Designers often work project-to-project which can leave gaps in earnings. But this can be solved by creating digital products to sell for some backend income.
All designers have a skillset that can offer something valuable to the world. Whether it’s a website template, an iconset, or a video course, there’s always room for more resources on the Internet.
In this guide I’ll cover the basics of creating your own digital product and selling it online. If you already have skills and if you frequently create awesome stuff then you’re in a great place to sell your creativity to millions of people worldwide.
Looking Into Digital Products
There are dozens of digital products you could make and sell online, although I think these 3 are the most popular:
- Digital video courses/tutorials
- Design assets(templates, icons, graphics, etc)
Ebooks require a lot of writing but can be design-oriented. The same goes for video courses which are mostly about recordings & video editing, but they can teach a lot in a short period of time.
Design assets can be any premium items that people might buy. These range from icons to photographs to logos or anything else.
The key is to consider what you want to do and why you’d want to create something. If you don’t like the single product model you can always push towards digital software like building a mobile app or a SaaS app.
Start by organizing your thoughts and considering what exactly you’d want to sell. If you have specific goals or preferred skillsets then focus in those areas. Some people like to teach, other people like to design assets.
Focus on what you can do and make a list of ideas you’d be willing to create & sell.
Skim through these related posts to get some more ideas.
- The 5 Most Profitable Digital Products To Sell Online
- 8 Steps to Creating and Launching Profitable Digital Products
- The ultimate guide to creating, selling, and marketing digital products
Focus On Your Skills
The key to any great product is to offer value and create something people will pay for.
If you can write code then you have a much better chance of building a SaaS application. If you can’t code but you love video editing then recording a course might be better.
Do you have deep knowledge of interior decorating? Maybe create an ebook teaching people how to match colors or fabrics.
Maybe you know more about icon design & infographics. In that case you could make a digital video course teaching how to create graphics from start to finish. Or even create a premium iconset and sell that… as you can see there really are no limits.
But you need to focus on the right things first. Don’t focus on the end result right away.
Instead consider what you’re willing to do and what you like to do. Creating a new product is tedious work and the only way to sell it is to create something amazing.
Focus on what you know you can do well. From there make a flowchart or mind map to figure out what you could build and how you could sell it. From there you can research competition and figure out what you can do that’ll help your product stand out from the rest.
Developing & Refining
It’s smart to test what your potential customers like & what they might pay for. Take an informal poll if you can to gather what people would like and what they might want.
There’s a lot that goes into creating a product so you want to make sure it’s good. Plan exactly what the goal is and what people get from buying your product. Why would someone want to buy your ebook? What’s in it for them?
Think mostly about the end result and why people would spend money. Then work backwards starting with this end result to create a product that solves the buyer’s pain points.
During this process you’ll do a lot of refining to make your idea crystal clear. The end result should be a creative process where you know exactly what you’re trying to create and grind through it without any troubles.
Some things to focus on while you work through the product:
- Am I offering genuine value?
- Why would someone want this?
- Can I push further and add more to this product?
The best products stand out from the crowd because they’re just that good. Word of mouth increases the chances of success and I absolutely recommend pushing yourself to create the best product you’ve ever created.
This will not only ensure more sales but it’ll also make you confident to put your name on the final version.
Selling Your Products
Since digital products are so popular nowadays you can find dozens of marketplace to sell. Some marketplaces focus on specific items like themes or graphics, other are much more general.
But I’ll cover 3 of the best “general” digital download marketplaces to help you get started no matter what you’re selling.
Sellfy has been around for years and it’s a trusted marketplace for selling digital goods. They treat creators well and have a huge library of resources for buyers to search through.
Every creator has their own storefront which includes links to all their products. Individual products have their own pages too and you can change the content to whatever you like. You can learn more on the features page but Sellfy is one of the best design marketplaces for digital stuff.
If you’re looking for a much broader market then consider Gumroad. This marketplace offers absolutely everything from videos to photos to ebooks and literally any downloadable file you can think of.
So many people sell on Gumroad that offer materials outside the design space. This includes coders, artists, marketers, and writers. And there’s plenty of room for others too.
No matter what your skillset or what you’re creating Gumroad is a stable choice and it’s bound to be here for the long haul.
When it comes to sales and conversions SendOwl is the site to use. They support all digital products and come with integrated tools for getting your marketplace setup fast.
As of this writing SendOwl has sold well over $225MM in total products. And they let you sell subscriptions, memberships, or digital products so it’s a veritable smorgasbord of opportunity.
To learn more visit their demo page to see how it all works and what you get selling with their marketplace.
If you know you’re ready to start selling online then don’t wait for the right moment. It takes a while to create a product that’s worth buying and nobody gets there overnight.
Create a list of your skills and figure out what you’d feel comfortable selling. Offer a product that feels unique and stands out from competition. If you create something unique and valuable you’ll have a much easier time selling and building other products in the future.