There are many sites where you can sell your digital assets. I’ve tried many of them but there are only a handful that have potential to bring decent sales. I’m going to list them here with some tips and tricks for successful selling.
Creative Market has been extremely good to me. I’ve made a lot of money on this site. Plus, the staff and community of shops are extremely helpful and friendly. You won’t get better customer support or camaraderie on any other digital online marketplace.
Here is a screenshot showing all of my sales on this site alone since 2014. They give you a generous 70% of each sale with no additional fees.
Each shop has to apply with a portfolio of finished work. So, I recommend starting on Etsy and/or your own website and then applying when you have some work to show them. If you already have a portfolio of work then you can apply right away. If they reject you on your first attempt don’t give up! Take their suggestions to heart and then reapply when you have implemented them.
Fill out your profile and upload your portrait or logo. Upload a cover image for your shop. You are selling to photographers, designers and artists who expect an attractive presentation.
If you need help with a good presentation, there are shops selling product presentation templates that can be edited in Photoshop. Here is an example.
When you fill out a product description, be sure to be as thorough as possible with details. Size, compatibility, what’s included and a few paragraphs of description for how the files can be used should be included. Be as specific as possible.
I recommend doing some research by studying really popular products and replicating their basic description formula. Never copy the text from another product word for word! This will get you in trouble as copyright is taken very seriously. Just use the information as reference.
Add as many relevant tags as you possibly can. They are generous with the number of tags allowed so use them to your advantage. You want to show up in the results for as many searches as possible and tags, plus the text in the title and description, help get eyes on your products. It’s a crowded and competitive marketplace, so you’ll have to go the extra mile to be seen.
Be sure to make many attractive example images in the correct size as customers want to see with their eyes what is included in a product and examples of it in use.
Be sure to include a file with instructions for how to use the product and/or add that information in the FAQ section under the product. You will save your customers from a lot of confusion and frustration and you will get far fewer messages asking for help.
Creative Market has never given away the algorithm for how products are ranked under categories and searches. But, from careful observation it appears to be a combination of relevancy and popularity. As a new seller you’ll have to be seen on relevancy alone as well as whatever external traffic you drive to your products from social media and and other links.
In the earlier days of Etsy selling digital files was pretty awkward. There was no way to upload a file for sale. So, a customer would buy your digital product and have to wait around for it until you got around to emailing it. Shops had to really be on top of their sales and make sure to send files in a timely manner.
A few years ago Etsy caught on to the growing number of digital download shops in the marketplace and made it possible to upload a file to a listing that the customer could download instantly.
Etsy charges $0.20 USD every time you make or renew a listing plus 5% of the sale. If you take PayPal as a payment option PayPal fees apply as well. You don’t need to apply to sell on Etsy. Just set up your shop and start selling.
Here is a screenshot showing the total amount of income from Etsy since 2013.
Adobe Exchange is honestly my least favorite site to sell on. Uploading a product and waiting around for it to be approved only to have it rejected for some small detail in the description is frustrating. Customer support is practically null and the sales stats leave a lot to be desired. Get it together Adobe! For a monopoly you really stink.
However, once you get past these seemingly capricious hurdles there is a lot of money to be made on this platform. You do have to apply to be a seller and each product must be approved for sale as well.
Just about any resource compatible with Adobe apps can be sold in the marketplace. So, if you are competent in apps like Illustrator, Photoshop, Lightroom and more you can make resources that earn income.
SELL DOWNLOADS ON YOUR OWN WEBSITE
In the old days one had to either have a lot of tech knowledge or money to hire a webmaster to have a profitable website. But, these days all you need is some basic computer savvy and the ability to pay a small monthly fee.
Still, building a profitable website requires more knowledge than earning income on platforms such as Creative Market and Etsy. This is beyond the scope of this article. But, I suggest doing as much research as possible on SEO (search engine optimization) and social media promotion. Be sure to only use information that is no more than a few years old as what worked 10 years ago no longer applies today.
I recommend a self-hosted WordPress site as this is the most versatile and inexpensive option. But, if you need the easiest option Shopify is a great but more expensive.
In conclusion, you can indeed earn income with your creativity. You can even earn a decent living if you are willing to put in the time to learn, create and promote your business.