Selling digital downloads is a great way to build up a stream of passive income. Digital downloads are the ideal product because of three things:
- They’re scaleable
- They’re relatively cheap and easy to produce
- They don’t have the same hassles associated with physical inventory
Despite these benefits, however, selling from your own website can seem intimidating. From deciding on what product to sell to figuring out what platform to use, it can be difficult to know just where to get started.
That’s why we’ve put together a guide to help you out with the process. Check out how you can sell digital downloads from your own website below.
Why sell digital downloads from your own website?
Ebay, Amazon, Walmart… online marketplaces are booming right now and for good reason. They’re popular sites that bring in a ton of customers and relatively easy to use, even if you don’t know how to code.
Don’t let these be your deciding factors, though. When you sell from online marketplaces, you also lose a lot of autonomy. Most marketplaces will take a cut of your profits as well as limiting what you can sell.
In contrast, selling from your own website allows you to retain full control over your online store. You won’t face any fees, which means more money in your pocket, and you’ll be able to brand your store however you want, something you can’t do with an online marketplace.
If you want to sell files online from your website but don’t know how, don’t worry—we’ve got your back. Take a look at these 5 easy steps to start selling digital downloads from your own website.
Step 1. Figure out what you’re selling
Before you can start selling digital downloads from your own website, you need to figure out what you’re selling. The best way to do that? Learn about what your customers want.
Before you can create a product, ask yourself these questions:
- What format do your customers prefer?
- What questions are they asking? What kind of problems are they trying to solve?
- What will they get from your product?
It’s important to make sure that your digital product is relevant to your existing fanbase. If you’re having trouble coming up with anything, think about how they’ve interacted with your website so far. Has a certain article gotten more traffic than others? Do people flock to your online videos? This will give you insight into what kind of products will be popular with your customers.
Once you’ve figured out what kind of product your customers would want, then you can start brainstorming specific product ideas.
Step 2. Create your product
Once you know what your customer wants, you can start working on creating your product. Some common digital downloads include:
One of the benefits of selling digital downloads is that they’re relatively cost-effective to produce. Often, they require more effort than money, making it easy for an up and coming creator to make professional-grade products.
As a result, you don’t have to limit yourself to just one format. Creating many different kinds of digital products can help you increase sales and maximize profits—it’s a win-win for everybody.
Step 3. Set up shop
Now that you have your product created, it’s time to set up your eCommerce shop. The easiest way to do this is with an all-in-one platform, ideally one created to sell digital downloads.
An all-in-one platform will enable you to directly upload your files on the platform. Once you’ve uploaded your products, they will then be featured on your platform where you can play around with the design and layout.
Step 4. Set up a subdomain
Subdomains are one of the best ways to manage and host your products easily while maintaining complete control over your online store. If you’re using an all-in-one platform, all you have to do is scroll through your settings, where you’ll be given the option to enter a subdomain name as your storefront URL.
Step 5. Set up payments
Once you’ve set up your domain, you can begin to set up a payment system. If you’re using an all-in-one platform, this will be easy. Most platforms have built-in connection processes with popular payment methods like Paypal or Stripe.
Once you’ve got your payment options arranged, you can begin to set up additional payment options such as upselling, discount codes, and coupons to set up special offers.
Most all-in-one platforms will allow you to set up a shopping cart as well. You can either set it up on your dedicated storefront or embed it on your website and voila! You’re ready to start selling.
Now that you’re ready to sell digital downloads from your website, remember these key takeaways:
- Selling from your website allows you to retain more control (and profits) over marketplace solutions
- Figure out what problems your customers are facing and then create a solution to solve it
- Products come in all kinds of shapes and sizes—experiment with different products
- Choose an all-in-one system and set up a subdomain to minimize headaches and get started quickly
- Optimize payments with add-ons like discounts, product upsells, and coupon codes
Congratulations, you’re now ready to start selling!