Before diving into the exact products you can sell to bring in more passive income, we first need to define passive income.
So, what is passive income exactly?
Passive income is money you earn that requires little to no (ideally) work to maintain. You usually have to put in work in the beginning, build up the system, and reap the fruits of your hard work hopefully forever.
Why do people usually choose digital products for their passive income system?
Unlike physical products that require a manufacturer, quality control, shipping, and complicated logistics that are usually impossible to automate, digital products can be sold on the internet which means automation and ultimately passive income is very achievable.
How do you set up your store?
To set up a store, you first need to do a couple of things: pick a store name, buy a domain name, hosting, as well as any other platforms, apps, and plugins you might need. This can be overwhelming especially if you consider you haven’t even started creating your digital products.
One of the smartest moves you could make is getting shopping cart software like LeadCart that can help with almost all of the tasks I’ve mentioned above. With LeadCart, which was created to help entrepreneurs convert more sales and maximize profit, you’ll be able to start your selling digital products without needing to know how to code or hiring developers to do the coding for you.
LeadCart can help you create a battle-tested cart funnel or checkout pages that are guaranteed to increase your sales and profits. Another great feature is the ability to lead store visitors step-by-step to an easy checkout process
A common problem with online stores that sell digital products is that the customers get confused or lost and simply leave the store - LeadCart can help you solve that. If you decide to just sell one digital product, LeadCart can help you show that product that problem-solving product and get them to the checkout process easier. If you want to upsell your customers on more digital products or even services - you guessed it - LeadCart can do that for you.
Which digital products can you sell?
When you’ve chosen a domain name, hosting, and a shopping cart platform - now comes the fun part - creating the digital products you’ll be selling.
Basically, you need to follow the market laws and create a product that is highly desired but not many people are already selling it. To check if a similar product already exists and its volume, start by performing keyword research and try to find how many similar products already exist. The sheer volume of products will tell you if it’s worth pursuing that specific product or should you look elsewhere.
The range of digital products you can sell is almost endless. There are courses, e-books, video presets, Photoshop actions, stock photographs, apps, graphics, brushes, and so many more products not mentioned here which is why it’s important to choose the right ones.
In the next couple of paragraphs, we’ll cover 9 interesting digital products you can create and sell which will bring you more passive income.
Even though most of us believe that people don’t read anymore, that - in fact, isn’t true. Numerous studies have shown that young adults (people aged 18-29) still like to read books for leisure. If the idea of writing an e-book scares you - don’t worry, you can write an e-book whether you’re a beginner or an expert, you just have to adjust your writing to the knowledge level you possess.
A great example of an e-book is the How to Move to New York guide, written by the German designer Tobias van Schneider. It’s not too long but rather packed with very valuable information about moving to New York City that you can’t find anywhere else.
If you’re just starting with digital products, an e-book could be a great starting ticket as there’s definitely a subject or an area you know better than anyone else. Start with that. Write about what you know. You can make them easily and they usually sell good - especially if you invest a bit of effort which I’m sure you’ll do.
2. Online courses
Another great digital product that you can create with the help of your knowledge is online courses. People sometimes think that only courses about making money or marketing are successful which is definitely not true. You can create a course about pretty much anything, as long as there’s an audience for it.
The premise is simple, all you need to do is find a subject matter you’re familiar with and use that knowledge of yours to provide value and teach something useful to your audience.
You can create your online course as written lessons, worksheets, videos, even animations or any combination of the aforementioned formats.
To distribute your online course, you can use a platform like Skillshare or Udemy. However, we recommend you stick with LeadCart and all the commissions (since both Skillshare and Udemy take a percentage of your earnings).
Printables are documents that can be printed and then used by those who have it. In today's ever-changing world, many people need help with planning and organizing their work. That's where printables come in handy. Some examples of printables include project planners, journals, templates, checklists, stickers, coloring sheets, various trackers, etc.
To design printables, you can use a tool like Adobe Illustrator. If you make lists or have your own system which you use for organizing thoughts, ideas, projects, and everyday to-dos, you have a great chance to create printables out of those documents and sell the printable online.
You can sell your printables on platforms like Etsy - which is one of the most popular ones for selling printables. Other popular platforms include Fiverr and Creative Market. Bear in mind that all these platforms charge fees.
4. Stock photos
If you are good at taking photos and know your way around editing software like Photoshop, then you could sell stock photography. The market for stock photographs has been developing steadily since the 1920s. Today, everyone from social media managers that manage a mom-and-pop shop to huge international marketing agencies are looking for stock photographs to make their business (or clients) look more appealing and strengthen their presence online.
Stock photos are usually based around a certain theme - like workspace photos, or photos of people partying on the beach. Usually, it’s best to focus on a certain overarching theme or subject. They can be sold as bundles (which are almost always theme-based) or individually.
A great tip for starting out with stock photography is to create a bundle around a certain subject you’re familiar with - if you run a food blog, you can take photos of meals, people cooking and eating, the atmosphere in the kitchen, or around the table.
If you are good at drawing, you could also do stock illustrations. The premise is the same with stock photographs, but instead of taking pitchers of people you draw them, usually digitally as it’s easier to adjust the size of vector files than drawings on paper.
5. Design elements
Continuing with visual digital products, if you have experience in graphic design and a good eye, you could create design elements and sell them online. Design elements include everything from icons, simple graphics, fonts, patterns, and brushes.
These elements could then be used by bloggers, influencers, social media managers, even other designers or pretty much everyone that’s looking to spice up their artwork.
6. Photo and video presets
Photo presets are similar to Instagram filters and their purpose is to enhance or change the look and feel of a photo. They can be created in Lightroom or Photoshop (as Photoshop actions). They are basically a collection of edits that can be applied to multiple images instead of manually adjusting settings for each photo.
People usually buy photo presets because of two reasons: they save time and they give a certain look to photographs. The presets aren’t simply a collection of edits, but rather give photos a unique feel or aesthetic.
Video presets work in the same way and give a certain style to the video.
A popular site for selling photo and video presets, as well as other assets is FilterGrad, but like always, we recommend you sell presets on your own website.
7. Design templates
If you know how to design web pages, you could sell pre-made templates that your customers can add to their website platform - Wordpress and Squarespace being the most popular ones. These templates can be interesting for various people and businesses including bloggers, influencers, fashion blogs, magazines, photographers, and anyone else who needs a website or a blog - which includes pretty much any business these days.
In addition to a website, people and businesses need logos. If people are starting their business, they usually can’t afford to pay a design studio’s hefty fee. These people are most likely interested in purchasing a logo, or even an entire branding bundle.
Similar to design templates and branding bundles, many entrepreneurs and companies are looking for marketing materials like flyers and press kits, especially by ones who are on a tight schedule or budget. This is a great way to earn some cash on the side doing what you love.
8. Software and games
If you write code, then you know it’s not easy to do. Coding takes time and effort but the benefits of making and selling something you coded on your own are huge.
The software industry has many opportunities. That means that almost anyone who knows how to code can develop their own desktop software, mobile and web apps, video games, mobile games, you name it. Anything created with the power of code can be sold online. An established market is almost certainly already there.
9. Membership sites
These sites require much more time, effort and resources than most of the other digital products mentioned on the list. However, investing more, in this case, means that the potential earning you get in return are much higher.
Membership sites are private areas of a website or a forum that you can enter once you pay a monthly or a yearly fee. Membership sites exist for all niches: fitness, investing, copywriting, etc.
Membership sites usually contain courses, guides, documents, videos, that can’t be found anywhere else. The purpose of these sites is to provide value and teach people how to be better at a certain skill or better in general.
To start a membership site, you first need to build a following, a community of people that think fo your (or your brand) as leaders in a certain field and that are interested in paying a certain amount of money every month or year to get additional value from you. This can be done in so many ways that we could write a separate article just about it. The general gist is that you need to build a community and then through time get that community to buy a membership fee.
A great benefit of a membership site is that recurring payment you get from your members - instead of the one-time payment, you usually get with these products.
The key to a successful membership site is providing valuable content that can’t be found anywhere else.
So, what are the best digital products?
Well, it’s hard to tell. They all require certain skills which we’re sure you already have. However, we can recommend that you start small. Pick a digital product you can easily create, most likely an e-book or a printable and start from there. The more you wok, the more digital products you create, you ‘ll become better, your products will become better, you will earn more and who knows, maybe one day passive income becomes the main way you earn money.
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