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A 4-Step Checklist to Start Selling Products On Gumroad

How to sell digital products online in this fast-growing marketplace


If you want to make money with digital products online, Gumroad* is the place to be.

I’m sure you’ve heard about Gumroad. Although many competitors try to follow in Gumroad’s footsteps, names like Lemon Squeezy, Payhip, Flurly, or Sellfy, Gumroad has become the favorite free selling tool for many creators.

But what do you sell on Gumroad, and how do you do it? Let’s go over some tips that have helped me sell products and gain subscribers on Gumroad.


#1 Start free

To make money, the best option is to give something away for free first. While that sounds counterintuitive, it’s a general practice among leading content creators. Freebies gain people’s attention and convert possible customers into valuable subscribers and email list members.

What can you give away for free?

Good question. I am going to tell you.

I’ve created a freebie called Creators’ Toolbox. It’s a basic Notion template with a list of resources like tools, websites, apps, and services that are of interest to online writers. It’s a comprehensive collection that was easy to create.

Do this! Find something you use all the time or know a lot about and create a list of resources for it, like design resources. Collect and share all apps, tools, and services that fit design workflows. Or take YouTube resources and create a list of practical tools for new YouTubers.

Then, you give that list away for free on Gumroad. Market that list a little on social media, add it to your bios, write a Medium story about it, share it in all kinds of ways, and make sure that people know it’s a freebie.

That freebie will drive email members to your Gumroad account. Those subscribers are valuable because you can directly send them your next product which can be a free or paid one.


#2 Create a paid product

Step 2 is more difficult. To make money on Gumroad, you need a paid product. Well, that’s not completely true. I’ve made my first dollars on Gumroad with free products because I enabled the option “Let customers pay what they want”. That way, the product is free, but people can still donate a small amount if they wish. And quite a few did, to my surprise.

To make real money, though, you need paid products.

What can you sell?

That’s a tough one to answer.

One option is to gain insights from your freebie and built upon that with a paid tool. I, for example, built a writing system in Notion for online writers after creating the free Creators’ Toolbox. It fits together nicely.

Your freebie might lead to cool new ideas.

Another option is an ebook or collections of articles on a certain topic. If you write regularly like I do, you might already have enough content to create an ebook. Stitch together relevant articles in a niche that you know and publish this ebook on Gumroad. I’ve written an ebook about Medium.


#3 How to sell

Once you’ve created your paid product, it’s time to market and sell it. Here’s where your Gumroad email list — the one you’ve built with your freebie — comes in handy.

Offer your fresh product to your email list members first. On Gumroad, you can easily do that in the post section by selecting only customers of a specific product, in this case, your freebie.

The key: Give those email members early access and a discount on your paid product.

Bonus: Let those email members sign up as affiliates for your product. That way, they can share your paid product and receive a commission for each sale they initiate.


#4 After you sell

When you sell your first products, make sure to complete some additional steps through Gumroad workflows. Workflows are automated email sequences you can send after specific events and/or time frames, for example, 3 days after each sale.

1. Request a rating

Product ratings on Gumroad help a ton. First of all, ratings make your products available via Gumroad Discover, i.e., other people find your products easier.

Ratings also look good. If your product is rated 5 stars, other people are more likely to buy it.

2. Affiliates

As mentioned before, affiliates are a great way to connect with your customers to sell more products. Create a workflow for each sale of a paid product that offers customers the option to become an affiliate for your Gumroad products.

3. Feedback

This one is optional, but you could ask people for feedback. Testimonials are always great to add to product descriptions, for example.


The bottom line

Selling products online is easier than you think. Start with a free product to grow your email list and then sell. Remember to complete a few crucial steps after each sale, and your Gumroad store will hopefully grow automatically.

I’ve done this over the past 2 years with different product categories and couldn’t be happier about the results.

In addition, Gumroad* is useful for many other things, like creating newsletters and email automation, building a blog, or connecting a custom domain.

Try Gumroad*!

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