I think you’ll agree with me when I say that selling physical products is pretty costly and time-consuming. Assuming you already have the product, you still have to manage your inventory, take care of shipping, handle international customers, stay compliant with the law, and so on.
Selling digital products, however, is a whole different story.
They’re usually much easier to create and distribute, take up very little space on your server, and are generally more sustainable than their physical counterparts. But perhaps the best part about selling digital products is that they’re low investment business opportunities. Unlike physical products, you don’t need to have access to a large staff, raw materials, or warehouses to be able to sell digital products.
Here, we’ll take a closer look at five of them most profitable digital products that you can sell online and cover some actionable tips to help you get started.
Online courses, especially video courses, are extremely popular these days and a lot of people are cashing in on this digital, e-learning trend. They’re convenient, accessible, and there are so many different courses to choose from!
An online course works just like a traditional classroom except that you teach your students through an online platform using text, audio, or video. Your students have the flexibility to choose what skill they would like to develop and learn it at their own pace.
As an online course creator, you have complete control over the course(s) you create. You decide how to structure it, what you’ll cover in it, and what price point you’ll sell it at. For instance, you can choose to sell a single, flagship course or make several courses that complement each other. You can set up autonomous courses or interactive ones. You can sell it on a third party website or on your own e-learning site. Speaking of which…
Selling online courses on third-party websites (like Udemy) gives you visibility and attractive options like no monthly fees for listing your course. However, you will be charged anywhere from 50% to 75% on each sale. For this reason, many course instructors choose to sell their courses through their own websites using learning management tools.
E-books have been and continue to dominate the digital products market. In 2017, more than 266 million books were sold in the United States which in part is due to the increasing popularity of devices like the Kindle and Nook.
One of the best things about selling e-books is that finding a publisher isn’t your only option. You can instead choose to self-publish your e-book and even make a lucrative business out of selling it. According to a study conducted by Author Earnings, self-published authors now account for 31% of total eBook sales regardless of genre.
You will, of course, have to put in some marketing efforts but once you get the ball rolling, you’ll be able to earn passive income on it for years on end. Another huge benefit of writing and selling e-books is that you can take it up as a side business. So, if you’re already selling an online course, you can write an e-book to complement it and cross-sell it to your students.
Millions of people all over the world publish content on the Internet every single day which is why high-quality photos are still one of the most profitable digital products to sell online.
If you’ve got some decent camera skills and a passion for photography, there are a few different options available to you:
You can sell your photos on stock photography sites like Shutterstock, Snapwire, and 123rf. Same as the case with selling online courses, selling photos through third party websites gives you a ton of visibility but you’ll likely end up being charged anywhere from 30% to 60% on each sale. As of March 2018, nearly 184 million images are being sold through Shutterstock accounting for 172 million in sales.
The other option is to set up a photography website and sell directly through it. The benefit here is that you can price your photos however you want and keep all the profits.
While selling photos isn’t the most lucrative business opportunity available to photographers, it has its advantages – it’s practically risk-free and doesn’t require a whole lot of effort. If photography is your thing then with a camera, a computer, and the right skills, you can earn money doing what you love – taking photos!
#4: Web Elements and Graphics
With content management systems like WordPress making it easy for just about anyone to create their own website, people need all kinds of web elements and graphics to add to them.
There is a huge demand for all kinds of high-quality web elements from WordPress themes to vectors and fonts. Many web designers and web developers have made entire businesses out of selling customizable web elements alone.
Here’s a list of just some of the different types of web elements you can sell:
- UI assets (buttons, icon packs, etc…)
- Card designs
- PSD templates
Depending upon what type of web element you decide to create, you can sell it through a marketplace like (Theme Forest or Graphic River) or become an individual vendor and sell it directly through your website.
One of the best parts about selling web elements is that there are tons of options to upsell them. For instance, you can create product bundles and sell some logos with custom matching buttons. Or you could take the freemium approach and create a simple, free theme and a premium version with more features.
To say the software industry is enormous would be an understatement. Although big companies like Microsoft, IBM, Google, and Oracle, generate billions of dollars every year in revenue there’s still a lot of space for freelancers.
As a developer, you can work independently and make money selling software products online whether they’re desktop applications, web-based applications, online games, or mobile apps. Even if you’re not a developer, you can simply pay a flat rate to have a software product developed for you and then market it through your own website.
One of the best things about selling software products is that you can sell licenses or set up a software as a service (SaaS) business model and charge subscribers a nominal fee for using your software. There’s virtually no cap to how much profit you can make if your software product takes off.
Selling digital products online can be incredibly profitable if you know which products to sell. We listed some of the best-selling (and most profitable) digital products to sell online and, hopefully, you have some insight into what type of digital products are in demand.
Online courses and software products are on the rise and there’s a huge market for them. Digital products like e-books, photography, and graphics have been (and still are) some of the most popular digital products you can sell online.
Are you thinking of selling any of the digital products we listed on your website? We’d love to hear from you so let us know by commenting below!