Whether you’re hoping to sell a digital download or a physical product, there are plenty of online marketplaces out there to help you make that first sale. While Amazon might be the most popular option, for those looking to kick-start their entrepreneurial journey on a less saturated platform, consider selling on Gumroad.
Offering an easy-to-use interface and a smooth sales process that is hard to beat, the platform is fast becoming a favorite among creators. If you’re considering getting on Gumroad, or looking for ways to increase sales on your Gumroad store, we have nine tips to help you get started.
What is Gumroad?
Gumroad is an e-commerce platform where anyone can buy or sell products or services. The platform allows creators and entrepreneurs to set up intuitive landing pages to host their products and convert visitors into paying customers.
What can you sell on Gumroad?
Gumroad was designed to help creators sell anything. That’s the appeal of Gumroad — creators can experiment with different ideas and formats, until they find a product or multiple products that resonate with their audience and generate income.
On Gumroad, you can sell both digital (downloadable) products and physical goods. Here are some examples:
Selling digital products is a low-risk, low-effort way to delve into entrepreneurship and make money online. Some digital products you can sell on Gumroad include:
- Music – Indie artists can launch and sell their albums and singles.
- Online courses and videos – Course creators can sell their online courses, video lessons and tutorials, or even webinars.
- Printables – Think checklists, worksheets, and printable art.
- Digital art – Illustrators and photographers can sell digital copies of their graphics, photographs, and more.
- e-books – Writers can self-publish and sell their e-books on the platform.
- Monthly subscriptions – Offer exclusive, premium content to your audience by selling memberships.
- Templates – From resumes to expense trackers, you can create and sell all kinds of templates.
Want to make physical merch? Here are a few types of products you can sell on Gumroad:
- Print books – From comic books to non-fiction books, writers can sell print books in any genre.
- Physical artwork and tools – Artists can sell physical sketches and paintings. They can also sell art tools like pencils, paintbrushes, watercolors, oil paint, and more.
- Clothing – This can be athleisure wear, formal clothing, or graphic tees designed by you.
- Fitness equipment – Yoga pants, fitness smartwatches, resistance bands, etc.
9 Steps to start selling on Gumroad
Money doesn’t fall from trees — the saying is applicable to running a Gumroad store. You can’t expect the dollars to pour in simply by setting up a store and putting a product on it. To see results, you need to put in some groundwork.
If you want to make money on Gumroad, here are a few things you should know:
1. Do your research
Just like any other business, you can only make money on Gumroad if you sell what people actually want to buy. To create a great product that generates sales, you have to do some research to find what your target market needs. This is not something you can guess or understand just from reading a few blogs or watching a TikTok. You’ll have to study your target audience, product, and your competition.
Your target audience are potential customers who’d want to buy your product when you launch it. Understanding what your audience wants is important if you’re looking to create something that they’re willing to pay for.
To learn what your audience wants, you need to figure out:
- Their age bracket.
- Their income range.
- Where they reside.
- The kinds of jobs they work.
- A problem they’re facing.
- The solution they’re looking for.
- The roadblocks that are stopping them from solving their problem.
When you know all this information about your audience, you’ll be able to create a product that bypasses those roadblocks and gives them the solution they need.
When you decide on the product you want to create, you’ll need to look for similar products and study them. No matter how great your product idea is, chances are someone has already made it. So study the features, design elements, and trends of other products, and use that inspiration to create something unique and valuable.
After examining similar products to yours, find out who are selling those products and gather some information about them. For example:
- What other products are they offering?
- What are customers saying about their products? Are their reviews positive or negative?
- What is their most popular product?
- How do they structure their product pages?
- Are there any obvious marketing tactics they are using that you can use?
Studying your competitors is one of the best ways to find out what works and what doesn’t. Understand how they run their business, improve on it, and apply it to your Gumroad store.
2. Create a landing page for your product
One of the great things about Gumroad is that it allows you to create a landing page for your product for free. It has a flexible page editor that lets you set up a storefront and customize your site’s colors to fit your branding.
As you create your landing page, there are some things to pay attention to:
Visuals tend to grab someone’s attention better and quicker than text. So use high-quality images throughout your landing page, especially for your product thumbnail. Shoppers depend on high-quality thumbnails to understand what your product is, so the picture has to clearly show what your customers will get if they make the purchase.
If you’re not very good at image design, you might need to hire a professional to help you out. If you’re working on a tight budget, you can use tools like Canva to design attractive images.
After looking at your images, shoppers will delve straight into your product description to learn more about your product and how it can help them. Make sure you write and format your product description in a way that’s easy to read.
While Gumroad doesn’t allow you to be completely liberal with colors and wild fonts, it does offer convenient formatting options like headings, italics, bold, and itemized lists. Using these features makes it easy for potential customers to skim your content and quickly understand what you’re selling.
Shoppers visiting your store for the first time need proof that your product is worth their money. That’s why you need to collect testimonials from customers who’ve tried and liked your product. If you sell courses or offer a service, you can publish a case study or a video testimonial that details how you helped your customer(s) solve their problem.
Add these testimonials and case studies to your landing page. This inspires trust in your potential customers, and shows them that you can help them get the results they are looking for.
While these elements will help you create a great landing page on Gumroad, you’ll need to optimize the page for search engines and run split tests occasionally to improve conversions.
3. Price your products accordingly
When setting the price for a product, you should make sure the value is something your target audience can afford. Thankfully, Gumroad allows creators to be flexible with their pricing. There’s the option of price segmentation that allows you to set different pricing tiers. You can also offer a product for free and let customers “name a fair price.” This is a great strategy to use if your audience consists of people who earn both low and high incomes.
Gumroad also allows you to offer an installment payment option for customers that can’t afford the one-off price. Accepting recurring payments is inclusive to all your customers, and works exceptionally well if you’re selling a series, periodic content, or updated products.
4. Promote your Gumroad store
If people can’t find your store, you won’t make money on Gumroad. It sounds harsh, but it’s true. Many Gumroad users think that the platform automatically takes care of their marketing the minute they’ve created their storefront, but that’s not the case.
Gumroad allows creators to promote their products and services across many different platforms and gives them the resources to do so, but it’s up to you to create awareness for your offers on those platforms.
Here are some places you can market your products:
Create accounts on these platforms for your brand, post regularly, and engage with your audience. Talk about your store occasionally, and encourage them to visit your store and shop.
Search engines like Google can be a source of steady traffic to your Gumroad store if you pages are optimized for search.
You can do this by using the right keywords in your headings, subheadings, content, etc. As long as you follow SEO best practices, your store will be visible to potential customers who search for your product, or keywords related to your product.
Paying for ads on Facebook, Instagram, and Google is a great way to drive traffic and generate leads for your Gumroad store. It costs money, yes, but if you set up your targeting well and you have a great product, you’ll make more money than your ad spend.
Email marketing is one of the most effective ways to promote your store, because you’re directly communicating with people who are so interested in your product or content that they gave you their email addresses.
Emails are the perfect way to let your audience know about any discounts, special offers, and upcoming launches. With tools like MailerLite, ConvertKit, and HubSpot, you can craft and send effective emails in no time.
5. Take advantage of Gumroad’s features
Since its launch, Gumroad has continually rolled out features to help shoppers easily find, review, and purchase products. Using those built-in features can increase the visibility of your products, which in turn, drives revenue.
In particular, there are two features you should know about:
The Discover feature allows Gumroad to list your products as “recommended” to customers who just bought something. This feature works in two ways: When someone buys from you, Gumroad will recommend other creators’ products to them. Similarly, when a customer shops from another creator, Gumroad will recommend your product to them.
Gumroad charges a 10% fee for this feature, but this isn’t too much considering the amount of money you’ll make from people who’ll discover your product through this feature.
Gumroad’s tags help buyers filter through Gumroad search results to find what they’re looking for. When you tag your products, they’ll more likely appear in the search and be seen by potential customers.
Although Gumroad lets you see the most popular tags, you should focus on the tags that are most relevant to your products rather than the ones that will give you the most exposure.
6. Recruit product affiliates (or be one yourself)
One of the best features of Gumroad is the ability to use affiliates to promote your products.
Affiliates are people — for example, industry experts, influencers, and content creators — that agree to promote your products to their audience in exchange for a percentage of the sale.
Using affiliates for your Gumroad store is important, as it allows you to tap into audiences you likely wouldn’t have had access to otherwise. And if you’re just starting with Gumroad, this is a great way to quickly get your products out there, drive traffic, and make sales.
Gumroad pre-vets all the affiliates in their program, so you don’t have to worry about people advertising your products on low-performing or sketchy websites.
As you try to get affiliates for your store, try to be an affiliate on Gumroad too. There’s no rule that says you can’t promote other Gumroad products while you sell your own. If you run a popular blog, or you have a sizable social media following, you’ll be able to earn some extra cash by promoting other creators’ products. But be careful not to promote products that compete with yours, so you won’t accidentally reduce your income.
7. Automate your follow-up email sequences
Gumroad has a GDPR-compliant feature called “Workflows” that allows you to send follow-up emails to your customers and target audience.
These emails can help you get more sales (when you send relevant products that relate to the first product they purchased), and increase retention (when you send helpful information about the product the customer bought). But setting up and sending the right follow-up emails to people can be hard, especially when you have many customers and offer many different products.
That’s why you should automate your follow-up sequences. Instead of sending the emails out manually every time you get a new customer, you only set the sequences up once to deliver on autopilot. This frees up your time to focus on other things that can scale your store.
8. Sell multiple products in the same niche
Gumroad is so flexible that you can offer various products across different categories. While this might sound good, it’s much better to focus on what you’re good at and offer multiple products in that niche. Bonus points if some of the products complement each other and can be bought together. This way, you’ll know your target audience in-and-out, build a well-known brand around that niche, and ultimately make more money.
9. Offer your customers more
Let’s be real: e-commerce can be competitive. If you want to make more money from your store, you’ll have to offer your audience more than your competition does. Here are some ideas that may help:
Who doesn’t like free stuff? If you want to reel your audience in and build trust, prepare some helpful and relevant resources, such as e-books, checklists, worksheets, or email courses, and offer them for free in exchange for their email.
While this will ensure that you can reach them when you want to promote a paid product, you don’t have to wait until then. Instead, you can add links to your paid products within the free resources to encourage sales.
Generating affiliate discount codes and coupons is an effective way to get customers without having to give away free resources.
Promising to do a replacement or a full refund if your customers aren’t satisfied with your product can be risky, but it shows customers that your products are high-quality and your store is credible. They will be more willing to buy your product, because you’ve removed the risk factor that influences their decision.
Make the most out of your Gumroad store
Gumroad doesn’t charge a monthly fee, and only takes a cut when you make a sale. If you are able to create quality products and promote your store to the right customers, selling products on Gumroad can help unlock a new revenue stream.
All you need to do is take advantage of the great features available on Gumroad, and market your store through one or more channels, including search engines, social media, and email.