So you decided to create a digital product and build some passive income, but what could you sell? Worry not – I’ve put together an extensive list of digital products to sell.
Requirements for products to make it on this list are the following:
- You never touch a physical item
- You create the product once and then sell it forever
- No or very little cost to create and sell it
Here we go, more than 100 ideas for digital products to sell!
Contrary to what many people believe, you don’t have to have a formal education in graphic design to sell visual products. Many self-taught graphic designers successfully sell their products online. So if you want to go the graphic design route, here’s what you could sell:
You could create a template of literally anything and somebody out there would have a use for it. Professionals use templates to save time on customer work. Individuals use templates to get great-looking results without the need to invest time in graphic design skills.
Check out a few template examples:
- Social Media
Most companies need some sort of social media strategy nowadays – so there’s an undeniable demand for templates to create social media content. Social media requires consistent activity to be effective, so anything that makes creating new social media content less time-consuming is worth its money for many people. Learning how to make good pins for Pinterest is harder than just using a template – so you can sell templates for good pictures aimed at Pinterest, Instagram or Facebook.
- Ad templates for social media
- Engaging posts templates
- Event posts (like Christmas or 4th of July posts)
- Sales posts
- Logo and branding
In a time where it’s easier than ever to create a business, even if it’s “just” online, the demand for low-cost branding increases.
- Cover letters and CVs
Applying with default, non-styled application documents just don’ cut it anymore in today’s corporate world. HR people expect you to hand in well-formatted, visually appealing application documents.
- Wedding invitations, table cards, wedding everything
People will always have weddings. Each wedding season, people will buy these.
- Birth announcements
Same as weddings – people will always have kids.
- Birthday party invitations
People will always.…you get the idea.
For clubs, bars, events
- Restaurant menus
For well, restaurants, or for freelancers to create menus for restaurants
Those are just a few examples – think about what people could need! If you need more template inspiration , check Creative Market’s template section: https://creativemarket.com/templates
Depending on who you want to sell to, create your templates either in paid professional programs to target businesses and freelancers or free/cheap applications like Canva, Affinity, Word for non-business customers.
Stock Illustrations, Cliparts, Vector graphics
Illustrations, Cliparts and Vector graphics sell well. How do I know? I buy them. You can check yourself – You can see which ones got reviews and therefore sales on Etsy.
It’s great if you don’t have to create everything from scratch, so especially semi-professionals use bought graphics.
You could sell:
- Infographic elements
- Any kind of Builders (where you have different elements and can put together a final illustrations, like a custom portrait).
- Illustrations (people, cute animals, everyday products, food & drinks, birthday elements, plants, flowers, wraths, holiday elements, school elements, fantasy creatures, vehicles)
- Vectors – same as illustrations
- Handwritten quotes
- Watercolor elements
- Frames, banners and text dividers
- 2D game assets (characters, worlds, textures)
- Web elements (headers, UI Kits, backgrounds, mood board grids, design templates)
Well-picked fonts can take your design from “meh” to “wow!”, so there is an infinite demand for fonts. However, I’ve only ever once bought a font so far and I paid 1$. The rest of my huge font library I got from freebies or my Creative Fabrica subscription. So I don’t think this is one of the most profitable digital products to sell, but feel free to try it out and let me know!
This is one of the product types I sell, and where currently most of my side hustle earnings come from. A printable is a picture or PDF of something for people to print at home or get printed at a print shop. Popular examples are planner pages or wall art. You can sell anything people would want to print, for example:
- Greeting cards
- Planners (note that there is a difference between a planner and a plan – a planner gives you a structure for your planning and a plan will just give you the plan to execute)
- Meal plans
- Workout plans
- Vacation plans
- Event planning templates
- Journals and diaries
- Logs and trackers
- Coloring pages
- Activity pages
- Worksheets (e.g. for kids, or for businesses)
- Wall art
- Labels (for gifts, food, anything)
- Digital paper (yes, people buy digital paper and print it at home). It’s usually a page-sized picture with a nice pattern.
- Giftbox templates for people to print, cut out, fold and/or glue together
Print on Demand
Print on demand is an amazing thing – without any sourcing in china or any inventory at all, you can sell items with your designs on them. How this works: You create a design and upload it to a print on demand provider’s marketplace. If somebody buys your design, the POD provider produces the chosen product with your design on it and ships it to the customer. In the end, you get a share of the profit.
Depending on the provider, you get either a fixed margin or you can set it yourself. There are also POD fulfillers you can directly hook up to your Shopify or Etsy store. Some of them even have a service where the buyer can customize the designs without any involvement from you. That means you could offer customized designs without lifting a finger when somebody places an order.
There is a plethora of items you can sell print on demand:
- Wrapping paper
- Shower curtains
- Greeting cards
- …and many more.
Print on demand books
Wait, that’s a thing? Yes. You can design a physical book and it will be produced when somebody orders it. That’s possible with Amazon.
In case you thought about selling printables, you could also create books with them. You have a diary printable? Why not bundle it up, add some inspiring pages with quotes, and sell it on Amazon KDP.
Some examples of products sold on KDP:
- Coloring books
- Children’s books (illustrated)
- Activity books
Brushes, actions, presets
For most creative programs out there, you can create add-ons, for example:
- Brushes for Adobe Photoshop, Adobe Illustrator or ProCreate
- Photoshop actions
- Lightroom presets
The DIY and crafts market is huge – especially on Etsy. If you’re good at sewing, knitting, or work a lot with a cutting machine, why not create some craft resources to sell?
- SVGs for cutting machines (like Silhouette or Cricut)
- Embroidery patterns and fonts
- Sewing patterns
- Knitting patterns
Printable 3D models
While at the moment 3D printers are not that common in people’s households yet, they might be in a few years. 3D printers are getting cheaper and better, and you can print amazing things with them.
- Cookie cutters
- Figurines and Miniatures (i.e. for tabletop games)
- Art (Statues, vases…)
- Desk toys
- Jewelry and accessories
- Creative or useful everyday objects
You can either sell just the 3D models for printing or sell the 3D printed models, like print on demand.
https://www.shapeways.com/, for example, lets you connect it’s service to Shopify or Etsy. Their printing materials range from cheap plastic over steel to precious metals like gold. Yes, you read that right – you can basically sell print on demand jewelry. Check out all Shapeways materials here: https://www.shapeways.com/materials
High poly 3D models
You can compare 3D models with a high amount of polygons to 2D images with a high resolution. High poly 3D models are used for pre-rendered projects like movies, mockups and image compositions. They take a bit more time to make, but in return, you can charge more.
Low poly 3D models
3D models with a low amount of polygons are equivalent to pixel-style 2D graphics. Low poly models are either used to achieve a specific style or to save performance in realtime-applications. Therefore, they are often bought for games, apps, augmented reality / virtual reality applications or low poly graphic design. I create low poly 3D models once in a while and list them on 3D marketplaces for sale. The same models have been selling for years now.
Base meshes provide 3d artists with a basic template to start with, to customize or sculpt. If you want to sell base meshes, it’s important to have a clean topology that is easy to work with.
Papercraft templates let people print, cut, fold and glue together paper sculptures.
Creating the templates also requires to create detailed instructions on how to print and assemble the parts. You’ll need to be a bit of a crafty type here as you will probably need to test your template. They sell great on Etsy.
Stock photography is a big, but competitive market – after all, even smartphone cameras can shoot moderately good pictures nowadays. You can still make sales if you’ve done your research. I moved on from my unsuccessful and non-researched first tries to sell photos. I’m sure there’s some money to be made if you find a good niche. However, from the single photo I sold, I earned about 20 cents, so that’s not really encouraging me to try again.
While I’m not conviced that there is a lot of money to be made with stock photography itself, I see a lot of potential in shooting pictures for mockup templates.
A mockup is a faked product picture, that’s why it’s called a mock-up. It’s often used to promote a product instead of taking an actual picture of the product. If you ever tried taking a stunning picture of a product, you know how hard and time consuming that is. It’s even harder if the product doesn’t exist in the first place – which is the case for example in the print on demand space.
A good mockup lets you quickly create a picture of your product without even taking your camera out. All you need is some software and a mockup template. In my opinion there can never be enough mockup templates; once you’ve seen a few, you see the same ones everywhere.
Mockups are used by print on demand sellers, e-book sellers and graphic design/marketing agencies (e.g. branding mockup kits for agencies and freelancers who create branding for companies), just to name a few. Some examples of mockups you can create:
- Branding (showing business cards, logo, letters, website on a laptop etc. in one nice picture)
- Print on demand products – you can check the biggest print on demand providers to see which products they offer.
- Printables on a table (pages, greeting cards, writing pad with a sheet of paper on it…check the list of printables further up for inspiration)
Video will be the media of choice for years to come and there is a number of digital products you can provide for influencers, streamers, YouTubers, freelancers and marketing agencies to create or edit videos.
- Stock videos
- Templates for animated logos
- Online Courses
- Online Classes (e.g. workouts, meditation, yoga…)
Like stock graphics, folks also need stock audio assets.
- Ambient sound
- Sound effects
- Instrumental tracks
In case you already created an e-book, why not also create an audiobook with the content? People love to listen to audiobooks when they work out, drive a car or clean their homes.
Education, News, Entertainment… You can charge for your podcasts (subscription), have sponsors or affiliates.
E-Books and print on demand books
If the thought of having to write a whole book is daunting to you, don’t worry, you don’t have to write a 300 pages book. Non-fiction books can be very short – but you have to make sure they are value-packed. In fact, plenty of people shy away from long books these days, because everyone is short on time. So if you can offer a solution to a problem in as few as 30 pages, that’s great! You don’t even need a publisher any more – the era of e-books makes self-publishing a breeze.
- Science Fiction
- …look at amazon kindle categories to get more ideas!
- Non-fiction, e.g.
- Self-help, Business
- Recipe books
Yes, blogposts are a digital product too. You can monetize them in different ways (affiliates/sponsoring/ads) or at some point bundle them in an e-book or PDF to sell.
Excel is something most people do not have extensive knowledge of. It provides very practical ways to log things and have all calculations automatically made for you, so people want to use it. It’s great for budgeting and planning. So if you’re an excel pro, you could think about selling templates. I see people selling them on Etsy, so that’s a good marketplace to start.
Now that’s certainly not the easiest or most passive category of digital products to sell – but that’s one reason why you can earn more here if you create something useful.
Drawbacks: Usually it’s very time consuming to finish a product and you have to offer support for people who use it.
- Scripts or plugins for widely used applications
- Browser Plugins
- Code snippets
- Whole frameworks for developers
- Examples of whole projects (e.g. there are people selling whole games in the Unity Asset store)
- Website templates
So that was it – my whole list of digital products to sell. Did you find something that’s right for you? Or are you selling something that’s not on the list? Let us know in the comments!