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5 Most Profitable Digital Products to Sell Online

Last updated:
4th May, 2018
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5 Most Profitable Digital Products to Sell Online

Businesses, both big and small, are undergoing a digital transformation in a bid to stay ahead. With the advent of the internet, many entrepreneurs have taken to set up businesses selling digital products.

In 2017 alone, an estimated 1.6 billion people around the world purchased products online. Online retail sales were $2.3 trillion approximately, and this number is slated to more than double by 2021.

In light of this information, it’s not surprising that an increasing number of people are choosing to sell digital products online. Whether it’s music, art, or literature, digital is the way to go.

Indeed, the idea of selling digital products sounds a lot more tempting and easier than setting up a physical store. Rest assured that if you have a good product to sell, there’s a market out there for you, no matter how small it may be.

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So the obvious question is, what are the most profitable digital products that you can sell online? In this post, we’ll take a look at some of them.

1. Video and Courses

The online education industry is booming. There’s a plethora of video tutorials and courses you can find online to help you learn practically anything. But why are videos so popular? Because they are very effective at delivering informative content that can be retained longer. It is easy to consume, relatable, and a lot more engaging than simple text.

So if you’re a good speaker, subject matter expert, or passionate about teaching, this a great way of earning money. Whether it’s through a video tutorial or a written course, you can really make good money by leveraging your knowledge. Which is why this is also known as knowledge commerce.

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Lynda stands testimony to the profitability of videos and online courses. Launched in 1995, with the simple idea of selling workshops and advertising them online, they’ve seen a meteoric rise. If you are a beginner in digital marketing, and want to gain expertise, check out our digital marketing courses from top universities. 

They’ve come a long way since the week-long web designing class that started it all for them. Despite seeing some tribulations, their hard work didn’t go unnoticed. LinkedIn came knocking and bought Lynda for a staggering $1.5 billion in 2015.

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And while it may seem like a daunting task having to put everything together, don’t worry. There are several online platforms available that can make your job simpler. Kajabi, for examp5le, is a platform that provides you everything you need to sell your courses online. It provides functionalities like web hosting, course creation, payment gateways, email marketing, and even analytics.

2. Ebooks

Electronic books are all the rage these days, primarily because they provide access to reading material with great ease. Thanks to electronic readers like Amazon Kindle and Kobo, it’s easier than ever to create and sell an ebook. All you require is some good content and you’re good to go.

The ease with which ebooks can be distributed on Amazon or even self-created online stores makes them great products. You don’t need to lug your library around as you have access to millions of books on a small handheld device.

No more running around to find yourself a publisher. You can now share, educate, or advise by simply writing something and then selling it online. No wonder why consumer ebooks are expected to generate in excess of $18 billion by the end of the year.

If you’re interested in jumping on to this train, it’s pretty easy to publish your own ebook. Here’s how:

  • The first step, of course, is choosing a topic to write on – one that people will be interested in reading, and that is easy to promote.
  • Create a buzz around it via a landing page to promote free samples or excerpts, pre-order offers, and the works.
  • Hit the ground running by leveraging your network and establishing new connections.

Leave no stone unturned to promote your work, and you’ll surely succeed.

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3. Software

This is yet another major industry that has proven to be an excellent revenue generator. The software industry is enormous and growing exponentially. Almost every day we get to hear about some type of groundbreaking work being done in this domain.

From business software to plugins, desktop to mobile applications, games, and themes – you can literally turn your code into cash. The possibilities are endless. If you have ideas that can truly solve problems, and possess programming knowledge, you can develop profitable products to sell online.

Companies worldwide have been projected to spend more than $300 billion on enterprise software alone in 2018. This number will only go up in the years to come. So it is obvious that if you can create code, you can sell it.

The cloud-based team collaboration toolset and software by Slack are a great example of this. Starting off as an internal communication tool for their company, it has grown tremendously in recent years. Just last year, they were valued at 9 billion U.S. dollars!

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4. Audio, Music, and Podcasts

Audio is another powerful means to communicate messages, share information, and entertain. Digital audio products can be in the form of podcasts, music tracks, audiobooks, recorded lectures, sound effects, and much more.

Every customer streaming your podcast or listening to your music can contribute to your passive income. Streaming platforms like Amazon Music or iTunes are great at distributing your work and helping you get heard. Needless to say, you need to establish and grow your audience. Build your own website, share your work relentlessly on social media, and offer regular promotions.

The audio products industry is a billion-dollar industry. Digital streaming has crossed a major milestone with more than 100 million paid subscribers globally. Streaming makes up for roughly 60% of digital revenues which grew to almost $8 billion in 2016. In 2017, the collective revenue from audio streaming almost hit $1.3 billion for Universal Music, Sony Music, and Warner Music.

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5. Photography, Graphics, and Digital Art

High-quality photos, digital art, and graphic web elements are some other sought-after and profitable digital products that you can sell. These are all art forms that command respectable prices in the market.
There are plenty of connoisseurs who’d love to have your photographs, sketches, or digital paintings adorn their walls. Graphic designers too can make good money from themes, UI assets, card designs, cliparts, and pixelated images that they create.

So, if you’re a shutterbug capable of taking spectacular photos, or a digital artist who creates fantastic work, know that there’s a huge market out there for you. There are a plethora of online marketplaces like Shutterstock, Art Web, and My Fonts to choose from depending on your product.

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It’s fair to say that the digital products industry is growing at an alarming rate. Given how profitable it is, budding entrepreneurs, professionals, and artists are flocking to it. All it takes is to figure out an idea that can work and come up with a plan to market it. Be bold, and don’t shy away from exploring. If you have any suggestions about other profitable digital products, let us know in the comments below.

If you want to learn and work on real projects, engage with industry mentors & receive a valuable certificate, check out MICA’s Advanced Certificate in Digital Marketing and Communication specialises in Branding, Social Media, Content Marketing and Analysis.

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Shane Barker

Blog Author
Shane Barker is a digital marketing consultant who specializes in influencer marketing, product launches, sales funnels, targeted traffic and website conversions. He has consulted with Fortune 500 companies, influencers with digital products, and a number of A-List celebrities.
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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

1What is UI?

The full form of UI is User Interface. The graphical layout of an application is known as a user interface. This includes text entry fields, sliders, images, textual content, and clickable buttons.

It also includes any form of micro-interaction, interface animations, transitions, and screen layouts. Any form of visual animation, interaction, or element has to be designed.

UI is designed by graphic designers. They choose the shapes of the buttons, the colour schemes, the text fonts, the line widths, etc.

2What are podcasts?

A podcast is one form of an audio programme. You can subscribe to a podcast from your smartphone and listen to it at your convenience.

Usually, podcasts comprise of a series of audio episodes. They are focused on a particular theme or topic such as start-ups, healthcare, etc.

3What is a cloud?

Cloud technology refers to a network of servers and the databases and software that run on them. Cloud servers are hosted by data centres.

Thanks to cloud computing, users and institutions are not required to manage the physical servers themselves. They also do not have to run the software applications.

4What are payment gateways?

Payment gateways are a form of technology that transfers payment data from customers to businesses during an online transaction. By enabling online payments for both businesses and consumers, it ensures the smooth functioning of the digital payments ecosystem.

5What is web hosting?

Web hosting is a form of service that allows individuals and organisations to post web pages and websites onto the internet. A web hosting service provider or web host is a business that provides the services and technologies that are needed to view the website on the internet.

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