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What is a digital download? (Definition and examples)

Learn what digital downloads are, the most popular types of digital downloads, and examples of digital downloads from real creators.

What is a digital download?

A digital download is a downloadable file. Creators sell digital downloads as digital products or offer them for free in exchange for a visitor's email address.

Selling digital downloads is a great way for creators to make money online. You can sell digital products from a marketplace like Etsy or Amazon, an ecommerce platform like Shopify, or your own website. 

Free digital downloads (also called lead magnets ) can also help you grow your email list. A potential customer gets a free, high-quality digital file, and you get their email address. (Win-win!) Once they subscribe to your email list, you can build a relationship and, later on, market your products or services to them.

Some of the most popular types of digital downloads include:

  • PDF files (Ebooks and guides)

  • Templates, presets, and fonts

  • Image files (Graphics, illustrations, icons, stock photos)

  • Video files (Video tutorials, webinar recordings

  • Audio files (Music, audiobooks, podcasts)

  • Printables (Calendars, cards, checklists)

  • Supplemental resources for online courses (Workbooks, worksheets, cheat sheets)

(ps: A creator platform like Podia makes it easy to sell digital downloads from your own website without writing any code — and you can sell your first digital download for free. Sign up for your free account now .) 

Digital download examples

Cultivating Confidence

Veronica Green is the founder of Cultivating Confidence , where she helps educators plan engaging activities, understand student behaviors, and build deeper connections through creativity and play. Veronica uses her experience as an early childhood consultant to create valuable online courses , workshops, and resources for fellow educators.

Veronica offers a digital download as a lead magnet on her website. The Loose Parts Guide is an in-depth resource for educators and caregivers to learn about loose parts play. The download includes inventory lists, printables, and a cheat sheet. Offering a free digital download lets Veronica introduce fellow educators to her work while growing her email list.

Learn more about Veronica's creator business and audience-building strategies .

Becky Mollenkamp

Becky Mollenkamp is a mindset coach who helps people make the shift from “small business owner” to CEO. Through her Gutsy Boss brand, she has helped thousands of clients define success on their terms.

Becky sells PDF workbooks — Gutsy Guides — that help tackle many of the common issues her audience encounter, like boundary-setting, making big asks, and overcoming imposter syndrome.

Read more about Becky's creator business, including how she matches potential clients with the right products .

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