The Complete Guide to Creating and Selling Online Digital Products
The Complete Guide to Creating and Selling Online Digital Products
74 / 100

The Complete Guide to Creating and Selling Online Digital Products

Online digital products offer an immense opportunity for entrepreneurs and small business owners to generate income on the internet. By creating valuable digital products and selling them online, you can build a lucrative business with global reach and passive income potential.

This comprehensive guide will walk you through everything you need to know about creating, packaging and selling online digital products successfully.

What is a Digital Product?

A digital product is any type of product that exists in a digital format and can be downloaded or accessed online. Digital products require no physical manufacturing or shipping. Customers can purchase and receive them instantly via digital delivery.

Some examples of digital products include:

    • Ebooks, guides and reports
    • Online courses and webinars
    • Video tutorials, classes and documentaries
    • Website themes, templates and graphics
    • Digital art, stock photos, icons and illustrations
    • Audio files like podcasts, music and meditation tracks
    • Software, apps, plugins, extensions and scripts
    • Presentation templates, resume templates and planners
    • Virtual summits, conferences, workshops and retreats

Essentially, any valuable information, media, tools or services delivered in a digital format for customers to access instantly can be considered a digital product.

The digital format offers distinct advantages that make these products attractive for both sellers and buyers.

Definition of a Digital Product

A digital product refers to any intangible item that is created, delivered and used in an electronic format rather than a physical one. Digital products require no manufacturing or shipping. They are distributed via digital downloads or online access.

While physical products are concrete items you can see and touch, digital products cannot be physically held. They may include audio, video, text, software or other digital data for customers to download or stream online.

Digital products range from documents like ebooks, guides and templates to complex software programs, apps and website assets. The product is the information, media or service – not a physical disc or object you can store on a shelf.

Some core characteristics that define digital products include:

    • Non-physical format accessed electronically
    • Instant delivery via download or online access
    • Often easily reproducible at low cost
    • Data-based product typically created on computer
    • Delivers value via content, media, software, templates, etc
    • No need for manufacturing or shipping
    • Exists in files such as PDF, MP3, MP4, JPEG, etc
    • Requires a device and internet to access and use

The ability to instantly purchase, receive and use digital products online is a big draw for time-strapped consumers. For sellers, the lack of overhead makes digital products extremely attractive low-cost business ventures.

Examples of Digital Products

To understand the immense possibilities in creating digital products, it helps to explore popular examples currently selling successfully online:

Digital Downloads

    • Ebooks, guides, checklists, templates, planners, etc in PDF format
    • Audiobooks, podcasts, meditation tracks, subliminals in MP3 format
    • Stock photos, graphics, illustrations, wallpapers in JPEG format
    • Videos, slideshows, animation files in MP4 format

These are static, premade digital files customers instantly download after purchase. Downloads may offer one-time access or resale licensing options.

Online Courses

    • Video lessons, tutorials, how-to training content
    • Recorded webinars or virtual workshops
    • Curriculum access and teaching materials
    • Quizzes, worksheets, certificates of completion

Online learning products that teach skills through structured video or multimedia content. Customers access via membership site.

Software and Apps

    • Computer software, mobile and tablet apps
    • Browser extensions, plugins, add-ons
    • Scripts, code snippets and widgets

Digital tools and utilities that serve a particular function or make tasks easier. Users download or access online.

Website Assets

    • Website templates, themes, graphics, stock media
    • HTML website templates, WordPress themes
    • Font bundles, design elements and assets

Ready-made web design resources buyers can use for their own sites and projects.

Virtual Events and Communities

    • Virtual summits, conferences, courses or retreat access
    • Interactive forums and social learning platforms
    • Private membership site access, masterminds

Ongoing digital event and training programs users purchase access to. Combines teachings, community and expert interaction.

This list just scratches the surface of the types of valuable digital products that can be created and sold online. The possibilities are truly endless!

Advantages of Selling Digital Products

Launching a business based around selling digital products online offers significant advantages over traditional physical products.

Low Production and Distribution Costs

Once a digital product is created, replication costs are extremely low. Hosting files on a server and allowing digital downloads is far cheaper than manufacturing and shipping physical goods.

High Margins

Without production, inventory and shipping costs, profit margins on digital products can be very high. Price is mostly determined by the value delivered to customers rather than production expenses.

Global Availability

Digital products can be purchased and accessed instantly by anyone around the world with an internet connection. There are no geographic restrictions or shipping logistics to manage.

Scalability

A digital product can be purchased an unlimited number of times without scarcity. Inventory never runs out. More customers and sales require no additional overhead.

No Expiration

Digital products do not go “out of stock” or expire like physical products. They can continue generating sales indefinitely with minimal upkeep.

Accessibility

Buyers can access digital products from anywhere using devices they already own like computers, tablets and phones. No special equipment is required.

Ease of Updates

Digital products can be updated, tweaked or expanded easily without reproduction expenses. Customer feedback can inform improvements.

Environmentally Friendly

No manufacturing or transport means digital products produce less waste and carbon emissions than physical goods. They are greener alternatives.

Passive Income Potential

Digital products lend themselves to passive income generation. Make once then earn from ongoing digital sales with minimal additional effort.

Building a business around selling digital products online capitalizes on these advantages. The digital format maximizes opportunities while minimizing overhead and logistical burdens.

However, creating high-quality, compelling digital products does require significant upfront effort.

How to Create a Digital Product

Developing a successful digital product involves careful planning, preparation and commitment. Follow these steps:

Identify Your Target Audience

Defining the target audience for your digital product is one of the most crucial steps. The more clearly you can identify whose specific needs you aim to meet, the better you can tailor your product accordingly.

Gather details on:

    • Demographic – age, gender, location, income level, etc
    • Interests, values and priorities
    • Level of skill or experience
    • Problems or pain points they face
    • How they currently meet related needs
    • Benefits they hope to obtain

The goal is to form an archetype representing your ideal customer avatar. This clarity ensures you create relevant content.

Choose the Right Digital Product Format

Selecting the most suitable format for delivering your product allows you to share your knowledge, services or tools most effectively.

Popular options include:

    • Ebooks or PDF guides – Best for delivering written information like “how-to” advice, tips, tutorials, etc. Include images, graphics and interactive elements. Format in an attractive, professional layout.
    • Online courses – For teaching skills through a structured curriculum of video lessons, quizzes and downloadable companion materials over multiple modules. Host on a membership platform.
    • Webinars – Hold live or pre-recorded webinars going in-depth on popular topics viewers want education on. Record for later sales.
    • Digital downloads – If offering digital art, stock photos, printables, music, sound effects, website themes or other creative files for instant download after purchase.
    • Software or apps – For utility programs, mobile apps, browser extensions, scripts, widgets etc. that serve a functional purpose. Users download to their devices or access via cloud.
    • Membership community – Creates ongoing value through immersive training programs, coaching, forums and expert interaction inside a private members area.

Select formats fitting for the material you will be teaching, tools you will provide or services you will offer. Ensure the format aligns with what your audience will find most engaging and delivers maximum value.

Create Valuable Content

For digital products focused on educating through written, video or audio content, the quality of your content is make-or-break. You must develop truly helpful, actionable content addressing your audience’s needs in order for them to benefit and be satisfied with their purchase.

Your content should:

    • Clearly convey useful, relevant information
    • Be comprehensive yet digestible
    • Include stories, examples and case studies
    • Feature visual aids like photos, charts or graphic elements
    • Allow interactive engagement through worksheets, quizzes, etc.
    • Be professionally formatted for the chosen medium

Devise a production schedule and timeline. Set milestones to stay on track developing all your content components fully before launch.

Package Products Professionally

For tangible value, digital products must be packaged to polished standards. Use graphic design tools like Canva to create covers, marketing materials, PDF layouts, etc. Formatting should look clean and visually engaging.

Carefully construct:

    • Ebook cover and chapter pages
    • Video or course lesson flow
    • Website page content, layout, graphics
    • Software user experience and interface
    • Sales page visuals, graphics and copy

Strong visual presentation elevates any digital product and instills buyer confidence.

Test and Refine

Before launching, product testing is a must. Have a small focus group try using your digital product to catch issues. Collect feedback on:

    • Overall usefulness and relevance
    • Areas for improvement
    • Errors, bugs or technical problems
    • Confusing sections
    • Desired features or content

Use insights gleaned to refine and optimize the product prior to release.

By progressing through these key steps – identifying your audience, selecting the right format, creating stellar content, professional packaging and testing for improvements – you set your digital product up for success.

How to Sell a Digital Product Online

Once your digital product is polished and prepared, it’s time to launch it online. Follow these best practices to generate sales:

Choose a Selling Platform

Select an ecommerce platform or membership solution suited to securely deliver your digital product:

    • Membership plugins like MemberPress or WishList Member for protected content
    • Learning management systems like Teachable or Thinkific for online courses
    • Ecommerce platforms like Shopify, WooCommerce, or Gumroad for downloads and tools
    • App marketplaces like the Chrome Web Store for browser extensions
    • Theme marketplaces like ThemeForest for website templates

The platform should make it easy to showcase your product, process payments, enable downloads, and smoothly fulfill purchases.

Create an Engaging Website

Your own website dedicated to the product gives you full creative control over design and messaging. Ensure your site:

    • Captures attention with stark graphics and bold headlines
    • Clearly communicates the core value proposition
    • Showcases visuals demonstrating product benefits
    • Uses testimonials and social proof
    • Answers buyer questions and objections
    • Includes calls-to-action for purchase
    • Guides visitors smoothly through the buying process

A high-converting website fuels digital product sales.

Implement Marketing Strategies

Marketing for digital products centers on driving highly targeted, low-cost traffic to your site. Effective tactics include:

    • Search engine optimization (SEO) – Optimize website content for keywords potential buyers search related to your product. This allows you to rank highly in search engines and gain organic traffic.
    • Social media marketing – Promote your product actively on relevant social platforms through advertising, influencer partnerships, and engaging community building.
    • Email marketing – Send emails to warm leads guiding them through the buyer journey. Nurture contacts using autoresponders and funnels.
    • Content marketing – Create free, valuable content like blog posts, guides and videos that attract your target audience and build authority in your niche.
    • Paid advertising – Run ads on Google, Facebook, Instagram etc. to put your offer directly in front of people likely to convert. Target interest-based keywords and demographics.
    • Affiliate marketing – Recruit partners who promote your product to their own audiences in exchange for a portion of resulting sales. Expand reach efficiently.

Driving traffic through multiple channels ensures consistent flow of potential buyers to your digital product website or sales page.

How to Price Your Digital Product

Determining the right price point for maximum profit involves evaluating multiple factors:

Assess the Value You Offer

Consider the needs your product meets and tangible outcomes it provides. More specialized knowledge and dramatic transformation command higher prices. If your product saves people time or money, quantify those benefits.

Research Competitor Product Pricing

See what other digital products in your niche sell for. Both higher end premium options and budget competitors. Use this intel to position your pricing and value competitively.

Calculate Your Costs

Factor in expenses like software, talent, production and marketing. To profit, your asking price must cover costs plus desired earnings.

Consider Perceived Value

Sometimes a higher price itself indicates greater value in buyers’ minds. Avoid underpricing products that provide rich knowledge or transformative results.

Test Different Price Points

Try pricing variants with different groups. Gauge price sensitivity by raising or lowering cost and assessing buyer response and purchase rates.

Ideally choose multiple price points for tiered purchase options. This accommodates every budget while maximizing customer lifetime value.

Offer Discounts Strategically

Limited-time discounts or coupon codes prompt impulse purchases. Just ensure special deals still allow profitability.

Price for profit, value and positioning – not production costs alone. Digital products provide flexibility to adjust pricing to find the ideal balance.

How to Deliver Digital Products

Flawless fulfillment completes the digital product sale process professionally:

Automate Delivery

Streamline delivery by integrating automation technology that instantly grants access or sends download links upon purchase completion.

Offer Multiple Download Options

Provide files in universally compatible formats like PDF and MP3 that can be downloaded directly or accessed using provided links and access keys.

Craft Clear Download Instructions

Include steps for grabbing purchased files from your site or instructions for loading to desired devices like mobile phones, tablets or e-readers.

Send Confirmation Emails

Email purchase receipts detailing successful order completion and containing download access instructions, links and important information like license terms.

Troubleshoot Issues Swiftly

Monitor buyer comments for download difficulties. Provide prompt customer service to help troubleshoot technical problems or fulfillment issues.

Automated systems combined with helpful customer support aid seamless delivery – the final step to a smooth purchasing process.

Grow Your Digital Product Business

Once you achieve initial success with one digital product, several avenues exist to scale up:

Expand Into Additional Products

Launching complementary products focused on related or more advanced topics can be an effective way to retain the interest of your existing audience. By delving deeper into topics that your audience is already interested in, you can offer them advanced knowledge, skills, or tools that will enhance their experience. For example, if you have a successful fitness app targeted towards beginners, you could launch a complementary product such as a fitness guidebook that addresses more advanced training techniques or nutrition plans for intermediate or advanced users. This way, your existing audience can continue their fitness journey with your brand, and you can tap into their loyalty. Additionally, creating products tailored to an entirely new niche can help you expand your customer base. Carry out market research to identify unmet needs or opportunities in a different market segment that aligns with your expertise or brand values. By leveraging your existing resources and knowledge, you can enter a new niche with a product that addresses the specific challenges or desires of that audience. For instance, if you have a successful eco-friendly cleaning product line, you could create a new range of products specifically designed for baby care, considering the needs of parents who prioritize environmentally friendly and safe products for their infants. This allows you to enter a new market while leveraging your existing expertise in sustainability. In both cases, it’s vital to conduct thorough market research to validate the demand and ensure there is a strong fit between the product and the target audience. Failure to align with your existing audience or the new niche may result in a lack of interest or poor reception of your products.

Offer Bundled Deals

Bundle multiple products together at a package discount for added perceived value. This boosts average order value. Offering a package deal with multiple products at a discounted price can create a sense of added value for customers. By bundling products together, customers may perceive that they are getting a better deal than if they were to purchase each item individually. This can encourage customers to spend more money and increase their average order value. For example, if a customer is interested in purchasing a laptop, offering a bundle package that includes the laptop, a laptop bag, and a wireless mouse at a discounted price could entice them to add more items to their cart. The customer may perceive that they are getting a better deal by purchasing the bundle, rather than buying each item separately. By offering bundle packages with discounted prices, businesses can encourage customers to spend more overall, as the perceived value of the package is higher than the actual cost. This can be an effective strategy to increase average order value and boost sales.

Create Higher-Priced Premium Versions

Add premium offerings like exclusive content, bonus materials, unlimited updates, or coaching access at higher price points for lucrative upsells. Premium offerings are a fantastic way to generate lucrative upsells and provide additional value to your customers. Here are some ideas for premium offerings you can incorporate: 1. Exclusive Content: Create specialized content that dives deeper into the subject matter, offers advanced tips and strategies, or provides insider information. This could be in the form of e-books, video courses, podcasts, or even live webinars. 2. Bonus Materials: Include supplemental materials that enhance the customer’s experience. This could be additional worksheets, templates, case studies, or cheat sheets that complement the main product or service. 3. Unlimited Updates: Offer customers continuous access to updated and improved versions of your product or service. This adds value by ensuring they receive the latest features, knowledge, or techniques, keeping them ahead of the game. 4. Coaching Access: Provide direct access to you or expert coaches who can offer personalized guidance and support to customers. This could be through one-on-one coaching sessions, group coaching calls, or access to a private community where they can ask questions and receive expert advice. 5. VIP Experiences: Offer exclusive perks or experiences to customers who purchase the premium package. This can include priority customer service, early access to new features, invitation-only events, or even personalized gifts. 6. Collaborations: Partner with other industry experts or complementary brands to offer joint products or services. These collaborations could provide exclusive bundles, combined expertise, or cross-promotion opportunities, adding more value and appeal to your premium offerings. 7. Customization Options: Allow customers to personalize their experience by offering customization features. This could include tailored recommendations, personalized assessments, or the ability to customize certain aspects of your product or service to their specific needs. Remember, when designing premium offerings, it’s important to research your target audience’s needs and desires to ensure you’re providing value they’ll be willing to pay for. Regularly evaluate and update your premium offerings based on customer feedback and market trends to maintain their appeal and profitability.

Diversify Your Product Types

Start with one format like an online course then expand into ebooks, membership sites, software tools, events etc. Appeal to customers in multiple ways.

Cultivate Communities

Develop engaged user communities around your brand and knowledge using forums, membership sites, masterminds etc. These foster loyalty beyond individual product sales.

License Resell Rights

Allow other sellers to resell your products for a licensing fee, multiplying your distribution reach. Insert branding and tracking to monitor sales.

Recruit Affiliates

Partner with influencers in your niche who promote your products to their own followings for commission on referrals.

Continuing to nurture your digital products, brand and audiences creates diversified income streams over the long-term.

Conclusion

Selling digital products necessitates upfront effort but offers immense flexibility, scalability and profitability. By identifying audience needs, packaging your knowledge into professional high-value formats, marketing online strategically, automating delivery, and continuing to nurture your brand, anyone can build a thriving digital product business.

Focus on solving problems and transforming lives through digital products, and your business is set to thrive.

FAQ: The Complete Guide to Creating and Selling Online Digital Products

What is a Digital Product? A digital product is any intangible item that exists in a digital format and can be accessed or downloaded online. These products require no physical manufacturing or shipping and are delivered electronically. Examples of Digital Products:
  1. Ebooks, Guides, Reports: In PDF format, providing written information and advice.
  2. Online Courses, Webinars: Structured video or multimedia content for skill development.
  3. Video Tutorials, Classes, Documentaries: Educational content delivered via video files.
  4. Website Themes, Templates, Graphics: Ready-made resources for web design.
  5. Digital Art, Stock Photos, Icons, Illustrations: Creative assets like JPEG images.
  6. Audio Files: Including podcasts, music, and meditation tracks in MP3 format.
  7. Software, Apps, Plugins, Extensions, Scripts: Functional tools and utilities for various applications.
  8. Presentation Templates, Resume Templates, Planners: Tools for professional or personal use.
  9. Virtual Summits, Conferences, Workshops, Retreats: Online events and training programs.
Advantages of Selling Digital Products:
  1. Low Production Costs: No need for manufacturing or shipping.
  2. High Profit Margins: Minimal overhead costs compared to physical products.
  3. Global Reach: Accessible to anyone worldwide with an internet connection.
  4. Scalability: Products can be sold infinitely without additional production costs.
  5. No Expiration: Products do not go out of stock or expire.
How to Create a Digital Product:
  1. Identify Your Target Audience: Define demographics, interests, and needs of your ideal customer.
  2. Choose the Right Format: Select the best delivery method (e.g., ebook, online course) based on content type.
  3. Create Valuable Content: Develop informative, engaging content that addresses customer pain points.
  4. Package Products Professionally: Design covers, layouts, and interfaces to enhance user experience.
  5. Test and Refine: Gather feedback and make improvements before launching.
How to Sell a Digital Product Online:
  1. Choose a Selling Platform: Use ecommerce platforms or membership sites tailored for digital products.
  2. Create an Engaging Website: Design a website that highlights product benefits and guides users through the purchasing process.
  3. Implement Marketing Strategies: Use SEO, social media, email marketing, content marketing, paid ads, and affiliate marketing to drive traffic.
  4. Price Your Digital Product: Consider value, competitor pricing, costs, and market demand to set an optimal price.
  5. Deliver Digital Products: Automate delivery processes and provide clear instructions to customers.
How to Grow Your Digital Product Business:
  1. Expand Into Additional Products: Develop related or advanced products to retain existing customers and attract new ones.
  2. Offer Bundled Deals: Combine products for a discounted package deal to increase average order value.
  3. Create Higher-Priced Premium Versions: Add exclusive content, updates, or coaching services at premium prices for upselling opportunities.
  4. Diversify Your Product Types: Offer different formats (e.g., courses, ebooks) to cater to diverse customer preferences.
  5. Cultivate Communities: Build engaged communities around your brand through forums, memberships, or masterminds.

Contents

By Dani Davis

A true visionary in the realms of tech writing, digital storytelling, and e-commerce, Daniel Davis (known as Dani) has carved out an exceptional career spanning over 15 years. Born and raised in San Francisco, Dani's innate affinity for technology and creative expression propelled them to explore the intricacies of computer science while honing their storytelling abilities. Their unique blend of technical expertise and narrative prowess laid the foundation for their multifaceted success. Dani's journey has been marked by groundbreaking achievements, including authoring bestselling books that demystify complex technological concepts through captivating narratives. As the founder of the influential online platform "TechTales," Dani has created a hub for educational content, podcasts, and video essays that cater to tech enthusiasts worldwide. Moreover, as the head writer of InfoProductHQ.com, a leading resource for e-commerce and digital marketing, Dani has established themselves as a preeminent authority in the field of online business and entrepreneurship. Their consulting work, speaking engagements, and advocacy efforts have inspired countless individuals, solidifying their legacy as a true pioneer in the digital age.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *