Selling digital downloads

Is there a good way to sell digital downloads with Ghost(Pro)? This seems like such an obvious thing surely it has been solved. Everything I can find is about WordPress plugins.

I don’t need frills, just a validated way of getting a user the document after a stripe purchase. Would appreciate any advice.

Thank you.

Recycling an email I just sent to a client last week:

You can set up Stripe digital products to display in Ghost, no problem. You could use a product card within Ghost and create a Stripe payments link on any page or post you’d like (which I could show you how to use if needed) or we could write some custom code that retrieves and displays all your Stripe items for sale and puts them on a page automatically.

The larger question is how to deliver the downloads. Here are some options:

  1. Manually send the user a link.

  2. Have Stripe display a download link after the user checks out. This is easy (done in Stripe when you set up the payment link), but some payments may fail later (especially debit cards) after you’ve already given the link. You’d use the same link for all users, so no restrictions on how many times a user can download.

  3. Use a company that handles digital downloads, specifically. Lemon Squeezy or Send Owl are two of the options. Or GumRoad, or… They provide access restrictions and have a nice user interface for setting them up. They’re not free, but they’re not horribly expensive, either, and they’re pretty easy to use. (Send Owl takes 5% of purchases plus $9/month. Lemon Squeezy takes 5% of purchases plus $0.50 per purchase.)

  4. Use Zapier to send the emails after Stripe payments complete. This would require a paid Zapier plan ($19/month) and some configuration of the Zap for each product you add, so that users get the right link for what they purchased.

My recommendation would be either #1 or #2. If you already have a paid Zapier account, then maybe #3 makes sense, but it’ll require you to edit your Zap each time you add a new product. I’m thinking you probably don’t want to do that., and I definitely wouldn’t sign up for a new paid account with Zapier instead of picking a digital downloads company instead.

1 Like

Thank you for the reply. Indeed, it’s the delivery part that is the catch. It sounds like one of the delivery platforms is probably the best choice. I’ll look into them.

1 Like

Yeah, I think so, too. There’s a lot of functionality there, and that 5% seems to include the payment processing fees. Sure, you can use Stripe for about 3% (but then you have to handle delivery), but I’m thinking another 2% is well worth it for the features. It’s probably worth it just for the cart abandonment features.

1 Like

I think you guys are trying to reinvent the wheel here.

There are tools that are specialized in selling digital downloads with automated payment reception and delivery. Like with Taplink, you just fill in the basic info about the downloads and attach the file you want to sell. Then choose how to receive payments (PayPal, Stripe, or whatever) and that’s it. Everything else is automated by the tool.

Yeah, you’ll have to pay for the subscription, but it’s like $6 per month (and there are promo codes all over the Internet.)

1 Like