how to create and sell digital downloads in 2024?

Step-by-step guide to create and sell digital planners in 2024!

Are you a creator looking to create and sell digital planners online? If so, you’ve come to the right place! Digital planners have gained immense popularity recently, offering a lucrative opportunity for those who want to tap into this trend. However, with the increasing competition, it’s essential to design a digital planner that stands out and meets the specific needs of your target audience. In this blog post, we will cover everything from understanding digital planners, their benefits, the step-by-step process of creating digital planners, effective selling strategies, and successful marketing techniques. By the end, you’ll have the knowledge and tools to create, sell, and market your own digital planner. Let’s get started by understanding what a digital planner is. 

Table of contents:

  1. What is a digital planner?
  2. Why should you create and sell digital planners?
  3. Inspiring Success Stories of Digital Planner Creators
  4. Steps to create and sell digital planners
  5. Conclusion

What is a digital planner?

A digital planner is a virtual version of a traditional paper planner that is designed to be used on electronic devices such as computers, tablets, or smartphones. Instead of physical pages, it consists of digital pages or templates that can be customized and filled with information, notes, schedules, and tasks. Digital planners offer the convenience of organization and productivity tools, usually including features like calendars, to-do lists, goal tracking, and reminders. Users can easily navigate, edit, and sync their digital planners across multiple devices, making it easy to access their schedules and stay organized on the go. Here are some reasons why users prefer using a digital planner over a traditional paper planner. 

Why should you create and sell digital planners?

Here are some compelling reasons why you should create and sell digital planners:

  1. Low Overhead Costs: Unlike physical planners, creating and selling digital planners significantly reduces production costs. With digital planners, there are no printing, shipping, or inventory expenses. Once you’ve designed your digital planner, it can be sold infinite times, allowing you to reach a mass market with minimal overhead costs.
  2. Accessibility and Convenience: The digital nature of these planners means they can be easily accessed and used across various devices – smartphones, tablets, and computers. This accessibility offers convenience, enabling users to carry their planners wherever they go and easily make updates and changes.
  3. Customization and Personalization: Digital planners provide users with endless customization options, allowing them to tailor the planner to their unique needs and preferences. By offering a variety of designs, layouts, and features, you can cater to a wide range of customers and create a personalized planning experience.
  4. Sustainability and Eco-Friendliness: In an era where sustainability is paramount, digital planners offer an eco-friendly alternative to traditional paper planners. By opting for digital formats, users are helping to reduce paper waste, making digital planners an environmentally conscious choice. This appeals to environmentally conscious consumers and aligns with the global push for sustainability.
  5. Global Reach and Scalability: Digital products are not bound by physical and logistical constraints Thus you are able to sell your digital planners worldwide with ease. Moreover, once you’ve created your digital planner templates, scaling your business becomes easier, as you can handle increased demand without worrying about inventory or manufacturing constraints.
  6. Passive Income Potential: Once you create and list your digital planner templates, they can generate passive income. As customers purchase and download your digital products, they receive immediate access to their purchase, freeing you from any ongoing fulfillment obligations. 

Now that we’ve explored the benefits of creating and selling digital planners, let’s look at success stories from creators who have achieved great results by selling digital planners.

Inspiring Success Stories of Digital Planner Creators:

1. Alice Lima

Alice Lima, a former architect, turned to digital planning after starting a family. She began creating digital planners for herself and eventually decided to share them with the world by opening a shop on Etsy. Her digital planners were a hit and have helped her generate a full-time income. Alice’s planners are designed to be functional, aesthetically pleasing, and easy to use. Her success story proves that anyone can turn a hobby into a viable business if they are passionate and committed to their craft.

2. Kayla

Kayla, the owner of Amma Rose Designs, achieved great success by selling digital planners on Etsy. In 2020, her Etsy shop received a total revenue of $93,534.21, making her one of the platform’s top sellers of digital planners.

Kayla’s success can be attributed to several factors, including her creativity, passion, and experience in the planner industry. When she first launched her Etsy shop selling printable business planners in August/September 2018, she only made $45 in her first month. However, by committing to a shop-building strategy and listening to her customers, Kayla made her first $1,000 in less than four months of selling planners on Etsy. She continued to sustain and increase her income long-term, becoming the top seller of planners on Etsy.

Kayla recommends investing in your business and putting in the work, even if it means sacrificing certain things. She emphasizes the need to stay up-to-date with industry trends and maintain a consistent brand image to build trust with customers. Overall, Kayla’s success story demonstrates that with dedication and a strong work ethic, it is possible to achieve significant income selling digital planners.  

Steps to create and sell digital planners:

Step 1: Market Research and Planning

One of the crucial initial steps in creating and selling digital planners is conducting thorough market research and careful planning. This step sets the foundation for a successful digital planner business. Let’s break it down into further details:

1. Conducting Market Research to Identify Target Audience

To begin, it’s essential to understand the market and identify your target audience. Conducting market research helps you gain insights into your consumer preferences, needs, and trends. One effective tool for market research is Google Trends, which provides valuable data on search interests and related topics. Additionally, social media listening tools like Hootsuite or Sprout Social can help you monitor conversations and gather feedback from potential customers.

2. Analyzing Competitors and Identifying Unique Selling Points

Next, it’s important to analyze your competitors and identify your unique selling points (USPs). Study other digital planners available in the market to understand what works well, what could be improved, and what sets your planner apart. Tools such as Semrush or SpyFu can assist in analyzing competitor SEO strategies and uncovering their marketing tactics. By discovering your USPs, you can differentiate yourself in the market.

3. Setting Goals for the Digital Planner Creation Process

Before diving into the creation process, it’s crucial to set clear goals. Determine what you aim to achieve with your digital planner, whether it’s a specific number of sales, target revenue, or expanding your customer base. Establishing measurable and realistic goals will help you stay focused and motivated throughout the creation journey. Trello or Asana can assist in setting and visualizing goals, as well as tracking progress along the way.

By dedicating time and effort to market research and planning, you lay a solid foundation for a successful digital planner business. Understand your target audience, learn from competitors, and establish clear goals to guide your creation process. In the next step let’s look at how you can go about designing a Digital planner. 

Step 2: Designing the digital Planner:

Once you have completed market research and planning, the next step in creating and selling your digital planner is the design process. This step involves determining the structure and format of the planner, choosing a theme or style, and selecting the right tools for design. Let’s dive into each aspect:

1. Determining the Structure and Format of the Planner

Start by deciding the structure and format of your digital planner. Consider whether you want it to be daily, weekly, monthly or a combination of these. Think about the needs and preferences of your target audience. Some individuals prefer a detailed daily planner while others may favor a broader monthly overview. Experiment with different layouts to find the one that resonates best with your audience.

2. Choosing a Theme or Style that Resonates with Your Target Audience

Selecting an appealing and engaging theme or style is important to attract your target audience. Consider the demographics and interests of your potential customers. Would they appreciate a minimalist design, a vibrant and colorful layout, or a theme tailored to a specific niche? Understanding your audience’s aesthetic preferences will help you create a visually appealing digital planner that resonates with them.

3. Selecting the Right Tools and Software for Design

Utilizing appropriate tools and software can streamline your design process. The choice of tools depends on your level of design expertise and the complexity of your digital planner. If you’re a beginner, user-friendly graphic design platforms like Canva offer a wide range of customizable templates and intuitive features. For more advanced users, software like the Adobe Creative Suite (including Photoshop, Illustrator, and InDesign) provides professional-grade design capabilities.

4. Adding Functional Elements to Your Digital Planner

Functional elements enhance user experience and helps make your planner more interactive, useful, and compatible with popular note-taking apps and devices. Consider incorporating hyperlinks, clickable tabs, or buttons that allow users to navigate easily within the planner. 

  • Interactive elements like dropdown menus, checkboxes, or even embedded videos can also provide a more dynamic user experience. Platforms like GoodNotes, Notability, or Noteshelf offer features specifically designed for interactive digital planning.
  • To cater to different user needs, integrate specific sections in your digital planner for goal-setting, habit tracking, and note-taking. Including sections dedicated to setting goals and tracking progress helps users stay focused and motivated. Habit tracking sections can be useful for individuals aiming to build or break habits. Finally, providing ample space for note-taking allows users to capture ideas, reflections, or important information. Designing these sections thoughtfully ensures your digital planner serves as a comprehensive organizational tool.
  • Ensure compatibility with popular note-taking apps and devices. This way, users can easily access and use your digital planner across various platforms. Consider optimizing your planner for apps like GoodNotes, Notability, Evernote, or OneNote. Additionally, make sure your planner is compatible with different devices, such as iPads, tablets, or smartphones. This flexibility allows users to seamlessly integrate your digital planner into their existing note-taking routines.

5. Personalization and Branding:

To establish a strong presence in the digital planner market, it’s important to focus on personalization and branding. These elements differentiate your planner from others and attract a wider audience. 

  • A cohesive visual identity is essential for your digital planner brand. It helps create recognition and builds trust among your target audience. Start by developing a brand style guide that encompasses consistent themes, colors, and visual elements. This guide will serve as a foundation for creating a cohesive and harmonious look throughout your planner.
  • Incorporating custom elements in your digital planner adds a personalized touch and enhances brand recognition. Design a distinctive logo that represents your brand’s identity and place it strategically within your planner. Select a color scheme that aligns with your brand values and resonates with your audience. Pick fonts that are easy to read and reflect the personality of your brand. These custom elements collectively contribute to creating a unique and memorable digital planner experience.
  • To attract a wider audience, consider offering options for personalization in your digital planner. Allow users to customize certain aspects such as color schemes, cover designs, or layout styles. Providing flexibility and choices not only adds value to your planner but also allows users to make it their own. This personal touch creates a sense of ownership and increases customer satisfaction and loyalty.

Step 3: Testing your digital planner:

Once you have designed your digital planner, it’s important to test it to ensure a seamless user experience. With proper testing and feedback, you can identify potential issues and refine your product for your audience. Testing with friends and family members can still provide valuable feedback to refine your product if you don’t have access to any of the tools mentioned below. Here are some key points to consider:

1. Conducting Usability Tests

Usability testing involves observing users as they interact with your digital planner to identify design flaws, functional issues, and areas for improvement. This type of test helps you assess the ease of use, efficiency, and user satisfaction of your planner. Consider using online testing platforms like UserTesting, UsabilityHub, or Userlytics to conduct remote testing. Alternatively, you can arrange in-person testing sessions with users in your local community. By understanding how your target audience interacts with your planner, you can refine it to meet their needs and expectations.

2. Gathering Feedback from a Focus Group or Beta Testers

Another effective way to test your digital planner is to gather feedback from a focus group or beta testers. This group can consist of family, friends, peers, and individuals from your target audience. Provide them with a prototype of your planner and ask them to use it and provide feedback. This feedback can include identifying confusing features, suggesting new features, or commenting on overall usability. Consider using feedback collection tools like Google Forms, SurveyMonkey, or Typeform to gather feedback. This feedback can help you identify areas for improvement and refine your planner to meet your audience’s needs.

3. Iterating on Design and Functionality Based on Feedback

After receiving feedback from usability testing and focus groups, it’s crucial to iterate on your digital planner’s design and functionality. Address any issues or suggestions to enhance user experience. Experiment with different layouts, designs, and functionality until you find the ideal balance between usability and user satisfaction. By iterating on design and functionality based on feedback, you’ll improve your digital planner’s chances of success in the market.

Step 4: Pricing and Marketing Your Digital Planner

Pricing and marketing are key components of selling your digital planner. While it’s important to determine a competitive yet profitable pricing strategy, it is equally important to develop a promotion plan that will reach your target audience. Here are some strategies to consider:

1. Determine a Competitive yet Profitable Pricing Strategy

When determining your pricing strategy, consider the value your digital planner provides compared to other similar products in the market. Research the pricing of similar products and identify the target audience’s willingness to pay for a product like yours. Keep in mind that the pricing should be affordable yet profitable enough to cover your costs and produce a profit. You can also experiment with different pricing tiers and options to attract a broader range of customers.

2. Develop a Marketing Plan to promote your Digital Planner

To promote your digital planner, develop a comprehensive marketing plan that includes a mix of online and offline tactics. Focus on your target audience’s interests and behaviors and consider the following:

  • Social Media: Leverage social media platforms like Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest to reach your target audience. Share updates, sneak peeks, and engaging content that highlights the benefits of using your planner.
  • Email Marketing: Build an email list and create engaging email newsletters that promote your digital planner. These newsletters can include discount codes, freebies, exclusive content, and updates on upcoming releases.

Step 5: Setting Up an Online Store: Selling Your Digital Planner

When it comes to selling your digital planner, there are two primary ways to market, that is via marketplaces like Etsy or platforms like CheckYa. Lets look at each one of them:

1. Selling on Marketplaces like Etsy

Etsy is a popular online marketplace for handmade, vintage, and unique products, including digital planners. Etsy offers sellers the following advantages:

  • A large existing customer base: Etsy has over 82 million active buyers, making it an attractive option for sellers who want to reach a vast audience.
  • Minimal setup required: Setting up an Etsy store is relatively straightforward and doesn’t require extensive customization. This simplifies the process of creating an online store, which can be useful for first-time sellers.
  • A pre-existing infrastructure: Etsy has an existing infrastructure for payment processing, shipping, and customer support, which can save sellers time and money.

2. Selling on CheckYa

CheckYa is a platform that makes it easy for creators to sell digital products directly through their own personalized storefront.  Not only does the CheckYa page double as a storefront, it doubles as a link in bio/profile page that you can post on your social media channels, including Instagram, TikTok, Facebook, and YouTube to sell directly to your followers. CheckYa offers sellers the following advantages:

  • Direct sales pipeline: With CheckYa, creators can sell directly to their followers wherever they are on social media, making the sales cycle simple and efficient.
  • Ease of payment processing: CheckYa supports a variety of payment methods, including credit cards, Apple Pay, Google Pay, and PayPal, making it easy for followers to make purchases.
  • Reduced overhead costs: CheckYa doesn’t charge any listing fees or monthly fees, which can be beneficial for sellers who want to keep their overhead costs low.

When deciding which approach is right for you, consider your target audience, budget, and sales goals. Ultimately, both options provide a convenient and cost-effective way for creators to sell digital planners and generate significant revenue.


In this blog, we’ve covered the key steps in creating and selling a digital planner, including pricing, marketing strategy, and setting up an online store. We hope this guide has provided the inspiration and information you need to get started on your digital planner business.Now that you have a better understanding of the process, we encourage you to start your digital planner business today! With the right approach, there’s a tremendous potential for success in the digital planner market, thanks to the increasing demand for flexible planning solutions in today’s market

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