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Today we’re rounding up 15 of the most popular digital product ideas that you can pursue.
Whether you’re looking to generate a (passive) side income or open a full-blown digital products business, these digital product ideas can prove very profitable.
Table of contents
- 15 digital product ideas that work well across different industries
- Digital product ideas: A quick cheat sheet
- The best way to sell digital products: via your own digital products store
- Wrapping it up…
15 digital product ideas that work well across different industries
eBooks top lists of digital product ideas because they’re easy to create for anyone who has something of value to share. If you’re an expert in your industry, writing an eBook is a great way to help your target customers while earning a passive income. You can also produce tools like templates and worksheets to go with your eBook and sell the bundle for a higher price (upselling). The ARPU — or the average revenue per user — in the eBook market is expected to be US$15.75.
2. Online courses
Online courses are another digital product idea that anyone can consider creating. If you’re an expert in your niche, you can use your learnings and teach others while monetizing your knowledge. If you’d like to explore course ideas to sell, head to websites like Udemy, Skillshare, edX, Coursera, and Udacity, among others. Browse through the courses in your niche and look at the number of students that have taken them. This can validate their demand.
Webinars and online workshops, too, just like online courses, are great digital product ideas. Unlike online courses, they’re more compact and many people prefer them for their short format.
If video content isn’t your thing, but teaching is, you can produce regular content — guides and tutorials with step-by-step instructions on accomplishing a task work as excellent and highly marketable digital products.
Templates are one of the best-selling forms of digital products. From people looking for templates for personal use (like Notion templates, calendar templates, to-do templates, etc.) to business users looking for templates to power their business ops (for example, infographics, swipe files, social media poster templates, presentations, among others), templates have a huge demand. Digital marketplaces like Gumroad are good for finding inspiration to create these. Just hit the Discover tab and see if others are selling what you’re thinking of creating. If you’re into website building, Themeforest is another place you could try. Etsy sellers, too, create a variety of templates.
Now, printables can take many forms. People look for all kinds of printables, from recipes, workbooks, planners, checklists, and to-do lists to calendars, invoices, and invites. To find ideas for printables, simply use a digital products marketplace like Etsy and search for “your industry keyword + printable.” If you look at successful digital product entrepreneurs, especially on Etsy, you’ll see that many of them are into printables.
7. Digital assets
If you have the skills to produce digital assets like images, animations, videos, vectors, icons, mockups, fonts, graphics, wallpapers, and digital art, you can build a successful digital assets store. Anyone from beginners to pros can try this popular digital product type and set up their own business.
Music as a digital product idea can take many forms, from sound effects and ringtones to background music for use on SaaS websites. As a stock music composer, you can license your music and allow people to use it in their wedding videos, real estate videos, services ads, presentations, webinars, online/real-world events, and pretty much everywhere else. Online music libraries like Shutterstock and Audio Networks are good places to hunt for stock music ideas to produce.
9. Membership sites
Membership sites are living, breathing online communities that you need to work hard to keep engaged. So they don’t exactly count as very passive income. But if you know how to run one, you can make use of a proven recurring revenue business model while avoiding the hassles of creating and selling physical products. Some niches like weight loss, making money online, freelancing, astrology, cooking, and others are a good fit for membership sites. Look at popular Facebook groups to find ideas for creating these.
10. Paid newsletters
Newsletters, too, can be a good monetizable digital product. You don’t just get to sell subscriptions for your paid newsletters with this media stream channel but also get to monetize it by selling sponsored stories, ad slots, and banner spaces. Check out the newsletter collections from publications like NYTimes to choose a niche for running your paid newsletter. Also, check out Substack’s newsletter categories for inspiration. Building an email list is a lot of work in this case, but you can offer a free version of your newsletter to build your email base.
When you talk about apps in the digital product ideas context, you’re mostly talking about downloadable apps that users can install on their Windows laptops or Macs. You’re not necessarily talking about full-blown SaaS solutions here. Here’s an article with all you need to know to sell software online.
12. Video games
Video games are another promising digital product idea. It’s not for everyone, but creating video games lets you monetize in many ways, from using in-app purchases to collecting ad revenue. You can also choose a niche like anime to build a loyal gamer base.
13. Software extensions (plugins, chrome extensions)
If offering full-blown software solutions feels too much for building a digital products business, consider building extensions. Here, you don’t create an eCommerce solution like WooCommerce, but an extension (plugin) for it. For example, enabling subscriptions is a ubiquitous requirement for WooCommerce users that the platform doesn’t offer by default. So you can create one. You can take this a step further. Take an existing plugin and develop an addon for it! To find digital product ideas for extensions, you need to review user forums to find missing functionalities that people will pay for!
Themes are another straightforward digital product idea. Here you take a CMS like WordPress or Squarespace and build custom themes for it. Do note though, that some niches are very saturated when it comes to entering the themes niche. So choose a specialization — a food blog theme, for instance. Browse through marketplaces like ThemeForest for inspiration. These don’t only have to be website themes; they can be mobile themes too.
For digital product ideas around integrations, check out integration services like Zapier and Integromat and see what their most popular integrations are for the software you specialize in. Next, build native integrations for them and put them up for sale. You can also check out marketplaces of software apps to see what their most popular integrations are. While integrations are profitable digital products, they take upfront work and also ongoing maintenance.
Choosing digital product ideas that are meant for you
As you can tell, each of these digital product ideas needs different skills. So while an idea for a digital product might be good, it might not be good for you. To pick a suitable option, ask yourself these questions:
- What are your superpowers? What is it that you know that you can package into a digital product and sell?
- Which content type are you comfortable creating or teaching? Do you like making videos or writing content? And do you also have design skills? And can you use the tools needed for building a product via that medium?
- What digital products are your peers or direct competitors creating?
Now that you know your strengths, you can make a better choice.
Digital product ideas: A quick cheat sheet
Here’s a snapshot view of digital product ideas along with what they typically entail and who they’re ideal for.
|Digital Product Ideas||Perfect For||Example|
|eBooks, Online courses, Webinars, Workshops, Tutorials, Newsletters, Podcasts, Membership sites, Printables, Templates, Audiobooks, Checklists, Planners, Spreadsheets, Worksheets, etc.||Anyone who is an expert in their field can produce these types of digital products. Such digital products tend to focus on delivering value via educational content or serve as handy productivity/daily-use tools.||Lifestyle coaches, Influencers, Freelancers, Small business owners, Entrepreneurs, Creators, Bloggers, Coders, Bakers, Designers, Makeup artists, Astrologers, etc.|
|Wallpapers, Stock photos, Fonts, Mockups, Presets for tools like Lightroom, Filters for tools like Photoshop, Canva templates or general Social media templates, Stock audio, Stock video, Animations, Pretty much all kinds of Graphic Design files, etc.||Creatives — anyone in any creative field — that can create anything that’s digitally downloadable fit this category.||Creators, Musicians, Photographers, Graphic Designers, Digital artists, Animators, Videographers, etc.|
|Integrations, Extensions, Themes, Plugins (think WordPress plugins or those for solutions like Microsoft Office), Apps, Addons, etc.||This one is for software developers or for people with ideas that they can outsource to developers for development.||IT Specialists, Coders, Developers, S/W Engineers, Website developers, Agencies|
The best way to sell digital products: via your own digital products store
While you’re still choosing from the many digital product ideas we just saw, there’s more to think about: your digital products store.
When it comes to selling digital products online, you have three options:
- Online marketplaces like Etsy that let you open a storefront.
- SaaS eCommerce platforms like Shopify that let you build a proper online store.
- Website builders like WordPress coupled with plugins like Download Monitor or WooCommerce or other WordPress digital download management/selling plugins that help you sell via your own website.
While each of these options has its strengths, the most cost-effective, straightforward, and customizable way to build a digital products store is by using WordPress with the digital store builder plugin Download Monitor. The core plugin offers all the essentials for building an online store to sell downloads. It covers all the moving parts of a digital downloads business, like:
- Creating products quickly, including the product page setup, uploading files, and enabling downloads/sales.
- Maintaining access levels for controlling file access and use.
- Offering out-of-the-box tracking of each download without having to do any coding.
To further extend your store’s functionalities and add tools for digital marketing and growing your online business, you can choose from over a dozen of Download Monitor extensions.
Use Download Monitor’s premium extensions to:
- Make your users enter their emails to access their free downloads/purchases so that you can start with email marketing.
- Get users to fill out a form before being able to download the files.
- Build custom download pages to upsell/cross-sell products while downloads are in progress.
- Enforce usage terms and conditions.
- Host files on Google Drive or Amazon S3.
You can get each Download Monitor extension as part of Download Monitor’s COMPLETE pack. Check it out and see how you can take your business ideas for digital products and actually sell them online.
Wrapping it up…
You can now stop googling “digital product ideas” and actually choose a digital product idea with confidence. Before getting to the production part, use tips from this article to validate it.
Once you’re ready with your products, download Download Monitor’s free plugin from the WordPress.org repository. With Download Monitor, you can set up your digital products store in three easy steps. Unlike other SaaS services for enabling digital product sales, with WordPress and Download Monitor, you own your store — 100%. And it’s fully customizable, so you aren’t boxed on any platform!
Get Download Monitor’s extensions and get the best value to build and grow your digital product business.