When was the last time you picked up a real book? Newspaper? Magazine? How about purchased a CD?
Chances are, it’s not an everyday occurrence. Instead, you probably consume the majority of your news and entertainment digitally.
You’re not alone.
Americans love digital content. In fact, only about 2 out of every 10 adults gets their news from print papers. Even ebooks are more popular than their print counterparts. About 61% of all books sold each day are digital!
Pretty impressive, don’t you think?
So impressive, in fact, that you’d be doing yourself (and your wallet) a disservice by not selling digital content.
Benefits of Selling Digital Content
Almost anyone can sell content for download. It’s true.
If you have knowledge to share, you have knowledge to sell.
Technically, this is called information marketing or being an infopreneur. And the benefits of being an infopreneur are many:
- Passive income
- Low startup costs and overhead
- Easy-to-maintain business
- Limitless earning potential
- No physical products or inventory to keep on hand
- No shipping
- Easily scaleable
With digital content, you can create a product once and sell it over and over again — often, on autopilot. This means you spend less time on customer service, packaging and shipping and more time on marketing and making (which means more money for you!).
Who Can Sell Digital Content?
It’s a common misconception that you have to be the end-all-be-all expert in a field or niche to be a successful infopreneur.
This couldn’t be further from the truth.
While you do need to offer valuable content, you don’t have to be the foremost scholar in your field.
Heck, you don’t even need to be a designer, prolific writer or seasoned teacher to sell digital content.
So then what do you need?
You need to be able to solve a common problem.
Find a Pain Point. Then Solve It.
To be a successful infopreneur, you need to identify a widespread problem or pain point. Once you do, you can use your existing knowledge to solve it. This is what will sell your digital product(s) for you!
For example, let’s say you’re a millennial who amassed $10,000 in savings in a year’s time so you could buy a house. That’s great! Chances are, there are other millennials out there who have next to nothing in their savings. And their light bank accounts are preventing them from buying a house any time soon.
While you’re no financial expert, you have the real world experience to back up your teaching. You could show other young millennials how to create a budget, track their spending, set aside money to save, and start a side hustle to boost their bank account — all things you did to reach your $10,000 goal in a year.
Your guide could be packaged into a workbook/ebook combo that you can sell and market to millennials. And because you just (successfully) did exactly what they’re trying to do, you automatically have tons of credibility to back up your content.
Of course, this is just a random example. Your digital content will need to be based on your own experience and existing knowledge.
But remember, if you want people to buy what you’re selling, find an audience’s pain point and offer them a solution.
Have you got a pain point in mind? Are your wheels turning on how you can solve it? Great. That’s half the battle.
Now you’ll need to start selling. But before you can sell anything, you’ve got to get creating.
There are a lot of ways you can take your ideas and package them into products for sale. There is no right or wrong answer when creating digital content. Sure, everyone has an opinion on the subject. And as you get more experienced as an infopreneur, you’ll develop your own preferences too. But if you’re looking for an easy way to go, you can’t go wrong with these ideas.
You can create an ebook in just 30 days. That’s right. In a month’s time you can end up with a perfectly polished ebook that sells really well.
It all starts with a solid outline. A well written outline takes care of about 40% of the work. Once you have the general layout, filling in the content is a breeze.
Even if you don’t think you’re a great writer, you can still get an ebook up for sale. How? Hire a ghostwriter. You can turn to a freelance platform site like Upwork or even Fiverr to outsource the writing.
But a word of advice: The end will result will only be as good as what you invest in it. Paying someone $10 to write 10,000 words will likely result in a not-so-stellar finished product. And the whole point of creating digital content is to sell it. Your ebook won’t sell if your content is lacking.
If your content would work better with a lot of user input, then a workbook may be the better way to go. A workbook is like an ebook but it offers a lot of blank space for the reader to fill in their own content. This helps them ‘work’ their way through a problem by writing things out.
Any kind of self-help subjects do great in the workbook format. And, like an ebook, you can always outsource the content creation if you have an idea of what you want but lack the words to put it all in writing.
If videos are more your thing, consider creating how-to tutorials. You can easily create a screencast to show viewers how to master techniques in Photoshop, create templates in Word, or code their own website. Really, you can create a screencast on just about anything that can be demonstrated on a computer.
With a decent microphone and free software, you can get a screencast complete and up for sale in a matter of days.
For the design-inclined, printables can lead to plenty of passive income success. Some of the most popular printables include:
- Sewing patterns
- Wall art
But those are just a few popular examples — you can create and sell whatever makes sense for you. Are you an avid organizer? Create a printable checklist to help combat clutter. Have a handle on gluten-free cooking? Sell recipe cards. Savvy shopper? Make a calendar of the best time of year to save.
Again, wherever your expertise or knowledge lies, use it to drive your creations.
How to Sell Digital Goods on Autopilot
Now that you’ve discovered a pain point, devised a solution, and packaged it into a sellable good, it’s time to get down to business. But how, exactly, do you sell your content without having to babysit your sales 24/7?
I have one word for you: Shopify.
Shopify is a super-easy, hands-off ecommerce solution. In just a few clicks, you can get a perfectly polished website up that hosts your digital content for instant download. The best part? With easy-to-integrate Shopfiy apps, it can all be done on autopilot.
With Shopify on your side, a customer lands on your site. Places your digital product in their cart. Checks out. And, boom, the content is instantly made available to them via download. How’s that for passive income?
Selling on Shopify
The easiest way to get up and running is to sign up for Shopify and download the free Digital Downloads App.
With this app installed in your shop, you can:
- Set download limits
- Give customers direct downloads upon purchase
- Automatically email download link after purchase
- Provide automatic updates if you change or edit content
With this app in place, you can automate the entire process as you make sales and fulfill orders 24/7.
And instead of logging in constantly to keep track of sales, the app allows you to see, at a glance, how many products you’ve sold and the number of downloads every single day.
Ready to start selling? You can get up and running in just a few steps:
- Simply sign up for a free 14-day trial of Shopify
- Pick your favorite theme — there are premium and free options available
- Customize it to your liking — change colors, layouts, and add a logo (all without touching a single line of code).
- Upload your products and launch!
That’s it. You’re now ready to start earning passive income by selling digital downloads on Shopify!
This post contains affiliate links. I only recommend products, services and brands that I trust. Learn more by reading my disclosure statement.
I found a pain point and wrote a 9-page ebook on the subject. Because lulu.com and other publishing websites require chapters it wouldn’t let me publish it. So I managed to give it 2 chapters and I still can’t publish it. So I put it on payhip.com & pinned it to my twitter account. Guess what? No one is interested in learning how to handle this particular problem saturating this society. They only want to complain.
Awesome Ashlee I found this to be extremely helpful thank you for your info.
Love love love your post, I tried my hand at writing ebooks and selling them on Amazon which I have to promote myself to get any sale, and I guess this is something every content creator need to do but I think that to actually make money like you said is to have a lot of ebooks to sell especially on platforms like Amazon! I really enjoyed reading your post! Thanks