If you're like most business owners, you understand that monetization is one of the most important things for your business.
After all, if you're not bringing money you don't have a business.
One of the best ways to monetize any online business is through the addition of digital products.
Right now, we're going to take a few minutes to dive deep into a simple and repeatable process to help you find the best digital product ideas for your niche.
What IS A Digital Product:
Obviously, before we can dive into finding ideas for your digital product we have to have an understanding of what a digital product is.
Essentially, there are two different things that you can sell.
The first, is physical products.
These are going to be things like garlic presses and fishing poles, something is someone can physically hold in their hand.
Generally speaking they require that you keep inventory, manage customer service and shipping.
The alternative to physical products are digital products. As the name implies these only exist digital.
Things like a video course, an ebook, templates, etcetera are all examples of digital products.
Why You Should Add a Digital Product to Your Mix
Digital products are one of the best things that you can add to your business from a monetization standpoint for a variety of reasons.
First, because you don't need to rely on inventory or shipping of a digital product, they're very easy to add to your existing business and don't require any additional Staffing or capital outlay.
Second, because the products are digital, they don't cost you anything to fulfill.
Meaning, when you add a digital product to your existing business you are adding something with essentially 100% margin.
For example, if you sell a digital product for $10 you make $10 minus the credit card fees(typically around 2-3%).
By contrast, when you sell a physical product for $10 you make $10 Minus (Credit Card Fees + The Cost to Make the Product + The Cost of Shipping and Handling), meaning you’d be lucky to make a dollar or two after everything is said and done.
If you're looking for a way to easily increase the amount of money that your business is making, digital products are likely one of the best solutions for you.
The Simple 5-Step Process We Used To Generate $64,000 In 12 Months Working Part Time On Etsy.Yes, Send Me The Roadmap!
Step #1 – Dive Deep Into Your Market
Alright, so now that we have an understanding of what a digital product is it's time for us to start actually looking for ideas to create our own.
We are going to cover 6 different ways that you can use in order to actually find not just ideas that will work for your Market but proven and implemented digital products that are specifically built for your Market.
remember, you don't need to use each of these methods ( using one or two will work just fine) but the more of these you use, the more likely you are to find an excellent idea.
The Naked Email
The first method that we are going to be taking a look at is what we call the “ naked email” method.
Essentially, we send an email to our list with no links and no images ( hence the name, it’s just NAKED text), and we actually ask them what type of content they would like to see.
We then let them know to reply to us with their answer and wait.
This message can be extremely useful to come up with ideas for digital products, physical products, or even just ideas for your next piece of content to put on your website.
Since you're reaching out directly to the audience, you're likely to get highly relevant answers. This can lead to a lot of great ideas.
Unfortunately, you need to have an email list ( and one that is actually responsive) in order for this to work.
You can use a similar strategy by posting something on your social media properties and asking for feedback there as well.
The second way that you can start to come up with a bunch of ideas for your next digital product is by taking a look at our trusty friend Google Analytics.
While analytics can seem extremely intimidating to the non initiated, once you know what you're looking for it becomes very easy to find.
My suggestion for using your and it looks like that's a fine idea is to start with the landing pages report.
Along the left hand side of the page you will see several options of different ways that you can look at your Google analytics account first you need to click on The behavior tab.
This will open a menu in the sidebar.
From here you’re going to select “site content” and then “Landing Pages”.
This is a report of all of the visits to different pages on your site based on a page that people first saw when they arrived.
The reason we want to use the landing page report is because if people are arriving on that page, it's the first piece of content that they see and likely it's the piece of content that they are most interested in.
This gives us a lot of unique insight into the types of content people in our audience really are interested in ( human behavior is a lot less likely to mislead you, than what people SAY they want!).
My suggestion would be to set a date range for at least two to three months or more so that you have a better idea of the different things that people in your audience are visiting and consuming on your website.
You can use this report to either turn a single piece of content, if it's very popular, or you combine several pieces of content if you see a theme emerge.
For example, in the picture below you will see that several of the most frequently landed on pages are related to food/diet.
That tells us that if we combine a few of those into a “food/diet” book, that we will likely have a product that people would be EXTREMELY interested in.
Next on our list is our trusty friend Google. Now obviously you don't have to use Google, you can use whatever search engine wants and the results will still work.
Basically, what we're going to do is head over to our favorite search engine and type in some questions related to our Market.
For example, if we were in the pool clean Market we might type in some “ how to keep my in-ground pool clean”.
We are then going to look for two distinct things in the search results.
First, We are going to look for a section called people also ask. You see this in a Google search result, it means that Google knows that people often have follow-up questions.
They will show you other questions that people are also typing that are related to the initial search. or that people type in to clarify their search afterwards.
This section can be extremely useful to help us outline our digital product or give us even more ideas.
The second thing that we are going to look for, is either an in-depth real or an epic blog post (something longer than 2500 words is usually a good indicator).
Both of these signals help us to understand that there's a lot to learn about this specific topic. Any topic that has multiple levels of things that people need to learn such as the different ways that you can clean a pool and maintain its water, are usually good ideas for digital products.
As you look at some websites that you find in the search results, you may actually find them ALREADY SELLING a digital product. If that’s the case, you should absolutely be writing down those ideas as well.
Just like with Google, YouTube at its heart is a search engine. You can use the same tactic that we used with Google ( or with Bing, if you’re a fan) and type in searches into YouTube.
Here, we're just going to be looking for in-depth video results for something longer than 10 minutes or so is usually a good starting place.
Remember, we're looking for videos that cover the topic not just at a surface level…. but as completely as possible.
FB Ad Library
At some point in your life you've probably heard the phrase put your money where your mouth is, nowhere is that more true then somewhere like Facebook advertising.
Chances are, if somebody is spending money to promote something, especially if they have been doing it for a while, that that thing is making the money.
Due to some of the stories related to the 2016 United States presidential election, Facebook made a few changes to how transparent they are about people advertising on their platform.
If you've never looked at the Facebook ad library before, you need to do that right now.
The library is essentially a search engine for all ads that are currently running inside of the Facebook ecosystem.
to search it, all you need to do is type in the name of a page in your Niche or Market and Facebook will tell you if they are running any ads.
You can then take a look at each ad that is being run to see if they are using it for a lead magnet, a digital product, or something else entirely.
Take careful notes and write down any of the ads your competitors are running for digital products.
These will not only serve to help you generate ideas for the product, but can also give you Direction and inspiration for when it's time for you to run at for your product.
Remember, as with everything we're not going to steal their ideas we're not going to take the exact thing that they are running as a digital product and we're not going to steal their ad copy.
At this point we are simply trying to understand what our Market is asking for so that we can give it to them.
The final place I would suggest looking, and it's actually one of my favorites, is amazon.com.
Now I know you're probably thinking “Chris, we’re talking digital products here ….Amazon SHIPS stuff, that’s not digital”.
While you would be technically correct, Amazon also has a huge library of digital products, naming all of the books they offer for Kindle.
Not only will searching the Kindle marketplace for books in your Niche give you a ton of great ideas for all of the different things that you can create for your Market, but they can actually help you outline the entire product very easily.
Amazon has what's called the “ look inside” feature for books. By clicking on any book, you’re able to see a few pages (usually the start of the book).
While this doesn’t sound super helpful on its face (afterall, what can a few pages tell you), It becomes a lot more helpful when you realize that most of these books will contain a table of contents within the first few pages.
This is essentially an outline of everything that you will want to cover in order to create the most complete digital product or ebook for your Market.
Step #2 – How Does This Help Your Market
Now that we have a whole bunch of ideas by going through the methods laid out above, it's time for us to start to narrow down the list.
The best way for us to do this, if we want to find a product that is going to succeed in our Market, is by answering one single question.
The #1 Question You MUST Answer
We need to go through the list of ideas that we have and answer this one simple question, “ how does this actually help someone in my market achieve the next step in their goal.
Essentially, the best digital products will help people achieve a very specific outcome.
If you’re not sure exactly what outcomes your audience is looking for, you may want to read about the “stick figure exercise” that we use, here.
For example does your audience your readers want to:
- Take Better Newborn Portraits?
- Catch More Bass In A Pond?
- Learn How To Play Country Guitar?
- Start A Plant Based Diet?
- Learn How To Use Photoshop For Scrapbooking
If you’re able to Come up with two or three different outcomes that your audience is interested in, you'll be able to group your ideas and potentially throw a few of them out.
At the end of the day what we're looking for is a way to help our audience solve a problem or achieve a desire.
If we are able to help our audience catch more bass, and that's a concern that they have, there's a very high likelihood that they are going to be interested in and purchase our digital product.
Take Action Steps
Now that you have an understanding of what this process looks like, in order to come up with ideas, we need to actually take action and implement this. In the case of finding digital product ideas we are going to break it down into the three simple steps below.
- Use 1 (or all 6) of the research methods to come up with a list of potential product ideas.
- Narrow Down Those Ideas and Group them together based on the specific outcomes your audience wants to achieve
- Pick one and get started 🙂
Take The Fast Track
Choosing the idea for your digital product is just one small part of what you should be doing in order to ensure the success of that product.
If you want more help with the ideation process or any other part of a digital product creation process, from ideas to actually selling it, you're going to want to take a look at the Digital Product Creation FastTrack Workshop.
This Workshop will not only teach you how to pick the perfect digital product for your audience, but also exactly how to advertise and sell that product.
Go Through the workshop material and in just a few hours you will have everything that you need to create and sell your next digital product.
Chris ShafferChris lives at the intersection of business strategy and growth tactics. Having consulted with dozens of different businesses (as well as building several of his own), he brings a unique perspective on what's working across the eCommerce world in businesses of all shapes and sizes.
The Simple 5-Step Process We Used To Generate $64,000 In 12 Months Working Part Time On Etsy.Yes, Send Me The Roadmap!