Digital products are great as lead magnets and for monetizing your blog. Here are some digital product ideas that are more than the usual ebooks and ecourses.
No matter what niche you’re in, no matter what you blog about, there will always be at least one digital product your audience will want.
You only need to open yourself to the possibilities.
In today’s post, I’ll list down unique digital product ideas you can use as lead magnets or sell as products on your site.
Digital products are products that are stored, used, and delivered electronically to users.
Selling digital products is a great way to monetize your blog, as I’ve discussed before. Plus, you can also use digital products as lead magnets to convince visitors to subscribe to your mailing list.
Digital products are attractive to bloggers because:
What usually comes to mind when someone says “digital product” is either ebooks or ecourses.
Let me make it clear: I have nothing against either one of them. They’re both profitable and popular, and there are plenty of tools and resources available to make them that you won’t have to worry about how you can create them.
But there’s something to be said about having something new to offer your audience. This is particularly important when you’re in a high-competition niche, where standing out from your competitors can make a huge difference.
Plus, creating digital products involves a huge investment of time and resources. If you don’t enjoy making something, you’re going to have a hard time, and it’ll show in the product.
For example, if you don’t like writing, it’s going to be taxing for you to create an ebook. Similarly, if you’re not comfortable in front of a camera, making a video course will be tough.
Don’t limit yourself to these two types of digital products. There are so many more types of digital products you can make. Here are some digital product ideas you might not have considered before.
Usual: Checklists, workbooks
Unique: Themed workbooks, planners
So-called printables are digital files that users would simply have to print to use.
The ones you often see are different kinds of checklists, such as packing lists for travelers or grocery lists. There are also different types of workbooks, such as for writing down financial goals.
You can actually take workbooks one step further and design more specific workbooks for your readers.
For example, if you’re in the weight loss niche, you can design workbooks complete with meal plans, exercise programs and trackers, inspirational quotes or articles, and shopping lists of everything they’ll need.
Take it up another notch and design different workbooks for different fitness goals and different dietary requirements (e.g., vegan, vegetarian, pescatarian, etc.).
Also, now that journaling is making a comeback (Filofax and kikki.K are popular options), you can design themed planner inserts specifically targeting your niche.
For example, you can design planner inserts specifically for homeschooling parents/tutors. A set of planner inserts with lesson plans for each day, progress trackers, exam schedules, projects, and daily schedules already incorporated would be very helpful.
Customize it further by designing different planner inserts for different grade levels, as well as offering different sizes of paper (A5 or A6 seem to be most popular) and different design themes and colors (e.g., chevrons, dots, mandalas, blue, green, violet).
Usual: Audiobooks, podcasts, audio courses
Unique: Original songs, background music, beats, voice recordings
If you are a singer/musician in this day and age, you don’t need to despair about the dire predictions for the music industry. Set up shop on the internet, sell your vocal talents and music, and keep all the royalties.
This could entail a significant investment if you don’t already have all the equipment required, but if you already have everything set up, this is a good way to earn something from your voice talent.
You could already be recording accompanying audiobooks for your ebooks, as well as podcasts for your blog, but you can also offer to read a document and charge per word.
If you have musical talent aside from your voice, you can venture out into digital music production.
Rights to use popular songs cost a pretty penny, so low-cost background music tracks for video marketing are in demand. You can target those who specialize in video courses or tutorials in your niche.
You can also offer beats and instrumentals and target other musicians who need them. Other audiences who might need beats and instrumentals include DJs and filmmakers on a budget.
If you’re a songwriter as well, you can offer your original songs for sale on your site, either as singles or as a full album. Who knows, you might just be the next breakout musical sensation.
Usual: Icon sets, button sets, cliparts
Unique: Niche-specific templates
Being into graphic design can be particularly lucrative, especially now when creating your own website is more accessible than ever. There will always be a demand for icons, buttons, and cliparts as web design elements.
However, you can increase the potential for profit by designing various templates that are specific for your target audience or niche.
For example, you can create email newsletter templates for other bloggers in your niche. Since you’ve probably already done it for your own newsletter or promotional emails, why not make a few bucks from your design?
Different social media platforms display images in different ways, and you’ve probably created your own templates for posting on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest. Social media image templates are useful, especially for those who have neither the time nor patience to make their own.
Other templates you can make include slide presentation templates for Keynote or PowerPoint, as well as ebook cover templates. Depending on the niche you’re in, these can be more in demand than email or social media templates.
For example, if you’re in an education-based niche, templates for presentations would be more in demand than other templates. By contrast, if you’re in the indie writing niche, or any niche where ebooks are in demand, you can design cover templates for these ebooks.
Make your templates truly stand out by offering one-of-a-kind graphics, fonts, and subtle details like borders and dividers. Offer them as well in a variety of file types so that users can open them using software that they’re most comfortable with.
Usual: Generic stock photos
Unique: Niche-specific stock photos
There are plenty of license-free, attribution-free, royalty-free stock photo websites, but more advanced bloggers are willing to shell out for high-quality stock photos that are distinct and capture the essence of their articles more accurately.
If you have decent photography skills but blog in a different niche, you can intermarry the two and monetize your photographs. Don’t just shoot stock photos of generic, random scenes (although you can certainly have those in your portfolio, and there’s always going to be a market for that).
Do a little more work and take stock photos that are specific to your blog topic. You’re probably already doing it for your own articles, so take more shots with more variety and then create photo galleries you can sell to other bloggers in the same niche.
For example, if you blog about fishing as a hobby or a sport, you can take all sorts of stylized, high-quality photos of fishing boats and their different parts, fishing rods and other equipment, and fishermen and women doing their thing.
Photos that convey the right emotion can also be something you can focus on. If you’ve ever looked for photos that genuinely expressed fear of the unknown or anticipation or loneliness, you’d find that the photos you find always seem forced or contrived somehow.
Take photos of everyday people (with their consent, of course) with the purpose of showing real, raw emotion and doing real, everyday things. These photos are more in demand than you can imagine.
Unique: Digital cookbooks, printable recipes and meal plans
Recipe sites weren’t known for being profitable, because people typically just search for a recipe, copy it or take a screenshot, and be on their way.
However, if your target audience is a narrow one, such as stay-at-home parents, people with special dietary needs, or people who want to lose weight, putting together a cookbook and selling it is not a bad idea.
It has to be really special and targeted so that your audience will gladly spend money for it. For example, you can compile baby food recipes that can be made without having to use a blender. Or you can collect recipes with a common base ingredient, such as chicken or eggs.
By contrast, you can put together recipes that don’t have a certain ingredient, such as gluten or sugar. You can also target people who have illnesses that limit their diets, such as gout, kidney disorders, or elevated cholesterol levels.
You can even design printable recipes with spaces for ingredient/seasoning substitutions for users to fill out so they can make it their own. You can offer them in different sizes so they can file them in their planners or collect them in a single binder.
Meal plans are also popular nowadays for busy people and those who are targeting a certain number of calories. A carefully created meal plan that takes dietary needs (Paleo? Keto?), prep time, and calories into consideration would be a hit with the right niche.
Unique: Comprehensive industry reports
If you’re in a niche that deals with a lot of data and statistics, you’ve probably made a whitepaper or two. But if you know how to interpret that data, you can compile these into an expert analysis report that is professionally formatted and presented, and sell those reports.
These are particularly useful in niches like investments. Not many people are inclined to have knowledge in the stock market and in all the different types of investments. But if you can provide fact-based, honest to goodness, agenda-less advice on what investments have the greatest returns, people will be willing to pay for your expertise.
This can also be useful if you’re in a niche with a lot of science involved, such as health supplements. Sure, scientific studies are made regarding these supplements, but not everyone can understand these studies. If you have a scientific background, you can compile and simplify scientific studies so your audience can make science-backed, totally informed decisions about which supplements they want to take.
Unique: Blueprints and floor/building plans, patterns for various DIY and craft projects
If you’re an architect who’s blogging for exposure and to showcase your work so you can get individual clients, selling blueprints online could be a good supplementary or even alternative source of income. People want to renovate their garages or kitchens and they need building plans for that.
It’s the same thing for crafting; plenty of people know how to sew or knit or crochet, but not all of them can think up patterns on their own. If you know how to create dress patterns for sewing or table runner patterns for knitting or crocheting, you certainly have an audience in that niche.
Now that 3D printing is more accessible, you can also offer files for 3D printers. This entails knowledge of 3D modeling and 3D printer technology, but if you can come up with great designs for various applications, 3D files are great products to sell.
Digital products are awesome opt-ins and excellent products to sell online. As a result, we’re seeing a lot of ebooks and ecourses on the internet. While those are certainly valuable, it doesn’t hurt to broaden your horizons and create other types of digital products that can be of immense value to your audience.
Before you do, though, here are a couple of things to bear in mind.
Don’t assume that your readers will buy your product. Before you throw yourself into making a product, make sure it’s something that your readers will gladly spring money for.
Ask your mailing list if they’d be interested in such a product. Create blog posts around it and invite your readers to comment if they think it’s a good idea.
Most importantly, listen to your audience.
It could be quite heartbreaking to hear that a product you’ve spent time thinking about and planning is something that your audience doesn’t want, but it’s better to know at this early stage than to know later, when you’ve already invested the time and effort to make it.
If you’re creating it just because it’s cool or quirky, it’s not going to last. Unless you’re only doing it as a one-time promotional effort and not as a long-term project, don’t just rely on its new-ness to sell it; sell it because it helps your readers and adds value to their lives.
Which ideas do you think will work with your niche? Which ones do you think WON’T work? Let me know in the comments!
JoAnne is your average, everyday, sane stay-at-home mom who believes in the power of the internet to make dreams come true. She has an insatiable appetite for chocolate, as well as all things internet marketing. She keeps up with the latest trends in blogging, affiliate marketing, e-commerce, and more.