One popular way to make money online is by creating and selling digital downloads. A digital download is essentially anything that someone can download after purchasing it. This can include songs, digital art, educational courses, recipes, eBooks and more.
What’s great about selling digital downloads, aside from it being potentially lucrative, is that it’s less work than running a full online shop. You don’t need to worry about things like packaging, shipping or inventory.
If you have a digital download and are interested in making a profit off it, here’s how to go about it — and how much you might make.
You Could Earn Hundreds of Dollars Selling Digital Downloads
Some people who sell digital downloads online make hundreds of dollars a month or more. While the numbers aren’t clearly listed, here are some examples of what people are pricing their goods for right now:
- Concept or digital art by Manu @devonstore on Fiverr: $60 to $160 (depending on the package)
- Digital book formatting by Rasel K. @raselkhondokar on Fiverr: $50 to $150
- Custom digital music for video games by Jake C. @chaotrope on Fiverr: $60 to $140
- Music production by Rogue Music @roguemusicprod on Fiverr: $135 to $785
- Digital planners by Katacosmic Design on Etsy: $6.07 to $104.49
- Printable vintage art prints by BirdyShopFinds on Etsy: $32.01
You can also sell other types of digital downloads at varying price points. For example, a typical full-length fiction eBook goes for $2.99 to $3.99 per book. This might not seem like a lot on its own, but if you get 50 people to buy your book, you could make an extra $150 to $200 a month this way.
Alternatively, you could make an online course for people. If you put your course on Teach:able, for example, you could use a baseline pricing of $100 per course. Even if just five people purchase your course in a given month, you could make $500.
How To Get Started Selling Digital Downloads
Thinking about selling digital downloads? Here are five steps on how to get started.
1. Figure Out What You Want To Sell
The first step is to figure out what you want to sell. “There are so many different type[s] of digital downloads to consider creating and selling,” said Olivia Dreizen Howell, certified business coach and CEO at Fresh Starts Registry. “And yes, you can make money selling digital downloads, but you have to ensure that you are creating content that people actually can use and need, and [that] it is worth it for them to make the investment into your download!”
If you’re not sure what to sell, consider your current skills and interests and go from there.
“The most basic type of digital download is an e-book. You can easily create an e-book from your past blog posts [and] journal entries, or even create a workbook,” said Howell. “Another type of popular digital download is creating courses and selling them. This is a fantastic way to educate many people while only having to create content once! This is a really great way to incorporate video content, too.
“You can teach people a skill, teach them a methodology or educate them on a large chunk of information,” added Howell. “People charge anywhere from $30 to hundreds of dollars for courses, so you can create many courses at different price points. Once the course is done, all you need to do is market it to your target audience.”
2. Choose a Platform
Next, determine where you want to sell your digital products. For things like digital art, music or written content, you could use Fiverr. Etsy works well for selling digital recipes, artwork, photos, calendars or planners. For eBooks, you could use a site like Gumroad or Amazon Kindle Direct Publishing. It’s crucial to do research on which platform can help you reach your target audience most efficiently.
Many of these platforms require you to make an account and online store before you can create a listing and sell your digital content. They may also take a small fee from your profits.
3. Create a Listing
Showcase your digital download in the best possible way by using high resolution images and writing compelling descriptions. If you’re selling something like a sewing pattern or artwork, you may also want to show off the final products so customers know what they’re getting.
Be clear in the product description that what you’re selling is digital only. Otherwise, customers may think they’re getting a physical item and be disappointed.
4. Determine Pricing
When it comes to pricing, it’s easy to undervalue or overvalue your digital downloads. If you price your product too low, customers may think it’s not worth buying. If you price it too high, you may deter people from making the purchase. Do some competitor research to see what others in your niche are pricing their products at.
“The most important aspect of selling digital downloads is that you have digital downloads at different price points and that you are marketing to the target audience for each download,” said Howell.
5. Expand Your Offerings
If you have a large online presence on sites like YouTube, LinkedIn or Instagram, you might have an easier time selling your products. Even if you don’t, you can always expand through networking, marketing and creating additional content.
Freelancer rates are accurate as of July 10, 2023 and are subject to change.