This is something that each designer asks or should ask himself at some point in his career! Why? Because, beside the fact that selling your digital work would make you earn some extra money, you would also bring value to the design community. Design resources are a must in a designer’s toolbox, because without it we may not be able to finish a project, or at least not within a deadline. They are extremely time saving assets, saving us from a lot of extra work. Beside that, with the help of graphic design resources like mockups and templates, you can create presentations that will instantly impress your clients!
If you’re asking yourself “What falls into design resources category?“, the answer is: everything you’re using on a design project! From the fonts you’re using, to patterns, shapes, templates, mockups, vectors, icons, brushes, basically all elements needed to design something can be fit in this category! Everything that helps a designer bring value to his projects can be considered a resource and it can be sold!
But the big question is: where can you sell your digital work? That’s what I want to answer in this article, based on my experience and where I have sold my digital work.
This are the best sites that I have found and used for selling my digital work: Creative Market, FontBundles and DesignBundles, The Hungry JPEG, Graphic River, Sellfy and Gumroad. You can also create a shop on your own website, and we’re gonna talk a bit about that as well. I am not using a shop on my website and I don’t plan to use it any time soon because it’s a bit complicated and not really worth it right now, but maybe in the future.
I’m also going to talk about each site below, so keep reading to find out more about it.
Before going on with details about the sites, you must know that most of the sites get a certain percentage of commission from each of your sales. That is completely fine and you can consider that percentage as a payment for them hosting your shop and for the exposure you’ll get using their site. Commission percentage will be stated for each site, just so you’ll know. Now lets continue with our article.
I am going to start with Creative Market, as this one’s my favorite so far!
What I like most about it is that they have lots of articles that can help and guide you in getting the most out of your products. They have tips and tricks, tutorials, case studies, designer success stories and more stuff that will teach you how to sell your digital work.
Another cool thing that they have is that all of the products that you submit are instantly accepted. On many shops you have to submit your products and then wait a period of time, sometimes a bit too long, until someone approves your product, that if they approve it. Here you won’t have to face the frustration of waiting to see if your product will be accepted or not, all you have to do is post it and start selling it.
The site has a network of over 2 million members to which you can sell your digital products, and is constantly growing.
Another great benefit of this site is that they have no exclusivity lock-in, which means that you can sell the same products on other sites as well. Many sites like this one have exclusivity rules, which means that if you want a better commission from each sale, then you will have to sell products exclusively with them. I am not a fan of that, because I think it’s better if you sell your products on multiple sites, getting more exposure than you will get from one site only.
You can submit products to be offered for free for a week, so your shop could get more exposure!
Creative Market uses a basic commission of just 30% per each sale, which means that you will get 70% of each sale you make. That’s a great commission, given the fact that you are not bound to sell your products on their site only!
A couple of articles to get you started
These are just a couple of articles that I think it will help you set up your shop, create your first product and start selling!
FontBundles & DesignBundles
The next recommendations are actually 2 sites, one destined to fonts and one with other design resources.
These are rather new sites, started at the end of 2015, but they are already quite popular. Most of its popularity comes because of the great bundles they offer, for both fonts and other graphics.
The sites have are connected to each other, so even thought there are two, you will have only one store admin panel that will have all of your products there. Your shop will be available on both sites, featuring all of the products you have on their network. See example: FontBundles Store – DesignBundles Store
Each product you upload will be submitted for approval. It usually takes a couple of days until your product is accepted or rejected.
No exclusivity policies, which means you can sell you work on other sites as well.
A great feature from this site is that you can submit your products to be taken in consideration for future bundle. If one of your products is selected, you will earn a small amount of money from each sale, but your work will also get some great exposure.
You can also select your products to be considered as the freebie of the week, also getting you exposure!
This network works with a 25% base commission per sale, meaning you get 75% per sale. But if your product will be sold by an affiliate, then another 25% commission will be taken from your price and delivered to the affiliate that sold it, meaning you’ll get 50% for that sale.
They also have a tutorials section on their website that is called “Design School“, where you can learn some great things!
The Hungry JPEG
The Hungry JPEG is a site that I discovered and started selling my digital work on it just about a month ago. This one’s pretty similar to FontBundles and DesignBundles by the fact that they also create a bunch of great bundles at great prices.
The same as on Creative Market, on THJPEG you can upload products at any time and then start selling it immediately, without going through the approval phase.
They work with a no exclusivity policy, the same as Font Bundles, Design Bundles and Creative Market.
THJPEG works with a 30% commission, meaning that you’ll get 70% for each product you sell.
One of the oldest online design marketplace is Graphic River, which is part of the envato market, selling mainly anything digital.
This one is a bit more stricter than the rest of the other ones and a bit harder to sell your work here.
All of the products that you submit go to an approval phase, which can take up to 2 weeks until it’s approved or rejected.
Products must follow a certain guideline and presentations must have certain dimensions.
Like I said, its a bit more strict and harder to get your products approved. But once you get familiar with their guidelines, it will get easier to meet their expectations and get your products on the site.
Graphic River works with 2 types of commissions: exclusive authors and non-exclusive authors.
For exclusive authors they have commissions between 12.5%-37.5%, depending on how much you sell. Starting with 37.5% and going lower as your sales increase. But when you become an exclusive author then the products you sell on GR, you won’t be able to sell on other sites.
For non-exclusive authors they have a 55% commission, which means you get 45% of each sale, but you’ll be able to sell your products on other sites as well.
Sellfy is a bit different than all of the above stores. They offer a lot of great options and it comes with a possibility to upgrade to PRO to get even more stuff!
If you’re looking to build a digital store, then this one is a great site to use to create it!
They offer all of the main things a store should have, like: store page, product page and it’s optimized for mobile devices.
For the FREE account you can upload up to 5 products, for the PRO account you can upload unlimited products.
They have a great analytics tool that shows you the number of visits and sales, as well as traffic sources and traffic locations.
Another great tool is the ability to create discount codes as well as social discount codes (clients get a discount for sharing your product on twitter or facebook).
Upload products with “Pay what you want” price, meaning that clients can pay as much as they want for your product. You can place a minimum amount for it.
You can upload Free Products and have a great chance to get featured in their weekly newsletter.
Get paid instantly via Paypal by setting up your account.
Send professionally looking invoices with all the tax info your clients need and comply with the new EU VAT rules.
Payments is 4 currencies for free accounts and 21 additional currencies for PRO accounts.
For each sale you make, even if its for a free product or a paid one, each client’s email is saved in your account, building you an e-mail marketing list. You can use it to send offers to all of your customers, but only if you have a PRO account.
These are just a couple of the great features Sellfy offers, and you have even more to discover!
They have a 5% transaction fee for free accounts, and 2% transaction fee for PRO account.
This one I recently discovered and I haven’t uploaded my products to it yet. But I did create an account on it and browsed it a bit to see what it offers. From what I’ve seen, Gumroad is pretty similar to Sellfy, and here’s a couple of the features that it offers!
Build your audience with their extended features of building email lists. You can also import email lists, if you have any.
If you need any help, they give 30-days audience building challenges and 10-day product lunch program.
Discount codes, Pay What You Want feature and sell in different currencies.
Create a membership based store, allowing customer to access your goods as long as they are subscribed.
Create monthly or yearly subscription options, getting paid upfront for future products.
These are just a couple of the features that it offers, but you can find more on their website.
They work with a 3.5% commission + 30¢ per sale.Start Selling!
Sell on your own website
The last option is to sell digital products on your own site. You can do it, but it’s quite a challenge as you have to set up the shop and build a pretty strong marketing plan. It’s doable, but I don’t recommend it in the beginning.
The benefits of selling your work on your own website is that you’ll get 100% of each sale, because you won’t have to pay any website a commission for hosting your shop.
If you are interested in selling your stuff directly on your website, just google how to open a digital store or something similar, and you’ll find lots of options. Probably the most used and recommended would be to use a WordPress plugin called Woo Commerce with your site.
Final thoughts and recommendations
Now that we have talked about where you can sell your digital work, what’s the next step?
The next step is to try out what works for you! Try all of the above options and see which one works the best for you and your products.
What I recommend is to start with Creative Market, because they have lots of articles to help you getting started. Open your shop there, read the recommended articles and start creating your products. Once you’re settled and already have a couple of products, that means that you’ve gotten used to it and you’re ready to expand.
Now start signing up on the rest of the website, one by one, and upload your Creative Market products on each site, by just using the same images and descriptions.
ADVICE: Use the same prices on all of the websites! It will be unprofessional to have different prices for each site, unless you’re offering a discount on one of the site, and the new and old price are clearly shown!
And that’s it! Now you’re an online entrepreneur, you have your own shops, you are selling your digital work online and making some extra money!