It's perfectly possible to sell a digital product online without needing to create your own website.
For example, you could sell your ebook on Amazon, or Lulu.
If you're making an application, well there's the Apple App Store, and the Android store, or the Windows store that you can put your app up for sale in.
In short, there is no reason why you have to have your own website.
So why would you go to the extra trouble of creating a website for your digital product?
The main reason is control. With your own site, you are in control of everything. You get to choose the content, the layout, the styling, and the domain name. If you want to prompt visitors to sign up for a mailing list, you can. If you want to host lots of articles and sub-pages, you can.
On third party sites your product page can contain negative reviews, adverts for competitors products, and you are forced to work within the constraints that have been set for you.
With your own site, you’re not limited to just one page for your product. If you want to try out a few different “landing pages” for your product, each optimised for a different target audience, then you can.
Hosting your own site allows you full access to metrics and analytics. You can find out who is visiting your site and how they got there.
Hosting your own site allows you to add a blog, which is a great way to build up visitors over time, and get noticed by search engines.
And it doesn't have to be expensive. $10-$20 per month should do it, unless you become extremely popular (which should hopefully bring increased sales with it).
It also doesn't have to be complicated. I used to resist this advice, but I'm coming to think now that the most sensible option is to just use WordPress. Yes it may not be the latest and coolest technology, but it does pretty much everything you could need, and has a plugin for just about anything. You’ll easily be able to find some nice looking free or paid themes to give your site a distinctive look and feel. Building on WordPress allows you to spend time focusing on content, not on the mechanics of running a site. It even keeps itself automatically updated which I think is super-cool.
If I were building my Skype Voice Changer site again, I’d certainly use WordPress. It would be great to be able to write the occasional blog article on there to attract more traffic, or to organize the help better into a sub-page on each topic. With my current setup, it’s just too much hassle to make those kind of changes.
Do you agree? Have you successfully sold a product without having a website for it? Or have you created a website for a product and then decided it was a waste of time and money? I’d love to hear your feedback in the comments.