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Selling digital products (guide & top platforms)

By October 22, 2020No Comments

The development of digital products, such as online courses, is currently trending as it is a great way to monetize an audience. But is it worthwhile for beginners and if so, how can you sell digital products in practice?

In this article, I would like to show you some digital products that are easy to sell online and give you some tips on how to implement your idea technically.

Why you should sell digital products

Whether you're an entrepreneur, blogger, vlogger or anything else, there's probably a digital product you can make money from. Instead of pitching products from other companies and just getting a commission, you can relatively easily create your own product, distribute it digitally and make more profits.

As you usually sell products to people who are interested in your content anyway, you will receive a lot of encouragement (provided your product is also good). In addition to the financial aspect, this can be a great motivation. You are also solely responsible for the content of your product and can therefore address your target group with pinpoint accuracy.

Amazon PartnerAmazon has once again reduced the fee rates for affiliates. This can't happen to you with your own product!

Selling your own product also gives you the freedom and independence that affiliate marketers, for example, only dream of. Their income can quickly halve if the partner halves your share of the profits - something like what happened with Amazon Associates. When you market your own product, you have the security of knowing that the conditions won't change.

It's really just about putting your knowledge into a product that resonates well with your target audience. Once your product is on the market, you can take credit for it and even many years later, good products still sell like the first day.

7 digital products that are worthwhile

While the sale of physical products is quite lengthy and often consumes considerable development costs, digital products can be developed quickly and cost-effectively as long as they are not complex SaaS products.

It also eliminates tasks such as storage, production and shipping. Your digital products require no physical space, can be reproduced an infinite number of times and shipping is digital.

You might be asking yourself: "But what types of digital products can I create? Well, here are some of the most popular digital products:

eBooks

eBooks were and are one of the most popular digital products among both authors and customers. They are relatively easy to produce as they require little more than written text and a few relevant images. eBooks are easy to distribute through large marketplaces or self-created online stores. They are easily read by customers on e-readers, tablets, computers and even on their cell phones.

Software

Selling software online comes with a few hurdles but potentially huge profits. The software industry is huge and constantly growing. It is also extremely ripe with new opportunities. Whether it's desktop software, web-based applications, WordPress themes, mobile apps, video games or anything else that's code-based, the market is ripe for you.

With software, however, it is important that you take an iterative approach. Don't try to develop the perfect product right away, but rather provide a rudimentary product and build up a customer base before improving and expanding your product bit by bit.

Video

Video is an extremely popular and effective format for conveying knowledge or providing entertainment. Video content is much more engaging than text and can be easily consumed on popular channels such as YouTube. Users love video, and in many cases, are willing to pay for premium content.

However, not everyone is suitable for the camera. The key here is to be natural and let your personality shine through. After all, there are already a lot of other people providing content for every topic. So it's as much about personality as it is about content.

Audio and music

Audio is a suitable medium for conveying messages, and there are many different types of digital products in the audio sector. People pay for podcasts that entertain them, soothe them, inform them, inspire them and help them succeed in their careers.

Here are some types of audio content:

  • Podcasts
  • Audiobooks
  • Karaoke and covers
  • Sound effects
  • Language courses

Photography

High-quality photos are a valuable commodity. As there are more and more blogs and websites on the internet that need to use high-quality images, stock images are selling for quite good prices. Many platforms such as Storyblocks are always in need of new images, which they then make available to their subscribers.

Especially in the field of sports photography, there are many opportunities to sell pictures. Larger news websites may have their own photographers, but even they have to use your pictures for local events.

In this case, it is important that you have a good portfolio that shows the quality of your images. As pictures are very popular on the internet, you have the opportunity to share some of your pictures on social media, especially Instagram, to make a good name for yourself.

Graphic design

Graphic designers are always in demand. However, the competition online is fierce unless you work in German, as you are competing against designers from India, Pakistan and other low-wage countries.

As a designer, you can't avoid building your own brand online in order to reach customers who will pay you properly. Just like other artists, you have to make a name for yourself in the industry to avoid being left behind in the price race to the bottom.

Digital courses

If someone is considered an expert in their industry, they can sell digital courses or contribute to a learning platform. For example, there are more and more coding bootcamps, online certificates etc. being offered on various platforms such as Udemy, Codecamp or LinkedIn Learning.

If you have an audience yourself, you can also offer a course. There are various options here, such as uploading your course to Skillshare or integrating it directly into the member area of your website.

However, be careful not to appear too cheesy in the German market. If your course normally costs €3997 but has been reduced to an unbeatable €297 today, nobody will take you seriously.

Platforms for technical implementation

Just having created a digital product is not enough. You need to implement it technically so that the customer has automated access to the product after the purchase.

This task is performed by platforms such as Amazon for e-books, Audible for audio books, Skillshare for online courses and Storyblocks for stock videos and images. On the one hand, they can be useful if your product fits the platform perfectly, as you can generate sales via these platforms without having to advertise your product yourself. On the other hand, you pay a not insignificant fee.

If you want to take over the marketing yourself and sell via your own store, for example, you can use a reseller with whom you can host the product and who will then process the sale for you for a fee. Examples of such resellers are Elopage and FastSpring. The main advantage of these solutions is that you don't have to worry about taxes, payment gateways, subscriptions etc. yourself.

WooCommerceWooCommerce adds an online store with payment gateway to WordPress.

Just because there are platforms and resellers that can make selling easier doesn't mean you have to use them. An individual solution is possible with Shopify and WordPress is also conceivable. Plugins and extensions such as WooCommerce turn your website into an online store and provide you with tools to deliver your digital products, accept payments and manage your accounting.

Tobias Dziuba

My name is Tobias and I am the founder and managing director of the Amazon agency Adsmasters GmbH based in Düsseldorf.

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