Digital products and services are becoming a more popular product for individuals and businesses to start selling online and if you are reading this post, then you probably want to start your own business selling digital products.
But as you are reading this, you probably aren’t sure what type of digital product or services to sell and that is why we created a list of potential ideas to hopefully give you some inspiration.
- 1. Ebooks
- 2. Audiobooks
- 3. Music
- 4. Videos
- 5. Stock Photos
- 6. Art
- 7. Coloring Books
- 8. Patterns
- 9. Invitations
- 10. Personalized Gift Cards & Tags
- 11. Recipe Cards
- 12. Planners
- 13. Document Templates
- 14. Online Courses
- 15. Software
- 16. Software Extensions
- 17. WordPress Plugins
- 18. Shopify Apps
- 19. Website Themes
- 20. Website Templates
- 21. Website Design
- 22. SEO Services
- 23. Social Media Management
- 24. Social Media Design Templates
- 25. YouTube Channel Art
- 26. Video Editing
- 27. YouTube Thumbnail Design
- 28. Virtual event
One of the original digital products but one that is still very popular to this day and there are many different options when it comes to Ebooks, such as:
- Fiction – for either adults or children
- Non-fiction – biographies, history etc
- Guides – business, career or hobby guides
- Educational – study aids, textbooks etc
Basically, most books that can be put into print can also be made into Ebooks but the big advantage of the digital version is that you don’t need to find a publisher or pay out of your own pocket to have a run of them printed.
You can also choose to produce them in different formats, for example you could create a PDF Ebook that people download and can print off if they wish or you could create it in a format for e-readers such as the Amazon Kindle or for apps for phones and tablets.
Some people don’t like reading but still want to consume written content and that is where audiobooks come into play and you can choose to create audio versions of your own work or other people’s (if the book has a public domain license).
If you have a great voice, then you can record these yourself or you can outsource it to a professional voice actor using many of the online freelancer services that are available.
There are many different options when it comes to selling music as a digital product and while some artists will create music in the hopes of making it big, there are many more applications that musicians and producers can produce tracks for.
This is because there are more and more content creators, whether they are YouTubers, Streamers and even Podcasts that are looking for good quality music to enhance their content.
When it comes to selling your music, you can do it directly through your own website or you can license it through platforms that provide royalty-free music that creators pay a one-off or monthly fee to use and you earn a percentage of this.
4. Stock Video Footage
Videos are similar to music in that you will be creating stock footage (as opposed to music) that content creators can use for b-roll in their videos.
These are often short clips and can be made around pretty much any subject you can think of as creators make videos about everything and anything and often there are times when it isn’t possible for them to produce the b-roll themselves or it’s just not financially viable.
Once again, as with the music, you can choose to sell this via your own site but to get more purchases of your video footage, it is often best to leverage the user base of an existing platform.
5. Stock Photos
Stock photos can be a great thing to sell online, especially if you are a skilled photographer and you can take photos of anything as there are content creators who need images of products, scenes or locations for their videos or blog.
As with the two options above, you can sell your photography via your own site but contributing your work to platforms with a much larger user base will likely lead to more income for your stock images.
6. Digital Art
People love art and we can now use art in many different ways in our life, which is why it can be a great digital product to sell as it can be downloaded and printed off or used as a background for devices such as phones, laptops or tablets and there are many different types of art you can sell, including:
- Digital versions of paintings or drawings
- Digitally created art
You can also expand selling art beyond just digital as you could incorporate print-on-demand so customers could choose a digital version or order a printed one or both.
7. Coloring Books
Many people think of coloring as a children’s activity but in a world where we are more stressed, more and more people are turning to coloring as a way of relaxing and this is where the opportunities lie as a digital product.
To sell coloring books, you can create your own designs or turn existing pieces of art or drawings into outlines that people can color in and as it is a digital product, they can buy it and print it off within a couple of minutes, rather than having to go to the store or waiting for a physical copy to be delivered.
Crafts are big business and in order for people to make finished pieces for things like:
They need patterns to work from and if you know how to make these or can find someone who can, then you could be on to a winner, especially if you can make patterns for different niches and skill sets as it will be easier to reach your target audience.
9. 3D Printer/CAD Files
3d printing and CAD design are becoming more and more popular as 3d printing becomes more mainstream and cost-effective for businesses and hobbyists but many people don’t have the time, knowledge or software to design their own prints.
And because of this, they are prepared to pay for them and there are many markets for CAD files, including:
- Jewelry design
- Replacement parts
There are actually too many niches to list, ranging from large to small, specialized audiences but there is plenty of opportunity out there in the 3d printing world.
Whether it is a birthday party, wedding or any other kind of event where the hosts are going to invest people to attend, they are going to need invitations but traditional printed ones can be quite pricey and might only offer a few designs, which isn’t a problem when you are creating digital versions.
There are a couple of ways you can offer invitations:
- Customizable templates – this is where you create a design template and the customer can then go in and edit it for their specific needs
- Custom Designed – this is where you work with the client to offer a completely custom-designed invitation
These can then be downloaded by the customer and either printed off so that a physical copy is sent or they can send a digital copy via email, you could also offer a printing service if you wanted at an additional cost.
11. Personalized Gift Cards & Tags
When it comes to the holidays or special occasions such as birthdays, anniversaries or weddings, many people will send a card and/or a gift with a tag and while they could go to the store and buy a generic off-the-shelf version, many people prefer to send something a bit more personal.
And that is where selling personalized gift cards and tags can be a good opportunity as you can create templates, which can be customized by the customer once they have purchased the product and they can then download and print it off themselves or you could offer a printing service for this.
Either way, the customer will be able to send a personalized gift card and/or tag to their friends or family that is a bit more special!
12. Recipe Cards
People love to cook and many people love to create their own unique dishes, which they may want to share with family and friends but a scrap bit of paper not only looks a bit rubbish but can also easily get lost, which is why many enthusiastic cooks like to record their creations using proper recipe cards.
And while they could go and buy a generic design, you could offer a template that could be personalized so that they have their own range of recipe cards. It might be worth recommending that they laminate their cards so that they don’t get damaged by greasy fingers!
13. Calendars & Planners
We all live busy lives and keeping track of everything can be a challenge! This is why many people like to use calendars to plan out their month and year and planners to plan their days and week as this helps them manage their professional and personal lives but they need to buy one that fits with their lifestyle, so you could offer:
- Printable Ones – this is for the people who like to write things down in order to keep track
- Digital Ones – other people prefer to manage their schedule using their phone or laptop, so you could create a digital calendar/planner that can be easily edited and updated
Either way, there are plenty of options out there for calendars and planners, you could create some that are tailored to some niches to increase the chance of sales.
14. Document Templates
Everybody needs documents for something or other, such as:
- Letter templates
- Resume templates
- Website documents (privacy policies, T&C’s etc)
- Sales receipts
The list is nearly endless but people need these documents and if you can create templates for these that can be easily customized to fit the needs of the customers, then you could be on to a winner.
You could also offer a customization service such as writing resumes to help people get a job or a better job, if you are a lawyer, you could create templates for legal documents and then make sure they are correct before being used.
There are plenty of options out there when it comes to document templates and focusing on a single niche can be a great way to get started.
15. Online Courses
One type of digital product that has the potential to be very profitable is to create an online course and e-learning is a niche that is likely to see continued growth in the future as more and more people look to learn new skills in the comfort of their own home and at their own pace.
When it comes to the type of course you can create, there are many many opportunities, including:
- Courses around professional skills
- Hobby-based courses
- Short courses (less than 2/3 hours) that cover a single subject
- Long-form courses that cover a wider range of subjects
You can also choose to run the course in a way that students pay a one-off fee in order to be able to take your course or as part of a monthly subscription (ideal for courses where you plan to add more content).
When it comes to selling online courses, you can do it through your own website using a platform designed for online courses or through a course marketplace such as Udemy or Skillshare.
As the world becomes more digital, the need for software continues to increase and there are always gaps in the market and if you can nail this, then you can build yourself a very successful business.
When it comes to the type of software that you can create, there are many options, such as the examples below:
- Ecommerce Platforms (Shopify, Bigcommerce etc)
- Website Builders (Wix, Squarespace etc)
- Email Marketing (MailChimp, Omnisend etc)
- Design Tools (Canva, Adobe Express etc)
There are way too many to list and there are some very niche-specific software options out there (we focused on ecommerce related ones surprisingly!).
Unlike some of the other software options which we will talk about below, these are all standalone, meaning they aren’t reliant on other platforms in order the be able to operate.
17. Software Extensions
If you don’t want to create your own piece of software from scratch, then you can create extensions/plugins/apps for existing software, such as:
- Rhino (CAD Software)
- Logic Pro (Recording software for Mac)
- Web browsers (Chrome, Edge etc)
These can sometimes be easier to get sales for as there is an existing userbase for that software and if your extension can help solve a problem or pain point that people have when using it, you could be on to a winner.
It can be helpful if you are an existing user of the software as you will have a better understanding of how it works and you will likely be involved with the community, which can make it easier to find common issues that people are having.
18. WordPress Plugins
WordPress is the world’s most popular website builder (it currently powers 43% of all the websites in the world!) and part of the popularity is that third-party developers can create plugins that allow you to create all different types of sites, including:
- Ecommerce Websites
- Business Sites
- Membership Sites
And even though there are thousands of plugins available, there are still many opportunities for new plugins, whether it is a new feature or integration or a better version of an existing plugin.
To create a plugin, you will either need to know how to code yourself or employ the services of a developer to help you create it and when it comes to making money from it, you can make it a paid option but creating a free plugin with limited features that is available through the WordPress plugin library will help you get more users who are prepared to pay for all the features.
Most paid WordPress plugins are billed annually or you can offer a lifetime license.
19. Shopify Apps
Shopify is one of the most popular ecommerce platforms in the world (it powers over 1 million online stores) and is one of the few hosted platforms that allows third-party developers to create apps and even though there are thousands of apps on the Shopify app store, there are still plenty of opportunities.
This is because businesses are looking for additional features, functionality or integrations with third-party platforms as it can help them improve their business and are willing to pay for it.
The big difference between Shopify apps and WordPress plugins is that Shopify apps are billed on a monthly basis, meaning that you get monthly recurring revenue from customers using the paid for version of your app.
20. Website Themes
Everyone seems to have a website these days and every website owner wants their site to look good and load quickly and in order to do this, they are going to need a template for their site.
And many platforms allow third-party developers to create themes and templates, with some of the popular options being:
When it comes to selling themes, you can either do this via your own website, online theme marketplaces or official marketplaces such as the Shopify Theme Store and depending on the platform, these may be one-off sales or recurring annual sales.
You could also offer custom themes that are built specifically for a client’s site and these generally cost more than off-the-shelf themes.
21. Website Templates
Website templates are slightly different to themes (although some platforms call themes, templates) as they are basically layouts for website builders such as Wix or Squarespace and will include things like:
- Homepage layouts
- Site page layouts (about, contact etc)
- Color presets
- Font selections
People can upload these to their site and customize them to fit their branding and this can make the process of setting up a website for the user as they don’t have to go through the process of setting up the pages etc themselves.
You can also niche these templates down to target specific audiences such as content creators, bloggers, podcasters or people looking for a portfolio site. This can be great if you have an eye for design but also know how to optimize layouts for conversions.
22. Social Media Design Templates
There are many different design elements when it comes to social media accounts, including:
- Cover Art
- Post Templates
And knowing the right sizes and dimensions for all of these across all of the different social media platforms is almost a job within itself and that is why business and marketing agencies are prepared to pay for templates for these different things as it saves them time.
You can create editable templates that can be purchased and customized by the customer or you could offer to create custom ones, which once again can save the customer time and for some businesses, that is more important.
23. YouTube Channel Art & Graphics
YouTube is Big Business and many creators and channels want the visuals for their channels to be as good as they can be and they are prepared to pay for:
- Channel art – banners, logos etc
For this, you could offer pre-made templates that could be customized by the customer or you could offer a bespoke design service that means the customer gets a truly unique piece of channel art.
24. Virtual event
A bit of an out-there idea could be to create a virtual event, which have become more popular since the pandemic as it stopped people from traveling and it also opens it up to many more people who might not be able to travel or attend otherwise.
To make a virtual event a success, you would need to:
- Focus on a niche
- Get a list of speakers or workshops that people can watch
- Get people to sponsor the event
- Have a selection of offers for the attendees
This then provides value to the people that are attending and if their first one is good, then they will be more likely to come back for a second one. You can also create some FOMO around your event by limiting the number of places.
25. Virtual Assistant
Business owners are busy people and as their business grows, they suddenly find that they have less and less time to organize and manage their own lives and that is where virtual assistants can be extremely helpful as the client simply tells you what they need doing and you organize the rest, this could be things like:
- Booking flights & travel arrangements
- Arranging meetings & appointments
- Replying to emails
In most cases, it is the mundane everyday things that can take up a lot of time that the client could be spending doing something far more productive and they are willing to pay people to do this, so if you are good at organizing, then this could be for you.
26. Accounting or Bookkeeping
Even though there are accounting programs out there that allow people to do it themselves, the time and effort to manage their accounts means that they would prefer to outsource this to a professional, plus they may be able to offer some advice or guidance as to how they could manage their money better.
It also gives the client piece of mind knowing that their accounts are in order and any filings/submissions are done at the right time, which for many is worth the cost of outsourcing it.
27. Social Media Management
Having a presence on social media is a must for any online business and should be an integral part of their marketing strategy but many online business owners aren’t that great at getting the most from their social media accounts and if you know how to grow and audience or generate sales via social media, then people will pay for this.
You could choose to specialize in:
- Organic growth – followers, interaction, reach etc
- Paid Ads – Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest etc
- One Platform – Facebook, YouTube, Linkedin etc
In some cases being a specialist in one aspect of one platform, such as generating sales through Facebook Ads can help you get clients rather than trying to do everything on everything as some business owners know which platforms are best for them, they just don’t know how best to run the account.
28. SEO Services
SEO or Search Engines Optimization can be a great long-term marketing strategy but many people don’t know how to do it or even know how to get started with SEO but if you do and you have a proven track record in ranking sites, then you can sell these services to businesses.
You could choose to offer:
- A fully-fledged service
- Be a consultant offering advice and guidance
- Offer a specialist service (link building, content writing etc)
Depending on the type of service you offer, you could be working directly for the end client or providing services to agencies or consultants.
29. Website Design
Even though websites are getting easier to make all the time, many people still prefer to outsource the process as it can be more cost-effective and less stressful that way.
To do this effectively, it is best to focus on one platform that you will use to build websites and this could be:
You could also specialize in one segment of the market such as bloggers, portfolio or ecommerce sites as this will help you build up your own portfolio of existing clients, which can make it easier to find new clients within that niche.
30. Video Editing
Many content creators love making videos but aren’t as fond of the editing process (which is understandable as it can take a long time!) and it is usually one of the first things that a content creator will outsource as it frees them up to spend time working on the things they enjoy doing and you could offer video editing services for:
- Course Creators
In order to be successful at doing this, you need to understand the style of the channel as all content creators and businesses have their own unique style. You will also need to create a portfolio of work that you have done, so that potential clients can see how good your work is.
31. YouTube Thumbnail Design
Another YouTube-related digital product idea would be designing video thumbnails as these can sometimes be the difference between getting a click or not and is one thing that many content creators struggle with.
This would (as long as you are good) lead to ongoing work as you would be required to make thumbnails for every video that the YouTuber makes, which can be multiple a week for some or once every week or two for others and you would need to understand the content/tone of the video to make a thumbnail that would work.
Good quality copy is essential for websites, whether it is copy for:
- Product pages
- Landing pages
- Blog posts
And as creating good quality copy that converts traffic into paying customers is a skill that many business owners lack, they are prepared to outsource this as it can not only save them time but also improve their ROI.
There are many times when business owners need advice around a certain aspect of their business and there are many reasons why they need to seek the help of an expert and these include:
- Taking on staff/HR
And if you have an area of expertise when it comes to business, then you can offer your expertise in the form of being a consultant and the joys of the modern age is that this can all be done online.
There are also areas outside of business where you can become a consultant including Legal, Medical and IT.
Teaching used to be confined to the classroom but that is no longer the case and many subjects are now taught solely online. which opens up the opportunity for subjects outside of normal education.
There are also a few benefits to teaching online, including:
- A larger pool of potential students
- Can be done from the comfort of your home or office
- More flexible
And you can choose to do 1-to-1 teaching sessions or small groups, with the latter potentially providing more $ per hour.
There are many different product ideas for digital products and services that you can sell and some niches will have some specific requirements in terms of what they need, which can provide you with some opportunities.
It will also depend on how active you want to be with your business as some of the digital downloads and customizable templates are more passive when compared to some of the services but you can charge more for services and bespoke products as they are paying for your time as well.
This will also impact on which platform you can use to sell your digital products as not all platforms offer the ability to sell all types of digital product.
Either way, digital products and services are a great thing to sell online and in many cases can be sold from anywhere in the world (joys of not having physical inventory) or you could choose to combine them with physical products to add another dimension to your business.