A Non-Techies Guide to Selling Digital Products

Last Updated on February 14, 2024

In this digital age, selling digital products has become a lucrative business opportunity. Whether you are a seasoned entrepreneur or someone looking to earn some extra income, knowing how to create and sell digital products can be a game-changer. But what exactly are digital products, and how can you get started selling?

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    What are Digital Products?

    A digital product is any product you can sell virtually and it comes in a digital format and typically can be accessed digitally or can be downloaded such as software, apps, courses, and eBooks.They don’t have to be shipped and depending on your selling platform, it’s already sent to your customer after purchase so your fulfillment is taken care of.

    When you think of digital products, an ebook or a checklist may come to mind but there are so many digital products that you can create.

    You can create courses, audio files, design templates, presentation templates, software templates, video files, stock photos – endless options.

    One of the primary benefits of selling digital products is that you are able to create one and sell it over and over automatically. They can be accessed through a browser or email confirmation to your customer without your assistance.

    Digital products are easier to update and make available to existing customers than physical products also.

    How do digital products work?

    Since there are endless types of digital products, for this example we will use an eBook/Workbook:

    1. Create your digital product 

    With an eBook/workbook, you want to have an idea of what you want to cover using an outline and your main goal for your audience. Once you have completed the copy, you need to use a design tool such as Illustrator, Canva, or Beacon to create the downloadable design. 

     

    2 Add your product to your website or marketplace

    With your digital product ready for customers, listing it on your website or a marketplace such as Etsy or Gumroad allows your product to be found through search queries that customers are looking for.

     

    3. Customer purchases from your store

    Congratulations on your first sale! Since it is a digital product, they can download and start using it immediately. Typically selling platforms have download pages right after the purchase is complete and send an email for access.

    What are some types of digital products?

    Here are some digital product examples that you can sell online:

    • Resource guide

    • Checklist

    • eBook

    • Presentation Slides

    • Recorded webinars

    • Courses

    • Self-led challenges

    • Access to a previously live training

    • Stock photo packs

    • Email courses

    • Workbooks

    • Scripts

    • Ad Copy

    • Design templates

    • Canva Templates

    • Lightroom presets

    • Trackers

    • Planners

    • Party printables

    • Audio files

    • Video files

    • SASS

    • PLR

    How to get started with digital products

    1. Research ideas for digital products

    Before you can start creating your digital products, you need to figure out first who you will be targeting. Knowing who you are helping, allows you to complete effective research for what they need, and the problem you would like to focus on providing a solution for.

    2. Figure out the format you would like to provide the solution

    With your problem and solution together, you need to figure out what the best format is (or to start with) to help your audience digest the information and put it to use as soon as possible. For building trust, you may start with an ebook and give the first chapter free or a video course with samples for them to review before purchasing your entire product.

    The goal is to be a format that you are confident with completing, and that is proven helpful to the audience you are targeting.

    3. Outline your idea based on product type

    Next, you will need to outline your product and think about everything that you can add to the product for the audience to complete the goal (or solution) to the problem. If there are many steps where you feel overwhelmed at the thought of creating the product, break it up into a series. It could mean that you are accomplishing multiple solutions to multiple problems instead of one.

     

    4. Create the product

    Based on the product type, you will need to create the product for your customers. If it’s an eBook, you need to use a document editor such as Apple Pages, Google Docs, or Canva Docs to prepare your copy and use design software such as Canva or Adobe Illustrator. 

    5. Create a download file

    Once the product is created, you need to prepare it for the customer to download it. Sometimes your product doesn’t have a file to download, it could be a template that is only shared through a link. You will need to create a download file, which is a PDF with a link embedded, you can complete this 

    6. Optimize your products for visibility

    The first step is complete! You have your product ready for your customers, now they need to find it. No matter the platform there are a number of places to optimize for the search engines to bring your product in front of the people looking for it. 

    This includes:

    • Product Title
    • Product Description
    • Product Permalink or URL
    • Images & Image Alt tags
    • Meta description
    • Meta Title

    Use keywords and keyword phrases that your audience is familiar with and will use to find a product like yours to help with optimizing your products for search engines. 

    7. List on a marketplace and/or website

    With your information optimized, you can go to the marketplaces and your website to list the products using the information and assets. Having this information beforehand helps with the product creation process.

    8. Start marketing

    Now your product is live, it’s time to start the launch marketing for your product! 

    Tools for Creating Digital Products

    Design Tools

     

    A word processor on the Apple IOS platform that allows you to create documents, directly integrated with Apple Books.

     

    Canva is a graphic design platform that allows users to create professional-quality designs from scratch or by using pre-created templates online. Canva’s templates and design elements can be used in your designs and 

    Cost

    Canva has a free version and a Pro version which allows you to create graphics with Canva elements without extra payment. For the free plan, any Canva Pro elements that you use in your designs will have a $1 fee that will need to be paid when you download the design you create.

     

     

    Beacon is a lead magnet generator that allows you to create, distribute, and capture leads. You can host a free lead magnet and you can use the built-in features of Beacon to create:

    • workbooks

    • eBooks

    • checklists

    • resource guides

    • video lookbooks

    Adobe Illustrator is a vector graphic design tool that is used to create logos, digital product assets, and other brand graphics. 

    Using Adobe InDesign with Illustrator helps you add custom graphics to your documents easily, InDesign is a physical and digital book, digital magazine, and interactive PDF design software that you can format for any use case.

    Design Assets for Creating Digital Products

    Here is a list of tools that you can use to find different assets to use in your digital products:  

    Creative Market is a marketplace where creators sell templates, design assets, and fonts. You can purchase commercial licenses that allow you to sell products with the purchased designs/templates. 

    Design bundles is another marketplace that allows you to purchase templates and PNG/SVG files for commercial use in your products.

    Font Bundles is a part of Design Bundles where they only sell font files for commercial Use. You can purchase bundles or single fonts to use in the development of your products.

    Evanto is an ecosystem of tools that allows you to create mockups, purchase assets, and even themes.

    Selling Tools

    Once you have your product, you need a website or platform for processing payments.

    Here are some options:

    Cartful is a secure checkout provider that allows you to add upsells/subscriptions and integrate them into your existing website without additional transaction fees. 

    If you are using WordPress and looking for a WooCommerce alternative, Surecart is a great option. It is an eCommerce platform that lives on your WordPress website as a plugin. It is fully customizable and you can use a number of payment gateways even if you are outside of the U.S.

    Gumroad is an online eCommerce storefront where you can sell your digital products including memberships and courses. You don’t need a website to start selling, you are able to build your storefront where all your products will live. 

    You are able to generate license keys, sell multiple versions of products, and for security each purchase has a DRM added to protect your content.

    Shopify is a widely known eCommerce platform for selling physical products but you are able to sell your digital products on the platform. They have five pricing plans you can start with as little as $5 a month.

    Etsy is a global marketplace where you can sell different product types, including digital products.

    AI Tools

    When creating content to rank for your product exposure, NeuronWriter is the tool for your business, You are able to plan, write, and optimize your content for the keyword or keyword phrase to better rank in search results.

    Creating captions and product descriptions is effortless with the AI generator Nichess. You have over 150 AI tool generators, including an image generator.

     

    ChatGPT is a chat-generative AI tool that can be used in several ways to produce content and ideas. 

    FAQs about Digital Products

    Digital products are any product you can sell virtually and it comes in a digital format and typically can be accessed digitally. Here are some types of digital products that you can sell online:

    • Resource guide

    • Checklist

    • eBook

    • Presentation Slides

    • Recorded webinars

    • Courses

    • Self-led challenges

    • Access to a previously live training

    • Stock photo packs

    • Email courses

    • Workbooks

    • Scripts

    • Ad Copy

    • Design templates

    • Canva Templates

    • Lightroom presets

    • Trackers

    • Planners

    • Party printable

    • Audio files

    • Video files

    • SASS

    • PLR

    No, you do not need a website to sell digital products. You can sell your products on marketplaces or landing pages like Kajabi, ClickFunnels, Etsy, and Gumroad.

    There are a number of steps to finding a unique and marketable product to sell:

    1. Before you create the product fully, use your outline to create content to validate if your target audience wants it or not. Or create a beta group to collect feedback that can be used to market with verified reviews and results.

    2. Identify where your passion and expertise is in, start with topics that you are knowledgeable of and engaged with to find the places others haven't covered.

    3. Review market trends for your industry; this will allow you to see with verifiable stats any content/ product gaps there may be that you are able to fill.

    4. Ensure the problem you are looking to solve is a direct pain point for the audience you are targeting, make sure your product is a clear line to the solution.

    5. Create different product types instead of just one, there are different types of learners, not everyone can read it to get it.

    6. After launch, continue to test and revise your product. Since it is a digital product, you can efficiently update your customers and update the downloaded product.

     

    You can sell your digital products on just about any marketplace or niche website. Etsy, Shopify, and Gumroad are popular platforms that integrate payments and product delivery.

    How can I protect my digital products from piracy or unauthorized distribution?

    You put a lot of work into your digital product it's important to know how to protect it from being stolen:

    1. Use software to watermark your product with visible or invisible marks on your digital products. If it is shared, then you will be able to track it to the original customer.

    2. Use secure file formats to disallow printing, copying, or editing your product.

    3. With download links, add expiring URLs for a set time so if it is shared, it will become invalid after a specific time.

    4. For software, audio files and similar files incorporate license keys or serial numbers for access. Since users will need to enter the keys into the software, you can monitor and control the number of installs/access points.

    5. Add a terms of service to your products outlining what customers can and can’t do with your intellectual property.

     

    At this time, there isn’t one method that completely protects your products, but you can take the steps to protect your brand and your products to reduce and discourage. Continue to review and update your protection

    There are a number of ways to protect you and your intellectual property:

    1. Make sure you are the creator of the work you are selling or own the proper licenses for the product.

    2. Add terms of use to your product as a PDF or inline in the product. They should outline how someone can use the products, any restrictions, and whether they can redistribute or resell the products. 

    3. Add a copyright notice to your product to communicate ownership and the terms in which the product can be used.

    4. Add a watermark to your digital products, there are some solutions that you can use that will add specific user info to the document during download to help you track if infringement occurs.

    5. Create a refund policy to manage customer expectations and use it to handle any disputes.

    6. Use secure product delivery methods to prevent unauthorized access or distribution

    Customer service is vital to the longevity of your brand and sales. Without it no business can survive. No matter the questions you answer or the tutorial videos you create to help with user experience, questions and troubleshooting are inevitable. 

    1. Make getting in touch with your business as easy as possible, including email, phone numbers, or even live chat, to allow customers to communicate with you quickly. 

    2. Ensure you respond to customers within 24 hours, and tailor your answers to the customer's question. Use videos and photos as often as possible to explain an answer so they have more than one way of understanding. 

    3. After you have a number of questions or requests, start documenting the answer in a knowledge base. You can create one using Notion or software like Zendesk.

    4. Add a survey to your after-purchase funnel to get insight from your customers from their end. This helps keep the communication open between you and your customers.

    5. Have a plan for escalation. What are the ways you can remedy the issues that may arise? Document it in one place for you and your entire team.

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