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Marketing 9 MIN READ

Sell Digital Downloads: The Complete Guide for 2021

A digital download is an electronic form of acquiring a document, software, or a file. These are digital products you can sell in simple forms that your customer can download to read or access.

Many freelancers, YouTubers, and online businesses sell digital downloads for a living or as a way to upsell and make additional profit. It’s a quick and easy way to offer a downloadable item for a fee and doesn’t require logistics, complicated setups, or high upfront investment.

Digital downloads are also popular for anyone running a membership site, as they are nice add-ons to offer their community. They are also great upsells for instructors selling online courses. Some smaller courses can be also sold as a digital download, especially if they are in the form of an ebook (pdf).

LearnWorlds can be your solution to both sell digital downloads and online courses under your own website. Try LearnWorlds with a 30-day trial today.

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So, if you are thinking of selling digital downloads or want to improve your digital downloads marketing strategy, read on.

What’s great about digital downloads is that you can create them once and sell them as unlimited products over and over again without any additional effort or cost in their creation.

Digital downloads have the advantage of not requiring complex logistics, distributions and warehousing as physical products. They are ideal to supplement your business’ revenue without any big investments in money or time.

Many non-physical products are like that and you can use them as part of your business, including the following:

Type #1: PDFs

PDFs – amongst other digital file formats, are the most common digital downloads that you can offer as part of your business marketing strategy.

With the ability to sell it a standalone product, in the e-learning industry, PDFs are useful because they can carry a handful of information for those who want to get something out of an online course or training.

PDFs can be anything from a checklist, to information, a document, a whitepaper or anything that can be considered valuable and includes both text & images.

Type #2: eBooks

Similarly to PDFs, ebooks are a great source of information and constitute a very popular downloadable digital product. Their creation process and distribution is hassle-free and fits almost every business model.

Ebooks are often offered for free in the exchange of contact information – through lead capture forms – of site visitors, who give out their email address to join the business email list.

A free version of an ebook is often distributed to generate more leads and followers. Then, you can sell the premium version. Ebooks can be priced between 2 to 10 dollars because this is usually the standard price someone would agree to buy an ebook.

In some cases, you can sell more expensive ebooks. That would be if you have a big loyal audience, you are writing for a niche expertise that is used to higher prices or if you are considered to be an authority on the subject.

Type #3: Podcasts

Unlike ebooks, podcasts are more difficult to create because they need specific equipment, public speaking skills, connections and time.

But, people are getting more and more interested in podcasts, especially when commuting.

Interviewing thought-leaders or sharing audio-first advice doesn’t need to be free for all podcasts, but it can be a premium digital download for a membership website.

Type #4: Photographs

Photographs and stock images are usually distributed from a business to another business – B2B. But if you are taking unique photographs, you can monetize your skill and sell them as digital products at a price.

According to Pixpa, you can set the price according to your photography specialty area like portrait photography, wedding photography or other, and start building an income from there.

You can either get your photos to a third-party stock website like iStock, Shutterstock, Getty Images or Flickr to start selling. Alternatively, create a uniquely themed website of your own for premium photography.

Type #5: Training Videos

Video has become a powerful tool that generates content that people consume easily. That along with the fact that there are little or initial costs involved, and taking into account the universal truth that video is an ideal vehicle of learning, makes this tool perfect for digital downloads. Video digital downloads may include video tutorials, training videos, webinars, video animations or even short films.

Selling training videos can be done as a collection (i.e. an online course) or individual based on topics. Videos are one of the most powerful media formats and on-demand video for training is becoming more crucial for today’s businesses.

Type #6: Software

Another popular use of digital downloads is selling software. Software products may be desktop-based, web-based, a mobile app, or WordPress-specific software.

Examples include WordPress plugins or applications like PhotoShop that require a paid license to download. If you can code, selling software is your ideal money-making hobby.

To promote software or an app, you can access related forums to seek for potential buyers, offer a free trial, or get third-party reviews.

Depending on its use, software usually is sold in a specialized marketplace. Having said that, you can still sell them through your own website like you would do for any other digital download.

Type #7: Templates

Templates are a great way to monetize your designing ability.

Whether we are talking about email templates, website templates or templates for specific niches like in art and design e.g. logos or fonts; in career coaching – CVs and cover letters, or any other type of artwork can be useful for someone who is actively searching for it online.

Type #8: Video Games

Video games can also be digital downloads. Out of the best and most widespread video games platforms that offer them is Steam, but there are many other options out there.

If you are ready to sell them, make sure you check out this list from WellKeptWallet to choose the best online places to do so.

Type #9: Music Tracks

Music tracks are paid with royalties and the amount of money coming to your account depends on the percentage of sales profits you get. To start getting paid through your music tracks, you simply upload your music on a music distribution site like the ones listed on SupremeTracks.

If you are also teaching music online, music tracks can be an upsell for your current students or a lead capture mechanism if you offer them for free.

Type #10: Web Services

If you are offering a service instead of a product, you can promote and sell that online too. For instance, if you are a graphic designer, a web designer, a blogger, a copywriter, a translator, a coach, a consultant or a legal professional, you can take advantage of your professional skills as an opportunity to make extra money through the online market.

To be able to do this you will need strong personal branding and a dedicated website that tells people what you do.

To sell digital downloads or online courses, you need to use a digital content or eCommerce platform that allows you to do so.

There are many eCommerce solutions in the market that are specializing in selling digital downloads only, including Easy Digital Downloads, Sellfy, e-Junkie, Sendowl, Fetchapp, Selz, and Gumroad amongst others that can help you sell digital downloads.

Alternatively, you can connect with your website – your very own LearnWorlds, the top online course platform, which provides the ecommerce and functionality to sell digital downloads.

Create a beautiful online school without any technical skills.

Start free trial

Any digital product that helps you add more value to your online course or program – be it a training video, an ebook or a PDF, you can sell directly through your LearnWorlds school.

How to sell digital downloads on your website

Here’s what you need to do to get started with LearnWorlds:

Other Ways to Sell Digital Downloads

If you want to sell your products on popular online marketplaces pay attention to the following:

All you need to start making sales out of digital downloads is choosing the digital product you want to create and then the right tools that will help you promote and sell it.

If selling online courses isn’t the only thing you can do, by all means – do it, and this way you can add more value to what you do as part of your business and build more credibility as an expert in your field.

Start today by claiming your free 30-day trial with LearnWorlds!

Create a beautiful online school without any technical skills.

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Content Creator at

Kyriaki is a Content Creator for the LearnWorlds team writing about marketing and e-learning, helping course creators on their journey to create, market, and sell their online courses. Equipped with a degree in Career Guidance, she has a strong background in education management and career success. In her free time, she gets crafty and musical.