Best Platforms for Selling Digital & Downloadable Products

Starting an online business has never been easier, in fact it’s not so much about starting the business, as it is about knowing what exactly you wish to sell, and the way in which you wish to sell it. Services like writing, marketing and design and development work are amongst the most popular between freelancers, but then there are things like eBooks, books, in fact all physical items, as well as digital goods like graphics work, custom fonts and so forth, that can be sold and purposed online through a specific sales page.

Learning to sell digital products is a great way to secure an extra income that’s dependent and reliable. Webmasters, bloggers, writers, anyone with a website can become a digital product seller. And even though digital selling presents a much more relaxed selling environment, we should still remind ourselves that things like presentation and support management counts. Selling online brings about a lot of learning opportunities that can be further used to begin building a business plan and a business idea that could be extended fully towards the physical world.

If you wish to sell online, one of the few things you will want to make sure you have is a reliable hosting account that’s both secure and managed so that if there are ever any problems with your website, you are able to get on top of it quickly and effectively. You will also want to make sure that your website looks good, and that the digital selling platform you are going to use can be either integrated natively into your website management platform, or you have the required specifications to host a version of your own on your website. Although many of the platforms on our list are working externally, meaning that you will often get links and widgets that you can use on your own website.

Shopify

Shopify has expanded to support eCommerce, social eCommerce, as well as straightforward shopping options with single click to buy buttons. It is the leader in modern eCommerce and offers its customers to create eCommerce stores for both digital and physical goods. The best part is that you can get to experience the full potential of Shopify’s platform by signing up for a free trial and seeing the results yourself. An extensive directory of styles and themes (with full customization options), and an amazing directory of paid and free plugins that will let you create an online store that resembles the works of Amazon and Newegg when it comes to product selling.

E-junkie

E-junkie has managed to grow on such a large scale over the last decade thanks to its pledge to not charge any fees, other than the flat monthly fee you have to pay in order to use the platforms services. It’s popular amongst those creative artists who are into creating books, digital items like themes and other graphics work, as well as those who want to sell services for areas like marketing, and business. Everything is managed within the platform itself, once a user finishes a purchase and the platform verifies its validity, the user will be able to download the given files instantly.

There is also an affiliate platform available that means you can earn more sales for your products through the help of customers who run websites and blogs. Manage inventory, learn more about your sales through analytics and many other great features that will set you on a path of success in digital selling.

ClickBank

ClickBank is a household name amongst those who have been into internet marketing for the past couple of years, it’s the most well-known platform for selling and buying digital goods like ebooks, tools, guides, and more. It’s the perfect marketplace for anyone who wants to reach out to a base of customers who are always looking to learn something new and unique about their own specific market. The affiliate program is known for driving as much as hundreds of thousands of dollars in revenue for those who want to use the full potential of ClickBank’s promotional tools, and many of the products on ClickBank are actually all about teaching others how to use internet marketing to its full potential, lately going in-depth about things like email marketing and organic promotion techniques.

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The 5 Most Profitable Digital Products To Sell Online

Remember on the original Star Trek when people just pressed a button and a food replicator would instantly make whatever you wanted. You didn’t have to go to a store and look for ingredients and then make the meal. No looking up a recipe or getting your hands dirty. Press a button and Voila, a sundae appeared.

Or maybe you don’t remember because you aren’t a total nerd like me. In any case, you get the idea, press button and food appears.  Like “the food replicator”, digital downloads are almost instant. You pay, press a button to download, and instantly get what you want. Easy.

Today we have so much information readily available to us. With the click of a button, we have access to books, music, lessons, tutorials, graphics, photography, blogs, themes and more. Pretty much anything you want can be bought digitally.

People are embracing the entrepreneurial spirit. Einstein once said, “Everybody is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree it will live its whole life believing it is stupid.” Not everyone is cut out for or is best suited for a 9-5 job.

Many are turning to selling their expertise online. Whether it be writing an ebook or teaching guitar lessons. The problem many people encounter is not knowing if their product will be profitable. We are here to help you out. Here are the 5 most profitable digital products that you can sell on your own eCommerce store.

1. eBooks

The most popular digital download goes to the eBook and with good reason. Due to the emergence of devices like the Kindle and Kobo, the popularity of eBooks has skyrocketed. Because of this new era of ebooks, self-published authors are now getting the recognition they deserve. Authors, if they decide to go this route, no longer have to go through the hassle of finding a publisher.

Take a look at these remarkable stats from publishers weekly:

  • The Big Five traditional publishers now account for only 16% of the e-books on Amazon’s bestseller lists.
  • Self-published books now represent 31% of e-book sales on Amazon’s Kindle Store.
  • Indie authors are earning nearly 40% of the e-book dollars going to authors.
  • Self-published authors are “dominating traditionally published authors” in sci-fi/fantasy, mystery/thriller and romance genres, and are taking significant market share in all genres.

Self-published books are dominating as they are starting to gather a cult-like following. Many people are tired of seeing the same books published by the same authors and are looking for some variety.

Setting up a site for your ebooks is extremely simple, you get to keep 100% of your profits and 100% of the attention is on you. Nobody has to sort through hundreds of thousands of other titles to eventually land on your book.

2. Photography

70 million. The number of photos, vectors, and illustrations currently being sold on Shutterstock. Not to mention over 750,000 active members in over 150 countries. There were 58 million downloads of Shutterstock images in 2011, which generated $120.3 million in revenue. And that’s just Shutterstock. There’s also Photocrati, SmugMug, Zenfolio, DigiLabs, Shutterfly, Zazzle, iStock.

All this probably sounds pretty good, right? There’s a ton of really big numbers, but the fact is, if you want your images to stand out, they won’t. They become a needle in a haystack and the competition is fierce. You may think your photo is worth a certain amount, but money talks and you’ll need to price your photos competitively in order to stay relevant.

A photo is worth a thousand words. Many times photographers have a compelling story to go along with their photo. Like a merchant selling a product, the description of your photo gives you a chance to really sell someone on it.

Then there’s the fact that these third parties are going to take a major cut of your profit. Not cool. With your own store, you keep ALL of your profits and make sure your photos get the attention they deserve.

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What are Digital Goods?

Digital goods refers to any goods that are sold, deliveredand transferred in digital form. Many of the most common examples of digitalgoods are media files, including music files, video files containing movies ortelevision programming, branded multimedia files and other similar types ofproducts.

Techopedia explains Digital Goods

One of the biggest issues with digital goods is intellectual property protection. Because digital goods are sold in such a versatile and transferable format, producers and distributors have to make sure that they are packaged in technologies that are relatively immune to piracy or illegal sharing. For example, see the thorny emergence of digital rights management or DRM wrapping for Apple iTunes files. Many believe Apple went too far in controlling what devices the files can be played on, although the company maintains that DRM wrapper technology is mainly to protect IP. These issues often surround digital goods and their sale and use, and have spawned U.S. laws such as the SOPA or Stop Online Piracy Act and other initiatives.