If you are just getting started selling digital products on Etsy, Shopify or your own website, there are some great tips and ideas that I have come across over the years that make a big difference in the number of sales that you can make!
What Kinds of Digital Products Can You Sell?
Before we get too far, you might be wondering what kinds of things you can sell as digital downloads… here the top 12 on Etsy today doing a search for “digital download”:
So we have a font, 4 cliparts, 2 digital papers, signs, 2 wall decor, tshirt transfer, backgrounds and backdrops. The number of digital downloads you can sell is really limitless.
For example, I sell business forms, courses and planners on my Etsy store, Paperly People. I have sold thousands of items over the years and that is just passive income rolling in year after year with not that much effort after originally making the item.
Related Article: How To Create A Best Selling Digital Download On Etsy
1. Make what people want!
I have to say that the products that I struggle to sell are the ones that I THINK the people need and the ones that fly off the virtual shelf are the ones that others have suggested I make. For example, I have sold over $700 worth of the my little Ebay listing sheet. I originally made this for my besty who needed a form to help her do her work.
You can find these kinds of ideas in the questions your customers ask and also from your “real life” questions you get at places like networking.
If you are brand new and don't know what people are asking for yet, join some Facebook groups for your topic. People will ask all kinds of questions about things you could potentially make.
2. Search Popular Culture
One of my best kept secrets for sourcing new ideas are magazines and Pinterest. For example, this month's Better Homes and Gardens features a graphic wall sign that says “come as you are”. If I was selling wall art, I would be checking each month to see what kinds of designs are popular and creating similar ideas (no copying, be creative!)
I use the Texture App to see all kinds of magazines. You could also visit your local Barnes & Nobles to see real life magazine.
I also surf Pinterest to see what is popular. Say you sold downloadable party decorations, you would want to see the kinds of themes that are popular with today's cool moms.
As you can see here, there are free ideas like the fruit banners, but also “paid” downloads for those same kinds of pendants on Etsy. And I was super excited to see that there was only one item that would violate trademark (that Hogwarts letter). Be super careful not to run afoul of copyright laws when making your products… How To Avoid Problems With Disney For Etsy Sellers.
But even better than the ideas are the categories that Pinterest shows us under the search…
This will give you some great ideas that you might never have thought of like “signs”, “kit”, “games”, etc.
3. Make Lots of Products
Sometimes it is hard to tell which of your items are going to be breakout successes. I have made several planners for my store and some sell well (Real Estate Planner – 296 sales) and some barely sell enough to cover my time that I spent making them (Entrepreneurs Planner – 16 sales).
The key to finding you best sellers is to have a lot of different products and then tracking which ones are top sellers.
For example, say you sell knitting patterns. You make ones for mittens, headbands and doileys. Come to find out that your headbands are outselling everything else by a large margin.
Instead of continuing to make all kinds of mitten patterns do some more headband patterns and see if you can find a niche! Or maybe it is headgear that works for you so you do headbands and add hat patterns.
While it would be great if we could all find our niche right away, sometimes it is by making lots of products and testing their reception that we get our best ideas!
Selling Digital Products Wrapup
Hopefully this will give you some ideas about selling digital products that you can use in your business.
That said I have one word of warning!
Don't get complacent. It is easy to think that your best sellers will keep paying you for years and years, but that rarely happens. If it is truly a great seller someone could notice and copy you idea. Or your design could fall out of vogue. Or something newer and cooler might come on the market.
Because selling digital products is so hands free it is to get lazy and stop producing new products. At the very least keep track of whether your sales are going up or down. At best keep an eye out for what is next in your industry and add a new bestseller to your offerings before your last one dies!