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10 of the Best Digital Products Businesses to Start with No Money

by | Apr 9, 2019 | Business | 0 comments

16 min read

If you’ve found your way to this post, you’re likely searching for jobs that you can do while you’re either working your 9-5, you want to get started as a side hustle, or you even may want to grow a small hobby to be a full time business so you can quit your job!

You may have read about flipping things on Craigslist or Poshmark, or even places like OfferUp, which costs time and money for inventory, and you often have to deal with shipping hassles.

You also may have read about doing surveys online, or even captioning for Rev which gives you mere pennies on the hour, leaving you struggling to find a decent job worth it’s weight in money, and your time.

In this post, I’m not going to talk about any of those things.

In fact, this post only shows you how you can make a lucrative online business using no inventory, no shipping hassles, no meeting with people, no digging through thrift stores, no typing for hours, and no annoying surveys that you don’t qualify for!

Instead, you can do these businesses anywhere, and most of these ideas I bet you haven’t heard anywhere else.
I know this because I have been where you are – looking for the right online job that you want to do, while not having to deal with shipping or inventory problems.

These business ideas are online and can be done anywhere, they’re digital, they’re easy to set up, you have limitless inventory, and there’s no glass ceiling for income!

Sound too good to be true?

I still sell digital products and make a recurring and passive income. And I didn’t have to start a blog or build an audience for them, either!

Read this post and see if any of these ideas pique your interest!
I bet you’ll find some thing you like!

Disclosure: Some of the links below may be affiliate links, which helps support our site. Please read our policy here.

10 Digital Products Businesses That You Can Start Today!

 

01 | An Inspirational and Motivational Poster Business

You’ve seen inspirational quotes all over, and maybe pinned a few, or perhaps you have some hanging on a wall somewhere. They look fairly easy to create, right? That’s because they are!

If you have an eye for art, you can create your own business on inspirational quotes, checklists, or any other unique idea you have!
There’s tons of ideas that Etsy sellers have – just peruse their shops for inspiration.

Note: make sure you don’t use a quote that you aren’t allowed to use. It’s arguable that quotes are copyrighted and can’t be used without permission. Always research and check into copyright laws before using anything.

What you’ll do is design something in your favorite imaging software, and upload it into a print-on-demand software or a mock-up. You can get inexpensive mock-ups from Creative Market.

 

02 | A  Digital Printables Business

Do you specialize in something?

I bet you have some skill or a hobby you know a lot about.

I think for the majority of hobbies that exist, you can find a way to turn it into a printable.

It’s not that difficult to create printables in Canva, GIMP, or even Photoshop or Illustrator.

You can even hire someone on Fiverr or Upwork to create about 10 core products to start with!

Start by coming up with a list of things you’re knowledgeble about. Ask your friends, family, look at what magazines you read, tv shows you watch, books you consume. What do you love learning about on weekends?

After that, do some research on Amazon or Etsy and see what others are selling for that topic. Don’t see anything? Cross that one off the list and go down the line. There’s bound to be something that you’d like to dive into!

RELATED:
Best FREE Courses for Entrepreneurs You Need To Take This Year!
How to Design Your Brand Yourself with No Money
How To Quickly Start an Easy Digital Products Business
10 GUARANTEED Ways to Make Money In Your Online Business

03 | A Print on Demand Business

Back when I was deep in my Amazon days, I started selling print on demand products.

Amazon had just come out with Merch by Amazon, and it took me like 4 months to get into the program from popularity.

Now that it’s calmed down and the crazy rush is over, people are still selling on the platform – and you can still hop on this trend by creating a business around similar print-on-demand companies.

What you’ll want to do is come up with a design (please make it high quality and do a test order), and then cross-post your product on multiple platforms such as Amazon, Etsy, Ebay, and your own site. You can even try to sell it on Facebook, or locally at art shops or small town swaps!

What’s great about print on demand companies (like Printful or PrintAura for example) is that nowadays there are so many different options for products.
They offer aprons, mugs, hoodies, leggings, backpacks, hats, phone covers, and more.

You can even have some companies ‘white label’ your product when it ships to the customer. In other words, when your customer receives their order, it doesn’t show that it was made by anyone else but you, with custom letterheads on the invoices and return address labels.

When you start creating your digital products business, you’re likely to be posting online and in various places to market your product! Use my free automated Trello editorial calendar to help you do this!

 

04 | A Low-Content/No-Content Notebooks Business

You can use Kindle Direct or other print on demand companies to create low-content books such as:

  • bullet journals
  • coloring books
  • guided meditation journals
  • gratitude journals
  • habit trackers
  • Anything you can think of

Or simply create no-content, blank books with beautiful covers in a variety of sizes and shapes to sell as many times as possible!
Createspace has now been transferred over to KDP – Kiindle Direct Publishing is a great platform to get started.

You can use Amazon’s free ISBN to create free books! It can cost you literally nothing but time to get started. I still sell plenty of books through my Amazon notebooks side hustle, and I haven’t touched it in months.

Read my post on the Ultimate Guide to Selling on Amazon’s Createspace!

Also, if you want a huge jump start on the notebook creation process, so you don’t have to worry about things such as book sizes, trimmed edges, etc – you can read my review of Tangent Templates here!

RELATED:
Best FREE Courses for Entrepreneurs You Need To Take This Year!
How to Design Your Brand Yourself with No Money
How To Quickly Start an Easy Digital Products Business
10 GUARANTEED Ways to Make Money In Your Online Business

Need ideas on digital products to sell or an online business with no inventory to start with no money?! We've got you covered in this list of unique types of online business ideas including illustrations or free art!! #onlinebusiness #digitalproducts #digitalmarketing #onlineentrepreneur #freeprintables #etsy
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05 | A Planner Business

So the journalling and planning audience is huge, and has exploded in the last few years.

Bullet Journals came out and amazed everyone, and now there are businesses dedicated solely to that (including the actual guy who ‘invented’ the BuJo).

It’s not going away anytime soon, so if your A-type personality craves organization or designing with your planner, push your passion to design the perfect planner!

Everyone has their own perfect planner they want created.
You can create printables, or actual physical planners by using a print-on-demand company to benefit from this model.

 

06 | An E-Book Busines

Great at writing stories?

That fiction novel you’ve been wanting to write might be a good hit!

Does hiring a team of ghost-writers to do the heavy-lifting and then finishing up their work into many books to be published sound fun?

How about writing in a variety of topics so you are constantly learning and no dull moments?

You can use a website like Kindlepreneur to learn how to write ebooks for Amazon and sell digital copies!

There’s a whole entire corner of the internet dedicated to self-publishing on Amazon or indie-publishing sites that people have often never heard of.

It’s a neat little side hustle that can easily turn into a lucrative online business.

 

RELATED:
Best FREE Courses for Entrepreneurs You Need To Take This Year!
How to Design Your Brand Yourself with No Money
How To Quickly Start an Easy Digital Products Business
10 GUARANTEED Ways to Make Money In Your Online Business

07 | A Stock Photography Membership Site

If photography is something you enjoy as a hobby, photography as a membership site is a fantastic way to make extra money in a passive way.

Take and edit your photos one time, maybe once a month or so, and add them to a membership site that people can join.

You can also find other already existing platforms to put up your stock photography to sell.

I have a personal friend who sells their photography on one of these platforms and it’s even neat to see him win contests that help him get his name out there!

The best place to sell your stock photos is going to be on your own platform, but here are a few others:

  • Shutterstock
  • Fotolia (Adobe Stock)
  • Alamy
  • Etsy
  • Fotomoto
  • Crestock
  • 500px
  • GettyImages
  • iStockphoto
  • Stocksy

When you start creating your digital products business, you’re likely to be posting online and in various places to market your product! Use my free automated Trello editorial calendar to help you do this!

 

08 | A Graphic Design Digital Arts Business

If your skills lie in the realm of digital graphic design, you could offer your services on Fiverr, or create a freelance website offering your services.

You can also create a business using digital arts without having a lot of art skill by using free public domain art and resources by creating limitless ideas and products!

For example, you could take free public domain art and crop them into digital ‘stickers’ for digital planners.

Or maybe you want to design or draw your own ‘clip art’ (do they still call it clip art these days? lol) and offering it for sale on platforms like Design Cuts, CreativeMarket, etc

Start by creating graphics you think people would like (do your research as well!) such as fonts, clip art, icons, designs, whatever you want.

You can start with digital art, or physically creating or drawing it, and then scanning it in! The options are endless.

Upload them onto Etsy or Designcuts or CreativeMarket!

Check out my post on How To Quickly Start an Easy Digital Products Business!

 

09 | An Online Course

With the internet, you can learn pretty much anything.

You’re learning what online business you might like to start right now!

Luckily, you can sell your current skills and business without spending very much, if nothing at all, by filming a course and teaching others.

If you’re a great piano player or guitar player, why not teach others how to play?

If you sing, what about doing an ‘intro to singing’ course?

Or perhaps digital design, accounting, filming, a course for new pet owners, how to meditate – etc?

Whatever your skill is, you can definitely film it and throw it up on Udemy or Teachable. There’s other multiple places you can put your courses onto that will give you more reach, too, such as Skillshare.

If you were to start an online business – this would be probably the easiest and lowest cost of entry, with the least amount of work (since you already have the skill and wouldn’t have to learn something new.)

All you need is to find smartphone or laptop with a webcam, and a microphone).

 

RELATED:
Best FREE Courses for Entrepreneurs You Need To Take This Year!
How to Design Your Brand Yourself with No Money
10 GUARANTEED Ways to Make Money In Your Online Business

10 | A Digital Templates Business

You can create things such as presentations, lead magnet designs, resumes, and anything else you can think of!

Use Canva, GIMP, Photoshop, Illustrator, Powerpoint, Google Sheets, Google Docs – any software, really, to create templates to fit your skills and the needs of your customers.

Take a gander at CreativeMarket for some ideas! Limitless!

  • Website pages and templates
  • Lead magnets
  • Powerpoints
  • Instagram stories templates
  • Pinterest pin templates
  • Media kits
  • Art or icons for web design
  • Fonts
  • Banners and headers for online business
  • Digital planner templates
  • Logos
  • Branding kits
  • Resume templates

Seriously, just about anything!

I’ve done an extension of this by offering templates and lead magnet designs on the blog, but someone who does this very well and much better than myself at the moment is Nicolette Styles (https://www.nicholettestyles.com/)! She’s brilliant!

When you start creating your digital products business, you’re likely to be posting online and in various places to market your product! Use my free automated Trello editorial calendar to help you do this!

Now that we’ve talked about ideas and different businesses, I wanted to bring up where you could sell these things!

So what are some digital products platforms or print on demand companies you can use for your digital products business?

 

Etsy, Amazon, Ebay

A great place to start, albeit a bit competitive. Although breaking into Etsy or Amazon might be difficult at first, you can easily increase your successes by creating a blog to provide value for your given hobby in order to separate yourself from the competition.
Go deep with content marketing by being helpful, and grow your audience within a niche and -bam- you have yourself a business selling digital products from home!

Your own website

-While the platforms above allow you to take advantage of the platforms current audience and customers, they have done the hard work for you. The problem with this is that if they go under, or you don’t somehow collect email addresses or lead your customers to your own website, your business could be gone in a -poof- if you don’t protect it. Leading your customers to your site and actually building your own platform will help ensure that your business has sustainability for the future and isn’t dependent on another platform for your success. Always eliminate possible problems.

Kindle, Createspace, and other indie publishing sites

Great platforms for creating low-content or no content books, or writing your own ebooks, designing your own planners, and helping your customers solve a problem! No need to fill orders like other print on demand platforms, they sell by themselves without your input.

Print-On-Demand/Dropshipping platforms

Do your research before choosing a platform, and make sure to test order pieces for shipping times and quality. Your ass is on the line with your customer, not the platform you’re using – so if the shipping time or quality isn’t very good, don’t work with them! Also compare and contrast fees for any platform you take on.

There are literally limitless possibilities to starting your online business or side-hustle!

Who knows what will happen – once you start it, you may love it so much that it grows to be your full-time gig!

For most of us bloggers that’s our dream – and having multiple income streams is pretty much vital to our financial survival nowadays (especially if you’re a millennial).

So don’t be afraid to get started building your digital products business.

This is a FUN process, and you’re very much in control of your creativity and designs – let your freak flag fly.

Enjoy the freedom of being able to start your own business in the internet-land, and make your own sales, uncapped and with no glass ceiling!

When you start creating your digital products business, you’re likely to be posting online and in various places to market your product! Use my free automated Trello editorial calendar to help you do this!

 

The 10 best digital products businesses to start right now

I first heard about a digital products business after I had been selling on Amazon for about a year.

The Merch by Amazon program had just come on the scene, and CreateSpace was in full force (as was Kindle Direct Publishing).

I met a wonderful mentor who I have learned so much from over the years, who has inspired me to take more action to make my mark in an online business using my creativity.

That’s what you get to do with an inventory-free, location-independent, no-cost digital products business. You get to be creative, and make as much money as you’d like (no boss telling you how much you can make!) and it doesn’t have to cost very much.

Using free mock ups, online software and public domain images, you can create a digital products business with just your imagination!

The next step for you is to sign up for The Vault, where I have a free template for an ebook to get you started! You can grab some ready-to-use templates there!

What are you waiting for? Get started today!

Content Marketing - 10 Steps to Success Infographic for Bloggers and Online Entrepreneurs #infographic #onlineentrepreneur #bloggers #content #blogposts
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Need ideas on digital products to sell or an online business with no inventory to start with no money?! We've got you covered in this list of unique types of online business ideas including illustrations or free art!! #onlinebusiness #digitalproducts #digitalmarketing #onlineentrepreneur #freeprintables #etsy
  • Facebook
  • Pinterest
  • Twitter
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Need ideas on digital products to sell or an online business with no inventory to start with no money?! We've got you covered in this list of unique types of online business ideas including illustrations or free art!! #onlinebusiness #digitalproducts #digitalmarketing #onlineentrepreneur #freeprintables #etsy
  • Facebook
  • Pinterest
  • Twitter
  • Gmail
Need ideas on digital products to sell or an online business with no inventory to start with no money?! We've got you covered in this list of unique types of online business ideas including illustrations or free art!! #onlinebusiness #digitalproducts #digitalmarketing #onlineentrepreneur #freeprintables #etsy
  • Facebook
  • Pinterest
  • Twitter
  • Gmail

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