How to Create and Sell Your First Digital Product
Launching a digital product provides huge opportunities to turn your skills, knowledge, and creativity into a sustainable business. With low startup costs and global reach, digital products allow bootstrapping a lucrative online income source over time.
However, for first-time creators, determining exactly how to identify, create, package and successfully sell your initial digital product offering can seem daunting.
This comprehensive guide covers a step-by-step process for developing your first marketable digital product. Follow this roadmap to identify your strengths, validate concepts, create content, and market your offerings profitably as a solopreneur.
Benefits of Selling Digital Products
Some key advantages that make digital products attractive online business models:
- Low overhead – No physical production, inventory or shipping costs to manage.
- High profit margins – Income per sale exceeds typical margins for physical products.
- Easy distribution – Deliver products instantly online 24/7.
- Global reach – Sell to customers worldwide. No geographic limits.
- Passive income – Make money from work already completed with minimal ongoing time input needed.
- Flexibility – Operate anywhere with an internet connection.
- Scalability– Reach an unlimited audience. No incremental production or delivery costs.
- Small start – Test ideas and start selling with minimal upfront investment.
The combination of lucrative profits and sheer accessibility make digital products the ideal small business venture to launch online.
Step 1 – Identify Your Niche
Start by determining what type of digital product aligns closest with your innate skills, interests and experience.
Evaluate Your Skills
What specialized knowledge or expertise do you already possess that provides value to others?
What Do You Love?
What are your passionate interests you enjoy creating content around?
Consider Previous Experience
What aspects of your background and past projects could be repackaged into digital products?
Identify Personal Challenges Overcome
What problems have you solved for yourself that your target audience likely faces too?
Research Current Market Gaps
Are there digital products and solutions lacking that you could reasonably create yourself?
Talk to Your Audience
Ask existing social media followers and email lists what products they need most right now.
The most profitable niches align tightly with your inherent strengths and passions. This maximizes motivation to put in the work building a business.
Step 2 – Validate Your Digital Product Idea
Before investing time into creating a digital product, validate actual demand in the market first.
Research Competitor Products
Search for existing similar digital products to analyze pricing, feature comparisons and real buyer reviews. Identify gaps.
Examine Search Volume Data
Use Google’s Keyword Planner to measure search volumes indicating interest level around product topics.
Survey Your Audience
Ask your email list and existing followers if they would purchase this digital product at various price points.
Join Relevant Online Communities
Read through related forums and groups to spot common questions and pain points your digital product could address.
Create a Landing Page
Make a basic Leadpages landing page advertising your idea and see how many opt-ins or pre-orders you capture.
Talk to Industry Experts
Discuss your proposed product with experienced professionals in your niche to gather objective feedback.
Zeroing in on high-demand digital product opportunities boosts your odds of succeeding before investing extensive effort into creation.
Step 3 – Outline Your Digital Product
Once confident your digital product fills a need, map out the structure and components.
Define the Core Purpose
Summarize in 1-2 sentences what outcome the product delivers for customers.
Identify Key Features
Brainstorm every component and asset to include that supports the core goal.
Organize Chapters and Sections
Group related features into logical chapters and modules building consecutively.
Determine Technical Specifications
Will you need video, audio, worksheets, downloads, etc.? Define required formats and elements.
Brainstorm Bonus Add-Ons
Consider free extras like cheat sheets, discounts and templates to enhance perceived value.
Map Customer Journey
Outline the optimal learning path and steps customers move through to reach objectives.
Thoroughly planning the architecture and components ensures creating a cohesive, high-value customer experience from the start.
Step 4 – Set Specific Content Creation Goals
To stay on track creating digital products, set concrete content output goals.
Assign deadlines for completing each component and module. Build in buffer time.
Set Word Counts
Define target word counts for written sections to produce comprehensive yet tight content.
Budget Time Per Component
Allocate production times for creating each lesson, worksheet, graphic etc. based on complexity.
Account for Review Cycles
Factor in time for feedback, testing and refining each piece of content. Don’t rush quality.
Outline Graphic Requirements
Catalog every visual asset like photos, illustrations, videos, slides, graphics and templates the product entails.
Inventory Software and Tools
List every program, app, subscription and resource needed to execute production at high standards.
Create a Style Guide
Ensure consistent fonts, colors, branding, tone of voice, formats etc. Align to your brand style.
Defined milestones and clarity on requirements make developing digital products far simpler and less overwhelming.
Step 5 – Create Informational Content That Sells
For content-centric digital products, persuasive messaging is crucial for sales. Useful copywriting tips:
Lead with the Big Promise
Summarize the exact tangible outcome customers get immediately in the headline and teasers. Establish immense value fast.
Appeal to Emotions
Emphasize how your product will make people feel – more confident, productive, respected etc. People buy based on feelings over logic.
Speak Their Language
Use words and terminology your niche actually uses. Reflect their values. Create in-group rapport.
Focus on You, Not Me
Keep messaging centered around customers and benefits. Avoid excessive “I/we/our” references unless relaying credibility boosting company achievements.
Include Social Proof
Sprinkle in testimonials, expert endorsements, media logos and numbers conveying massive adoption wherever possible to establish authority and trust.
Make It Action-Oriented
Rather than explaining features and specifications, focus copy on tangible outcomes – what customers can accomplish and produce using your product.
Craft a Motivating Call-to-Action
Encourage immediate action with urgent, benefit-focused slogans and prompt buttons – eg “Enroll Now to Start Getting Hired Faster.”
Savvy informational copy drives engagement and conversions by providing invaluable solutions – not just listing generic product features.
Step 6 – Optimize Digital Product Appearance
A polished, professional design reassures buyers and boosts perceived value. Useful tips:
Maintain Visual Brand Consistency
Keep fonts, colors, logos and graphic style cohesive with your overall brand identity across all materials.
Format Slides and Graphics for Scannability
Use ample negative space, brief bulleted text, and visuals supporting written content for quick digestion.
Enhance Presentations with Illustrations
Incorporate original drawings, characters, icons and images to make presentations more memorable. Avoid cheesy generic clipart.
Include Engaging Video Content
Well produced videos demonstrate concepts clearly while building deeper connections through personal narration.
Make Worksheets and Guides Visually Inviting
Thoughtful graphic embellishments like elegant frames, subtle patterns and color coding give materials greater aesthetic appeal.
Optimize Photos and Imagery
Select high-quality professionally shot photos tailored to your niche. Images should heighten engagement and relevance.
Check Formatting for Accessibility
Ensure any text guides are optimized for accessibility including options for dyslexic readers. Format for screen readers.
Appealing design showcases your expertise while ensuring digital products feel worth the investment for buyers.
Step 7 – Plan Your Digital Product Pricing Strategy
Carefully costing digital products boosts overall profitability. Useful pricing factors to consider:
Account for any software, talent, subscriptions, hosting and assets purchased for creation and ongoing product management.
See what competing or similar digital products currently sell for. Consider positioning priced at/above/below based on advantages.
Gauge Audience Willingness-to-Pay
Survey potential customers to measure what price points they perceive as fair value for your offering.
Factor in Uniqueness
If no or few competing products exist, you can justify charging premium rates to capitalize on exclusivity.
Evaluate Comparable Services
Research pricing for similar offline services to assess acceptable digital price norms based on value delivered.
Assess Potential Market Size
Pricing should factor in total lifetime customers. Niche products warrant higher pricing than mass market.
Digital offerings with high costs to produce but that can scale infinitely warrant higher pricing to maximize ROI.
Methodically weighing these facets helps strike the optimal balance between earnings and accessibility to grow revenue responsibly.
Step 8 – Set Up Your Digital Product Sales Page
Creating high-converting sales pages dramatically increases customers. Useful tips for optimizing landing pages:
Lead with a Punchy Headline
Open with a primary headline and subheadline prominently highlighting the core value proposition.
Educate Visitors Immediately
Explain what the product encompasses, modules included, delivery formats etc. right up front so visitors quickly grasp what they’re getting.
Use High-Quality Images
Include photos of the product experience – eg shots of beautifully designed digital guides or course dashboard screenshots.
Back up claims with specific figures demonstrating product results and peer adoption. Build credibility.
Feature Engaging Testimonials
Validate claims through positive customer reviews and results sharing tangible benefits received.
Reiterate Benefits Clearly
Emphasize primary benefits consistently in headlines, copy, graphs etc. so visitors can’t miss them.
Add Social Proof Elements
Trust badges, certifications, media logos and influencer endorsements increase perceived legitimacy.
Urge Visitors to Take Action
Prompt visitors to purchase through clear call-to-action (CTA) buttons reinforcing value.
Compelling sales page copy, social proof and design elements convert interested visitors into paying customers.
Step 9 – Build a Simple First Digital Product
For your debut digital offering, start with a simple product requiring minimal specialized skills to build confidence. Some manageable options to consider for a first release include:
10 Tips PDF Checklist
- Compile your top 10 tips on a specialized topic into a scannable shareable PDF.
Step-by-Step Video Tutorial
- Create a ~10 minute instructional screen recorded video walking through a process.
How-to Guide eBook
- Expand the most in-demand content from your blog into a polished guide.
- Aggregate the top tools, services, blogs etc. related to your niche topic into a published list.
- Design professionally branded email templates for various business functions that buyers can customize.
- Distill key insights from interviews with industry experts into a downloadable summary.
Curated Digital Asset Bundle
- Bundle together fonts, templates, graphics etc. into a cohesive set around a theme.
Worksheets and Printables
- Produce kits with worksheets, planners, guides and trackers buyers can print and use.
Begin selling simpler digital goods to get comfortable creating products from end-to-end before investing in complex digital assets.
Step 10 – Market and Sell Your Digital Product
Once your first saleable digital product is ready, get the word out strategically. Some key launch marketing tips:
Soft Launch to Your Audience
Release early to your email list subscribers first to catch bugs and gather feedback before public launch.
Coordinate Social Media Posts
Share launch announcements and download links prominently across your social channels on release day.
Run Paid Ads
Run small paid search and social ads targeted around your product keywords and ideal buyer demographics.
Promote to Friends and Family
Ask your personal network to show support by purchasing, reviewing, and spreading the word during launch week.
Send to Influencers
Gift pre-release copies to relevant influencers, bloggers and industry experts in exchange for reviews and mentions.
Look for Cross-Promo Opportunities
Partner with complementary brands and creators to co-promote digital products to each other’s audiences.
Join Related Communities
Engage in niche forums and groups, providing value and building authority leading up to release.
Strategic marketing generates initial sales momentum and brand awareness about your new digital offering as you start.
Step 11 – Slowly Build Your Digital Catalog
Rather than trying to produce everything at once, take an incremental growth approach long-term.
See how your initial product performs before investing in new offerings. Refine based on user feedback.
Identify Upsell Opportunities
Brainstorm complementary offerings suited to the same buyer audience like guides, toolkits and premium training.
Add to existing themes. For example, grow an ebook series into a full curriculum over time.
Test different formats like online courses, in-depth reports, hands-on video tutorials etc. to determine ideal products for your audience.
Recycle Evergreen Content
Repackage popular blog posts, examples, diagrams etc. into new derivative digital products like cheatsheets.
Leverage Third Party Platforms
Once products are fleshed out, expand distribution through additional channels like Udemy, Skillshare, Creative Market etc.
Build confidence while keeping early efforts small in scope. With validation established, increase production incrementally.
Launching digital products provides huge income potential with minimal startup costs for first-time entrepreneurs. But determining which digital offering to create and optimally bringing it to market involves learning best practices.
Follow proven product validation, development, pricing, marketing and sales optimization steps to minimize overwhelm and avoid missteps when launching your debut digital product. Small beginnings set the stage for refining models and processes over time as business grows.
What tips do you have for fellow first-time digital product creators and sellers? What lessons learned can you share from your initial launch experiences? Please leave your best recommendations in the comments below!
- 1 How to Create and Sell Your First Digital Product
- 1.1 Benefits of Selling Digital Products
- 1.2 Step 1 – Identify Your Niche
- 1.3 Step 2 – Validate Your Digital Product Idea
- 1.4 Step 3 – Outline Your Digital Product
- 1.5 Step 4 – Set Specific Content Creation Goals
- 1.6 Step 5 – Create Informational Content That Sells
- 1.7 Step 6 – Optimize Digital Product Appearance
- 1.8 Step 7 – Plan Your Digital Product Pricing Strategy
- 1.9 Step 8 – Set Up Your Digital Product Sales Page
- 1.10 Step 9 – Build a Simple First Digital Product
- 1.11 Step 10 – Market and Sell Your Digital Product
- 1.12 Step 11 – Slowly Build Your Digital Catalog
- 1.13 Conclusion