling and cross selling.

A digital products recap graphic that explains to identify your niche, create quality content, market smartly, and learn from the best

Quick Recap of Key Steps

To make your digital product venture successful, keep these points in mind:

Identify Your Niche

Start with what you know. Use your knowledge to create unique and useful digital products.

Create Quality Content

Make sure whatever you produce — whether it’s a course, ebook, or template — is engaging, helpful, and worth your audience’s time.

Market Smartly

Use your online presence and digital marketing skills to get your products in front of the right people.

Learn from the Best

Look at success stories for inspiration and adapt their winning strategies to suit your products.

Ready to Sell Online? Time to Act.

There’s no better time to start than now. Maybe sketch out some ideas for your first digital product or dive into some market research to figure out what your potential customers really need. With some hard work, creativity, and focus, you’re set to build a rewarding digital product business.

Remember: selling digital products isn’t just about profits – it’s about creating real value for your customers’ lives or businesses. Keep your mission in focus, stay open to feedback, and continually refine what you offer.

Next Steps with Kartra

Kartra is here to help you turn your digital product ideas into a thriving digital business.

From crafting conversion-optimized landing pages to setting up automated email campaigns, Kartra has everything you need to efficiently run and grow your digital product business. Want to get faster and easier marketing results? Read about how to automate your digital marketing with Kartra.