Awesome, you’re excited to sell digital goods. That just might be one of the best business moves you’ve made! Selling digital products can be a pretty profitable venture, especially when compared with selling physical products. You don’t have to deal with inventory, storage, or shipping costs!
But of course, not all digital products can substantially boost your income. Heck, picking the wrong products to sell could even bust your wallet. But that’s why this article was written: to give you an idea of the most profitable niches and the best digital products to sell online, with specific examples.
Table of contents
- Why are digital products profitable?
- Especially promising industries for selling digital products — a look at past numbers
- How to find the right niche for your digital products
- What are today’s most profitable niches for digital products?
- What are the most profitable individual digital products?
- How to choose the most profitable platform to sell digital products
Are you a professional artist, novelist, software engineer, or simply an enthusiast of your line of work? It makes no difference what your title is when selling digital goods. You may turn your passions, talents, or knowledge into a source of revenue. All you need is a computer, possibly an internet connection, and definitely a willingness to invest a little time and energy to learn what you need to learn.
If you’re not sure what qualifies as a digital product, check our article on what digital products are.
Why are digital products profitable?
Creating, marketing, and selling digital products can be daunting, mainly if you aren’t the most tech-savvy person on the globe. However, the learning curve may be surprisingly short, thanks to online tools like Etsy, Shopify, and Thinkific.
Furthermore, there are other compelling reasons to sell digital things online:
Low investment, high return
You can make many digital products with only a short amount of time, some effort, and a bit of concentration. If you can’t or don’t want to rent a physical site or establish a physical inventory, online marketplaces and e-commerce platforms are comparatively inexpensive. Hence, you can significantly boost your profit.
Increasing profit margins
Physical goods have a lower profit margin than digital goods. And because you aren’t spending any money to produce new units, your profit margin grows over time.
No need to worry about extra utility bills
Apart from not having to pay for the costs of manufacturing, storing, or transporting physical items. Selling digital goods via the internet has the potential to be relatively straightforward, which is why it’s a great side hustle.
Physical goods require a physical space, which can incur costs in terms of electricity, gas, water, and waste for the people having to maintain that space. But if you make your digital goods at home, the only utility bills you have to worry about are the ones you would have paid anyway!”
If you already have a full-time day job, the digital products you sell online can supplement your income even if you spend the majority of your week at the office (or wherever you usually work).
Can serve a specialized niche
Sometimes, expertise in something uncommon can be tremendously lucrative. It’s easier to focus on a narrow audience with specific demands than to compete on a broad scale.
For example, many folks desire ripped abs in 30 days. A significantly smaller percentage of people prefer the ideal physique for water polo. In this case, serving the niche means focusing on providing digital products for the water polo enthusiasts while at the same time keeping a window open for the possibility to expand to a larger audience who wants ripped abs.
The problem with selling products in niches locally is that there isn’t always a large enough market. However, even the tiniest niches are large enough to serve a worldwide market with no geographical restrictions on whom you can sell to.
Especially promising industries for selling digital products — a look at past numbers
The beauty with the digital products space is that if you’re creative, driven, and maybe a little tech-savvy enough, you can sell almost anything. Still, certain industries have consistently shown tremendous success.
We’ll discuss some now, and then get back to a few of them later on when we explore niches that you might want to dabble into (in case you haven’t yet made up your mind yet about what digital products to sell online).
The book industry is a massive, powerful, and trustworthy global consumer market. Every year, the new digital formats of ebooks and audiobooks produce billions of dollars in sales worldwide. Statistics say that one in four people read an ebook — a huge demographic you can tap into!
If you like to create courses, good news! As more businesses move online, demand for digital products continues to rise, with online course demand expected to reach $319 billion by 2025.
Needless to say, the creation and sale of online courses is also a thriving business worldwide. People of all ages are more interested in education and lifelong learning than ever.
Online courses offer a convenient and cost-effective approach to broadening knowledge without having to leave home! If you’re not already selling an online course, you’re missing out on a vast potential to create more leads, build a passive revenue stream, and improve your brand’s reputation. You may use this online course earnings calculator to figure out how much money you could make from online courses based on the size of your audience, conversion rate, and course cost.
If you dip your toes into the art industry, you’ll also see big numbers. The online art and antiquities market peaked at 13.3 billion dollars in 2021, accounting for nearly a fifth of the overall art market value, owing to interest in crypto art and non-fungible tokens (NFTs).
Okay, “membership programs” don’t comprise a specific “industry” per se, but almost any industry can create a membership program. When it comes to membership or loyalty programs, you may see revenue growth 2.5 times quicker than your competition and even 100-400 percent higher shareholder returns.
Let’s say you’re expected to work with 1,120 consumers. If you design your membership program to bring in an average donation of $10 per month or $120 per year per member, you may expect $134,400 in total membership revenue from 1,120 members.
Here’s another one that can span numerous industries. If none of the other examples impress you, maybe the podcast industry will. While very popular podcast hosts make a lot of money, smaller ones don’t go unnoticeable either.
According to a Businessnes.com article, podcasting has reached its peak of popularity and can only go up from here. A whopping 22% of the U.S. population listens to podcasts weekly. In 2019, for instance, big names got even bigger. Taking Joe Rogan as an example, he earned a whopping $30 million that year just running his podcast.
How to find the right niche for your digital products
When it comes to starting to selling digital products, finding an appropriate and profitable niche is essential.
This puts you ahead of most entrepreneurs, who start with a product or business idea they’re passionate about without first researching if anyone, would want to buy what they’re selling.
Keep the following in mind when picking your niche:
- Write down all of the possible niches that come to mind. Make sure you’re interested in them. Put the profit factor aside for the time being. We promise there’s enough money out there.
- Once you’ve compiled a list of potential niches, say 10, do thorough research on each one. The research can consist of keyword research, competition research, trends research, etc. For example, you can ask yourself these questions: ‘What is my target demographic?’, ‘What is the potential market size?’, ‘What does the competitive landscape look like?’, etc.
- Select the top three ideas from your list and start thinking of what products can solve people’s problems.
What are today’s most profitable niches for digital products?
Most digital product sellers want to start with a broad specialty and then narrow it down with subsequent offerings. Fitness, for example, is a niche, but there are several sub-specialties such as muscle growth, weight loss, elder fitness, fitness for children, and so on.
The best niches are those with a lot of competition and many people interested in that topic. That suggests the money is in that area! That may seem contradictory, but finding a niche with no competition almost always implies no one is interested, and you won’t make any money in the first place.
However, choosing the one with the most competition suggests you have a lower chance of succeeding unless you have a solution that answers as many problems as possible or you solve a problem that was overlooked by others. Balance is the key.
With these things in mind, take a look at some niches that are on the rise:
People are turning to the internet to learn how to cook or find new tips and recipes, so the culinary niche is growing. Please bear in mind that the commodity being sold will not be the food itself but rather various preparation methods.
The food industry is a viable choice for those seeking additional income. As a result, classes teaching how to cook meals, bake cakes, or prepare other food items for sale have risen in popularity.
An ebook for vegan recipes, various methods of cooking meat, diet plans, or even templates with checklists and recipes that can be printed are all good examples of digital products you can sell within the food niche.
One of the most demanding niches on the internet is healthy living and habit transformation. Within this broad market, there are micro-niches to be discovered. Weight loss, healthy eating, vegan/vegetarian cuisine, sports, yoga, and meditation are some of the topics covered.
You can create and sell complex personal transformation ebooks, meal plan PDF guides, video workout routines, yoga, or pilates courses.
3. Business and career
Business and career is another valuable niche. The most recent generation of adults has altered global labor dynamics. Young people used to spend their entire lives working in the same job and doing the same function. In that case, today’s professionals aspire to travel the world and attain financial stability before reaching 30.
As a result, young people are drawn to courses taught by economists, successful entrepreneurs, and coaches. This niche can be quite rewarding if you know how to produce high-quality material that helps your audience handle difficulties like lack of attention, trouble developing work ideas, and creative blocks.
The pet market is rising. According to the American Pet Products Association (APPA), nearly 70 percent of American families own a pet. Some people even skip having children to dedicate their full attention to their feathered or furry companions.
As a result, this sector provides a diverse set of opportunities. It’s feasible to develop material regarding food, health, and leisure and provide niche-specific services.
So making and selling digital products such as training courses, care sheets, and even digital art that people can print on their own are great product picks for this niche.
What are the most profitable individual digital products?
When people search the internet for products and services, they’re seeking simple and practical solutions to their concerns. They put time and money into training, courses, and information that will help them achieve a goal. As a result, digital items have become a viable business option.
These products can be made available in a number of different formats. Take a look at the main formats listed below:
Ebooks are one of the most widely used and distributed digital items. This format can be given away for free in exchange for user information or sold for a fee established by the creator. Ebooks can be created in PDF format or viewed on devices such as the Kindle and Kobo.
The main benefit is that you can write an ebook about any topic. For example, you could write a recipe ebook or a step-by-step guide to becoming a superb pastry chef.
2. Membership Programs
Membership programs are another content structure ranking high up the list of the best-selling digital products.
Entrepreneurs who employ this business model provide their audience with beneficial information such as video courses, ebooks, and podcasts in exchange for a weekly, monthly, or annual membership.
This service package is normally supplied at a set price, and consumers can no longer access the material when their subscription ends unless they reactivate their subscription. You can create membership programs in various areas, including health, food, and personal development.
Customers can, for example, sign up for guided meditation services and receive a daily exercise to perform. Customers might receive weekly emails that include recommendations for a healthy menu and a list of suggested dishes and how to make them.
3. Online courses
Online courses have already been shown to be quite popular, with most individuals having purchased or completed one. There are currently various digital platforms with multiple payment methods where you can host and make your course available to the public.
Students can learn in various ways with online courses, including PDFs, videos, infographics, handouts, and direct contact with the course instructor.
You can create online courses about almost anything, including fitness, sports, food, education, business, and career development.
4. Audio products
Another example of a successful digital product is audio. People may learn while on the move, which is a benefit. Many people, for example, consume this type of content while commuting to and from work.
You can, for example, convert ebooks to audiobooks or create a podcast with informational content. These audio products can then be made available on their own websites and on platforms like Spotify and Soundcloud.
Photography can also be converted into a digital format. You can sell your photos on websites like Shutterstock, iStockphoto, and Getty Images if you have a strong eye for photography and competent equipment.
Photos can be sold to individuals worldwide on specialized websites and utilized for social media, editorials, magazines, and blogs.
6. Digital art
Selling digital art has vast potential — designing elements for the holidays to fun and cool art for summer days. There’s always something in demand and it’s easily one of the most profitable digital products.
If you enjoy painting watercolor flowers, your target market could be wedding stationery designers. It could also be arts-and-crafts enthusiasts who enjoy making creative cards, invitations, and the like. This market would be ideal for creating stunning floral watercolor graphics fit for these tasks.
Perhaps you enjoy creating logos. You might generate premade logo templates and sell them to consumers who are new business owners on a budget or designers who need a logo for a client quickly.
How to choose the most profitable platform to sell digital products
If you’re selling a single item, you can definitely set up a simple form on your website and use Stripe or PayPal to collect credit card payments.
However, if you’re selling several products and require a quick way for customers to download them, you’ll need a dedicated digital product platform or proper setup on your own website.
When deciding on the best platform, bear the following in mind:
- You should be able to accept money using a variety of payment methods.
- Customers should be able to download products easily.
- In some cases, customers should be able to have access to an account or a download management area.
- You can make money by selling download subscriptions.
- The platform should be able to support different download file types and formats.
- Tools for displaying and promoting products on your website should be built in.
Want greater detail about the best platforms? Check out our article on the best 13 platforms to sell digital downloads.
Download Monitor is one of the best solutions you might need when it comes to selling digital products on your own website. It’s the most cost-efficient way to sell because there are no commissions or hidden fees. You get to price your digital goods and keep 100% of all the profit. You pay only the yearly cost of the plugin, which comes with loads of features and full support.
With so many options for selling online, you’ll have no trouble finding the one that’s right for you. Whether you want to make videos or write ebooks, on a platform or on your own website, current technological advancements have made selling the most profitable digital products easier than ever before.