Due to the growing popularity of digital products, many companies build their businesses around these intangible goods. From music to videos, ebooks to online courses, they have found their way into the homes of countless consumers worldwide.
Trading digital products is a low-cost way to open a new stream of income since these types of products can be created once and sold over and over again without having to replenish any inventory. Whether you have dreams of making it big or are simply looking for a passive income stream, diversifying your revenue is a smart thing to do. In today’s article, our digital marketing agency here in Chicago will guide you through some of the most profitable digital products to sell in 2021.
Table of Contents:
- What are digital products
- Top reasons for selling digital products
- Challenges to overcome
- Which digital products to sell in 2021
- Where to sell your digital products
What are digital products?
Digital products are software-enabled intangible products. They often come in the form of downloadable or streamable digital files (MP3, PDF, videos, plugins…). Basically, it is any virtual item that can be downloaded, streamed, or transformed into a physical product through technological devices.
Top reasons for selling digital products
Selling digital products offer many advantages, especially when compared to trading physical goods:
- Low investment/high ROI – You don’t have to be tech-savvy or have an entire team behind you to create digital products. Sometimes all you need is time and creativity. When it comes to ebooks, for example, you don’t have any printing costs; all you need to do is write and upload it. This opens up the potential for higher profit margins.
- No need for a physical store, inventory, and shipping – E-commerce marketplaces are relatively cheap compared to renting a physical store. Since the item you are selling is intangible, you can forget about storing and shipping costs, as well as the logistics.
- More profitable than physical products – Not only can you sell digital products at higher margins, but that margin also has the ability to increase over time since you don’t need any extra money to create more units.
- Automated delivery – Even if you spend most of your time doing your regular full-time job, automated delivery will keep a constant cash flow.
- Serving a niche – Serving a specific target audience is much easier than competing on a larger scale.
- Shifting towards online education – As more and more businesses shift online, the demand for digital products is skyrocketing. The global online education market is estimated to reach $319+ billion by the year 2025.
Challenges to overcome
When looking for digital products to sell in 2021, it is important to consider the challenges that trading these types of goods may bring:
- Competing with free content – No matter what type of digital product(s) you choose to sell, there are usually free alternatives online. This is why you need to carefully choose your niche, produce high-quality products, and employ a strategy to raise awareness about your brand.
- Susceptibility to piracy – When it comes to digital products, there is always a risk of piracy. However, it can be avoided or at least reduced if you employ the right tools and steps to protect your intellectual property.
Which digital products to sell in 2021?
With so many digital products to sell, we have provided you with a plethora of insight into the different categories you can sell online.
You don’t have to be a bestselling writer to write an ebook. As long as you have some knowledge to share, you qualify. With people constantly searching for more knowledge, ebooks have shown to be one of the best digital products to sell. All that an ebook needs are a few relevant images, and quality text for your specific audience. Think about how you can share your expertise with others and transform it into writing.
Online courses, like ebooks, are all about turning your expertise into a source of revenue. Combine it with a passion for sharing and creativity, and you have the perfect digital product to sell.
Whether it’s a new hobby or simply looking for ways to advance professionally, people like learning from the comfort of their own homes. To get yourself in the best position to create an engaging educational course, start with learner outcomes. In other words, think about what you want your online students to know or be able to do at the end of the course. From there you can incorporate quizzes or different interactive activities, anything that helps you and your students break up the content and make studying fun.
Below are some areas of expertise that when translated into online courses, make perfect digital products to sell:
- Guitar or any other instrument lessons
- Dance classes
- Job search
- Professional development
- Graphic design
- Arts and crafts
Online courses are not limited to education. You can also tap into your customers’ own potential after the sale and teach transformative ways for how they can improve.
Rather than selling individual digital products, you may choose to bundle them together. Disclosing these products behind a paid subscription is a great way to generate a steady inflow of revenue.
This approach is extremely popular among those who maintain a growing library of premium content since it allows them to nurture a community of members and cash in their content marketing efforts. As your content is accessible to your paying subscribers, you can also host exclusive content available for download as well as streaming.
As an agency that offers web design services, we are aware that there are many designers out there on a tight schedule and in search of the right elements necessary to complete their work. If you are a passionate designer, then your toolbox is likely to be packed with everything you need to produce attractive digital products to sell.
From vector icons and textures to objects and typefaces, you are only limited by your imagination and the time you set aside. There is an array of products that can generate passive income while you continue your day-to-day work with your clients.
Whether you are a blogger using Sage WordPress theme or a couple looking for that perfect wedding invitation, templates get the job done fast. From designing a website to designing a business card, professionals use templates to complete tasks that either falls out of their area of expertise or require a substantial amount of time to finish. Here are some of the templates you could sell:
- Digital marketing strategy templates
- Business planning templates
- Excel templates
- Business contracts
- WordPress themes
- PowerPoint presentations
- Mobile apps
- Graphic design templates for brochures, flyers, posters, business cards…
- Resume templates
Websites, blogs, and media platforms all have one thing in common – a need for premium high-quality stock photos. This makes them one of the most profitable digital products to sell in 2021. If you have an eye for light, color, and framing, you can either work with websites like Fotolia, Unsplash, and iStockphoto, or choose to sell images on your own website.
Where to sell your digital products
You should choose your selling platform based on items you plan to sell and your budget. The usefulness and the appearance of your digital store are also important factors to take into consideration. There are two options to choose from:
- Selling through your own site
- Selling through marketplaces
Selling through your own site
E-commerce platforms like Shopify offer the option to create your own digital store and customize it with your unique brand. You also have full control over how much you wish to charge for your products.
For example, Shopify’s monthly prices start at $29 with a payment processing of 2.9% + 30¢ USD. For that price, you get the option to store unlimited products, free templates, and 24/7 customer support.
Selling through marketplaces
Marketplaces like Amazon are great for reaching more consumers, but they take a big cut of your profits in return. You also have no control over your branding whatsoever, and your competitor’s products are listed alongside yours.
For example, Amazon charges $39.99 per month for their Professional Plan, plus $0.15 per digital item, plus a $1.80 closing fee for each book, music, or video item you sell.
On the other hand, marketplaces can be a great marketing channel to complement your digital store. They are perfect for generating leads which can then drive larger purchases or subscriptions to your store.
To conclude, we hope that we have given you a solid idea of where to start. Once you know your strengths, decide which digital product(s) to sell, and jump to the development process as soon as possible. Keep in mind that your product needs to offer quality value to your consumers. With a combination of creative marketing, choose the platform that suits your business needs and get started.