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How to Sell Digital Products (+20 Ideas & Best Platforms) in 2023

Want to know how to sell digital products in 2023? This is the guide for you. 

Digital products are some of the most profitable things you can sell online. 

And I’m going to break down the most lucrative digital products you can sell, how to create them, and where you can sell them to build a thriving online business. 

Want to learn more? Let’s dive in. 

Overview of how to sell digital products online

Let’s start with the basics. Here is the broad process of how to sell digital products online:

Step 1. Decide on a product

You need a digital product that the market WANTS. Brainstorm different assets your audience might benefit from. A few product types include online courses, PDFs, eBooks, or online services. 

Step 2. Create the product 

You don’t have to wait until you have a big audience to sell your product. Instead, start by making a skeleton version and improving the product with new versions as you get feedback.

Step 3. Market the product

Marketing your digital product is what drives sales. A few online marketing strategies include ads, social media, organic (SEO), and influencer marketing. 

Step 4. Sell the product

You can sell your digital products in many ways. There are social media apps and third-party platforms that are flexible and easy to set up. You can also sell your products on your own website. This is usually the better route because it drives traffic to a domain you own and keeps costs down.

Selling digital products is simpler than you might think – even if it isn’t easy. 

Learn the top 3 reasons course creators fail

(and what to do instead to sell out your online course)

We’ll go into detail on each of these points in the rest of the article so you can start selling today.

What are digital products?

A digital product is an online asset that you can sell to multiple people at once. You don’t need inventory as it’s an intangible asset. Digital products are often delivered in the form of video or audio files, PDFs, images, or templates. 

It’s a broad category with new types of products being introduced every year. 

But is selling digital products worth it? 

In a word, yes. Here’s why:

  • “Passive” income: Let’s be clear. No income is truly passive. Even digital products require upfront work to succeed. But this is as passive as it gets. You can make unlimited sales on products you’ve only had to create once. 
  • Scalable: The more you sell, the more profitable your product becomes. You don’t have to put in any more work to get repeat sales. You just need a reliable sales funnel to consistently market your product.
  • Low investment: Digital products are low-cost to create and have no inventory expenses. So they are a lot more profitable than physical products.
  • Low risk: With physical products, you have to invest in development, prototypes, storage, and inventory. There’s a risk that your time and money won’t pay off. Because digital products take little upfront time and investment to create, you don’t risk a huge financial flop as you do with developing physical products. 
  • High profit: Because the upfront costs are so low and so are transaction fees, digital products can be highly profitable if you run your business well. 

Is selling digital products still profitable?

Yes, digital products can be profitable. 

But not ALL digital products are inherently profitable. There are a few factors that determine success:

  • Your digital product has to be needed and wanted by the market
  • It has to be well-priced for profit
  • You need to use the right traffic sources 
  • It has to be the right type of product 

What do I mean by “right type of product”? Let’s talk about the most profitable digital product ideas out there.

The most profitable digital product ideas

Below is a list of digital product ideas that are most likely to make you money.

This list is in no particular order BUT the number one spot is my number one recommendation if you want to create a thriving business. I will explain more later.

1. Online courses

2. Digital templates 

3. Stock photos/videos

4. NFTs

5. Digital art

6. eBooks

7. Software 

8. Podcasts

9. Trainings and online workshops

10. Reports

11. Fonts

12. Music

13. Checklists

14. Memberships 

15. Illustrations and graphics 

16. Planners

17. Online tools

18. Sewing and knitting patterns 

19. Crafts guides

20. Avatars

21. Games 

5 digital products to sell online 

Let’s dive a little deeper into the most profitable ideas to get you started. 

Educational products

Educational products allow you to share your expert knowledge with an audience in a scalable, “passive” way. 

Examples include:

  • Online courses
  • Trainings
  • Workshops
  • eBooks

The idea is to package and sell your knowledge. You can do these live, such as live paid webinars and workshops. Or you can take the passive income route and create self-study assets and downloadables, including self-study courses.

The upfront cost of creating educational products depends on what you’re creating. It comes down to the software you choose to create the product. 

But generally, it’s quick and inexpensive to make an educational product. You do need to spend time creating these products, but software and other tools tend not to cost more than $100 per month. 

As for pricing, that’s equally broad. An eBook can sell for as low as $10, while a self-study course can cost several thousand dollars. It depends on the product and your market.

A good starting price is up to $500.

You can sell educational products on platforms like Udemy, Skillshare, Teachable, and more, or your own website. You don’t necessarily even need a software or website when you start out, but instead use a social media platform to deliver your product.  

Educational products have a low barrier to entry – which makes them a great digital product to sell.

Audio, video, and images 

Audio, video, and images are other potentially profitable digital products to sell. 

Examples include:

  • Stock photos
  • Stock videos
  • Sound effects
  • Royalty free music
  • Exclusive music, photography, or video content

With this style of product, you’re monetizing skills you already have to create passive income.

The upfront cost is relatively low because you’re using your own equipment to create. However, there will be fees for the platforms you use to sell our audio, photo, or video files. You should also invest in good digital storage for large files like these. 

Audio, photo, and video tend to sell for low amounts. The average stock photo or video is around $3-5 dollars, with a percentage going to the platform you’re using. 

What are the different platforms where you can sell your products? 

For audio, you have Audiojungle and Pond5

For photos and video, you have platforms like Shutterstock, Getty, and SmugMug Pro

You can sell these products on your website too, but it’s good to advertise on third parties where people will be searching for your content. 

There’s a higher barrier to entry for audio, video, and photo because the quality has to be high. But if you have the skills, you can make some great side income. 

Software, apps, and games 

Software, apps, and games are digital products that sell well and can be highly profitable. However, they require more upfront investment. 

Examples include:

  • Mobile games
  • Productivity/learning/tracker apps
  • Design tools
  • Aggregator apps
  • Social media apps

The upfront cost depends on your level of proficiency in coding and the software you use to create the app. In theory, you can create an amazing product with almost zero dollars and an internet connection.

Learn the top 3 reasons course creators fail

(and what to do instead to sell out your online course)

However, developing these products can take several months to several years to launch. 

Software usually brings in money through subscriptions. This is an excellent online business model for repeat revenue.

Apps and games are slightly different as you often get paid by advertisers or upgrades by users. Though you can make your app or game subscription service. The average is around $2-20 per month depending on the type of app.

Software as a digital product idea has one of the steepest learning curves. You need to be able to code and create unique products that attract a specific audience to be profitable. 

But if you have the skills and/or funding, you could create an amazing business. 


Memberships are unique because you can create communities around anything.

Examples include:

  • Membership community or society for certain professions, such as an exclusive hub for a specific profession
  • Educational membership programs for learning a skill
  • Memberships for exclusive content

However, you need a solid audience to create a profitable membership community that will pay to access exclusive perks or content from you.

Upfront costs are not that high, depending on the software you use to host and nurture your community or if you use your own website. On the other hand, you could get started for free with a Facebook group. 

As for earning potential, memberships are highly scalable and profitable because of the subscription model. You can charge anywhere from $10 – $100+ per month.

You can sell memberships on your own website if you use a platform like WordPress and create a custom member’s area.

But here’s the catch. Memberships are hard to start and harder to maintain. 

You need to make sure your membership is always active and engaging to keep your community alive and secure that repeat revenue. 

So while memberships can be extremely profitable, it’s a lot of work both before and after launch.

Digital templates and tools

Digital templates and tools are downloadable, low-cost digital products that help people achieve specific results. 

Examples include:

  • Checklists
  • Planners
  • Notion templates
  • Editable graphics
  • Excel spreadsheets or Google sheets
  • Printable templates

Creating digital downloads probably takes the least amount of time than any other profitable digital product on this list. 

Upfront costs are pretty low too. You can create a template or Excel spreadsheet with software you already use, and style it with Canva for free.

You can sell templates and tools on your website. Additionally, building an online store on a marketplace like Etsy is also great for marketing and selling templates.

The catch? Templates and tools tend to sell for very little. Unless you have a comprehensive guide that accompanies the template (similar to an eBook) you’re unlikely to sell a template for more than $3-$10 each. 

So you need to sell a LOT of volume to make a decent profit. 

That said, templates are low-investment products that have great potential to be very profitable if you market them the right way. A good way to use these is as a side income in your business. 

But how do you create these products? Here’s what you need to know. 

How to create digital products

So now you know what to create, it’s time to decide on what product to create and how. Here is the step-by-step process on how to create your first digital product. Because I recommend getting started with an online course, these steps are about creating one. 

However, remember that you’re not limiting yourself. You could start with a course and then build extra resources such as templates and checklists at a range of price points. 

Decide on an idea 

The perfect idea combines two things: Your skills and what people want.

If you have a service business, think about the RESULTS you’ve helped people achieve in the past. 

Is that something you can package into an eBook or online course?

For example, let’s say you’re a successful career coach. Your clients have often gotten promotions and pay raises. 

You could create a course around how to get a promotion with your tried and tested strategy.

Or if you have a 9 to 5 or a product business, you could create educational content on more specific skills. 

Everything from guitar playing and energy healing to Excel and building tiny houses are great topics for digital products. (More ideas here.

Brainstorm what your audience truly wants that also aligns with your skills.

Research your audience

Before you start writing, filming, or planning, it’s time to research. 

Online research into what’s available on the market and at what price point will help you create a product that teaches what you want to teach in the way people want to learn it.  

But I recommend you go a step further. 

Consult or coach a few clients who would be your target audience for your product. 

By coaching one on one, you get to intimately know your clients and can create a proven methodology to help them. 

From there, you can apply that secret sauce to your digital product. Because you understand what your audience’s struggles, biggest hurdles, questions, and concerns are.

Incorporating those factors into your online course or other digital product is the best strategy to make it highly valuable to your customers. What’s more – you make money while doing market research and planning your course. Win-win!

If you want to learn more about coaching, take a look at my coaching business guide.

You can also leverage social media and your mailing list (if you have one) to ask your audience these questions directly. But nothing beats one-on-one coaching or consulting to get such detailed information about your clients’ struggles and goals. 

Create the best product available

Now it’s time to build your product.

How you create your product will depend on what you sell.

Typically, I recommend building a “minimum viable product” (MVP)

An MVP is a simple version of a new product that is good enough to sell and gather feedback, but it might not be its ideal version yet. 

It’s a way of getting started with selling your digital product without letting perfectionism hold you back. 

Your MVP should still help people, but it’s okay if it’s not perfect. 

The goal is to iterate and improve the product, incorporating feedback that you get from real customers.

Of course, this doesn’t work for all types of digital products. You can’t have an MVP of a stock photo or guided meditation audio. But the types of digital products below will be better if you start with an MVP first:

  • Online courses
  • Software
  • Games
  • Apps
  • Memberships

In terms of online courses, that means creating a “First Steps” course rather than a complete “A to Z” course. 

I talk more about it here: 

How to sell digital products online

So you’ve created your digital product or the MVP version of it. Now how do you start making sales? There are two factors to consider: Reaching your audience and growing your audience.

Let’s talk about it.

How do you build an audience?

To sell your product, you need an audience. 

But not just any audience. You need an engaged audience. 

In other words, not just followers, but people who buy. Otherwise, you don’t have a business. 

(There’s a popular story about an Instagram influencer with two million followers – who couldn’t even sell 36 t-shirts to them. That’s the type of audience you don’t want.)

You can build up that platform in multiple ways. 

My recommendation? Start an email list. 

Here’s why:

  • You have complete ownership of your email list. On social media, your followers could disappear overnight if your account or platform shuts down.
  • Email lists are highly personal. The people on your list have actively decided to receive content from you directly to their inboxes. That’s a bigger commitment than clicking follow on a social media account.
  • Conversion rates for email marketing are high. According to a survey of expert marketers, email ROI is on average $36 for every $1 spent. So email is far from dead. 

You can use tools like ActiveCampaign, MailChimp, and Mailerlite to build automatic email campaigns and sales funnels. 

For more ideas on building an email list, check out this video:

Where do you sell your product? 

There are three main ways to sell your digital product: 

  1. On social media
  2. On your own website
  3. On a third-party platform (like Udemy or Etsy)  

My preference? Social media or your own website. 

Think about it: Social media gives you the lowest barrier to entry with zero upfront costs. This is a great way to get started if you don’t have a website yet. 

However, a website is the best thing you can do for your online business in the long term.

Why? Because it’s a platform and domain that you OWN. You don’t have to fear that your Instagram account will be hacked or TikTok will be banned overnight. 

With a website, you have a place where you can consistently sell your product.  I personally prefer to have a WordPress website because it gives me much more control over how my website looks and performs. You can use a theme like ElegantThemes.

And to sell digital products, use a plugin like AccessAlly together with Samcart

You can read more about selling online courses on your website here. 

If you’re setting up a membership site, you can use Memberpress. (However, while I personally recommend AccessAlly, I haven’t used Memberpress.)

You can also use a platform like Teachable to set up your product. 

The best platforms for selling digital products

I ultimately recommend that you sell your digital products on your own website. BUT there are some great platforms out there that can bring in more sales too. Here are some of them:

Learn the top 3 reasons course creators fail

(and what to do instead to sell out your online course)

Social media 

You can start a social media group, like a Facebook group, and sell your products through it. Or link to a simple sales page that you set up with a tool like Samcart. 


Etsy is one of the best-known online marketplaces for smaller digital products. These include templates, checklists, spreadsheets, and eBooks.


On Amazon, you can sell eBooks and audiobooks through the platform’s Self Publishing Program. 


If you’re a course creator, Udemy is an easy and accessible platform to host your course. However, keep in mind that most courses on Udemy are low-cost and you can’t really decide your own pricing model. 


Skillshare offers a profit-sharing scheme with course creators. The more people take your course, the more money you make.


Shopify is a great tool for selling stock images, templates, digital art, and more.


Teachable is my top choice for hosting your online course. It’s a flexible, easy-to-use platform where you can create, market, and sell your product in one place. Here’s a guide on how to get started with Teachable.


Thinkific is another good online course platform with payment processing and course creation features.


Podia is an all-in-one platform specifically designed for digital products.


Kajabi is a platform that hosts courses, coaching, and memberships.


If you’re creating an app or software, FastSpring is a marketplace that gets your product out there.


AppSumo is a promo platform for software. Buyers get a special deal on your software but it’s a good way of promoting it.


Part social media platform, part sales platform, Dribbble is a place to sell digital art, graphics, and other assets.


If you want to sell NFTS, OpenSea is the biggest marketplace to start making sales.

Over to you!

There you have it! Everything you need to know to sell digital products profitably today. 

Remember that the ideal digital product is one that the market wants, and you have the expertise to deliver. 

Learn the top 3 reasons course creators fail

(and what to do instead to sell out your online course)

Want to get started selling your own digital course? 

Get the three mistakes course creators must avoid building a successful business. 

Read more: 

How Long Does It Take to Create a Course?

How to Outline Your Online Course

The Ultimate Guide to Launching Your Online Course

Selling digital products online – Frequently Asked Questions 

How do you sell digital products without a website? 

You can sell on social media or a third-party platform like Shopify or Teachable. I don’t recommend you ONLY sell your products on third-party platforms because having a website will build a more solid brand and you have full control of your business. However, you can absolutely get started without a website by leveraging social media and other platforms.

What is the best place to sell digital products? 

The best place to sell digital products is your website. There are multiple platforms available to sell digital products profitably, but selling on your website gives you a greater profit margin – and gives you full ownership of your products.

Where do you sell digital products for free? 

You can sell online digital products for “free” on social media but there will always be transaction and payment processing fees. If you want to be successful at selling digital products, don’t obsess over the cost of selling them. Ultimately, digital products are highly profitable. If you sell through your own website, you can potentially build a very profitable business. 

About Luisa Zhou

Luisa Zhou has helped thousands of students build and scale their own profitable online Freedom Business. Fun Fact: She used to work as an engineer for the Space Station and holds a B.S.E. from Princeton. Click here to learn more about Luisa.

Hope you enjoy this blog post.

Want to know the 3 deadly course- selling mistakes to avoid at all costs?

Want to know the 3 Deadly Course-Selling Mistakes to avoid at all costs?

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