skip to content

How to sell digital downloads & online products for passive income

This guide will teach you how to create and sell a digital download from end-to-end, whether it’s your first time opening an online store or you’re a seasoned creator.

Video Overview

No time to read?

Watch a video walkthrough of Podia in action.

Great things start from small beginnings:

The electron becomes part of the atom.

The atom becomes part of the molecule.

And the molecule becomes part of the compound – so on and so forth.

Dipping your toe into digital selling works the same way. Is selling online courses and memberships a great way to make a profit online? For sure. Are they the easiest digital products to sell, though?

They can be if you have the time and experience to make the hustle work for you.

If it’s your first time to start a business, however, or you’ve never created content to sell online before, they’re not always the best fit.

Why? Because they take time. A lot of it. Too much of it for the millions of creators who are still juggling a day job on top of their side-hustle. 🤹‍♀️

That’s where digital downloads come in, and that’s what this guide to selling digital products will help you with today.

Digital downloads are easy to produce, cost-effective, and a great way to make a name for yourself without taking on a ton of risk as a first-time creator. 🙌

Plus, whether your first digital product is a free digital download, an ebook, or somewhat else, you can get up and running in one week or less . . . without sacrificing every waking hour to it.

Sounds great, right? We think so, too. Over the next nine chapters of this guide, we’ll walk through every step to create and sell a digital download, including ideation, prep work, publishing it, and profiting from it.

Before we dive into that, though, let’s make sure we’re all on the same page: what exactly is a digital download, anyway? 🤔

What is a digital download?

A digital download is an electronic document, file, or a software package that can be downloaded, whether for free or as part of a sale. Users download through a digital device (i.e., computer, phone, or tablet) without having to physically install anything.

Digital downloads come in many formats including audio files; video tutorials and files; ebooks; software apps; printed products like checklists, workbooks, and templates; and creative assets like fonts, graphics, and PSD files.

But . . . along with those opportunities come a mountain of questions. 😨

Confusing questions, at that, such as:

Which type of digital download should I create?
Will my audience be interested enough to pay for it?
What the best platform to sell digital downloads?
Should I set up a Shopify site, a WordPress site, or neither?
What about using a marketplace – what are the pros and cons of selling on Udemy or a similar marketplace?
And it just gets more complicated from there as you consider:

Where do I put my buy buttons and how do I include a download link to my product?
Should I offer discount codes or run special sales?
How do I upload my content so my customers can download it?
Which payment processors do I need to work with to get paid on time?
These are all great questions to think about, but they’re even better questions to get answers for – so without further ado, let’s start breaking them down in Chapter 1. 👇


First chapter

Digital vs. Physical products: Which should you sell online?

Learn how digital downloads stack up against physical products, and get actionable strategies and tips for selling digital products.

Start reading →