Do you have a new digital product that you want to sell online? Are you looking for the best platform to sell your online course, eBook, software, digital art, music, templates, or premium content? In this post, we check out the five best places to sell digital downloads and make money in 2023.
From a tech perspective, it's not hard for bloggers and freelancers to create multiple revenue streams online. It does, however, require some persistent work and patience.
Today, we have access to a plethora of online tools and selling platforms. To save a ton of time looking for these amazing tools, I created a mega-thread post here you might want to check out.
But, getting back to the topic of selling your digital downloads, and even going beyond that - As a blogger or solopreneur, why should you even consider selling anything online in 2023?
You can no longer depend on just one source of income from your blog or your online business. If blogging is the foundation of your business, you have to create multiple sources of income to continue growing and profiting from your blog. Just like an eCommerce store that doesn't just sell one product.
Of course, none of this matters if you're not interested in making an income from your blog. In which case, you shouldn't be reading my blog, because I'm all about creating a business from blogging.
OK, so the beauty of selling digital products and downloads is that it's easy to get set up, though the time it takes to create something worthy of selling can vary.
For example, an online course will take you longer to create than writing an eBook.
All that said, selling digital downloads is a very lucrative business, unlike selling physical products, where there are lots of logistics and intricate moving parts involved, such as stock management, packaging, shipping, dealing with returned items and discrepancies, etc. Not to mention the overheads and costs of selling physical products, whereas selling digital downloads can be incredibly profitable.
Once you have created your digital product, you can sell an infinite supply of that product, and make a very regular income from it.
That said, I'm not against selling physical products. In fact, I have several businesses where I sell physical products (art and music merch). The amazing thing is that you can also sell physical products using some of the platforms mentioned below.
OK, so let's get back to the topic of this post.
Where do you even start with selling your digital downloads? You have your product ready, what do you do next?
Well, let's start with five platforms that are waiting for you right now.
Let me start with the first three that I use myself! These are the tools/platforms I have found to be incredibly affordable and user-friendly, and would happily recommend them to budding entrepreneurs and bloggers.
Here's the list -
Now, let's dive deeper into each one -
Sellfy is my top choice of place to sell digital downloads. Although still relatively fresh for me, since I've been testing their platform for a little under a year, I've started to use Selfy to promote and sell t-shirts and various merch for my music business. And so far, I've been pretty impressed with what they have to offer.
Sellfy lets you sell digital and physical products, as well as subscriptions and print-on-demand products. It's the perfect platform for both entrepreneurs and content creators.
Feature include -
Sellfy has a lot to offer, and its pricing structure is simple and reasonably affordable too. There is a free plan that lets you host 10 products, and create unlimited sales with zero transaction fees each year. The free plan, however, only allows you to sell physical and print-on-demand products.
There are also three other paid plans starting at $19 per month ($228 paid yearly), which is pretty reasonable I think. And with that plan, you basically have access to a lot more features including email contacts, email credits, the ability to sell digital and subscription products, etc.
So, if Selly sounds like something you might be interested in, you can try them for 14 days for free. Or sign up for their free plan to sell physical and print-on-demand products.
Payhip is the next choice if you're on a budget because this platform is very affordable. I've used Payhip for over five years and overall the service has been great. This platform has helped me to make made over $1,700 from my eBook sales.
Payhip is a pretty rock-solid platform to use because it's super simple and user-friendly. Moreover, it's also a very affordable option if you're just starting out and are on a budget.
So what can you do with Payhip? Well, you can sell digital downloads as well as physical products. You can set up membership billing, and more recently a brand new feature was released that lets you sell coaching.
So, let me run through some of the things you can do with Payhip, along with some of the features and benefits of using this platform.
I said Payhip was a very affordable option and here's why - It's free to use forever, you just pay a 5% transaction fee (PayPal and Stripe charge their own fees). You can host unlimited products and earn unlimited revenue. That is just the first plan and this plan includes access to all features.
The other plans are monthly subscriptions with reduced transaction fees. It might also be worth me mentioning that Payhip has an exciting roadmap ahead, so watch this space.
Check out my comparison post of Payhip and Sellfy here.
Next on my list is LearnDash. In my opinion, there is no better way to sell digital downloads than to use your own platform.
Using your own website, for example, gives you complete control and ownership over the domain, content, course material, design, etc.
Yes, there is a bit of work involved, initially. Unlike the platforms mentioned above, you can't 'just add content' and start selling.
But, once you have it all set up, you really don't have anything else to do, other than a few maintenance tasks on the website and updating the course content from time to time.
The Learndash plugin, when combined with WordPress, gives you all the power and flexibility you need to create and sell your online courses. Check out this post for a complete guide on getting set up.
I've been using Learndash for the past few years building my own series of design and marketing courses, which I'm going to be releasing throughout 2023.
There is a bit of a learning curve, I will admit, but there are a ton of resources online, as well as tutorials and documentation from Learndash to get you started.
eJunkie has been around for quite a long old time. This platform was the first that I used to sell my blogging eBook way back in 2012. Glad to see they're still going strong and have adjusted to the times.
Their plans are quite simple and affordable too. Each plan offers a storefront, unlimited sales, and unlimited downloads with zero transaction fees.
Plans start from just $5 per month, I mean that's pretty darn good. You get access to all the main features even for the low-tier plan.
Last on my list is Gumroad, another platform that has survived the test of time. Selling digital downloads on Gumroad is easy and super affordable. I've purchased plenty of digital products on Gumroad in the past. There are no monthly fees when you are just getting started.
Whether you're selling memberships, courses, eBooks, or license keys, Gumroad has just the right amount of features you need to start selling and making money.
You can use your own website if you have one, and your customers can pay using Stripe or PayPal. The best thing is that Gumroad will also collect VAT, including EU VAT, and pay it on your behalf. Which is something you will struggle to find on many other platforms.
Transaction fees can vary from 2.9 to 9% plus an additional 30 cents per transaction. Overall, Gumroad is a pretty solid and reliable platform to use.
OK, so that is it, that's my top five best platforms for selling digital downloads in 2023 and beyond. But as you have seen, you can do so much more than just sell digital downloads. You can see t-shirts, mugs, art, music, any kind of work really.
There are definitely some great choices to consider. Even if you take a few for a trial or test drive to see which one works best for you. This list should keep you busy for some time. Best of luck and I wish you all the success.
Affiliate Disclaimer: Please note that this post contains affiliate links to LearnDash, Payhip, and Sellfy. This means if you click on one of these links and make a purchase of the service, I will be paid a small commission, at no extra charge to you. Thanks for your continued support.