How to choose your first digital product

How to choose your first digital product
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Look around online. There are swipe files, ebooks, online courses, coaching calls, membership sites, and more everywhere you look. New informational and creative businesses are popping up every day.

So it’s no surprise you want to get a piece of that pie. The only thing holding you back is deciding what digital product you should create first.

To help you get started, we’ve put together a five-step guide that walks you through the main questions you need to ask yourself to help you land on the right digital product for your business.

Let’s get started.


Digital product ideas to choose from

Before we get too far, let’s cover a few popular digital products you can sell. Some are common—though no less valuable—while others you may not have thought of.

While the possibilities are endless, here are nine digital product ideas you might consider creating:

  • Online course
  • Ebook
  • Guide
  • Workbook
  • Checklist
  • Video series
  • Stock photography
  • Template
  • Membership site

The above digital products take different skills to create, as well as different amounts of time. If you have a lot of time, you may choose an online course or video series. If you want to launch sooner rather than later, a checklist or template may be your best bet.

how to select a digital product

How to choose your first digital product

There are five main steps and questions to ask yourself when deciding which digital product is going to be best to start with. Walk through each step with us to determine which product to start creating.

Step 1: Consider your topic

The first step is to think about the topic you want your digital product to focus on.

If you plan to share a step-by-step guide for starting a podcast, a longer-form digital product may be the only way to provide the full scope. On the other hand, if you just want to help someone discover the best niche for their new podcast, a shorter workbook or checklist could be the best way to go.

So long story short: an in-depth topic that requires a lot of room to fully teach or explain needs a longer, more in-depth type of digital product.

Longer digital product ideas include:

  1. Online course
  2. Ebook
  3. Guide
  4. Video series
  5. Membership site

Step 2: Research your industry

Next, start conducting thorough research on your industry. Are there other businesses and/or creators selling and promoting digital products? If so, what are the most common types of digital products that you see?

It can be a good idea to stand out, but your competitors are likely creating certain types of digital products for a reason—because it makes sense for your industry and the content you need to share.

If you see a lot of online courses floating around in your industry, you may want to go the same route. Or you can create something similar, but elevated. For example, try a video series or an interactive membership site instead. You can promise the same caliber of content with one of these, but in a different format, helping your digital product to stand out from the crowd.

how to choose digital products

Step 3: Listen to your target audience

Taking the time to research your target audience, get to know them, and understand what types of digital products they prefer is also a major deciding factor. There are a few different ways to do this.

  • Social listening: Use available social listening tools like Mention and Brand24 to monitor online conversations surrounding your industry. Search for keywords surrounding digital products to see what types people interested in that industry tend to prefer.
  • Read reviews: Read the reviews of digital products in your industry. Have people found them helpful? Have they mentioned other methods of collecting information that they prefer instead?
  • Market research: Ask your audience outright by putting together a poll or survey or conducting another type of market research. By surveying your existing customer base or following, you can get direct feedback on the types of digital products they’d be interested in downloading or purchasing.

Paying attention to your audience’s interests is always a key part of running a business—even an informational or creative business. Keeping your followers in mind can help you create a successful digital product.

Step 4: Plan your launch timeline

Your digital product’s launch timeline can also have a big impact on the type of product you create. There are a few factors here:

  • Do you want to create a digital product to hit a quarterly revenue goal?
  • Is there a specific time frame you need to keep your launch in?
  • Are you creating a digital product purely for education purposes or because of revenue goals?

If you have a deadline you need to hit—and that deadline is relatively close—you may need to focus on creating a quicker, smaller digital product like a template or a checklist. Maybe even a membership site that you can get up and running quickly and take more time to flesh out.

But an online course, ebook, workbook, or video series is likely to take much more time. Time for planning, creation, and execution.

Start planning a launch timeline based on your business’s needs and why you’re creating this digital product to see how much time you have to dedicate to creation. That can be a big deciding factor in the type of digital product you make.

choose your first digital product

Step 5: Keep your skill set in mind

Finally, keep your skill set in mind. If you’re a writer, being on screen for a video series likely isn’t the best way to convey your information. Similarly, if you’re skilled in photography or photo editing, selling stock photo bundles or photo editing presets could be the best option. Or, if you’re well versed in a tool like Notion, you might choose to create and sell Notion templates.

Look at the specific skills you have to offer and see how you can utilize them to create the best possible digital product. Knowing your skills can ensure your digital product is high-quality and worth the price point you put on it—or allow you to put an even more premium price point on it.

Create your first digital product today

Ready to get started on your first digital product? Use these five steps to determine where you should start, then create. When you’re ready to sell, take advantage of Teachable to host your online course and/or digital downloads.

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