3 types of digital products


I often get asked what kinds of digital products it makes sense to sell online. A digital product is an electronic file that has tangible value to a potential customer. As the product creator, you create the digital product once and get to sell it again and again.

In the Digital Product Workshop, we specifically discuss 3 types of digital products.  Let’s look at each of them in turn:

Digital Product #1 – e-Books

An e-book is a product that is composed primary of text. There are many different formats for e-books these days. Traditionally, e-books were delivered in PDF format via digital download. This is how I created and delivered my very first e-book 6 years ago.

Today, Kindle format is overwhelmingly common, as is the ePub format that is used by other e-readers and platforms.

E-books are great for demonstrating your authority and they can be relatively simple to create.

Digital Product #2 – Work Aids / Toolkits

Work Aids or Toolkits go beyond e-Books by creating a digital file that your customer can use. Templates and workbooks are common types of work aids. I’ve also created question packs and swipe files.

To come up with ideas for work aids and toolkits, look at any workflows your customers go through. What could you offer them that would make their work easier, more efficient, or simply more fun?

The limitation of work aids and toolkits is that a customer won’t necessarily know what to do with them. While this concern can partially be addressed by adding an explanatory e-book or guidebook to your toolkit, an e-course can be a nice add-on. Let’s look at those next.

Digital Product #3 – e-Courses

An e-course provides a structured learning opportunity. While toolkits are designed to be used, e-courses are designed to teach a customer how to do something or accomplish a specific goal. For example, over at Bridging the Gap, I offer a course called the BA Essentials Master Class that teaches participants how to apply business analysis principles on a software development project.

There are a variety of options for e-courses, some of which require ongoing support from you as an instructor and some of which don’t. And the formats can vary widely. I’ve taken self-study courses that are delivered via a weekly email, monthly PDF downloads, and live webinar formats.

My current offerings are primarily a combination of audio and full-text PDF transcripts, with the option to upgrade for instructor support via email. I also host Q&A calls periodically as bonuses.

Digital Products are, well, Digital

The types of digital products you create are only limited by your imagination. They can be as simple as a PDF document and as complicated as a new piece of software.

Any electronic file could potentially be a digital product, provided it’s valuable to someone else!

And because they are digital, you can provide value again and again without any extra work for you. This is what makes digital products immensely profitable.

Post any questions you have about digital products below.

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