If there’s one thing the internet is good at; it’s delivering information to a large population in the shortest amount of time, whenever you want it. This has triggered a lot of business opportunities and rake billions in the digital product industry.
What type of niches should get involved and how do you sell a digital product online? This article will walk you through the details.
What Type of Niches
As long as the business has an abundance of information to offer, any niche can get involved in creating a digital product. Information like this often lean towards educating the readers, so think as if you have something to teach/share with the audience using digital materials.
I’ve seen it on food blogs to eCommerce sites, so it’s certainly not limited to the marketing type of niches only.
Your products can take form in any of the formats below;
- eBooks (guide/tutorials)
- Digital music
- Video training courses
- Audio content
- Online membership program
- Artwork (graphic, images, designs, etc.)
- Web software (plugins, themes, apps, etc.)
Now, let’s see what kind of platform you can use to launch these products online.
Ways to Sell Digital Products Online
1) Digital Marketplace
Some of the common digital marketplaces that you’ve probably heard of are Clickbank and Sellfy. With these services, you will create a sales page and upload the product to their listing for promotion. These platforms are convenient for a few reasons;
- You can leverage from preexisting online traffic (audience) to those sites to get new customers.
- Some platform provides a built-in affiliate system, which means you can get other people to promote your product through affiliate programs.
- Most come with analytic tools for you to evaluate your marketing performance.
- Some may also provide PDF stamping to prevent the buyer from reselling digital information. (This method automatically add the buyer’s email address to every page of your PDF, so each customer gets a uniquely marked file).
As you can see, listing on these marketplaces does offer some perks, but here’s the caveat.
- It may take several days before your products are approved for listing.
- Often times, the listing isn’t free. You need to pay the platform provider, the payment processor and the affiliate commissions (if you decide to use them) before you can achieve the net sales. For example, Clickbank charges for $49.95 for vendor activation and they keep 7.5% of every product retail price plus $1 transaction fee.
- You’ll be facing a lot of competition and the marketing capability is quite limited since you don’t own the platform.
Each of these marketplaces has its own unique features, so it’s best to compare their service fees/pricing plans before deciding on one.
2) Owned Website
Moving away from a crowded marketplace, you can also sell your digital product via a personal website.
You have probably seen some of these before on niche blogs where eBooks or membership subscriptions are being offered at the end of a page. Now, there are a lot of advantages when promoting through your own site.
- First of all, you are in total control of your own listing. You can upload, delete or edit your product page whenever you want. If you are using WordPress, you can use plugins like Easy Digital Downloads or WooCommerce to organize multiple listing and keep track of your sales.
- Other than the payment processing fee (in case you are using PayPal on your website), you get to keep most of the profit to yourself.
- When it comes to branding, you can create your own unique business logo or theme to distinguish your products from the competitors.
- Since a website can house more content than a webpage, you can use various keywords to target a different type of audience to buy your product.
Having control over your own marketing might sound great, but it’s not without its own set of challenges.
- Driving traffic is probably one of the most challenging parts if you are new to online marketing. Without traffic, you won’t have any customers, right? In order to build good quality traffic to your site, you need to understand and implement SEO and that could take a while before you see any positive results.
- You’ll need to keep up with website maintenance fees such as domain/hosting, premium plugins/themes or autoresponder services if you decide to use any of those. They don’t usually cost a lot, but that is just another extra thing to manage apart from creating a digital product and writing your own content for SEO.
3) Affiliate Marketing
With this method, you are going to promote digital products belonging to other people and earn sales commission whenever someone buys through your affiliate links. In most cases, the payout is quite generous, within 50-70% of the product retail price, but you will need a website up and running to be accepted into certain affiliate programs.
The affiliate marketing business model is actually very attractive for beginners because you are not involved with product creation. That saves you a lot of time and you can focus more on marketing the product through various channels (personal blog, social media, email marketing and etc.) to improve on your sales conversion. You can also get involved in multiple niches to diversify your income potential.
However, over the years, many people have been scammed to buy digital products that offer little or no value for the readers. If you are doing affiliate marketing with Clickbank, you might want to watch out for this type of program. Remember, always test the products yourself first before recommending them online so that you can help the readers make better decisions on what is good for them.
The Outlook for Digital Products
Knowledge is power and I am sure you would agree that digital products make this form of learning experience very addictive. With more people using broadband services and mobile devices, the demand for these products will only increase in popularity.
What’s more, they are easier and cheaper to produce and you can deliver them instantly to the customers. As there is no inventory, a digital product can continuously sell at a high-profit margin thus generating a nice source of online income.
I hope this article has provided you with some interesting ideas. If you wish to learn more, please visit Wealthy Affiliate for details on how to get started.
Do you have any thoughts or questions about how to sell a digital product online? Feel free to leave your comment in the space below and I’ll get back to you the soonest.
This article is excellent. I have always made money as an affiliate selling others products, but now I am looking to create my own info product to sell.
I think that I will implement affiliate marketing as the main way of promotion. Do you think Clickbank is the best place to list my product? Should I list it on more than one place? Such as ShareASale or JVZoo?
I would recommend to start with Clickbank first. They have a vast resource for vendors – how to get started, how to price your products and etc. I don’t know much about JVZoo so I can’t comment. As for ShareASale, they are more geared towards selling physical products. Very rarely people would go there to search for digital products.
I want to help my friend sell his video games. He has been making games for 10 years now and his profits are not very good. I have invited him to Wealthy Affiliate and it seems that he cannot seem to find the relevance of the training inside to how he can profit from the games he has developed.
Do you have a link on how Clickbank works when you want to sell your products thru it and invite affiliates? I think that might just be the solution to his situation.
Hey Pitin, sounds like you have a very talented friend over there. Yeah, Clickbank may be the right place to market his product, but there are a few things that WA can offer too. Getting a custom domain, setting up a (vendor) website, finding targeted keywords in his gaming niche – these are some of the groundwork that need to be covered before he enters the marketplace.
What he can do at first is to check the gaming sites of these vendors, see what he needs to learn to match up to their level and do it better using the training here at WA. I believe there are relevance (without having to spend a huge amount of money) if he knows how to connect the dots.
To learn more about selling on Clickbank, you can guide him to the knowledge base over here.
Anh Nguyen says
Thank you for this super interesting post on how to sell digital products. I love how you delve into the nature of it. I’ve not created a product yet but plan to so I learned quite a few things from your post.
What I like about online products is that you only have to do it once (minus the updates, maybe) and relax and reap the benefits. There is no shipping involved etc. Thanks for sharing!
Snow White says
This article is very enlightening. It seems that digital products can be a lucrative business. I have never thought of it, but this has piqued my interest. I think selling digital products via your own website is a better option since you will need a website anyway with the other options. But of course, this will take dedication and hard work. But eventually it will pay off over a long period of time.
I prefer the affiliate marketing method as you can choose what products you wish to promote and there’s nothing better than reading reviews from people who have purchased to give a clear indication for their quality.
You are right regarding traffic. If you’re determined to roll your sleeves up and get down to some work to produce traffic that leads to high rankings for your website which will take at least a year, this can lead to a wonderful lifestyle.
Affiliate marketing certainly provides the time to keep working on your website, producing posts, promoting products within your niche and driving traffic. These are huge advantages in my view.
Vic George says
Hi Cathy, I think that audio downloads are easy to make and sell as digital products. Rather than writing information products, recording one’s voice is much, much quicker.
It takes ages to write e-books, and you have to get others to proofread them. That’s a real pain. With an audio recording, however, one knows instantly on playback if it sounds right – it usually does. The more you do this, the easier and quicker it becomes.
And the best thing about audio recordings is that they carry more ‘perceived’ value. That means they will usually command higher prices.
That’s true Vic. From a consumer’s point of view, it’s more engaging to listen to podcast than to read eBooks. You seems to know a lot about audio recording. Do you have any experience yourself producing this type of digital product for your business?
I enjoyed this post. Lots of useful ideas to consider. I lean towards affiliate marketing, and drawing traffic to my own websites.
The idea of digital content such as eBooks is nice. The challenge is that you really have to be creative nowadays to come up with something that will sell.
On the other hand, a smaller eBook can be a good “freebie” for building an email list.