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How To Start Selling Digital Products | 5 Steps

by Saori Caluya on February 26, 2022

Ready To Start Your Own Digital Product Business? 

YouTube Video Tutorial:
( Keep scrolling for written tutorial!)


So, inflation is getting pretty bad and you are thinking about starting a side hustle.
As a digital product seller ( I sell SVG cut file, for those of you who are not familiar with what I do), and I've been wanting to share my tips!

Selling digital products, can be one of the great ways to create additional source of income!

I have been selling digital product since 2016 on multiple platform such as Etsy, Shopify, Wordpress, and other third party online marketplace, and if I can do it, you can do it too!

This is a year 2022 and establishing a stream of income online got easier and simpler than ever.

But if you are wondering where to start and totally lost on what to do, then this guide is for you.

These 5 steps are designed to create a workflow before you start selling your first digital product- like a prepping phase before launch.


Ok Let’s get right into it!

 

1. Find Your Niche 

Before you start on your logo or business name, you will need to figure out what exactly your business is about.

Without having this mapped out, you won’t be able to have the most effective and suitable branding for your business anyways.

So Start asking yourself following questions:
1. What type of digital product am I going to sell?
2. Who's your targeted audiences?
3. Who are they exactly?
4. Why should they buy from you?
5. What makes you the great fit for this type of digital product?

Let me show you some example here.

Let’s say you have decided to sell some sort of digital printable.

then you remembered, that you always wanted to work in wedding industry, so you’ve decided to offer editable digital wedding invitations for brides who are looking for ways to save money.

Your customers are somewhere between 25-45 years old female,
who are recently engaged and also planning a wedding with limited budget.

Your business goal is to help women have beautiful invitation without compromising.
Your business will providing cheap editable PDF wedding invitation, so that these soon-to-be-bride can simply bring the design to their local printer shop rather than paying thousands of dollars.

Why do they want to buy from you?

Because wedding always fascinated you and taking a glance at wedding magazine is your monthly routine, which makes you in tune with what is trending and popular.

Mapping out information like this for your business really helps you to visualize who you are dealing with, and why you are doing this.

Word of advice: don’t do anything you are not interested in any bit.

Scaling your digital product business takes time and it won’t happen over night. If you are not passionate about this, or at least having fun with what you do, I guarantee you, you won’t last more than few weeks.  

After mapping out what your niche, your targeted audiences and the reason why you will be fit to the type of digital product you’d want to sell, then you are ready for the second step:

 

2. Research how you are going to make the product

Once you’ve decided what types of digital product you are going to sell, then start learning how exactly you are doing to make it.

Search your competitors, see what they are selling, and if you need it, purchase few of their bestseller items. I am not encouraging to copying the product here, but by doing this you can research file information such as: file formats, editable or non-editable, size of files, number of files, etc.


Figuring out what type of format you’d need to deliver to customers can really narrow down the options.  

For example, for digital wedding invitation, often times editable PDF that can be modified by using Adobe Reader is included in the purchase.

If you’d want to go with this route, then now you have to research how to create interactive PDF file. Your 1st options are Adobe Acrobat, which require monthly subscription.

Based on this research, you can then google “adobe acrobat alternative” and start researching cheaper alternative, if any.

By thoroughly researching this, you can properly compare all of the options and make the best decision for you and your business. 

3. Create your first products


Regardless of which platform you are going to start selling, you will need few products to start your shop.

My personal advice is, DON’T sign up any marketplace or start building your website / online stores until you finish making at least some digital products to sell.

Of course, the number of first products you should offer can vary depending on the types of digital products.
Obviously making few simple quote wall art PNG file, can be done much faster than, let’s say making 1 digital interactive journal.

 But in anyway, think of your digital product business like any other business.
You won’t open a shop with just 1 product in stock, would you?

With obvious reasons, you have more chance of making sales if you offer variations.


Now, if you are thinking about selling it on Etsy, Etsy won’t even let you open a shop without having at least 1 product to sell. Most of the Etsy seller open their shop with 10-20 listings, so you can use this as a rule of thumb.

After the launching, then you can start adding products weekly to scale up the store on your own pace.

My tip here is to decide your Launch day.

Create a social media accounts like Instagram, TikTok, and start sharing our journey. Then, start announcing your launch day.

Then, you have no choice but to finish your products for sure, instead of doing it on your pace, which often times result in never finishing it.

 

4. Research & decide your platform


Now that you have your first digital products ready to be listed and start collecting money, let’s research which platform you are going to be opening your shop with.

As a digital product seller, you have a lot of options.

Etsy:

Most popular platform is Etsy. With Etsy, you can create your own terms and condition, decide price for extended license, or even offer personalization option as a shop.

3rd Party Digital Product Marketplaces

Other options are digital product sales focused marketplace such as Creative Fabrica, Creative Market, Design Bundles, Font Bundles, HungryJPG.. etc. but these platform have their own terms and conditions which you’d have to comply.

While you still own the rights to your products, you’d have to agree to sell them under their license terms. Also, you won’t be able to offer personalized option.

Your Own Website | Online Store

The last option is to open your own online store.

I strongly suggest to consider this option, even if you have shop open with Etsy or other marketplace.

This topic alone can be one whole article, but one of the many reasons why you want to have your own platform, is that having shop on Etsy is like renting an apartment.

Landlord, Etsy. Can kick you out at any time, and if they do, then you are left with no choice but to have your shop closed for good, and your stream of income stops.

At least if you own your website, you don’t have to worry about that kind of stuff.

Next week I will dive in and explain WHY you will need to have your own website, and why you might be losing so much money by not having your own online store.

But hey, opening your shop on Etsy or other marketplace is simple and easy.

So my personal tip is to start selling your product on these platforms, while working on your own website.

Shopify makes this process so much easier than let’s say building your Wordpress website on your own. Make sure to check back next week for this topic!

 

5. Start selling your digital product 


Now you made a decision on which platform to go to, start listing it!

This is the most exciting part of all and most nerve-breaking part of all.
 

Take one step at a time, and always keep in mind: it takes time!

If you don’t make any sale it’s ok. For me, it took about 6 months to actually start seeing the profit.

Obviously more exposure means more chance of getting sales, so sharing your product on social media is critical for your business.

Platforms like TikTok, Pinterest, Instagram, Facebook, twitter really helps you to scale your business, so test them out, see what fits to you and your business.

Most important thing here is to create a sense of community.

Statistics clearly shows people will buy from you if they feel personal connection.

Remember, people are not shopping because of the product, people are shopping because how the product is making them feel.  

After launching your business, there are many things you can do to create automated system that would generate income over time.

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Let me know in the commend if there’s anything you want to learn or ask questions!

I’d like to share my experience and knowledge as much as I can.

 

See you next week!
- Saori Caluya

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