10 Sell Digital Products Success Stories [2024]

Updated: November 19th, 2023
A Sell Digital Products

Digital products are top-rated. They’re easy to create and share and a great way to build a business.

Digital products can be software-based, like an app or game, or information-based, like an ebook or course. They can also be something else entirely—like a membership site or a community. The possibilities are endless!

So what makes digital products such a great way to build a business? Well, first of all, they’re effortless to create. You don’t have to hire anyone else to do it for you; you can do it yourself! And because there’s no risk of having inventory sitting around in your garage, digital products can be sold directly from your website without worrying about moving merchandise.

Here are some real life success stories of starting a sell digital products:

1. Money Hacking Mama ($120K/year)

How much they make: $120K/year
Current team size: 0

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See How Rachel Jones Is Making $10,000 a Month Selling Digital Products on Etsy

MoneyHackingMama.com founder creates and sells downloadable printables on Etsy, generating passive income and also selling courses for personal and professional success.

About
Rachel started Money Hacking Mama about 6 years ago
Revenue
Rachel grew the business to $10K/month
Read by 899 founders

2. Contrarian Thinking ($3M/year)

Contrarian Thinking is a premium membership community that teaches people how to add cash-flowing income streams to their portfolios and achieve financial freedom.

Codie Sanchez, the founder of Contrarian Thinking, came up with the idea for her business after experiencing numerous career changes and realizing that money was the key to solving problems. After working in finance and investing, she decided to blend her love for writing, investing, and teaching others to create a company that helps people achieve financial freedom. Through her premium membership community, Contrarian Cashflow, she teaches members how to add more cash-flowing income streams to their portfolios and build the life they have always dreamed of. With over 100,000 newsletter subscribers, a community of 1.5 million people, and a run rate of $3 million this year, Contrarian Thinking is empowering individuals to challenge the status quo and shape their own destinies.

How much they make: $3M/year
How much did it cost to start: $5K
Current team size: 4

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My Finance Newsletter & Community Hit A $3M Run Rate This Year

Contrarian Thinking is a premium membership community that teaches its 1.5 million members how to implement cash flow strategies to achieve financial freedom, with a current run rate of $3 million and a goal of $50 million ARR in five years.

About
Codie started Contrarian Thinking about 4 years ago
Revenue
Codie grew the business to $250K/month
Skills
Public Speaking, Copywriting, Community Building
Costs
It cost Codie $5000 to start the business
Read by 4,691 founders

So... can you actually make money with a sell digital products?

Of course. There are millions to be made in this industry.

But how?

  1. Research real, profitable businesses and see exactly how much money they make.
  2. Study exactly what works, and what doesn’t.
  3. Take action, because now you have the roadmap.

Join Starter Story and build your next big thing:

Start Now

3. Gumroad ($21.2M/year)

Sahil loves building stuff. He really enjoyed the process of taking a problem coming up with a solution, and then shipping a prototype of that solution to see how good his concept was. Before finishing college he had already shipped a dozen products. Most of the time, they weren't that great.

But sometimes something works out really well, and then he has to decide if he actually wants to work on the idea some more. Very rarely, the answer is yes. That was the case with Gumroad. The question at its core was really compelling to him: How easy could one make it to sell something?

How much they make: $21.2M/year
Current team size: 17

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I Started Gumroad as a Weekend Project and Now It’s Making A Million Per Month

Gumroad is an e-commerce platform for digital content creators, which generates $350K in monthly revenue and assists creators to earn over $5M/month, with approximately 5.31M website visitors per month.

About
Sahil started Gumroad about 13 years ago
Revenue
Sahil grew the business to $1.77M/month
Read by 893 founders

So... can you actually make money with a sell digital products?

Of course. There are millions to be made in this industry.

But how?

  1. Research real, profitable businesses and see exactly how much money they make.
  2. Study exactly what works, and what doesn’t.
  3. Take action, because now you have the roadmap.

Join Starter Story and build your next big thing:

Start Now

4. Pretty Arrow ($125K/year)

Emily McDermott, founder of Pretty Arrow, came up with the idea for her personal finance brand after quitting her full-time job and wanting to monetize her passion for budgeting. She discovered the opportunity to sell budgeting templates on Etsy and used keyword research to create products tailored specifically to her target audience of young women. Since launching in 2021, she has sold over 29,000 spreadsheets and has grown her business through email marketing and Facebook ads.

How much they make: $125K/year
How much did it cost to start: $10
Current team size: 1

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How I Used My Budgeting Skills To Pay Off $30K Student Debt And Build A $10K/Month Business

Founder Emily McDermott turned her passion for budgeting into a successful personal finance brand, Pretty Arrow, which sells customizable budget spreadsheets that have brought in over 29,000 sales since 2021, with much of the business coming from Etsy, email marketing, and Facebook ads.

About
Emily started Pretty Arrow about 3 years ago
Revenue
Emily grew the business to $10.4K/month
Costs
It cost Emily $10 to start the business
Read by 3,088 founders

5. CrowdTamers ($540K/year)

Trevor Longino, the founder and CEO of CrowdTamers, came up with the idea for his business after realizing the demand for his marketing expertise as a freelancer. He saw an opportunity to help startups successfully launch and reach $1 million in annual revenue by providing a systematic approach to go-to-market strategies. Through answering founders' questions on Facebook Groups and creating thought leadership content, he was able to attract and retain customers, growing his agency from 2 employees to 5 employees and achieving nearly $600k in annual revenue.

How much they make: $540K/year
How much did it cost to start: $0
Current team size: 4

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My Journey From A CMO To A Freelancer To An Agency Owner Aiming At $1M Annual Revenue

This case study follows the founder and CEO of CrowdTamers, Trevor Longino, and how he grew his business from $0 to $600k in annual revenue in just 2 years by answering founders' questions on social media and creating a content engine, and how he plans to scale to $1.1 million in ARR through strategic partnerships and structured growth methods.

About
Trevor started CrowdTamers about 3 years ago
Revenue
Trevor grew the business to $45K/month
Read by 1,311 founders

So... can you actually make money with a sell digital products?

Of course. There are millions to be made in this industry.

But how?

  1. Research real, profitable businesses and see exactly how much money they make.
  2. Study exactly what works, and what doesn’t.
  3. Take action, because now you have the roadmap.

Join Starter Story and build your next big thing:

Start Now

6. UrbanPLR ($144K/year)

Pankaj had recently been laid off from his job and was exploring options for generating passive income. During his search, he came across PLR Products, a website that enables resale of digital products that are pre-designed. Leveraging his WordPress web design expertise, he established his own business

How much they make: $144K/year
How much did it cost to start: $100
Current team size: 0

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How I Built A $120K/Year Digital Products Business With Just $100

Case study: Pankaj Singh turned a $100 investment into $125,000 within a year by building and launching two PLR membership sites, UrbanPLR and PLRLime outside of a hospital ICU during the COVID-19 pandemic, offering flexibility, scalability, and the potential for passive income in the digital product business.

About
Pankaj started UrbanPLR over 3 years ago
Revenue
Pankaj grew the business to $12K/month
Costs
It cost Pankaj $100 to start the business
Read by 1,941 founders