How to Sell Digital Products on Amazon in 2023
Table of Contents
- What Are Digital Products?
- What Types of Digital Products Can Be Sold on Amazon?
- Benefits of Selling Digital Products on Amazon
- Is It Profitable to Sell Digital Products on Amazon?
- Is Selling Digital Products on Amazon a Good Side Hustle?
- What Is the Difference Between Amazon and Amazon Digital?
- How to Sell Digital Products on Amazon
- Identify In-Demand Digital Products
- Gauge Your Target Audience's Interest
- Sign Up for the Relevant Platforms
- Advertise and Promote Your Digital Products
- Do’s and Don'ts of Creating and Selling Digital Products on Amazon
Listen, I probably think about this way more than I should, but people in the 15th century would be “shook” if they ever discovered the luxuries of being able to capitalize the way we can in the 21st century.
With the boom of the internet a couple decades ago came the adoption of online learning and creating.
And though we didn’t know it then, it has drastically changed the way we consume information about the world, how we learn new skills, operate businesses, and generate money.
In 2021, the global online course market was estimated to be worth over $350 billion and it is projected to continue growing.
Wouldn’t you like a piece of the pie?
I know I do.
That’s why I sell a digital course of my own, regularly self-publish books and am trying to start an affiliate income stream.
And as a digital content creator, you too can have the unique opportunity to generate passive income from anywhere in the world by selling digital products. As a few examples, you can monetize your Instagram, tap into white-labelled software, create and sell digital art, impact lives (for a price) with online courses, or quickly write and self-publish ebooks via platforms like Kindle Direct Publishing in virtually any interests of your choosing.
But then again, in what business is producing a product enough?
To succeed, you must master not only the craft of producing high-quality digital products, but also master the art generating online sales. Crafting captivating covers for ebooks, curating enticing previews for digital audio products and designing click-worthy ads are just some efforts that come to mind.
If you are a physical products seller thinking about expanding into the digital space, or you want to start a business and are starting with a lower upfront capital, this article is written for you. Let’s jump into a conversation about what your options are and how you can start selling digital too.
What Are Digital Products?
Digital products are intangible goods that are created and distributed in digital formats while serving a variety of interests and requirements. Since they exist purely in the digital realm, these products leverage the power of technology to provide value, entertainment, knowledge, or utility to consumers.
They offer convenience, as they can be accessed and used on various digital devices, from computers and smartphones to tablets making the products reachable to a worldwide audience through digital channels.
The main appeal lies in scalability, low overhead costs, and the potential for recurring revenue, making digital products an attractive option for creators, entrepreneurs, and businesses looking to monetize their expertise, creativity, or specialized content in a global and interconnected digital marketplace.
Now, in accordance with Amazon specifically, Amazon.com, Inc has a subsidiary called Amazon Digital Services LLC. This entity primarily focuses on providing digital services and solutions such as Kindle Unlimited, Amazon Prime Video Direct, Amazon Audible, Amazon Music, and Amazon Kids+. It has been involved in various digital activities, including the distribution and management of digital content such as e-books, music, movies, and software.
Of course, you can sell digital outside of Amazon as well, but since so many people already gravitate to Amazon as a trusted source for purchase, the platform offers a little bit of a lower threshold to sell for your marketing efforts.
Let’s briefly discuss each of the digital assets you can sell via Amazon.
What Types of Digital Products Can Be Sold on Amazon?
I’ll preface by saying know the process is standard across the board. For each of these, you will likely need to apply to set up a seller account before listing your digital products for sale upon approval. Customers who purchase and download your digital content will then receive instant access to your creations. I’ll leave links interspersed so you can read up on what specific guidelines and requirements apply to the sector you are interested in.
Okay, Amazon Music. Selling your music on Amazon. To begin, you will need to create and prepare your music, ensuring that you have high-quality digital downloads available in formats like MP3 or WAV. Secure the necessary rights and licenses ahead of time to avoid any legal issues when selling digital content.
Once your music is ready, you’ll need to choose a digital music distributor or aggregator that can help you reach platforms like Amazon Music. These distribution services will act as intermediaries, facilitating the upload and distribution of your digital downloads while ensuring proper metadata and cover artwork are included.
During the distribution process, you can select Amazon Music as one of the platforms to reach a broader audience. After your music is approved and available on Amazon Music, don’t forget to engage in effective promotion and marketing strategies to attract customers and build a fan base, ultimately leading to successful digital downloads of your music.
If you’re a private label seller or have experience in business, you’ll understand the importance of ranking your music and promoting it to ensure a proper launch and continued downloads.
Whether you have wanted to start a career as a musician and composer, just have a love for music you’re itching to share with the world or if it’s solely one extra way to thrive in the online marketplace, focusing your efforts into producing singles, albums, or soundtracks to list on Amazon’s platform can provide a robust avenue to sell music and connect with a diverse audience.
Later, you’ll be able to track your music’s performance, engage with fans, and gain valuable insights into your audience, a crucial component of your online marketing strategy before integrating with the Amazon App Store or shifting to collaborating with more third-party platforms like Apple Music and Spotify.
Believe it or not, Amazon’s expansive platform also offers a unique opportunity for graphic artists and creators of digital art to share their work with a global audience in addition to traditional forms of art such as paintings, prints, and sculptures. Through the superstore, you can leverage it to connect with art enthusiasts and potential buyers sell digital downloads of your artwork, enabling customers to access and appreciate your creations instantly.
For those interested in print on demand products, Amazon offers a convenient avenue to showcase and sell your designs via Merch by Amazon.
If you don’t know, Merch on Amazon is an innovative platform that empowers individuals with artistic talents to leverage their skills and creativity for passive income. While it’s commonly associated with physical merchandise, it also provides opportunities to sell digital products, especially those in digital format.
As a content creator, you can start selling digital art in various forms, including illustrations, designs, and even gif image files. The process begins by creating digital art that is uploaded to the platform. Once listed, customers can purchase these digital downloads, offering artists a source of passive income. This unique feature expands the horizon for creative entrepreneurs, allowing them to monetize their digital content and reach a global audience. Merch on Amazon serves as an accessible and versatile platform, fostering opportunities for artists to turn their talent into a stream of online earnings while engaging with the ever-growing market for digital products.
Check out this starting guide to selling on Merch by Amazon.
There’s also Amazon Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP), which is a self-publishing platform offered by Amazon, specifically designed for authors and independent publishers. It provides a user-friendly and efficient way to publish and distribute e-books and print-on-demand books, allowing content creators to reach a global audience.
What I really like about Kindle Direct Publishing is there is no inventory to manage, shipping is cut from profits, creating an account is fast, and publishing is free and accessible. Once your product listing is made available up to 72 hours after creation, you can capitalize on Amazon’s extensive audience reach, enhancing your product’s visibility and reputation, the same way you would with traditional items. You’re given 7 backend keywords to optimize and a 4000 character description space to convince consumers to purchase. Traditional ranking strategies fare well with KDP.
Many of our Helium 10 tools work great even for the Kindle side of Amazon and you can learn about how to use Review Insights, Cerebro, Listing Builder and Keyword Tracker to DOUBLE your Kindle Publishing Business here.
Just to brief you on some additional benefits: Amazon’s competitive royalty rates and efficient process spare you the time and complexities typically associated with traditional publishing channels, insuring that you retain more of your earnings while reaching a global audience.
As authors, we also get to retain creative control over our works, set our own book prices, leverage the platform’s given formatting, cover design and promotion options as well as modify our publications available to Kindle readers and print books whenever we’d like.
Virtually anyone can use the platform to publish their written content, whether it’s a novel, a non-fiction book, or even shorter works like essays or short stories.
Selling eBooks on Amazon can be a lucrative venture for digital product creators. Amazon’s Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP) platform offers an accessible way to publish and sell your eBooks to a vast global audience.
Interested in selling on KDP? Get started here.
Authors and publishers have an additional tremendous opportunity to tap into an expanding market of audiobook fans by taking their written manuscripts, having them recorded and distributed to Amazon Audible’s sizable client base through the Audiobook Creation Exchange (ACX) platform.
Recording can be done professionally in a studio or even at home with the right equipment. Once your audiobook is ready, you’ll need to prepare relevant metadata, such as the title, author information, and a compelling description. This data is essential for the Audible listing.
Feel free to partner with a reputable audiobook publisher or distributor that can guide you through the submission process, verifying your audiobook meets Audible’s technical and content requirements if you prefer that instead.
Either way, this does imply that your audience pool expands by millions of prospective listeners as they can enjoy your digital downloads in audiobook format as they do other tasks. In return, you profit from each transaction by receiving royalties.
Improved product visibility in Amazon’s search results will also assist your business, enhancing your chances of success in this competitive industry.
Game developers and creators are not immune to the platform’s wonders. Selling digital games on Amazon can be a smart & strategic move, given the platform’s extensive reach and growing demand for gaming content.
Amazon offers a dedicated Games and Software section, making it easy for game developers and publishers to showcase and sell their digital products. Whether it’s PC, console, or mobile games, Amazon provides a storefront that caters to gamers of all kinds.
If you are a game developer or creator looking to start utilizing the Amazon marketplace, here’s an overarching bird’s eye view of the process.
After you have developed your digital game, ensuring it’s engaging, functional, and ready for distribution, you can publish it on Amazon’s game distribution platforms through one of its various options. Options include Amazon Appstore for Android games and Amazon Web Services (AWS) for cloud-based gaming solutions.
To list your game on Amazon’s platforms, you’ll need to create a developer account and provide essential information about your game, such as its title, description, screenshots, and any necessary metadata. This information helps potential customers discover and learn more about your game.
When it comes to selling your game, choose the pricing model that best suits your strategy, whether it’s a one-time purchase, in-app purchases, or a freemium model. Amazon provides tools for managing the sale of your game, tracking customer engagement, and optimizing your game’s monetization. Amazon also offers opportunities to reach a global audience by making your game available on Amazon devices like Fire tablets and Fire TV.
Benefits of Selling Digital Products on Amazon
I think by now, through all of those examples, you have probably already understood the benefits of selling digital products online.
But here’s a reiteration anyways.
Digital artists, online instructors, and Amazon sellers have a fantastic opportunity to establish a lucrative online business with high profit margins, high conversion rates, and low startup costs by leveraging Amazon. This strategy is considerably more potent when used in conjunction with strong instruments like Helium 10 as they can help you do the necessary product and keyword research to craft established products that are set up for success, monitor ranks and more.
With lower production and fulfillment expenses, you can charge a fair price for your digital goods while still making a lot of money.
Just compare sourcing a garlic press. If we said we could source the garlic press at a landed cost of $6 with fulfillment fees of $4 per unit, and a built-in marketing cost of $2 per unit while selling it for $15, you could make $3 profits. However, you would have to invest a lot of capital upfront and you’re left with a lot of inventory to manage that may or may not reap the rewards you want eating up storage fees when it doesn’t sell as fast as you hoped.
Compare that to writing a book for free, listing it for free and just investing marketing fees. If you just found a good niche, read the reviews of a few competitor books, used ChatGPT to outline book structure, had it ghostwritten on Upwork or Fiverr for $200-300 bucks and had it listed after using well-read blogs and Facebook Groups to market, imagine the lead generation tool you could create for your affiliate marketing email campaigns! Or just the profit from KDP alone. OR even taking that book and then also making an audio file to expand its reach.
Talk about a low entry barrier. It’s an appealing choice for people wishing to make and sell digital items because you can get started as a digital creator or online educator with little to no upfront expenditure. You can concentrate on producing appealing content knowing that Helium 10 and Amazon will take care of the logistics.
Managing your inventory is also made simple with digital products because once it is created, it’s ready for distribution over and over again. You don’t want to miss out on this potent synergy.
For those seeking to dip their toes into the pool of digital products, maybe it’s time you ask: if not now, then when?
Is It Profitable to Sell Digital Products on Amazon?
Yes, definitely. But like with any business, the profitability of selling digital products on Amazon largely depends on a multitude of factors and it comes with its unique challenges and considerations.
Firstly, your choice of digital products matters. Some digital products, such as e-books, online courses, software, or digital artwork, have the potential to generate substantial profits because they can be sold repeatedly without the need for physical production or shipping costs. However, it’s crucial to research and identify niches with demand and competition levels that align with your business goals.
Secondly, your marketing and promotion efforts play a significant role. Don’t just create something and expect it to sell. Amazon is a massive trusted marketplace, BUT it’s highly competitive.
To maximize profitability, you must, must, must invest in effective marketing strategies to make your digital products stand out. Utilizing Amazon’s advertising tools, optimizing your product listings, and building a strong online presence can help drive traffic and sales.
Be proactive in maintaining the quality and relevance of your digital products for long-term profitability. Customer reviews and satisfaction will catapult value to your prospective buyers leading to repeat sales and positive word-of-mouth recommendations.
Ultimately, while selling digital products on Amazon can be profitable due to its broad customer reach and lower overhead costs, success hinges on factors like product selection, marketing efforts, and a commitment to delivering quality digital offerings.
Is Selling Digital Products on Amazon a Good Side Hustle?
Yes. As we have established, the allure of digital products lies in their potential for passive income, low overhead costs, flexibility and magnanimous reach. Unlike physical products that often require significant investments in manufacturing, storage, and shipping, digital products have minimal production expenses. You create them once and can sell them indefinitely, making it a cost-effective option for a side hustle.
Secondly, it offers flexibility in terms of time and location. As a side hustle, selling digital products allows you to work on your terms. Whether you have a full-time job, other commitments, or simply prefer a flexible schedule, you can create, upload, and manage your digital products at your own pace.
It’s no surprise Amazon is a freaking giant. With its robust infrastructure, selling on Amazon means tapping into Amazon’s massive customer base and trustworthiness as a platform. It simplifies payment processing, digital delivery, and customer support, letting you focus on product creation and marketing.
However, be smart. As I always say – research your niche, optimize your product listings, and market effectively to stand out in a competitive landscape. With dedication and the right approach, selling digital products on Amazon can be a profitable and fulfilling side hustle.
What Is the Difference Between Amazon and Amazon Digital?
Amazon and Amazon Digital represent two distinct marketplaces within the Amazon ecosystem. The key distinction lies in the nature of the products each platform supports. While Amazon is the go-to place for physical items, Amazon Digital caters specifically to digital content and services.
Amazon, often referred to simply as “Amazon.com” or the “Amazon Marketplace,” is the primary platform where sellers offer physical products to customers. It’s the world’s largest online retailer, allowing individuals and businesses to list, sell, and ship a wide range of tangible goods, from electronics to clothing.
On the other hand, Amazon Digital, also known as the “Amazon Digital Services Marketplace,” is a specialized section of Amazon dedicated exclusively to digital products. This includes items like e-books, audiobooks, music, video content, software, and more. Unlike physical products, digital products are intangible and can be downloaded or streamed directly to a customer’s device.
How to Sell Digital Products on Amazon
Identify In-Demand Digital Products
Always identify what’s in demand before you start selling digital products on Amazon. Doing so will help you know that you are offering products that have a market and are likely to generate sales.
Use Amazon’s search bar to explore existing digital product categories and check bestseller lists and if you want to take it a step further, use a tool like Helium 10’s Chrome Extension to read backend sales data and look for gaps or areas where digital products are lacking.
Once you have found a niche that you would like to target, analyze your competitors products and discover opportunities for product improvement. A great way to find opportunities is to look at customer reviews as customers will say what they like or don’t like. Review Insights is a great tool you leverage to break down reviews into digestible information.
Keep an eye on industry news and trends. TikTok has been finding all the trends causing spikes in consumer purchases especially with integration of TikTok Shop. lately.
By conducting thorough research and understanding customer needs, you can position yourself to offer products that resonate with your target audience, driving sales and growth for your digital product business.
Gauge Your Target Audience’s Interest
To gauge your target audience’s interest in your digital products on Amazon, you need to employ a combination of research and analytics. Start by exploring Amazon’s search bar and auto-suggestions. Begin typing relevant keywords related to your digital product, and observe the auto-suggestions that pop up. This can provide insights into what customers are actively searching for. Additionally, utilize Amazon’s search filters to identify top-performing products in your niche. This will give you a sense of what’s currently popular among your potential audience.
Next, make use of Amazon’s product reviews and customer questions and answers sections. Analyze reviews using Review Insights inside of Helium 10’s Chrome Extension to understand what customers appreciate and what they find lacking in existing digital products.
Look for patterns and common themes in both positive and negative feedback. Addressing these points in your product can help you cater to your audience’s preferences. If you’re building a book, perhaps you can use the information to structure chapters before you write the book or have it written. If you’re reading reviews for a gaming app, you can use it to improve the experience you deliver and so forth.
Take it a step further by using Cerebro or Magnet, our keyword research tools to understand what gets people excited about your digital product or what words people associate to your niche or even to identify which words you want to use to build your listing and market your products. There’s a thorough walk through image by image you can follow along with here.
Also, consider engaging with potential customers through the Q&A section to gather direct insights and build rapport once the time comes that you have a listing up and posted.
Take a further step by leveraging social media platforms, forums, and online communities where your target audience congregates. Participate in discussions, ask questions, and observe the topics and issues that resonate with your potential customers. This will provide you with a more comprehensive view of their interests and pain points.
By continuously refining your strategy based on this research and feedback, you can better gauge and cater to your target audience’s interest on Amazon.
Sign Up for the Relevant Platforms
Signing up for platforms will vary based on what you want to sell. But I just wanted to cover a few here. Let’s walk through how to sign up for Amazon KDP, Amazon Merch, and TuneCore:
- Amazon KDP (Kindle Direct Publishing): To publish and sell your eBooks through Amazon KDP, start by visiting the KDP website (kdp.amazon.com). If you already have an Amazon account, sign in; otherwise, create a new account. Once you’re logged in, you can set up your author profile, add tax information, and create a new eBook by providing details like the book title, description, and cover image. Format your eBook according to Amazon’s guidelines, and then upload it. Set the pricing and distribution options, and you’re ready to publish your eBook to the Kindle Store.
- Amazon Merch: Amazon Merch allows you to design and sell custom apparel and merchandise. Begin by visiting the Amazon Merch website (merch.amazon.com) and requesting an invitation. Once you’re approved, sign in with your Amazon account. Create your first t-shirt or product design by specifying the colors, style, and pricing. Upload your artwork, and Amazon will handle the printing, shipping, and customer service. You can set your royalties and publish your designs to the Amazon marketplace, making them available to millions of potential customers.
- TuneCore: TuneCore is a platform for independent musicians to distribute their music to various digital music stores and streaming services. Start by visiting the TuneCore website (tunecore.com) and creating an account. Once you’re logged in, you can upload your music tracks, album art, and relevant metadata like song titles, genres, and release date. TuneCore will help you distribute your music to platforms like iTunes, Spotify, Amazon Music, and more. You can choose different distribution packages based on your needs and budget. After paying the distribution fee, your music will be available for purchase and streaming worldwide, and you’ll receive earnings directly from TuneCore.
By following these steps, you can sign up for Amazon KDP, Amazon Merch, and TuneCore to sell your digital products online, whether they are eBooks, merchandise, or music, and tap into the vast customer base provided by these popular platforms. Remember to regularly manage and promote your products to maximize your sales and reach.
Advertise and Promote Your Digital Products
They often say “if you build it, they won’t come.”
And that quote does well to describe the need to not only producing a high-quality digital product to be successful, but also be skilled at marketing if you truly want to draw in clients.
To start selling successfully as a digital product creator in the digital market, you will need to do be extra conscientious of how you position yourself in the space to stand out in be it through designing eye-catching covers for their e-books, captivating teasers for their digital audio offerings, or using a physical product to incentivize your digital product.
It may be worth the effort to work on building a robust social media presence to sell digital art, promote your online courses, and market your ebooks. Especially since it is easier than ever to go viral on TikTok and the Amazon landscape has gotten more competitive.
Employing Amazon Marketplace’s targeted marketing tools is another strategic approach to reach potential clients. Spending time to learn and launch PPC campaigns can be a good means to boost both traffic and sales for your innovative digital products.
Participating in online forums and Facebook groups that cater to your specific industry, fostering connections and showcasing your digital creations can be a more time intensive, but lower cost action item you can do to add value in a way that leads people to become raving fans.
Maximize visibility and engagement by incorporating relevant keywords in your product listings. I only say all this because I can tell you from experience.
Be it as a digital artist offering digital art or offering online courses and ebooks, effective marketing strategies will make or break your monetary success in the space.
Do’s and Don’ts of Creating and Selling Digital Products on Amazon
Before we close out, let’s breeze through talking about some Dos and Don’ts of popular digital product sites like KDP, TuneCore, and Amazon Merch just so you know what to be mindful of.
Before taking the plunge into the world of publishing on Amazon’s Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP), don’t forget to meticulously proofread your content to obliterate typos, errors, and grammatical missteps that could deter potential readers.
At the risk of sounding like a broken record, optimizing your book’s metadata will enhance its visibility in Amazon’s search results, but you DO need to create metadata correctly to avoid potential content rejection. Just as complying with KDP’s formatting standards is equally critical! These encompass crucial elements such as title pages and copyright pages.
To guarantee readability across all devices, make adjustments to text size and line height. When uploading your file, remember to use the DOC, DOCX, or HTML formats for a smooth process.
And don’t underestimate the power of visual appeal; for this, consider enlisting the services of a graphic designer. Crafting an engaging, high-quality cover for your book is crucial, as it serves as your book’s most potent advertisement. Lastly, for certain content, like coloring books or interactive materials, you may find that they are better suited as print-on-demand products rather than digital downloads.
When venturing into TuneCore, a platform for music distribution:
Make note of the format you are uploading cover art in. It needs to be in JPG, PNG, or GIF formats and that you hold the requisite rights to the image.
The image size should meet a minimum of 1600 x 1600 pixels with a resolution of at least 72 dpi, although 300 dpi is preferable. Opt for RGB color mode over CMYK, typically reserved for printing purposes.
Any text within the artwork should remain legible even when scaled down, including only the artist’s name and the work’s title as initially entered in TuneCore.
Be cautious to avoid common pitfalls such as low-quality or blurry cover art, images that get cut off, references to iTunes or other digital stores on the cover, or the unauthorized use of someone else’s art. For additional rules and guidance, you can refer to TuneCore’s Support Page.
As for Amazon Merch to create and sell custom T-shirts and other physical products, certain vital guidelines should not be overlooked.
For example, refrain from uploading duplicate designs or artwork, infringing on copyrights, posting offensive or violent content, or adding watermarks to your design.
Uphold product quality by consistently using high-resolution images suitable for the product type.
It’s also crucial to proofread your design text, checking for any spelling and grammatical errors, unless they serve a specific creative concept. Lastly, verify that your design is correctly sized for each product, ensuring no elements get cut off.
To maintain compliance, you can head over to Merch on Demand content policies and read up in case they have changed since the time of writing this piece.
With that said, I’ll leave you with this.
It’s not only conceivable but also profitable for creators to sell digital goods on Amazon.
Creators can reach a large audience by selling ebooks, music, films, software, and more through Amazon Digital Services LLC. Although there is a lot of room for success, just be proactive and do your due diligence. Carefully follow Amazon’s rules and regulations will serve you well!
Check yourself before you wreck yourself or something like that.
The space is going to keep growing with or without you. It’s just a matter of whether or not you’ll be a part of the change and how you’ll leverage the system.
Be it a an author, singer, artist, or software developer, the digital world awaits for your achievement and financial advancement.
To your success!