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How to Sell Your First Digital Product in 6 Easy Steps

How to go from an initial idea to your first sale! Work less, make more money. Here’s how to start building your passive income stream with digital downloads.

The thing about great ideas is that they die as ideas if we don’t put them into action. If you’re a big thinker, visionary, dreamer, or you have a lot of interesting concepts sitting in the back of your head, we want to help you materialize (and monetize) them. We have created a 6-step article on how to sell your first digital product, covering how to set up your online store, tips for picking the right product, how to promote it, plus things in between you might not have thought of. Ready to transform that dream into a reality? Read on the article below to start building your passive income stream.

How to Sell Your First Digital Product in 6 Easy Steps

Digital products — from downloadable templates and ebooks to online courses — can be a great source of recurring passive income. And since it costs so little to sell them — low production costs, and no supply chain hassles or shipping fees — you earn higher margins than with physical goods. Read on this article with 6-Step for Selling Your First Digital Product now to learn how to go from an initial idea to your first sale!

Read on this article to learn:

  • How to set up your online store.
  • 3 tips for picking the digital product that’s right for you.
  • How to measure if your idea for a digital product has the potential to sell.
  • What to do if competition in your niche is too high.
  • How to save money (and time) when creating your first digital product.
  • 4 ways to promote your digital product with social media content.

Ready to start earning passive income? Read on this article for selling your first digital product.

Content Summary

What kind of digital products can you sell?
Why creators should sell digital products
6 Steps for selling your first digital product
Step 1: Research
Step 2: Create the Digital Download
Step 3: Set up Your Online Store and Launch Your Product
Step 4: Promote Your Product Through Content
Step 5: Build an Email List
Step 6: Dip You Toe in Paid Advertising

Who doesn’t love a checklist, especially if it can help you successfully make passive income? Work smarter, not harder, right?

Digital products cost you less, earn you more, and are a low-hassle way to develop alternative revenue streams. TBH, we love that for you. Thanks for reading this article – it’s a real good one, if we do say so ourselves.

We know you’re itching to start leveraging your expertise and creativity. Ready to start checking off the boxes? Read on this article to start learning how to make and sell educational products, licenses, memberships, templates, tools, and more in 6 easy steps.

You’re a content creator with a dedicated audience, but let’s e real: You wish you were making more money. One of the best ways to do that? Make and sell a digital product.

Requiring only some upfront work, selling digital products can be a great way to make passive income. If you want to create your own, here’s your guide!

What kind of digital products can you sell?

A digital product is a virtual item that can be purchased and delivered online. While it requires a one-time investment to produce the product, you can sell it repeatedly with no extra work — since it’s an intangible product. No matter your niche or skill set, you can create all kinds of digital downloads to sell to your audience.

What kind of digital products can you sell?


  • Keep it niched.
  • Know what your ideal client is struggling with.
  • Provide a clear and quick path to transformation through your digital download.

Here are some examples of what you can sell:

  • Educational Products: Think online courses, ebooks, and guides that share knowledge about your expertise.
  • Licenses: Whether you’re a photographer, a musician, or dabble in graphic design, you can sell licenses to use the art you create.
  • Memberships: You can offer exclusive content to your audience through a paid membership. Many creators do this through platforms like Patreon.
  • Templates and Tools: Sell custom spreadsheets, website templates, or even custom software for your niche.
  • Entertainment and Art: Created a short film? Love to paint? You can sell digital files and printables of your work.

Why creators should sell digital products

If you’re a content creator, you’re probably thinking, “Shouldn’t I spend the maximum amount of time, you know, creating content?” Okay, but hear us out.

Why creators should sell digital products


“[With digital products,] you can easily add value to people while making passive income, getting paid over and over from one-time effort. Don’t wait until you’re big to make a digital download. No matter what the download is, you have knowledge that someone else doesn’t know.”

Here’s why you should invest some of your resources in making digital downloads:

  1. It’s a cheap investment. With a digital product, you put in time to create it once, and you can get paid over and over.
  2. More profit. Since it costs so little to create a digital product, you get to keep more money than selling physical goods.
  3. No supply chain. How many times have you heard someone shrug and say “supply chain issues?” With digital products, there’s no supply chain beyond clicking a “download” button.
  4. You’re in control. Your content is often a victim of the dreaded algorithm. With digital products, you can have full control over your content, own the relationship with your audience, and be able to decide how to monetize your work.
  5. You’re adding value to others. Whether you’re selling a resume template or a travel guide, you are helping customers meet their needs — and that can be very fulfilling.

6 Steps for selling your first digital product

So you’re convinced — you want to sell digital products. Congratulations! You’re about to unlock a whole new revenue stream.

6 Steps for selling your first digital product

Here’s a simple, step-by-step guide for selling your first digital product, no matter what you want to create.

Step 1: Research

Before you start working on your digital download, you need to know if it has the potential to sell. You wouldn’t want to put time and effort into a product that won’t sell.

  • Use a tool like Google Trends to search for keywords linked to your product (e.g. “resume templates,” “licensed commercial art”).
  • Scope out your competition on platforms like Etsy, Amazon, and Gumroad.
  • If the competition is too fierce, try narrowing your product’s focus or picking a different market entirely.
  • Consider seasonality. Depending on the product, some times of the year may favor more sales than others. Avoid products that are too seasonal if you want consistent income.

Step 2: Create the Digital Download

Now that you’ve done the research, start creating — you know, that thing that you’re great at!

  • Make sure the product you’re creating fits your niche and skill level.
  • Start small. Make a bite-sized product like a single template, a small pack of downloadable art, or an ebook. Don’t attempt to create your magnum opus right at the start.
  • Use free and open-source tools where you can. There’s no need to pay hundreds of dollars for Photoshop when Canva will do just fine.
  • Give yourself enough time. Creative work can take time and multiple iterations. If something isn’t working right, give it some time and come back to it later.

Step 3: Set up Your Online Store and Launch Your Product

Once you’ve made a digital product, you’ve got to find a way to sell it. You can create your own website with a website builder like Squarespace, or set up an online store on a digital marketplace platform like Gumroad.

  • Evaluate the pros and cons of setting up your store on a marketplace platform vs. creating your own website.
  • If you’re planning to roll out multiple products, choose a platform that can support different kinds of products.
  • Test things out and fine-tune your store. Read up on guides and best practices, and be ready to rework your store as your needs evolve.

Selling on Your Own Website vs. A Digital Marketplace Platform

Your Own Website


  • You can keep more profit.
  • More opportunities to stay in touch with your customers.
  • Flexibility and independence.


  • More technical skill required.
  • Getting traffic is tougher.
  • You need to pay subscription fees for multiple services (e.g. payment processors, website builders).

Digital Marketplace Platform


  • It’s (almost) all done for you.
  • There’s built-in traffic.
  • You get more features and tools by paying just a single fee to the platform. Sometimes, it’s even free to get started.


  • Competition can be tough.
  • Your profit margin is slimmer.
  • Less customizable.

Step 4: Promote Your Product Through Content

As a creator, you’ve got something a lot of new businesses don’t: an audience who can be turned into potential customers. Make sure you’re putting your product in front of your followers.

  • Whenever appropriate, include a mention of your digital product in your content.
  • Include a link to shop your product in the descriptions or captions of your content.
  • Include a link to shop your product in your social media bio.
  • Create content about the kind of product you’re selling. If you’ve made a resume template, post content about “the best tips for writing a resume” to attract potential customers.

Step 5: Build an Email List

Building an email list is still one of the best ways to get recurring success and income as a creator. Instead of hoping that your content gets picked up by the algorithm of social media platforms, you can guarantee that it goes directly to your audience’s inbox.

  • Collect emails from your online store, whether you’re using your own website or a third-party platform.
  • Send out a newsletter regularly. It’s important to stay on a potential customer’s mind.
  • Encourage your audience to sign up. Promote your newsletter on your content channels to turn your audience into your email subscribers.

Step 6: Dip You Toe in Paid Advertising

To succeed as a creator, you’ll need organic traffic — people finding your content through searches and word of mouth. But paid advertising can help drive new customers to your product directly, without first going through your content.

  • Try advertising on your social platform of choice. If you’re on Instagram, look into sponsored posts. If TikTok’s your jam, try ads there.
  • Advertise on social platforms that you’re not on. You might find yourself a new audience.
  • Look into Google Ads. Ever notice how the first few search results on Google are always ads? You can have your own digital product show up there.
  • Sponsor other creators. Reach out to smaller creators, learn what their rates are, and see if it’s worth advertising on their channels.


  1. Hype your audience up before launch.
  2. Build a waitlist.
  3. Create a strong sales page to funnel customers on autopilot.
  4. Build and execute a launch plan via social media and email.
  5. Continue to promote and sell your digital download after launch.


Selling a digital download is a great way to generate passive income from a one-time investment of time and resources. That means more money coming in for less work, and more time spent on doing what you love — creating content.

Ready? Here’s a checklist to help you start selling online:

  • Do your research. Use a tool like Google Trends to find keywords related to what you want to sell. Scope out your competition on platforms like Etsy and Amazon.
  • Create your digital product. Make sure it fits your niche and skill level. Start small.
  • Set up an online store and launch your product. Create your own website, or use a digital marketplace platform like Gumroad.
  • Promote your product through content. Add links to shop your product in your social media bio, and mention it in your content.
  • Build an email list. Collect emails from your store and send out a newsletter regularly.
  • Use paid advertising. Put some money behind your product to reach a wider audience, whether that’s through Google Ads or Instagram sponsored posts.

Alex Lim is a certified IT Technical Support Architect with over 15 years of experience in designing, implementing, and troubleshooting complex IT systems and networks. He has worked for leading IT companies, such as Microsoft, IBM, and Cisco, providing technical support and solutions to clients across various industries and sectors. Alex has a bachelor’s degree in computer science from the National University of Singapore and a master’s degree in information security from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He is also the author of several best-selling books on IT technical support, such as The IT Technical Support Handbook and Troubleshooting IT Systems and Networks. Alex lives in Bandar, Johore, Malaysia with his wife and two chilrdren. You can reach him at [email protected] or follow him on Website | Twitter | Facebook

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