You’re tired of working all of the time and barely scraping by. So you decide to create a few of the best digital products to add to your revenue.
Before you just create the first product idea that comes to mind, consider some of the best options and how to sell them.
But first, this post contains affiliate links. Read my full disclosure policy to learn more.
1. Sheet Music
Obviously, one of the best digital products you can sell as a musician is sheet music. If you compose original music, you can sell your works. Sure, if you do a commission, you may have an exclusivity period.
But after a few months or a year, you can sell the piece to other people. Then, you can make a bit of passive income from work you’ve already published.
Now, you can also arrange music and sell the sheet music for it. Or if you write exercises for your private students, you can sell those files as PDFs. Not only can you make extra money, but you can help more people than in lessons.
Another great digital product you can sell is a worksheet. You can make and sell all kinds of worksheets and workbooks. For one, you could create some music theory exercises based on your instrument and sell that to your students.
Or you could create worksheets about music history, such as specific composers. You can sell these products to your students, other students, and even to other music teachers.
You can even create and sell a practice log or practice journal. Design it based on what you want your students to track in their practice sessions. Then, include it as an upsell for lessons and/or sell it separately on your website.
Maybe you want to teach something more informational. A great way to do so is through writing an eBook about it. Then, you can export the file as a PDF, add a cover, and upload the whole thing to your website.
I’ve published and sold different eBooks on time management, digital sheet music, and other relevant topics. Now, if you’re not a good writer, you may want to hire someone to help you.
But eBooks aren’t as intense or time-consuming as things like courses. They can be a good first product for you to add to your online store.
If you’ve read anything about the best digital products to sell, you’ve probably heard about selling online courses. These can include written materials, videos, audio, or a mix of those formats.
You can also add downloads and other supplemental materials. That way, your students will be able to learn the topic more thoroughly.
Online courses typically go for a higher price point compared to eBooks. They also take more time and work to put together. But they can be a great way to teach more students than you have time for with private lessons.
Of course, as a musician, you can record yourself playing your instrument. You can then sell individual recordings or upload and sell an entire album.
Producing recordings isn’t easy, and it takes a special skillset. But if you can do it well and can build a following, you may be able to make a decent amount of money.
You can sell your recordings on your website. However, there are also special websites that will distribute your audio to streaming sites so that you can earn a bit for each stream.
How to Create and Sell Digital Products
Once you have some ideas for digital products, it’s time to get to work. Here are the steps you should take to implement this income stream.
Understand Your Audience
Before you create a digital product, you need to make sure you won’t waste your time making something. That means you should figure out who your target audience is for the product.
If you offer private lessons, you may want to create products aimed at students. Or if you’re a composer, maybe you target performers.
The better you know your audience, the easier it will be to decide whether a product is worth creating and selling. If you’re not sure if a product will sell, ask your audience via an Instagram poll, email, or some other method.
Choose the Right Programs
Next, you need to figure out what apps and programs to use to create and sell your product. For example, when I make an eBook, I write it in Google Docs or Apple Pages, and I make the cover in Canva.
When arranging sheet music, I use an app like Symphony Pro. If you want to sell a course, you can use a platform like Teachable or Kajabi. And in many cases, you can sell products directly from your website.
Be sure to consider your monthly budget. Some programs cost a lot of money, and you may want to start with a free option. You can always upgrade later once you start making consistent sales.
Pre-Sell Your Product
The best way to guarantee you won’t waste your time creating a product is to pre-sell it. Once you get a few people interested, you can start to work on the product, such as writing the eBook.
And if you don’t get any interest, you won’t have to spend time on the product. Instead, you can ask your audience for ideas that interest them more. Then, you’ll be more likely to get sales from your efforts.
You can pre-sell your product on social media, through emails, and on your website. Then, when the product is done, you can send it to the people who bought it ahead of time. And you can continue to get more sales.
Promote Your Product Regularly
After you finish creating your digital product, you need to market it. And you can’t just talk about it once. You need to keep telling your audience about it and how they can get a copy.
Now, you don’t want to be pushy or sales-y. But it’s okay to mention your product multiple times. It can take people seven times to hear about something before they actually break out their wallets.
So be sure to include space for your new product in your social media marketing plan. You can also publish blog posts specifically to promote the offer, so you can get more eyes on your offer.
Places to Sell Digital Products
Now, you’re ready to make your first digital product sale. Here are some platforms to consider for selling digital goods.
My favorite place to sell the best digital products is on my website. When you do this, you don’t have to worry about platform commission fees. You’ll still have to pay payment processing fees, but they’re a much lower percentage.
That means you can make more money from fewer sales. You’ll also have more control over when you publish a new product. And you don’t have to worry about inconsistent branding.
If you use WordPress, you can use a plugin like Easy Digital Downloads. Then, you can upload and sell anything from PDFs to audio and video files.
When creating an online course, you can sell it through your website. But a lot of people tend to use third-party platforms. A popular option for beginners is Teachable because you can start for free.
But you can upgrade later once you want to upload a second course. You can also sell digital downloads through the platform. However, there’s a limit of one product on the free plan, so it’s not ideal unless you have no other option.
I’ve used Teachable both as a teacher and student, and it works great. Plus, even the premium plans are relatively affordable.
Teachers Pay Teachers
If you create a lot of exercises and worksheets for your students, consider listing them on Teachers Pay Teachers. This is a website where teachers go to find lesson plans and other fun ideas.
I don’t have personal experience with the website. However, I’ve heard it can be a good way to get a few extra sales here and there. You can reach people who don’t go directly to your website.
That makes it an especially good option if your website is optimized for students and parents. Other teachers may not think to look there for lesson plans.
If you self-publish digital sheet music, you can distribute your files through ArrangeMe. The program then publishes the files on Sheet Music Direct and Sheet Music Plus so that people can buy your music.
You can upload original works and arrangements of public domain music. The program also lets you arrange and publish certain copyrighted works. When you make a sale, you’ll earn a percentage of the total.
Original works and public domain arrangements pay you 50%, while you’ll get 10% for arrangements of copyrighted works. You can set the sale price, so you have some control over how much you’ll get per sale.
Another great place to sell the best digital downloads is Etsy. Now, this isn’t ideal for selling things like sheet music or courses. But if you design music posters or other digital goods, they could perform well.
Etsy is a more general marketplace, and there’s a lot of competition. So you’ll need to optimize your product listings to have a chance at making a sale. However, they have a massive customer base that you can reach.
Unfortunately, you’ll have to pay $0.20 per listing, and you’ll still owe more fees when you make a sale. But it can be a good way to expand your reach if you have a bit of extra money to cover those fees.
Gumroad is a popular website that lets you sell digital products. You can also use it to build an email list, so it’s nice for your entire online business. Plus, it’s free to set up.
Once you get your first sale, your products can also start to show up in the Gumroad marketplace. That means you can get sales from people who don’t come from your website or social media.
At first, you’ll have a relatively high fee for each sale. But as you make more sales, Gumroad will take a smaller percentage of each order.
Can You Make a Living Selling Digital Products?
Some people make a decent income from selling digital products alone. But for most musicians, I’d recommend using digital goods to supplement your income.
You’ll most likely still need to teach private lessons, do gigs, or work with clients in some other capacity. Not only can you earn more, but you won’t rely on your digital products to pay your bills.
How Much Does It Cost to Sell Digital Products?
You can create and sell your first digital product for free. Use your devices that you already have to create the content, such as your computer or smartphone. Then, use a free platform to list your first product.
On the other hand, you could spend hundreds on creating products. And if you run ads, you’ll spend even more money marketing the offer.
Is Selling Digital Products Worth It?
Selling digital products can be well worth it. Especially if you already have files you’ve used, it makes sense to sell them to others.
I wouldn’t rely on them completely, at least not at first. But once you make the product, you just have to promote it to make money.
Creating the best digital products can be a great way to supplement your income as a musician. Be sure to consider some ideas before you create your first offer.
Then, you can make sure you won’t waste time or money on the project.
If you want to learn how to promote your digital products, enroll in The Instagram Marketing & Sales Academy.