How Do I Sell Digital Downloads On My Website? (True Story)

This is the most perfect true story on this planet to teach you to sell digital downloads on the website to make money online in India.

The best part I am going to show you how I sold a simple digital download (excel calculator) and made some thousands with my website. 

In short: If you want to make money online on your own, you’re going to love this post.

Here is the proof,


Before we start, I assume that you have a basic knowledge of blogging. If not, no worries, please go through the blogging tips for the beginners before getting started. 

6 Effective Steps To Sell Digital Products Online


How to make money online by selling digital goods? 

Step #1: Identify a problem
Step #2: Build a product to solve the problem
Step#3: Setting up to sell online
Step #4: Keyword Research
Step #5: Pricing
Step #6: Marketing tips

Step #1: Identify A Problem

What made me build my own digital download on my website, an excel calculator? Here is why!

Take home salary, and Income Tax calculation has always been a headache every time I made a job hop in India.

Either HRs don’t express it, or I don’t get it. I still remember my first effort toward salary negotiation. I was fully prepared to face my salary negotiation interview, but one of the HRs tricked me.

“These are all fixed components, we can’t negotiate.”, HR said.

“Okay, show me the variable components,” I asked.

“Well, I’ll open the calculator to explain to you,” HR answered.

“Blah. Blah. Blah”, I still couldn’t understand his calculation.

“Alright, can you increase my Basic pay?” I asked.

“It’s fixed,” HR replied.

“So, does that mean that this CTC is non-negotiable?”, I asked again.

“No, it’s not like that, please wait outside, I will come up with what I can,” he replied with frustration on his face.

He made me wait an hour. I lost my patience.

(I’ve to leave in another 10 mins, I came during lunch hour.)

A junior HR came running to me asking for a signature, and I realized that nothing changed. She forced me to sign, I signed. I had no courage to fight or to lose as I was in a total hurry. I was offended, and I lost the battle.

Should I have denied the offer? Am I naive? Don’t I have negotiation skills? Am I not smart?

My inner voice started raising so many questions. With all those questions in mind, should I go on with life? Or, find a solution? Now, take a paper and write down the biggest problem you’re facing.

Step #2: Build A Product To Solve The Problem

“How many employees would’ve faced this problem? I should find a solution for this,” my inner voice said.

I collected the payslips of all the companies I worked for and tried to find the calculation behind. Only then I realized that HRs have a precise calculation, but they confuse us to negotiate on the salary.

Mind you, I’m not telling you that all HRs are bad, some are. Slowly things started to fall in place.

Fixed pay, variable pay, convenience fee, conveyance allowance I understood everything. I researched them as much as I could over the internet.

I handcrafted a draft excel calculator, and it was a very minimal version. “Proof of Concept,” people call it.

I sent to all my friends and got it verified. They all fell in love with my calculator. I also collected payslips from my friends and tested the excel calculator myself.

Now, the calculator is ready!


I google searched the list of solutions that other companies are currently offering, and how different they are from mine. They were similar but slightly different.

Online calculators were available but not downloadable. When I used one, I had a fear that my salary offer details may leak online.

There was a question of trust!

Whereas my calculator is downloadable, and there is 0% chance of salary offer details leak which is a huge benefit. Above all, no questions on the trust factor. No leak, guaranteed.

My gut instinct gave me a positive signal. Sometimes, intuition is the best decision maker. Agree?

Here is my complete blog post with my digital download excel calculator (I made it free now to those who provide E-mail and Phone numbers):

Now, write down the top 3 approaches you’re going to use to solve the problem. Use Intuition and Google search to write down solutions.

Is it going to be an art, ebook, photos, app?

Step #3: Setting Up To Sell Online

If you’re reading this, it means that you’re struggling to sell online. You tried but nothing seems to work. No worries, read on. So, how did I sell digital downloads on my website?

A simple google search revealed I could sell any digital files online. Mine is an Excel Calculator. All payment gateways opened an opportunity for selling products in 2015.

India was facing a digital wave during this time. Shopify, Gumroad, PayPal, and Instamojo were my best options.

Instamojo suited all my wants. As my calculator is applicable only to Indians, I decided to choose an Indian Payment Channel. No documents required if I make less than 10,000 INR a month.

Of course, I’m sure I won’t be able to make this money at least for the first 3 months. It seemed to be a beautiful arrangement.

And another beautiful thing is just your online digital goods store gets ready in 5 mins. Back then, setting up an e-commerce store and a payment channel was way more expensive than what it is now.

Now, you write down which site best suits you to open your online store: Gumroad, Shopify, PayPal or Instamojo?.

Step #4: Keyword Research

I never thought this exists on the planet. All I was doing was madly writing articles about my digital product (excel calculator) without even knowing whether people search for it or not. No traffic. No money.

Again, Google search, I realized SEO is the culprit. I took Darag Walsh’s digital marketing course in Udemy. One of the best courses I would recommend to anybody new to blogging or selling.

Keyword everywhere is the best plugin I still use to find the best keywords. I collected all the keywords people use on Google to find a solution to the same problem I faced. Darag introduced me to this plugin during his digital marketing course.

Here is a simple screenshot!

Cost Per Click (CPC) and Search volume gave me a good idea. Thought my keywords had only a search volume of 390/month, I decided to give a try.

To me, any traffic is good traffic. They’re real users, it’s in our hands to impress them. What say?

I have grabbed a few low competition keywords and LSI keywords and wrote a detailed post on my WordPress blog on how to use my calculator and to who all it suits and sprinkled these keywords into my blog post.

This is the nicest thing about having a blog, you can write a product review about your own product and make it sell online. Isn’t it SO nice???

Get introduced to the blogosphere, it’s a wonderful feeling!!! Next best tool is Ubersuggest.

Unlike Semrush and Ahrefs which allows the users to analyze just 1 website a day, Ubersuggest is free and perfectly suits beginners.

It tells whether the keyword is easy to rank and the chance of its ranking. 

Step #5: Pricing

I was skeptical, scared on this part. What if it doesn’t sell? What if it sells too much? What if it doesn’t suit anybody? What if my friends make fun of me? So many questions ran inside my mind.

But I made myself strong to face it. The world is full of criticism, one cannot escape it. I set a price of Rs. 100 as a start, it didn’t work. NO, it didn’t work.

Then I reduced the price to 50 INR, it worked. YES, I made my first sale in just 15 days. I was jumping in joy 🙂

My colleague asked, how much did you make? I said 50 INR. “It isn’t that much money,” she murmured.

But that didn’t disappoint me, yes I made the first sale on the digital downloads on my website. And yes, that’s a great achievement. Here is the first mail that delighted me.

Then I lessen the price further to 20 INR, no purchases. So per my trial and error, Rs. 50 is the standard price.

Pricing, if you ask me, it has to be set on Trial and Error method. At least, that’s what reality has taught me. Now, think how much would you pay for the product solution that you’ve in hand? Write it down.

Step #6: Marketing tips

Answer questions on Quora. Yes, it matters. Help people who’re struggling with problems, it gives that sense of positive vibes. Bringing smiles on people’s face is the best thing in this world, at least I believe so.

Like Chris Guillbeau said in his book $100 Startup when your passion converges with what others care about, a business is built.

Find questions on Quora using Google Search, and write honest answers, give them the link to your website.

Here is an example


Whopping 17 upvotes is a big thing, trust me!! Add FAQs using the questions from Quora.

All the questions below were well researched on Quora,– type in the topic on the Quora’s search bar– I’m sure Quora sprinkles thousands of suggestions.

Trust me, Quora is a gold mine. I copied the questions from Quora and answered them on my blog.

Next, respond to the comments on your blog, it really builds credibility. I received the following comment about my digital download (excel calculator).

This type of response gave immense space to think aloud and to make further improvements in the product.

Finally, don’t forget to broadcast on Social media. Whatever I write, I share on Facebook. Each like you get has a weight on the ranking, so go ahead and share, share, share.

Now, assuming that you’ve completed all 5 steps, write down your marketing plan. Answer 5 questions on Quora.

Final Thoughts

Problems are around you, spot them. It might have a million dollar opportunity hidden inside. Anything repeating is a problem, note it down. Find the best solution to the problem. You may not know, a million people may be suffering it.

See what others are offering around the world for the problem. Target their weaknesses. Face Criticism, we’re in the world of destructive criticism. Face and get used to it. We can’t escape this, I’m telling you.

Do your keyword research, it is essential. Use Keyword everywhere and Ubersuggest to plan your keyword strategy. Target keywords with search volume over 300/month.

Accept and respond to comments on your blog. This builds trust and credibility. Write honest answers on Quora. Help people! Now, share this article on Facebook and follow me on Quora.

Author Bio:

Prabha Balakrishnan is a Passionate home organizer, Voracious book reader, and an Optimist. She writes about her personal experiences about Job Search, Career Advice, Entrepreneurship, Money and Life on her blog

About The Author

12 thoughts on “How Do I Sell Digital Downloads On My Website? (True Story)”

  1. Hi Nirmala,
    Such a wonderful article that really is timely for me. I’m starting a new business and am working backwards. i.e. Finding my target audience, fulfilling their needs and building a website around that. I love to use Quora to ask questions because I will get stumped sometimes and there are always people there to help out.
    I did spend quite a lot of time to see what others are offering with the same product and decided to undercut them a little bit.
    Thanks so much for having me think!!!


  2. Thanks Nirmala…
    I also made income tax calculator in excel. I got enough visitors for this excel calculator.

    But I have given access to this calculator free. At that time I had not read this post.
    I will do it next time.
    Thanks again……

  3. Hi Nirmala,
    Selling something new always feared my. But your article brings me to hope. I must follow your steps. Thanks.

  4. Hey Nirmala, this article is very interesting and you’ve also suggested us some very good tools for keywords and competitor analysis.. Thanks a lot..keep going!!

  5. Hi… this article was very beneficial. Keyword research was a topic I was looking for. Thanks for sharing. Keep up the good work.

  6. Very useful tips and great idea to make some extra money from home..thank you and will follow up your blog in future!

  7. Hey Nirmala, very informative article and concise. It really opened my eyes. Keep it up dear, gonna promote this piece of article on my social media platforms. Kudos!

  8. I really like your wonderful post. I loved to read such kind of article,thanks for sharing this amazing post

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