How To Sell Digital Goods Online


How to Sell Digital Goods Online


We have all used digital goods at one time or another.  This article should be of interest to you if you have been thinking about selling digital products from your online business.  The information provided in these pages will give you some details on how to sell digital goods online.

You can create and sell your digital products, or you can sell other people’s digital products.

Nowadays, we’ve got a lot of facts right at the tips of our fingers.  With the click of a few buttons, we can quickly access anything, from books, movies, education and much more.  Today, we can not only buy just about anything digitally, but we can also pay for it digitally.

Many folks are taking up the entrepreneurial courage.  A sage person once said:

“Success is not final; failure is not fatal: it is courage to continue that counts.”

— Winston Churchhill


Why sell digital goods online?

Once you create a digital product, you can then sell it again and again online.  You never have to worry about inventory that requires storage space, and best of all there are no shipping expenses.  You will be able to sell digital products globally to anyone who can connect to the internet.

After the product has been created and there is not much to manage regarding tasks to maintain the product.  You will have to stay up on the marketing of the products.

The internet provides a level playing field that allows you to be successful.  That may not be possible with a physical store.  Additionally, you can expand on that success by creating more digital products that compliment your first product and so on and so on.

Before you know it, you will have become an authority as long as you stay up to date with the trends and new ideas in the digital market.

delivery of a digital product is downloading a file

When selling digital, all you have to do is download a file!

What digital products can you Sell Online?

Any digital product you choose can be a great seller online.  There isn’t any particular product that I would label “the best.”  The important thing is to market to your target audience and convince them that they need your digital product.  You will also need to brand yourself as the trustworthy resource.

Many online business owners are promoting their digital products using their experience online. Listed here are the top four most lucrative digital products that you can sell on your e-commerce website.

  1. E-Books – This is probably the most well-liked digital download due to the coming out of products like Kindle. Kindle boosted the appreciation of E-Books. Due to this age of E-books, authors can now self-publish, and they can obtain the credit for their re worth.  Authors no longer need to find a publisher if they create their E-Book.  Most authors use the Amazon Kindle Shop to sell their E-Books.  If you sell your E-Books on your website, you get to keep 100 percent of the profits.
  2. Photography — Previously, over 70 million pictures sold on Shutterstock alone. They also have more than 750,000 active members in over 150 countries. In one year Shutterstock downloaded 58 million photos and made $120.3 million in earnings.  That was only one company.  There are so many others they can’t be listed here.

The income seems reasonable but keep in mind that the competition in this field is very stiff.  Also, if you use a third-party marketplace, they will take a big chunk of your earnings.

Trying to promote your photos will not be easy to stand out amongst all the brutal competition.  You will need to price your work so that you can be competitive.


how to sell digital goods online

These digital goods are only a drop in the bucket!


  1. Music – The first thing you probably think of is iTunes. Most of us are familiar with them because the company is very profitable.  The downside of using them is that they take a whopping 30% of your sales? You can get exposure with iTunes, but unless you are Beyonce or Jay-Z, odds are you won’t make the profits that you could make by promoting your music sale directly from your website! If you are selling from your e-commerce site, you can add other products that would go well with your music.  You could add some casual clothing attire.
  2. Videos/Tutorials – Third-party marketplaces such as Udemy, provides outstanding educational courses and video training.  They have a lot of promotional sales that further reduce your profit on top of the 50% of your sales income.

Make Money from Something You Want to Do

Most of us got started with an online business because we had a desire for something we wanted to do.  Some of us are good at product creation, and some of us are good at stringing words together into an article or a book.  That developed a business model for so many.  You earned the title of “Entrepreneur” and stood proud of what you do!

streams of income with affiliate marketing

Ways to earn passive income with streams of income.

Is It Better to Sell Through Third-Party Marketplaces?


There is no requirement that you must sell your products through third-party marketplaces.  You can sell your digital products directly from the website you have created. You can also sell your products on Amazon, eBay, Etsy, and more.   However, you will need to use a digital delivery company, which we will discuss later.

More and more businesses are selling only through their site because they want to remain as independent as possible.  This medium allows the owner to stay in communication with their target market and can keep most of the income from the sales.  The choice is yours.

Pros of Selling From Website

  • The owner can keep more of the sales income; between 90 to 95% versus only 50 to 60% when they sell through third-party marketplace sites.
  • If desired, you will be able to create and sell digital products in beta and be able to offer updates (you can get customer feedback early on).
  • It allows you to stay in contact with your customers and can continue to market to them more successfully. Don’t forget that it is a lot harder to sell products to a new customer than it is to sell to a repeat customer.
  • It allows you to keep your business independence. You are the boss!

Cons of Selling From Website

  • You need to maintain a website and blog
  • You need to have a digital delivery provider that will link to your payment source.
  • A secure conversion-optimized checkout to deliver the product automatically.
  • The success of your digital product will depend mostly on how good the product is and how well you will market it.

Which Gateway Payment Source to Use?

Digital delivery providers don’t usually process payments because payment processors and e-commerce sites have been separate.  Payment processors are required to be strictly regulated because money transactions are involved.  E-commerce businesses have tried to concentrate on assisting you in selling more and have been attempting to tiptoe around the bureaucracy.

ways to pay online - cash-credit cards-paypal

It’s a good idea to have more than one payment gateway for your customers.

Before you start to consider which digital delivery provider you are going to use, make sure you have selected and signed up with a payment processor.  There are many to choose from, but here are a few you may want to consider.

Stripe                          PayPal

ApplePay                   BitPay

iDeal                           SOFORT

Giropay                      Bancontact

Most people have heard of Stripe and PayPal so that I will discuss them a little in this article.

Stripe is suitable for customers who like paying with credit cards and debit cards.

  • The customer experience is quick and easy.
  • Their charges are competitive.
  • Pay only for what you use.
  • Reporting is in real-time.
  • There is no setup, monthly, or hidden fees.

PayPal offers credit card processing, a multi-user account, and no monthly fee.  Checkout with them can be a little weighty because, in my opinion, PayPal wants your customers to get a PayPal account instead of making their purchases and be on their way!  This option is useful if you have always used them and the customers use them.

ApplePay and BitPay work for those who don’t have credit cards, but the customer usually requires some tech-savvy.  If the customers aren’t tech-savvy, then an option like SOFORT may work for them.

You also can sign up for more than one payment processors to make it easy for customers to have a payment option that will suit them.

The Purpose of a Digital Delivery Provider


A digital delivery provider has three main tasks:

  1. It will link up with your payment processor.
  2. It provides automatic and secure delivery of your files.
  3. It will provide a secure checkout.

It will additionally:

  • It will integrate with other service and software.
  • It can provide other marketing features such as cart abandonment, gifting, pay what you want pricing, discounts, one-click upsells, and more. These features are at no additional cost.

Deliver Your Digital File Securely

After the customer has completed payment of the digital product, the digital file delivery provider should automatically provide the file safely to the email address they provided to you.

Accomplish the delivery of the file through a download page that appears to the customer immediately after the checkout.  It should also send out an email to the customer that will contain a link to download to allow them to make the download at a later time.

Other Features the Digital Delivery Provider should include:

  • Download links that are time-limited to make it difficult to share.
  • To reduce downloads from being shared, it can indicate the number of download attempts.
  • Fast download speeds.

To download digital products online, you will need to use a Digital Delivery Provider.

A Secure Checkout

For customers to purchase your product, you need to guide them through a series of actions for them to give you the payment information and an email address for delivery.

Consideration of the following items should be given to ensure your customers have a smooth transition to complete the purchase.

  • Enough available payment options so the customers can easily choose how they want to pay.
  • You should be able to add trust icons that will assist the customer to complete the transaction.
  • Customize the checkout page so that it looks like the rest of your website. If it does resemble the rest of your site, customers may not trust that it is the same website and will not complete the transaction.
  • Don’t make your checkout page too heavy, by requiring more information than is needed. Streamline this page as much as possible, so customers do not abandon their carts.
  • Make this page multi-language for global use, so you don’t have to provide the translation.
  • Optimize the checkout so that customers can view it accurately and can purchase from any device.
  • You can add a “Buy Now” button to your product page to allow the customer to make an instant purchase.
  • Make sure you add functionality to your cart that will allow customers to purchase more than one item. It should let a customer add an article to a shopping cart and go back to finish shopping before they checkout.
shopping cart for online purchases

Streamline the shopping cart features to ensure a good customer experience and avoid abandoned carts.

Pricing Digital Products

Every new marketer wants to know how they should price a digital product. The answer is not that easy.  Many considerations go into determining the price of your product.

  • What is the product?
  • Who are your customers?
  • How much do customers need or want your product?
  • And many more.

However, there are some areas that you should give some deliberation.

  1. When your business or product is launched, price products a little higher and then offer discount sales during specific holidays.
  2. If you have a quality digital product, have confidence that your product is worth the price.
  3. Customers are more sensitive to prices so that you might consider pricing higher for businesses.
  4. Consider what value the customers place on your product.
  5. Try to offer pricing packages.
  6. Offer more costly products that will make your primary product look more reasonably priced.
  7. Increase profits by “add-ons” because the profit margin is higher even though fewer people purchase.
  8. Packages can be attractive to different groups of customers.
how to price digital products

Competitive Pricing is the key!

Checklist for Selling Digital Products


When selling digital products online, there is a strategy on how to proceed.  Use this checklist so you make sure you haven’t overlooked any step that may hurt your business succeed.

Steps tp selling digital goods online

Use this checklist to make sure you stay on course.


Selling digital goods can be more lucrative than selling physical products because it might sustain a higher level of passive income.

With some concentrated effort, you can create the four products I have suggested within a reasonable time-frame.  Take some time to research and learn how to sell digital goods online.

You can also sell products that have already been made by others.

If you plan on selling digital products, I suggest that you get started sooner rather than later.  I recommend that you start marketing your product(s) right away.  Waiting for the right moment or waiting until you have created your product will only delay receiving income.  The time to move is right now, not tomorrow.

I would love to hear if you have had any experience with selling digital goods online and if you have any tips that have worked for you that you would like to share with my readers.  Drop your comments below in the comment section.


Founder of Your Trusted Affiliate



  1. Karen Noone

    This is really helpful as it has given me some clear direction of the process of selling digital products.

    This is something I have been considering for a while but getting the process right scares me a little. Taking the payment is one thing but making sure it gets to the customer is another.

    Can I ask you which Digital provider you would recommend?


    1. Verna Mason (Post author)

      Hi Karen,

      So glad you found this article interesting and useful.  Deciding on a digital delivery provider should be carefully selected because they are not all equal.  Additionally, depending on your product you will need to consider just what you want from the digital delivery provider that you choose.  That will be something that you would have to choose.  Therefore, I will not recommend one provider over another because you will need to research them for yourself based on your wants.

      However, I will point you to a couple of lists of providers that will begin your search.  Don’t just that the website’s word for how good they are.  Make sure you check out the reviews of people who have used their service.

      Thanks for your question because my follow up article was going to be about how to choose a digital delivery provider!  So, I will get right on that.

      Thanks for stopping by.  Please let me know if I can help you with anything.  Stay tuned for the follow up article about digital delivery providers which will appear soon on my website.



  2. AlanJE

    Hi Verna, I found your post very informative and thoroughly describes the process of preparing and selling digital products. Have you prepared many of your own products yourself, or do you find you are able to source suitable pre-prepared ones to sell? AlanJE

    1. Verna Mason (Post author)

      Hi Alan,
      First, let me apologize for this delayed response. Due to life events and illness I have been away from WA for quite some time. I have just been able to return. I have a lot of catching up to do.

      Thank you for taking the time out to view my article. With WA, I am a one woman show and if you have been here for a while you know there is a lot of work to do with an online business! I personally, look for digital products to review and determine if I want to promote them. I choose to do it this way rather than creating my own right now is because I just have so much work to do with this website. Getting all the right kind of equipment to video my promotions is what I would like to do, but for now I will be going the content way! However, if you have the ability to create the digital products and have the time, I encourage to go for it! Being able to create and promote your own products is a plus. You can do both: promote your own as well as other people’s. Continuing the promote other people’s products will continue to bring a source of income during the times you can’t create or have down time from your own products. Always keep more than one egg in the basket.

      Again, thanks for reviewing my article. Please drop by anytime. Let me know if I can help you with anything else. I hope you are doing well with your online marketing business!

  3. Alan Edwards

    Hi Verna, I enjoyed reading your post and learning about the process of making and selling ebooks and similar educational and digital products. Have you been in this market for many years? Have you tried other markets, before arriving at the conclusion that selling digital products was a better marketplace? Alan

    1. Verna Mason (Post author)

      Hi Alan,

      I have been an affiliate marketer for about 3 years now.  I am just really getting into creating my digital products.  I like the idea of receiving 100% profit rather than just a commission from an affiliate program.  However, I’m not giving up affiliate marketing, I’m adding the sale of my own digital products.  With an online business you should always have multiple streams of income.  You can’t put all your eggs into one basket!

      Thanks for dropping by and checking out my article.  Look forward to seeing you around more.  Let me know if there is anything I can help you with,



    2. Verna Mason (Post author)

      Hi Alan,

      I’ve been in affiliate marketing for about three years now. I try to use multiple streams of income in my business. I believe that creating your own digital products is very cost effective to do. I can sell them on my own website and get 100% of the profit instead of selling on third-party marketplaces who will charge me a hefty fee to use them. I am in the process of creating my own digitals currently. That’s the part I find most time consuming to create a product that is chocked full of value. I haven’t considered using pre-prepared products at this time.

      Thanks for stopping by to check out this article. Let me know if I can help you with anything.



  4. kmv

    Some great tips here for selling digital goods. I’ve been thinking about selling software for a while…and think it is finally time to jump in feet first!

    One thing I didn’t notice (and maybe missed) was how to handle returns of digital products. Would this be a reason to use a third part? In general, how are returns handled on digital products? I’m assuming there is a return period, and once that passed, you get paid your commission?

    Thanks again for the great info!

    1. Verna Mason (Post author)


      I am actually in the midst of writing an article now that deals with refunds for digital products.  Doing a final review and need to add some images so it should be finished in a couple of days.  In the meantime…

      In this article, when I referred to third-party, I was talking about third-party marketplaces.  A third-party marketplace is another website that allows others to sell their products on their site such as Amazon or EBay.  When you sell from a third-party marketplace you are required to pay them a fee and the fees are usually pretty hefty.  Paying those fees reduce what you could be making from your products.  For that reason, it is better to sell your digital products directly from your own website so you get 100% of your profits.  There are no commissions involved if you are selling digital products that you have created.

      If you are promoting digital products owned by a merchant and are in their affiliate program, then you are only paid a commission.  You are actually sending the traffic to the merchant’s website where the visitor does the actual purchase from the merchant’s website.  As the affiliate marketer, you won’t need a refund policy, because the buyer will have to follow the refund policy set up by the merchant because the merchant is the one responsible for shipping, etc.

      If you are selling your own digital products from your own site, then you should have a clear refund policy.  Depending on the type of digital product is, returns may be allowed and some returns are not allowed.  Some marketers will allow refunds on digital products using a 30-day refund policy.

      There are a lot in variables concerning refunds on digital products in general and get even more if you are asking about it if you are promoting them as an affiliate marketer or if you are selling your own digital products from your own website.

      I hope I haven’t confused you, but it’s not clear in what capacity your are asking the questions.. I can’t tell if you are selling your own digital creations, selling other people’s creations or promoting another merchant’s digital products.

      Please feel free to clarify that for me and I will be glad to give you more a specific answer that fits the method you are using to sell/promote digital products and the issue of refunds.

      Thank you for stopping by to check out the article and I appreciate your comments.  i look forward to your follow up.




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