“To make money, you have to spend money.”
It’s such a common phrase in business that I had to Google who originally said this. Turns out, we can trace this quote all the way back to Titus Maccius Plautus, who lived around the year 200 B.C.
Well, here we are, more than 2000 years later, and it’s still true — to an extent.
Scaling and growing a business without increasing expenses is a tough puzzle to solve.
Thankfully, it’s not impossible. There are ways to do it without making a huge investment.
One of the best ways for entrepreneurs to scale and grow is through selling digital products.
Not sure what to sell? Or how to sell digital products? Chances are you have a skill, product, or service that your audience would love — you just need some inspiration.
Here’s everything you need to know about creating digital products and selling them online without spending an arm and a leg scaling your business.
What are digital products?
Digital products are downloads or services that don’t have physical substance. They can be delivered entirely through a digital format, and the transaction takes place online.
Think of them as intangible products that hold value — like ebooks, courses, templates, and more.
Of course, some digital products can be printed out, depending on how they’re used and how the buyer wants to use them.
You may have heard us talk about using ebooks, courses, templates, and other content as lead magnets in the past. And they still can be. It all comes down to your unique business and audience.
For example, if you’re a food blogger, you may want to offer a small 5-recipe guide as a lead magnet to encourage people to opt-in for your email list. This is a great way to let people try your recipes without them having to commit money just yet. Then, you can sell a recipe ebook with 50 of your top recipes.
Pro tip: Offer your email subscribers an exclusive discount on your recipe book. This will make them feel special and valued.
Delivering digital products saves you the hassle of having to ship physical products, store inventory, and deal with third-party delivery services. All you need to sell digital products is a reliable email marketing, landing page, and payment processing platform, like Stripe.
The benefits of selling digital products
Yes, making more money is at the top of this list. But the benefits of selling digital products go so much deeper than that.
- Make more money: Digital products are a great way to expand your product line and complement your existing products or services.
- Easily scale your business: Finding ways to grow your business is hard — especially if you want to keep costs under control. Creating digital products is an easy way to scale your business without spending an arm and a leg on advertising, new store fronts, or shipping costs.
- Easily convert followers to customers with a micro-purchase: Offering a digital download for a small price is a great way to attach value to your product.
A great place to offer a small upsell is on your thank you page. Once someone signs up for your list, send them to a thank you page. Then, mention they may be interested in one of your products or offerings with a small price point. These micro-purchases are a great way for new subscribers to get instant value without committing to a large purchase.
- Reach people around the world: Selling physical products has limitations due to shipping and geography. But with digital products, you don’t need to worry about location because you can deliver your products instantly online.
Best digital products and downloads to sell
The truth is, you can get as creative as you want when selling digital products and downloads. The key is to make sure it’s valuable to your audience. Here are some ideas to inspire your own digital product creations.
Whether you’re a food blogger, fiction author, travel writer, podcaster, or something else entirely, you can create an ebook around your expertise.
If people turn to you for guidance in a particular area, then an ebook may be the thing for you to sell.
- Recipe books
- Fiction or Non-fiction books
- “How to” guides
- Fitness plans
- Travel guides
Online courses are becoming increasingly popular. In fact, Thinkific says that the e-learning market is projected to grow to $275 billion by 2022. People live busy lives, and being able to learn on your own time is a major benefit of online courses over webinars or in-person learning.
Plus, courses are a great way to earn passive income. Here are a few ways you can build and offer courses to your audience:
- Email courses
- Video courses
Podcaster Cathy Hellers sells a 12-week course to her audience, teaching registrants how to turn their passion into a career.
Templates are a great way to save your audience time and money by doing the hard work for them.
Templates are especially useful for consultants, web designers, coaches, and anyone else who can offer expert advice and professionally designed templates. Here are some ideas:
- Business planner
- Email templates
- Calendar templates
- Social media scheduling template
- Fitness planner template
- Meal planning templates
Many small business owners or entrepreneurs don’t have professional design skills, so Creative Market capitalizes on its skills to sell pre-designed website templates to this audience.
The market for selling and licensing audio is growing. If you’re a music producer, or just like creating beats for fun, consider using your landing page to sell audio.
Here are some ideas:
- Original songs
- Exclusive podcast audio
Are you a freelance designer? Or, just have some design skills people would pay money for?
If you have a design eye worth sharing, selling your creations and design services could be incredibly valuable for your audience. Some things people would be willing to pay for include:
- Stock images
Sometimes, the greatest upsell is simply access to a community of people who can share their experiences and learn with you.
See how The Social Broker empowers real estate professionals with the tools and community they need to build a brand on social media.
How to start selling digital products & make your first dollar online
Start selling digital products and downloads in four easy steps.
#1. Create your digital product
Creating your digital product is the first step to making your first dollar online. Whether you’re creating an ebook, course, or something else entirely, you’ll probably need a way to design and brand your product.
Free tools like Canva are a great option for those who aren’t professional designers.
#2. Figure out your price point
Knowing how to price your product can be tough to figure out. You don’t want to set the price too high to the point where people won’t want to spend that much, but you don’t want to undervalue your hard work either.
A good place to start is by researching what prices other people are offering similar products for.
You’ll also want to calculate how much you invested in creating the product — in both time and money. Make sure you price your product so you make a profit.
#3. Set up a landing page to sell your product
Next, set up a place to sell your product. If you want to limit costs and avoid the hassle of third-party ecommerce platforms, a landing page that welcomes visitors to check out your product is your best bet.
Connect your landing page to your payment processing system and you can easily direct visitors to your ecommerce page.
(Soon, you’ll be able to collect payments all from within your AWeber landing page. Sign up below to get notified when this feature is ready).
#4. Deliver your product with email
Finally, it’s time to deliver the goods. Set up an automated email campaign to deliver the product when someone purchases. Your first email should always include the product itself, but you can have more emails in the campaign directing them to take other actions — like follow you on social media, check out other products, or even leave a review.
Now, where to begin?
Ideally, you want to find a platform where you can do everything from one easy location. Well, we have good news for you.
AWeber now offers the ability to sell directly from your AWeber landing page. Ready to sell online today? Learn more about making your first online sale with AWeber Ecommerce.
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