Despite the challenges of increasing inflation and turbulent economic times, the online and digital landscape offers many opportunities to make an extra buck. Thanks to increasing e-commerce avenues for digital creators with inexpensive tools and accessible audiences, it is possible to supplement one’s income without having to worry about overhead costs, inventory, and similar expenses.
One of the notable advantages of digital products is their cost-effectiveness in production, allowing for unlimited sales without inventory concerns once you have made the digital file or product. Moreover, delivery to customers is instantaneous and free. With the right marketing strategy and quality products, you can easily boost your income by selling digital products online.
Below are 12 profitable digital products, ranging from simple to complex, to help you find your niche.
E-books are one of the most popular digital products. They provide a convenient way for authors to publish their work without having to go through traditional publishing houses. As an author, you can write about any topic that interests you or share your expertise with others. In addition, you can set your own price and earn passive income whenever someone purchases your e-book. Platforms like Amazon Kindle make it easy to publish and sell your work, offering a global reach for your digital publication.
2. Online Courses
Another popular digital product is online courses. With the rise of e-learning, many people are looking for ways to improve their skills and knowledge through virtual classes. As an expert in a certain field, you can create and sell online courses on platforms like Skillshare, Udemy, or Teachable. Moreover, you can also choose to sell digital coursebooks and kits, either to accompany your virtual class or in place of it.
3. Resume Templates
Resume templates are a great product for those with design skills. With the job market becoming more competitive, many people are looking for ways to stand out from the crowd. As a designer, you can create and sell customizable resume templates that cater to different industries and career levels. Online marketplaces like Etsy are popular for selling creative digital products, including bespoke resume designs. Alternatively, you can also use graphic design platforms such as Creative Market or GraphicRiver.
4. Presentation Templates
Similar to resume templates, presentation templates are in high demand for professionals and students alike. With the rise of online presentations, having visually appealing slides is crucial. As a designer, you can create and sell PowerPoint or Google Slides templates that cater to different topics and styles. There are numerous tools available at your disposal as well, ranging from simple, beginner-friendly options like Canva to professional software like Adobe Photoshop or InDesign.
While they may seem mundane, spreadsheets are essential for businesses and individuals alike. If you have a knack for creating functional and user-friendly spreadsheets, you can capitalize on your talent by selling financial planning sheets, sales tracking spreadsheets, project management templates, or even travel budgeting spreadsheets. These digital products can not only help businesses streamline their processes but also assist individuals in organizing their personal goals or managing their projects efficiently. Moreover, spreadsheets can pair well with video content or online courses for better profits.
6. Stock Photography
If you have a knack for photography, selling stock photos is a great way to earn income online. With the increasing demand for visual content on websites, blogs, and social media, there is a constant need for high-quality images. You can sell your photos on stock photography websites, such as Shutterstock, Adobe Stock, iStock Photo, Unsplash Plus, and more. Alternatively, you can create an online portfolio website to showcase and sell your work.
7. Digital Art
Digital art has gained popularity in recent years, with the rise of online content creation and streaming platforms — particularly in the Vtubing community. From illustrations to 2D and 3D avatars to streaming emotes, there are numerous unique and personalized digital art products that people are willing to pay for. You can sell on online marketplaces like Etsy or simply offer commission services to create custom pieces via social media pages or your website.
8. Graphic Design Assets
In addition to creating digital art, you can also sell pre-made graphic design assets such as fonts, UI kits, or icons. Customizable overlays for streaming and online business branding assets are also potential profit avenues. These assets are in high demand among designers and content creators who are looking to enhance their projects and stand out among thousands of peers with professional and aesthetically pleasing elements.
Printables are digital products that the buyer can download and print. They can range from planners and calendars to worksheets and more. These are essentially digital-to-physical products in the same vein as digital workbooks and journals. You can design and sell printables for various purposes such as organization, self-care, productivity, and more.
10. Original Music
If you have a talent for creating music, selling original pieces online can be a lucrative option. With the rise of digital streaming platforms and the accessibility of music production software, it is easier than ever to create and distribute your own music. You can sell your music on platforms such as Bandcamp, iTunes, and Spotify, or offer exclusive content to your followers through subscription-based services like Patreon.
11. Subscription-Based Content
Speaking of subscription-based services, this model has become increasingly popular in the digital world. You can offer premium content such as tutorials, webinars, behind-the-scenes access, and more to subscribers who pay a monthly or yearly fee. This type of digital product allows for a steady monthly stream of income and can be tailored to suit your specific skills and expertise. Popular platforms for subscription-based content include Patreon, Teachable, and Skillshare. YouTube can also be used for subscription-based content through its Membership option.
12. Software, Apps, and Games
Last but not least, you can also create and sell digital products such as software, apps, and games. These have a higher barrier to entry as they require technical skills and come with lengthy development and maintenance processes, so it’s important to consider your resources and target market carefully before pursuing this option. However, they also have the potential for high returns — especially with the rise of indie gaming in recent years. The key is to identify a problem that your software, app, or game can solve and target the right audience.
You can sell apps on Google Play and the Apple App Store, or market them directly to businesses or individuals, the same with software. For indie games, platforms like Steam and Itch.io make it easy to put your game out to a global audience.
Navigating the World of Digital Products and Legality
The myriad of digital products available for sale online offers limitless potential for generating income. Whether you’re looking for a side hustle or aiming for a full-fledged digital entrepreneurship, finding the right niche and platform is key. Selling on multiple platforms is also crucial to maximize your exposure and reach, thus increasing your potential income from selling digital products like resume templates.
When starting any online business, it is crucial to ensure legal compliance. Make sure to cover all your bases to protect your rights as a digital creator and as a business owner. Running a digital side hustle does not exempt you from such practices.
Drafted Legal offers customizable templates and forms, including client agreements, tailored to various digital businesses. Whether you venture into selling purely digital assets or go into podcasting and content creation, Drafted Legal offers legal documents to fit your needs and safeguard your business.
Go get em!
PS. Follow this guide to make sure you’re legally protected when you start your business!