If you’re trying to start or scale an online business – and especially if you’re trying to earn passive income online – then the number one revenue channel I recommend is digital products.
That’s why in this blog post, I’m excited to share the top 10 profitable digital product ideas to sell online to generate $1,000 or more per month in your business in any industry, even with a small starting audience or low startup capital.
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Transparency Disclaimer: This post may contain affiliate links to some of our favorite online business resources. We may receive a commission if you purchase one of these products, and it’s a great way to support Wit & Wire at no additional cost to you. Full disclaimer here.
What are digital products?
A product is any item – physical or digital – that you can offer in exchange for money.
But digital products are intangible goods or assets that can be sold and distributed online. They are most commonly downloadable or streamable, and file formats may include video, audio, PDFs, software, and more.
The benefits of profitable digital products
Although selling physical products can still be lucrative, it has its challenges. And the advantages of selling digital products are undeniable:
- Low startup cost: Since you don’t need to design, produce, and distribute a physical product, and you don’t need to open a brick-and-mortar shop, selling digital products is one of the most cost-effective ways to start a business.
- Add a revenue stream: If you already sell goods or services, adding one or more digital products to your business can help you scale revenue without drastically increasing costs.
- No inventory: This one is pretty self-explanatory. You also don’t have to pay shipping costs.
- Low fulfillment costs: Unlike physical products, a digital product can be created once and then delivered to indefinite customers at scale. So although you might have routine updates or improvements, your COGS (cost of goods sold) will be very low.
- High profit margins. Since you have such low fulfillment costs per customer, you retain the majority of each sale as profit. You’ll likely have other business expenses, like contractors or advertising, but you have much more flexibility thanks to healthy profit margins.
- Scalable for solopreneurs: At Wit & Wire, we always prioritize strategies that help business owners earn sustainably. And digital products are the perfect solution for entrepreneurs who want to consistently earn money online without burning out on 1:1 work. (Your earning potential is no longer capped by the hours you work.)
If curious, you can learn more about Wit & Wire’s programs for online business owners.
The service provider’s dilemma
When you work with clients one-to-one, you’ll always have a maximum revenue amount that you can earn based on how much you charge and how many hours you’re willing to work.
And although one-on-one services are a great revenue stream for a lot of business owners, relying on clients as your only source of income is risky and limits your earning potential.
Adding digital products to your business will diversify your income stream and give you passive income opportunities that don’t rely on you trading your time for money.
So it’s up to you to decide on your goals. You can either aim to retire your 1:1 services in favor of only selling digital products, or you might prefer a mix of both, so you can cut back on client work but still offer options for your audience.
The top 10 profitable digital products to sell online
Below, I’ll share the top 10 profitable digital product ideas I recommend for online business owners.
💡 My best tip is to choose the one digital product you think is the best fit for you to try within the next 1-3 months and commit to that idea.
After that, you can always revisit this list and try more digital product ideas in the future. But in general, I’ve found that staying focused is one of the keys to building your bottom line, so I’d keep that in mind as you browse this list.
Now that we have that covered, let’s dive into the top 10 digital products you can create to earn passive income online, in any industry, even with a small audience.
You can also watch the extended walkthrough on the Wit & Wire YouTube Channel:
1. Online courses
An online course is a series of lessons with a clear linear path that helps students reach a specific outcome.
And since Wit & Wire specializes in course creation, I’m sure it won’t surprise anyone to find online courses at the top of my list.
Unlike memberships, a course is a one-time purchase, and commonly includes lifetime* access to the curriculum. (*Lifetime refers to the lifetime of the course.)
Most online courses include a series of video lessons that act as the core curriculum. It’s also common to include workbooks or resources – like PDFs or Google Docs – or quizzes to check for understanding.
But beyond the curriculum, many online courses today also include interactive elements, like student communities, group coaching calls, or homework reviews. These aren’t required but can change the student experience and your course price.
- Effort to create: Medium to high, depending on course length
- Potential price range: $25 – $2000+
📝 If you’re curious to learn more about my favorite course creation platforms and equipment, make sure to download our free Course Creation Toolkit.
This is where I recommend all my favorite software to create slides, record videos and build and sell your own online course.
2. Fillable workbooks
A workbook is a fillable PDF or digital document (such as a Google Doc or spreadsheet) that can guide a user through a project or a process. Here are some examples:
- A DIY Audit Guide, like a Website SEO Audit or a TikTok Profile Audit
- Journal Prompts
- Digital Planners
- Habit Trackers
- Budgeting Spreadsheets
Workbooks can also be offered for free as a lead generation strategy. Just make sure that it’s not something so comprehensive that you should really be charging.
- Effort to create: Low
- Potential price range: $10 – $50
Ebooks help you position yourself as an authority. They are read-only PDFs (digital books), unlike workbooks, which should have some kind of interactive fillable element.
They can be sold through your own website, or through a marketplace like Amazon*.
(*Amazon is a whole different strategy, but worth mentioning as ebooks are a great way for those who enjoy writing as a way to share their expertise and ideas.)
- Effort to create: Low – Medium, depending on the length of your eBook
- Potential price range: $1 – $15. People expect pricing similar to actual books, so the perceived value is much lower than something like an online course on the same subject.
4. Website Themes
These pre-designed templates save business owners tons of time developing and designing their own sites, so it’s an in-demand product. I also think there’s a lot of opportunity to specialize in a specific style, industry, or platform.
More than almost any other digital product, website themes do require you to have technical support in place. Not only will your customers need help, but you’ll also need to keep an eye on any platform updates to make sure your themes are still compatible over time.
Here are some of my personal favorite website theme providers:
- TONIC (Showit)
- 23 & 9 Creative (Squarespace)
- Big Cat Creative (Squarespace)
- Davey & Krista (WordPress & Showit)
- Bluchic (WordPress)
You can sell website templates through your own website or marketplaces like Creative Market. But long term, most business owners I know who have found success selling themes do so through their own business.
- Effort to create: Medium
- Potential price range: $250 – $1250
5. Design templates
Design templates are versatile and popular digital products. You can sell design templates built in a range of different tools – such as Canva or Adobe Illustrator – and buyers can customize those templates to suit their needs.
A few examples of design template ideas include…
- Social Media Graphics (Instagram, Pinterest, YouTube etc.)
- Webinar Slide Templates
- Online Course Slide Templates
- Workbook Templates
- Client Welcome Packets
- Media Kits
When it comes to selling your design templates, you have two options:
- Sell them independently through a checkout tool that lives on your own website.
- List them within a marketplace such as Creative Market or Etsy
Although I usually advocate for selling products directly via your business, in this case, marketplaces can work really well for entrepreneurs since consumers often go directly to these websites to make purchases. So especially for new business owners, marketplaces offer a way to expand your reach by putting your designs in front of new audiences.
- Effort to create: Low (they’re small assets)
- Potential price range: $5 – $100+. You may also choose to sell them individually or as a bundle. For example, you could sell one Instagram carousel template, or you could sell an entire pack of all things Instagram including feed posts, reel covers, story templates, etc.
6. Content templates
Writing copy from a blank page can feel intimidating, especially if you have no clue where to start.
That’s why content templates (such as starter scripts or fill-in-the-blank style templates) are a great digital product you can create to help people overcome writers’ block, save time writing copy, and come up with a higher-quality result thanks to your expert guidance.
A few examples of content templates include…
- Email Marketing Templates
- Social Media Captions
- Video Scripts
- Podcast Pitch Templates
- Website Copy Templates
As a pro tip, I’d recommend delivering your content template as a Google Doc or Google Sheet, since it’s easy to share and doesn’t require your user to have Microsoft Office. Alternatively, you might choose to deliver a Microsoft Word version along with a Google Doc version to all buyers.
- Effort to create: Low
- Potential price range: $5 – $250+, depending on the size and scope of copy. (For example, 30 days’ worth of Instagram captions will be priced differently than a full website copy template.)
You can also sell design or content templates as a subscription, rather than one-off purchases. (More on that coming up next.)
7. Subscriptions & memberships
By far the broadest digital product category on our list is subscriptions (aka, memberships). So, for the sake of our Top 10 list, I’m defining a subscription as anything that has a recurring monthly fee.
Some types of subscriptions rely on your ability to create and release new content every month. But others (like an online community) don’t necessarily require new content, but there’s likely some element of upkeep or occasional new content to keep members paying.
As business owners, we benefit from subscription revenue because it’s recurring and predictable. Here are some examples of subscriptions or memberships you could create:
- An online community, like Caylee Gray’s Get Messy Membership
- A course library
- Paid, gated content, like a private podcast or newsletter
- Trend Reports, like a Weekly Instagram Reels Trend Report
- A subscription to design or content templates, like Liz Wilcox’s Email Marketing Membership
- A subscription to design assets, like Pixistock (which also includes design templates)
Your delivery method will depend on what you’re selling. You may choose to build your membership directly on your website, through a course creation tool, paid communities, newsletter tools etc. There’s not one right tool, but there are many user-friendly options.
- Effort to create: Medium – High. Since you’re working with recurring customers, by necessity, you’re making a commitment to creating consistently. But your workload will vary widely based on the type of subscription you offer.
- Potential price range: Varies widely. You could be charging anywhere from $5/month for a paid newsletter to $250/month (or more) for an online business community.
If you’re interested in learning more about the pros and cons of selling online courses vs. memberships, you might be interested in this Wit & Wire podcast episode:
🎧 Online course vs membership site: which strategy is right for your business?
8. Downloadable assets
Downloadable assets are one of the diverse categories of digital products, with options ranging from photographs to sheet music, for all types of artists. For example, artists could sell…
- Photographs or downloadable prints
- Sheet music
- Music or audio
- Lightroom presets
- Custom fonts
- Stock images
You can sell design assets through your own site, but many people shop for these types of designs on Creative Market and Etsy.
- Effort to create: Low
- Potential price range: $10- $25, but it depends on whether you’re selling individual assets, bundles, or subscriptions.
9. Task management templates
Task management templates are a great digital product option for creators in almost any industry.
That’s because almost everyone is looking for ways to save time or get things done more efficiently, and we can help them out by creating pre-built templates in software like Airtable, Asana, ClickUp, Notion, Trello, or even printables.
While task management templates work well as standalone products, they’re also powerful add-ons for courses or subscriptions.
As a pro tip, I recommend including how-to instructions along with your task management templates. For example, if you offer a ClickUp template for Instagram Management, I’d recommend including a video tutorial that shows buyers how to import the template and then use it.
Not only will this cut down on customer support issues, but you’re also more likely to get testimonials from happy customers if they’ve learned how to use your templates properly.
- Effort to create: Low
- Potential price range: $15 – $100
10. Software & apps
If you’re tech-savvy, you might consider creating software, an app, or even an AI tool to sell to your audience.
Your interest in software development will depend massively on how tech-savvy you are, along with how committed you are to customer support and product iteration. That’s because when you’re successful, supporting software or an app would come with customer support on a much different level and scale than the other options on this list.
But for the right business owner and opportunity, this can be a very lucrative way to earn money online.
- Effort to create: High
- Potential price range: Varies widely
I can’t say enough good things about digital products. And although I can’t make any guarantees, I know creators who earn at least $1,000 each month (or much more) using each of these profitable digital product strategies, including Wit & Wire.
So whether you’re new to business, or an experienced entrepreneur, I’m sure there’ll be a few digital products in this list that will spark a new idea and allow you to create a new income stream for your business.
But as I shared at the start of this list, my best tip is to pick the one digital product you want to focus on for the next 2-3 months and start there. You can always bookmark this list and revisit it in the future, but depending on your goals and skills, I have a feeling you’ll find at least a few options on this list that could help you start or scale your online business.
Want to learn more about online course creation tools?
Online courses are our #1 revenue channel here at Wit & Wire, and they’re also the topic we talk about the most.
So if you’re interested in learning more, I recommend downloading our free Course Creation Toolkit, which includes the exact equipment & software I recommend to create slides, record videos, and sell profitable online courses in any industry.
Melissa Guller is the founder of Wit & Wire, where we help everyday experts become profitable course creators. She previously worked full-time for Ramit Sethi, Teachable, and General Assembly. Today, she shares simplified tech tutorials and modern marketing strategies through our blog, YouTube, and Wit & Wire Weekly newsletter