Monetization

8 Benefits of Selling Digital Products

by Kelsey McLellan · Published Jul 11, 2024

If you’re a creator (or a frequent reader of The Leap), then you’ve likely heard a thing or two about digital products. A digital product is anything you can sell online as a downloadable. This includes everything from templates and guides, to online courses and subscriptions.

With the recent creator economy boom, digital products have gained massive popularity as a stream of revenue for content creators. The numbers don’t lie: the digital media market is set to hit a massive $560 billion by the end of 2024. That’s a ton of profit to be made on digital products!

In addition to this massive $560B pie, there are tons of other benefits to selling digital products as part of your creator monetization strategy.

Want to harness the power of the digital product? Read on to learn about all the great benefits of selling digital products, which digital products are the most profitable, and how to start selling them today.

Click here to start creating and selling digital products with The Leap. It’s free!

8 Benefits of selling digital products

Looking to join the digital product game or just need some convincing? Below, we’ve outlined eight of the top benefits of selling digital products:

  1. Lower production costs
  2. Higher profit margins
  3. No shipping logistics
  4. Generate passive income
  5. Own your revenue streams
  6. Easily scalable
  7. Sell globally
  8. Grow your audience

1. Lower production costs

First off, selling digital products requires relatively little investment compared to selling physical products. Why? Because digital products are created and sold online using digital tools, which are much more affordable than their real-world counterparts.

Traditionally, to sell physical merch, you’d need to rent a brick-and-mortar retail location and a warehouse to store all your inventory. With digital products, there’s no need for an IRL storefront or a warehouse. 

Instead, digital products are sold online through a myriad of digital venues, including creator storefronts, online marketplaces, online shopping carts, or your very own website.

In order to use these platforms’ file-hosting, storefront, and payment processing services, sellers will usually pay a monthly subscription fee or a transaction fee (i.e. a slice of each sale) to the platform. Sure, most of these platforms come with a fee — although there are free solutions like The Leap — however, the costs end up being significantly less than what you’d be investing in your physical products.

image

Build, market, and sell digital products all in one spot with The Leap!

2. Higher profit margins

    When it comes to selling physical products, sellers also need to invest tons of time and money into maintaining a physical inventory. With digital products, however, you can kiss inventory worries goodbye.

    Because digital products are downloadable files, they only need to be produced and published online once. From there, copies can be sold over and over (and over). This means you never need to invest time, effort, or money in producing additional units.

    All this means that you can expect higher returns on selling digital products over selling physical products, with a profit margin that increases over time.

    3. No shipping logistics

    If shipping logistics already give you a headache as a consumer, imagine dealing with them as a seller!

    With digital products, you’ll never need to deal with shipping headaches ever again. This is because digital products exist in cyberspace, and are purchased and delivered, digitally, just like an email.

    Here’s how it works: when a customer purchases your digital product, they’ll download a copy of your product directly (and instantly) to their device. Most online storefront platforms will provide customers with a unique download link (typically via email) after they’ve hit “purchase.” In other words, no one involved needs to deal with shipping, ever.

    This is great for your customers because they don’t need to wait for their products to arrive. But this is even better for you because you’ll never need to deal with the hassle of shipping logistics. And that’s a small miracle!

    4. Generate passive income 

    All this is to say that digital products are a powerful source of passive income (which is the best kind, if you’re asking us!)

    Because you only need to produce them once and don’t need to be constantly hands-on, maintaining your inventory or shipping your orders, you can earn digital product income while focusing on other aspects of your content creation — or while just sitting back and taking it easy.

    5. Own your revenue streams

    Another benefit of selling digital products? It’s a revenue stream that you own, 100%. In other words, you have full financial and creative control over your digital product income stream.

    Why is this important? Well, historically, content creators have relied on revenue from third-parties like brands (via partnerships) and social platforms (via ad revenue or creator rewards). Relying on others for income can put you in a financially precarious position, especially when the economy takes a downturn, and brands decrease their marketing budgets or social platforms shuts down their creator funds.

    When you sell digital products, you don’t need to rely on anyone else to get paid, which gives you more financial freedom and stability in the creator economy.

    “It’s important to diversify your income streams and build different revenue channels as a creator, so you have more control and security over your monthly income,” says Taylor Loren, digital creator and founder of Reels Tips. “So if influencer marketing budgets get cut, you can still be earning income from selling digital products, merch, or affiliate marketing.”  

    On top of that, selling digital products gives you more creative control over your brand. Because they’re created and owned by you, your digital products represent who you are as a creator, rather than another brand’s marketing agenda.

    image

    Create and sell digital products in minutes using The Leap!

    6. Easily scalable

    Want to grow your income as a creator? Selling digital products is a great way to do it.

    The reality is that it’s much, much easier to scale an income stream that centers on digital rather than physical products. This is because the infrastructure of a digital product business exists online rather than IRL, where growth can be stifled by the expense and clunkiness of tangible tools and services, like brick-and-mortar stores, warehouse locations, and shipping logistics.

    What’s even better is that scalability is often built into the plans offered by online storefront providers. This means that, if you’re looking to add more digital products to your offering or onboard more employees to your team, you can simply upgrade your subscription. In other words, scaling your revenue stream is just a few clicks away.

    7. Sell globally

    As a creator, your content is likely already reaching viewers at all four corners of the globe. And, guess what? Your digital products can, too.

    Because they exist online, digital products don’t need to be shipped across the world to get into your customers’ hands. This means your potential pool of customers won’t be reduced by arbitrary shipping restrictions or other blockers, like too-high shipping costs and surprise duties fees. 

    In other words, you can sell your digital products to anyone and everyone with an internet connection, no worries!

    8. Grow your audience

    Did you know that, on top of it all, selling digital products is a great way to engage — and grow — your audience?

    Like content, creating digital products specifically for your audience shows them that you get them. You understand their pain points, their struggles, their needs, and desires, and you want to help them find solutions. In other words, it’s another way to engage with and bond with your followers.

    By providing your followers with high-quality digital products also enables you to expand your audience. If your existing followers love your product, there are certainly more like-minded potential customers out there. And if you can continue promoting your products through content (or other venues), those leads will find their way to you.

    Also: never underestimate the power of word-of-mouth as a marketing tool. If you’re providing your existing followers with effective solutions, they’re likely to pass the word on to others.

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    Start monetizing your audience with The Leap, your all-in-one creator store.

    5 Profitable digital products to sell online

    Now that you know all the benefits of selling digital products, we’re betting you’re curious about the types of digital products that are out there.

    From online courses to subscriptions, there are many different kinds of digital products you can create and sell. And, of course, some are more profitable than others.

    Here, we’re listing some of the most profitable digital products you can sell as a creator:

    1. Templates
    2. Online courses
    3. Mini-courses
    4. Challenges
    5. Subscriptions and memberships

    1. Templates

    Templates are pre-formatted documents made to be edited by users to create a custom, final document that fits their specific needs. The purpose of these digital tools is to save users time and energy, and help them optimize their processes. 

    Simple Daily Fitness Planner by Caroline Carrillo

    Because they’re so easy to use and give immediate results, templates are in huge demand online. And, thus, they’re some of the most profitable digital products around. 

    Better than that? Templates are also some of the easiest digital products to build, which means you can start earning more money on templates sooner.

    Canva Template Ideas To Create and Sell

    Get our spreadsheet of over 100 Canva template ideas across a range of popular categories.


    2. Online courses

    An online course is an educational product that helps your audience achieve a learning outcome over a period of time. An online course is typically made up of a series of modules and lessons, and usually lasts for weeks to months. 

    As a result, these digital products tend to be more involved and have higher expectations from customers. On the other hand, online courses are usually some of the highest-ticket items within a creator’s product offering, and can be priced between $500 and $2000.

    Ready to build your first online course? Try Thinkific’s online course builder for free now.


    3. Mini-courses

      Mini-courses are bite-sized courses made up of short-form content and designed to help your audience achieve a specific learning outcome. Because they’re so easy to create and consume, mini-courses are incredibly profitable digital products.

      Want to create your first mini-course today? You can with The Leap’s AI-powered digital product builder. Try The Leap for free now.


      4. Challenges

      Challenges are educational products that help users achieve a goal within a specific time frame. Oftentimes, challenges are held live and typically run between 5 to 30 days in length. Paid challenges require a certain level of involvement from creators, but tend to be incredibly lucrative because they’re so engaging.

      Want to run your first challenge today? The Leap’s AI-powered digital product builder makes it easy. Try The Leap for free today.

      Money with Mel: 14 Day Expense Tracking Challenge melanie laurene the leap
      Money With Mel: 14 Day Expense Tracking Challenge


      5. Subscriptions and memberships

      Subscriptions and memberships provide users with access to content, tools or services for a monthly fee. Due to this, subscriptions and memberships are a great source of reliable, recurring income. Think of it like a salary!

      How to start selling digital products in 6 steps

      Now that you know all the good benefits of digital products and have an idea of which ones you can create, you might be (just a little) interested in selling them.

      If you are, then you’re in luck, because here we’re outlining the six easy steps you can take to start creating and selling your digital products:

      1. Do your research
      2. Create your digital product
      3. Set up your online store
      4. Promote your product with content
      5. Build your email list
      6. Use paid advertising

      Step 1: Do your research

      The first step to selling digital products online is figuring out what you’re going to sell. And to get a handle on that, you’ll need to know who you’re creating it for (aka your target audience). 

      To get a sense of the kind of digital products your audience is looking for and currently using, we suggest asking them directly via the question and polling features on your platform of choice. 

      You’ll also want to conduct a little keyword research to see whether there’s search interest (i.e. a market) for the kind of digital product you’d like to offer.

      Finally, you’ll want to check out your competition. Scope out the kinds of products similar creators are selling. You’ll also want to pay attention to how they’re promoting and pricing their products. 


      Step 2: Create your digital product

      Now that you’ve figured out just what digital product you’d like to build, it’s time to build it!

      We suggest starting small, especially if you’re new to creating digital products. Start with a bite-sized idea and avoid doing too much at once. You don’t want to burn yourself out before you can even start raking it in, right?

      Smaller, more manageable digital products include simple templates, guides, tutorials, and mini-courses (rather than a fully-fledged online course). Think of these as your opportunity to learn about the creation process and find your groove.

      Of course, if you’d really like to streamline the creation process, you can always try The Leap.

      The Leap is a free all-in-one creator store that features an AI-powered digital product builder. Whether you’re looking to build a mini-course, tutorial, challenge, or guide, The Leap enables you to bring your digital product idea to life in just minutes.

      Want to create your first digital product, easily? Try The Leap for free today!

      image

      Create and sell digital products in minutes using The Leap!


      Step 3: Set up your online store

        Now that you’ve built your digital product, it’s time to publish it and start selling. That means it’s time to set up your online storefront.

        Today, there are a number of online storefront tools designed specifically for selling digital products. These range from e-commerce solutions like Shopify and Gumroad to smaller online shopping carts like ThriveCart. One of the best ways to sell your digital product is through a mobile-optimized link-in-bio storefront like The Leap.

        Setting up your Leap storefront and publishing your first digital product can be done in just a few minutes. Here are the steps:

        1. Add your digital product to your store

          When you use The Leap to build your digital product, the platform will automatically generate its sales page and add it to your Leap store.

          You can also sell your existing digital products on your Leap store by posting a link to wherever it’s hosted on your sales page.

          Use The Leap to create digital products or sell your existing products.

          2. Edit your product’s landing page

            Grab potential customers’ attention with an engaging and detailed product description. And don’t forget to add eye-catching images.

            Example of a digital product’s landing page on The Leap.

            3. Set a price

              The Leap allows you to offer your digital products at three different options. These include:

              • Fixed price: you get to decide exactly how much you want to charge for your product.
              • Pay what you want: let your customers decide how much they want to pay for your product
              • Lead magnet: offer your product for free in exchange for your customer’s email address.

              4. Customize your storefront

                Now comes the fun part. The Leap provides users with a variety of pre-made, customizable themes for your online storefront. You can personalize your store even further with a custom profile photo and header image, and links to your various social channels.

                Example of a Leap storefront.

                5. Promote your store online

                  Finally, you’ll want to share your store with your audience. You can do this by adding your Leap storefront link to your social media bio, newsletter, and anywhere else you engage with your audience.


                  Step 4: Promote your product with content

                    Now that you’ve created your digital product and set up shop, it’s time to start promoting it to your audience. There are a number of ways you can successfully market your new digital product through your content.

                    First, you’ll want to mention your product in your video content. Of course, you don’t want your entire feed turning into a marketing campaign for your product. So we suggest publishing at least one video dedicated to detailing your product, and then name-dropping your product in a few other, related pieces of content. 

                    You can also integrate your product into your content creation strategy and create content about the product you’re selling. If you create content about the problems your product solves or about similar solutions, you’ll have plenty of opportunities to promote your product.

                    Finally, you should include links to your digital product’s sales page (and your online storefront) in your post’s captions or descriptions.

                    Need some inspiration? Check out creator Andrea Casanova’s video where she subtly promotes her vision board mini-course, built on The Leap.


                    Step 5: Build your email list

                      Did you know that email marketing is still one of the most effective marketing tools out there? With this in mind, you’ll want to start promoting your product via email.

                      To do this, you’ll first need to build an email list. This is your list of newsletter subscribers (i.e. potential customers). To capture your followers’ email addresses, you can include opt-in forms on your online storefront and social media channels. 

                      Another great way to collect your audience’s email addresses is by offering lead magnets in exchange for their contact information. The Leap’s AI-powered digital product builder makes it easy for you to turn any of your products into lead magnets, so you can grow your email list quickly.

                      Once you have subscribers, you’ll want to keep engaged by sending out valuable newsletters regularly. That way, your followers will be ready (and checking their inboxes) when you drop a new product or send out your sales funnel.


                      Step 6: Use paid advertising

                        Finally, why not dip a toe in paid advertising? This step will require you to invest a little bit of cash, however, the payoff can be huge.

                        There are many ways you can get in on paid advertising. Depending on your social platform of choice, you can purchase sponsored posts promoting your digital products. You can also look into Google Ads, which are displayed on Google’s search results pages, giving your products tons of visibility.

                        Finally, you might want to consider partnering with another creator. This could take shape through sponsored posts or a collaboration. Either way, you’ll be introducing your product to a whole new audience.

                        Ready to start selling your first digital product? We’ll help you do it right the first time. Get our 6-Step Checklist for Selling Your First Digital Product for free!

                        The 6-Step Checklist for Selling Your First Digital Product

                        How to go from an initial idea to your first sale!

                        Reap the benefits of selling digital products

                        So there you have it: all the benefits of selling digital products plus the steps you need to start reaping them.

                        Want to start benefiting from selling digital products today? You can with The Leap.

                        The Leap is an all-in-one platform that makes it easy for creators to build and sell their first digital products quickly. The Leap features an AI-powered digital product builder, a mobile-optimized link-in-bio storefront, and built-in email marketing tools which let you create, sell, and market your products from one place.

                        The Leap’s generative AI-powered authoring tool enables you to create the most engaging (and profitable) digital products, like mini-courses, challenges, and tutorials, in just minutes. Because it’s so easy to use, The Leap’s product builder empowers you to transform your digital products into lead magnets, which helps you grow your email list fast.

                        The best part? The Leap is totally free to use.

                        Want to start building and selling your first digital products with The Leap? Try it for free today.

                        image

                        Create and sell digital products in minutes using The Leap!

                        Follow The Leap on TikTokInstagram, and YouTube for more monetization tips for creators. We also make a newsletter.


                        Further reading

                        This article was originally published in March 2023, and updated in July 2024 with additional information.

                        kelsey mclellan
                        About the author

                        Kelsey McLellan

                        Kelsey McLellan is a writer and editor based in Toronto.
                        Follow us on tiktok
                        @the.leap
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