Selling digital products is becoming a bigger trend in 2021, and there are a few reasons why. For starters, there are minimal overhead costs and you can get started relatively quickly. Also, you don’t have to pay for any physical inventory or shipping costs, which is a nice added bonus too. But what are the best digital products to sell?
Another attractive reason to start selling digital products is the flexibility it gives you. There are many different digital products you can offer, and you can choose options that work best for your business.
Stuck on ideas?
We’ve made a list of the most profitable digital products to sell in 2021. Not only that, we’ll show you how to get started selling your products. (Hot tip: the best digital products to offer are those that make use of your unique talents.)
In Q1 of 2021, ebook sales increased 38% for publisher Harpercollins, following a trend of increased revenue earnings for the company. Although this is a snapshot of one publisher’s success, it speaks to a larger movement toward digital content consumption among marketers.
eBooks are awesome digital products to sell because they’re simple and fast to create.
Are you knowledgeable about a topic?
Do you have a skill for writing?
Then selling eBooks is for you.
We’re not talking about writing the great American novel here. eBooks are often shorter in length than physical books, which means you can type one out in just a few sittings. It just takes an initial effort to write an eBook, but that investment of your time can pay off big-time.
Do some research when it comes to deciding on the topic and content of your eBook. Search for the bestselling eBooks in your category (expert guides, self-help, recipes, etc) and then draw inspiration from them. Competitor research doesn’t mean you’ll be copying their ideas. It means that you’ll be discovering what sells and what doesn’t.
eBooks are also a great lead magnet. Sure, you can create a premium eBook and charge for it but they’re also a great way to generate leads for your business. Not only does this provide value for free to your potential customers. It’s a great way to establish some credibility and authority within your industry.
Education is shifting over to online learning. That’s why there’s never been a better time than now to create an online course. If you come up with a great concept and market it well, it’s possible to make A LOT (like a lot) of money selling online courses.
Everyone has some sort of expertise. That includes you. Whether it be knitting a scarf or fixing a bike, there are people out there who would love to learn the skills or knowledge you have. Structuring your course with quizzes, games, and tests can make the learning process fun and valuable for your customers.
It can take some time and effort to put together the perfect course. But, as with most digital products to sell, once you’ve done that initial work it’s smooth sailing (or selling) from there. When choosing a topic for your course, put some research into the other classes out there and what they have to offer.
Additionally, look for products or services with a large adoption. Take the design world for example. The Figma community has grown exponentially over the years. Talented folks like Ridd is the creator of Figma.Academy. He has created a specific online course that caters to the Figma community.
If there’s one thing customers love, it’s feeling like they’re getting VIP treatment. Exclusivity is valuable to people, so make use of that by creating a membership website. With membership websites, you’ll be offering members access to resources, information, and products that others can’t get their hands on.
It’s very important to maintain a constant flow of new offerings that your members value. That way they’ll be happy with paying a membership fee every month, which gives you wonderful recurring revenue.
Having a genuine interest in the topic of your website will help you sell memberships that customers will be drawn to month after month. You’ll know what digital products or information people need and want in that community… and you’ll enjoy putting it all together.
A personal fav is what the crew over at Fizzle is doing. I’m sure I’m a little biased because they are helping the creator space but you can’t ignore the quality of the content. Overall, the membership offering is packed with value, and they give you just enough of a taste to want more of that exclusivity.
Learn how to earn a living doing something you love from Fizzle.
Do you have a talent for design? Then this type of digital product is what you want to sell. Printables allow your customers to print out something awesome at home and have it forever. Some great examples of printable digital products are organizers with customizable pages, attractive to-do lists, and coloring-in pages.
When it comes to printable downloads, it’s all about creating a well-designed, good-looking, and thoughtfully created a product with a twist. You don’t want your printables to be ho-hum, or no one will want to buy them.
There are some really user-friendly design tools out there that can help you design and create highly sellable printables. Canva is a free tool featuring cool fonts, funky backgrounds, and easy templates that will make you look like any newbie designer look like a pro.
A fun example for something like this is Colorabl.es from Mackenzie Child. He’s an insanely talented illustrator but also has some decent chops when it comes to code too. Be sure to see what he’s doing in the Webflow currently. You won’t be disappointed.
This is a very popular and profitable type of digital product. It’s perfect for you if you’re already skilled in a specific area. A lot of times templates are meant to act as an out-of-the-box solution for a very specific problem.
Additionally, the types of templates can range across the board as well. From text-based templates for writing, financial model templates, business and legal templates, all the way to complex templates for popular frameworks like WordPress, Webflow, Shopify, Tailwind, and more.
Depending on the type of template you create, you may have to consider some license key management to avoid any sort of download abuse. Platforms like Lemon Squeezy, offer license key management, file delivery, and more.
Last but least, let’s talk about stock assets. Similar to selling templates (above) there’s a wide range of stock assets you can sell.
One of the original and more popular niches is stock photos.
If you have a skill for taking attractive, striking pictures, selling stock photos is the most profitable digital product choice for you. With the quality of the camera that you’ll find on a lot of newer phones, you’ll be able to take photos that are good enough to be used as stock photos.
Selling stock photos comes down to creating and maintaining a constantly growing portfolio of images that customers will need. Photos of someone making a confused face, having back pain, or working in an office are surefire hits, but the possibilities are endless.
Customers will use your stock photos in their own designs and websites, and any photo credits you get for your work will lead more customers your way. Offering stock photos as digital products requires more ongoing effort than some other options. But if you love taking photos, it will be a rewarding and lucrative business.
With that said, if you’re talented with other types of digital assets, don’t let it hold you back.
A perfect example is Typeheist. With a growing collection of hand-drawn fonts which is perfect for anyone looking for the perfect font for their creative assets.
Whatever you decide, you can’t go wrong with investing your time into creating your own digital products. Keep it simple and lean into what you’re excited about. It will help you push through early on when you’re trying to find traction.