Whether you're just getting started with your online business or you've been around for a while, selling digital products can be a great way to increase your income.
In this post, I'll walk you through what digital products are and how they can help you grow your business.
What are digital products?
A product is any item that you can sell to someone in exchange for money or some kind of barter.
A physical product, by definition, is something tangible like a child's toy, an item of clothing, or a kitchen gadget.
In contrast, a digital product is an intangible asset that doesn't have a physical form and does not rely on inventory. It can be sold and distributed repeatedly via an online platform. A digital product can be downloaded or streamed as a digital file. For examples, PDFs, audio MP3s and videos.
Some digital products can be turned into physical forms. For instance, ebooks can be printed into physical copies.
Just like their physical counterparts, digital products must fulfill a need in order to have a demand.
Examples of digital products
Digital products can come in any digital form. Here are just some examples of profitable digital products available today:
- Music MP3 files
- Audio books
- Workbooks and worksheets
- Swipe files
- Online courses
- Website elements like WordPress themes and plugins
Who can benefit from selling digital products?
Anyone with expertise and knowledge in a particular field can generate income from digital products.
Are you great at helping others find their unique fashion style? Can you help work teams better resolve conflict? Do you have recipes from your native country to share? Do you have experience travelling with kids? Or perhaps you love the freedom of travelling on your own and have tons of tips of making it a unique experience? Are you great at making cuddly toys?
Service providers: If you're already selling services to your audience, consider how you can convert one of them into a digital product. Not only can you sell these to your clients, but also to people in your own field who are less advanced than you. For example, if you're an experienced designer, newer designers will be willing to pay for templates designed by you.
Aspiring entrepreneurs: Creating and selling digital products is an almost risk-free way to start a business. You'll have to put in the time and effort to find an idea that addresses a need in your niche in your , but you can do so without incurring finanical uncertainties.
Experts known in their fields: If you're already known as an expert in your field, then putting your knowledge and skills into a digital product is a smart move, as you'll already have an audience to serve and gather ideas from. And since they already know, like and trust you, it's a much easier sell when you launch your digital product.
Why sell digital products?
Digital products have become mainstream in recent years. Not so long ago, many people would have balked at the idea of paying for an ebook or a digital download. Nowadays, it's a common online transaction and part of daily life.
Many bloggers, business owners, creatives and influential public figures have joined this booming digital economy, allowing them to enjoy greater personal freedom and passive income. So what are the advantages of selling digital products?
So what are the advantages of selling digital products?
(1) Low cost
One of the biggest advantages of creating digital products is the low production cost and initial investment. It's a very low-risk business model. Creating a digital product involves gathering information and organising the content. You can either do this yourself, or hire a content creator at a relatively affordable fee. Your customers can access their purchases immediately as digital downloads. It's a simple transaction and there are no shipping charges you have to worry about. While there will be some costs involved, for example, web hosting, sales tax, software platform and transaction fee, the overall total production cost is extremely low compared to producing physical products.
(2) Easy to get started
Selling physical goods requires a physical storage space, not to mention having to deal with suppliers, manufacturers, distributors and shipping companies. Creating and selling digital products requires nothing more than a laptop and an internet connection.
(3) Spend less time working
With digital content, much of the work is done up front, allowing you more time to work on other parts of your business or pursue other interests.
(4) Help more people
If you're a service-based business owner, the number of people you can work with is limited by the number of hours in a day.
Digital products allow you to serve an unlimited number of people. already know that there are only so many people you can serve in your niche.
(5) Sell internationally
When it comes to selling digital products, you're not limited to your local geographical area. Instead, you can sell your products internationally to the whole wide world as digital downloads!
(6) No stock control
Since there is nothing physical to deal with, you don't have to worry about keeping inventory. A digital product cannot become out of stock or in surplus. Also, you won't have to find storage space for digital products, which, again, reduces your overhead significantly.
(7) Opportunities for passive income
Selling digital products can earn you a steady revenue stream. Once you've created a digital product, you can sell it again and again without having to put in additional work.
As long as you put your products out there and market them to the right audience, the whole process can be automated and people can buy them while you're sleeping.
(8) Total Control
Finally, you have total control over your digital products. You're the creator, publisher, and distributor of your passive income stream. You don't have to sell through a third-party vendor or platform (although you can). If you want to create additional digital goods faster and with less effort, you can outsource all or some aspects of product creation. On the other hand, if speed is of less importance to you, you can choose to do everything in-house to keep your production costs down.
(9) Personal freedom
Since there are no physical products you need to produce, no warehouse to maintain and no staff to manage, you can literally work from anywhere as long as you have your laptop and a wifi connection.
This location independence can give you the freedom and lifestyle you've always dreamed of.
When you sell a service, your income is capped by how many hours you have available in a day to work. There's no such income limit when you sell digital content. This scalability means that you can grow your business exponentially without increasing the number of your working hours.
Of course, make no mistake, selling digital products won't make you a millionaire overnight. Like any business venture, you'll have to put in the hard work first. However, if you research your market well, create a digital product that solves a genuine problem for people, and do a great job of promoting it, you're almost guaranteed success.
Ready to create your digital product? I'd love to know what you're going to create!
In my next post, I'll walk you through some of the best tools for creating and selling your digital products.