Creator tools

Gumroad Review: How to Make Money on Gumroad In 2023

Victoria Kurichenko

written by

Victoria Kurichenko

posted on

April 23, 2022

Content creators who want to make money online have many options to do it nowadays. 

Gumroad is one of them.

I self-published my first ebook on Gumroad and made two sales soon after. It was an unexpected yet desired and deserved reward. 

I am not the only creator who does it. Over 46,000 creators earned money on Gumroad in the past years, according to the Gumroad blog.

As a marketer and content creator, I see untapped opportunities on Gumroad for anyone who wants to join the content creators’ journey and make money online. 

This article is my in-depth and honest Gumroad review. 

If you want to better understand the platform, my Gumoad review will help you answer the most common questions.

Here is what this article covers:

What is Gumroad?

Gumroad is a self-publishing online digital marketplace where anyone can buy and sell products or services.

what is Gumroad?

According to Fastcompany, the platform idea came when Sahil Lavingia, the former Pinterest designer and Gumroad founder, wanted to sell his photorealistic icon. However, selling it directly to end consumers required considerable effort. 

When creative minds face problems that millions of people struggle with daily, brilliant products and services are born.

Sahil Lavingia built the first version of the Gumroad platform over a single weekend in 2011. Since then, it has grown to over 46,000 creators and earned $142 million in 2020, 94% up from 2019. 

Even though many consumers expect to pay zero for movies, ebooks or music nowadays, Sahil believes Gumroad, as a digital marketplace, can transform people’s mindsets and help creators’ economy thrive.

According to Sahil Lavingia:

Sahil Lavingia quote

Indeed, content creators are not charity organizations. 

It takes time, energy, and effort to create something that will help others learn new things, gain new skills, and solve their problems. 

If content creators get rewarded for their work, they’ll spend more time creating bigger value for people. 

That’s what Gumroad helps creators do. 

If you have ideas, don’t be shy to share them with the world. You can start selling on Gumrod by following this link.

How Gumroad works

Gumroad’s slogan is “Go from 0 to $1.”

In other words, its main goal is to help you make your first sale on Gumroad. 

You don’t need to be an English native speaker, have years of professional experience, and possess persuasive skills to sell on Gumroad. 

Gumroad is easy to start with.

Here is how it works. 

1. Set up a profile on Gumroad

It takes a few minutes to set up an account on Gumroad. 

You are only required to do three things to get started: (1) upload your photo, (2) write your bio, and (3) indicate your user name.

Once you are done, your profile will be available under the following URL:

Here is what my Gumroad profile looks like:

My profile on Gumroad

Notice that the Gumroad profile is super clean.

As a user, you can only see my name, bio, the book I sell on Gumroad, and a subscribe button.

It’s safe to purchase and sell via Gumroad. However, don’t rush to start selling just yet. 

There are a few more things you’ll have to do.

2. Fill out the “Local” and “Gumroad Discover” settings

Gumroad needs this information to accurately display time, language, currency, and recommend your product in its Gumroad Discover network (more on it later in this article). 

Therefore, spend a few minutes filling out the settings. 

By default, all prices are displayed in USD. However, 18 more currencies are supported, including GBP, EUR, Yen, and Rupees. 

Gumroad states that all sales will be made in dollars and later converted into your preferred currency, using their up-to-date exchange rate. 

I recommend setting prices in USD to avoid conversion fees. You will later get a payout to PayPal, from where it can be sent out to your local bank account.

how Gumroad works

3. Fill out payment information

Gumroad uses PayPal to send payouts to content creators. Therefore, you’ll have to fill out the required personal information and provide your PayPal email. 

Once your PayPal account is connected, you can get Gumroad payouts.

Gumroad payout paypal

You are set for success now!

However, there are a few more things that I want to share as a part of my Gumroad review.

Besides selling on Gumroad, you can publish blog posts and grow your email list. 

On your Post dashboard, you can publish your updates and share them with your customers, followers, or all Gumroad users. 

This way, you can keep in touch with your audience, share updates and build relationships with them. Pretty smart solution, right? 

What’s even better, this functionality is free.

Gumroad new post

Gumroad sends “happy” emails whenever you make a new sale. 

Sales analytics is available in your account, where you can see how many sales you did, how much you earned, and where your customers are from.

Gumroad analytics

Besides, Gumroad lets you see your customers’ email addresses and names. 

It’s a great feature that lets you send your customers personalized “thank you” messages.

Even if you don’t have time to actively promote your products and services, you can still make money on Gumroad. 

My screenshot above shows that one of the top traffic referrers is “Direct, email IM.”  Gumroad promotes my ebooks via its channels, helping me make money from sales. 

I’ll share my Gumroad free hack, steps, and tips later in this Gumroad review. However, it’s possible to make passive sales without being too active on the platform. 

If you are still unsure whether Gumroad is legit, here are a few facts to know. 

Is Gumroad safe?

Gumroad has been working since 2011 and received over $1.1 million in investment in 2012, some people are still unsure how safe Gumroad is. 

In April 2022, I self-published my first digital product on Gumroad with zero expectations. Yet, I’ve made two sales within a few weeks without actively promoting my product.

As an individual creator, I believe Gumroad is safe to buy from and sell online. 

I’ll list a few more facts that will hopefully help you make your own opinion about Gumroad:

  • According to Wikipedia, famous musicians made sales on Gumoad, like Eminem, Bon Jovi, David Banner, and many others.
  • Gumroad revenue increased by 94% in 2020 compared to 2019. 
  • 46,000 creators made money on Gumroad in 2020, including 8 who made over $1,000,000.

Impressive, isn’t it?

I’ve also found a tweet from a founder that dates back to 2018. Sahil Lavingia shares that Gumroads’ GMV (gross merchandise volume) was $4.2 million in April 2018. 

Gumroad Sahil Lavingia tweet

We know that this number grew to $142 million in 2020. It’s over a 3,380% increase in just two years!

Perhaps, the pandemic helped the business scale up. However,  I should not justify Gumroad success by crediting the pandemic. 

Nowadays, Gumroad is a legit platform that helps beginner and experienced content creators make money online. 

The entry barrier is zero. That’s what I like about Gumroad.

How to sell ebooks on Gumroad — my case study

I joined Gumroad in April 2022 because many Medium writers shared their positive experiences with the platform. 

As a top writer on Medium, I stumbled upon many Gumroad success stories. “Why not?” — I thought.

A few days after, I was already registered on Gumroad, exploring its functionality. 

Gumroad has many features and might seem complicated at first glance. However, it’s a simple tool if you take a closer look.

My initial goal was to sell a digital product on Gumroad, see how it works and analyze whether I could make passive income from sales. 

The next question was, “What to sell?” 

Creating a product that no one needs won’t help make online sales. Therefore, I was looking for a proven-to-wok idea.

As a content writer, I have over 200 blog posts published on Medium. It’s one of the first writing side hustles I discovered. 

Some of my Medium posts get thousands of monthly views and dozens of comments. This is how I learn what my readers are interested in and relate to.

This Medium article did exceptionally well and got many positive comments from my fellow readers.

My Gumroad case study

As a marketer, I decided to create a newbie guide on how to write well-performing blog posts.

It took me a week to create an in-depth SEO writing guide, find studies to cite, brainstorm what content to include, and collect data to write a real-life case study.

I wrote the ebook in Google Docs and created visuals in Canva.

As a next step, I wrote a compelling sales copy for the Gumroad selling page, trying to be specific and descriptive.

People trust people.

Therefore, testimonials are essential. I shared my book with a few friends who gladly wrote a few nice words about the book. 

With Gumroad, you don’t need to have a personal website. Instead, you can publish a sales page in a few minutes and make it available worldwide.

Here is what the Gumroad product page editor looks like:

Gumroad product page editor

You can customize the headline, write a compelling description, indicate pricing, display the product rating, publicly share how many sales you did and let customers choose a quantity.

The functionality is broad, and that’s one more advantage of Gumroad. 

The header image should be 1280x720px. You can upload several header images, which lets you share additional info about your product right on the top of your page. 

For instance, it can be a table of content, book preview, user testimonials, etc.

The square-shaped thumbnail image should be at least 600x600px and in JPG, PNG, or GIF format.

I self-published my ebook on Gumroad on April 6th, 2022.  A few days after, I made my first sales and received Gumroad payouts.  

Gumroad has a simple analytics dashboard to help you track your sales. 

My ebook sales on Gumroad

I promoted my ebook on Twitter, on Quora, and in my Medium posts. Since I have over 250 published blog posts, getting my readers to learn about the ebook seemed like a good idea. 

Here is a call-to-action I’ve been using on Medium to promote my ebook:

Grab my guide to learn how I create blog posts that hit the Google front page. You can easily replicate my 3-step process even if you are just starting.”

This CTA helped me drive over 150 people to my Gumroad product page in the first weeks. This number grows daily! 

As a marketer and content creator, I am happy with Gumroad, which lets me make sales even when I sleep.

I should admit that big sales are most likely impossible without heavy promotion. Like other creators, I’ll have to manually put my product in front of my target audience.

The good news is that Gumroad works!

If you want to make money selling your products and services online, Gumroad can be a great starting point.  

Gumroad FAQ

Gumroad Pricing: how much does Gumroad take?

Gumroad is free to use. 

There is no monthly fee or hidden charges. Instead, Gumroad makes money when you sell products or services online. 

For instance, I sell ebooks on Gumroad for $29.99. The Gumroad fee is $2.99 for every sale I make, which is 10% of the sale.

It might not be the cheapest, but definitely one of the easiest platforms to start selling your products and services online fast. 

What is Gumroad Discover?

Gumroad Discover is a so-called marketplace where you can check available offers from other creators.

Once you publish your first digital product, it will also be available there.

Besides, Gumroad Discover recommends your products to prospective customers, helping you grow faster and find more people who care about your work.

Here is what Gumroad Discover looks like:

Gumroad discover

You can use the search bar at the top of the page if you have anything particular in mind.

Colorful cards below the search bar are categories. As a creator, you can add your product to up to five different categories. 

As of April 2022, there are 18 product and service categories on Gumroad:

  • Animation
  • Apps & Software
  • Book & Writing, 
  • Comedy
  • Comics
  • Crafts & DIY
  • Dance & Theater
  • Design & Tech products
  • Drawing & Painting
  • Education
  • Film & Video
  • Food & Cooking
  • Games
  • Merch & Goods
  • Music & Sound Design
  • Photo & Filters 
  • Podcasts & Audio Books
  • Sports

What is a Gumroad Affiliate?

Gumroad Affiliate is not a conventional affiliate program.

You won’t earn a commission if someone signs up and starts using Gumroad following your recommendation.

Instead, Gumroad encourages its creators to collaborate and promote different offers to their audience. 

Your affiliate will then earn a commission on every customer they refer.

For example, this is my Gumroad affiliates dashboard.

Gumroad affiliates

I can manually add affiliates using the “Add affiliate” button in the top right corner. Or Gumroad creators can apply to become my affiliates by following this link.

As an ebook creator, I can indicate the affiliate fee and the destination URL. Every affiliate will get its unique URL, which will help track sales and assign commissions. 

What’s your Gumroad review? Have you tried the platform yourself? 

Feel free to share your experience in the comments below.

Grab my guide to learn how you can make your first $3,000+ from selling ebooks on Gumroad.

Victoria Kurichenko

Hello there! 

My name is Victoria.
I am an SEO expert, Medium top writer, solopreneur, and the founder of Self Made Millennials. I help companies create optimized content and attract potential customers through organic search results. In addition, I share how content creators can monetize their writing skills.

Grab my Gumroad guide
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9 Responses

  1. Thank you so much, Victoria. This is an in-depth review of gumroad that really answers all my questions and doubts about it. I see readers commending you about your website. It is indeed lovely! My Question is simple: can you be successful on gumroad and medium without having your own website?

    1. Hi Michael,

      Thank you for reading my article and for your question!
      You definitely can be successful without having a website. In fact, many content creators monetize their efforts via an email list, which they build with the help of social media.

  2. Really enjoyed reading this Victoria. Very thorough and you’ve clearly explained the entire process of selling digital products on Gumroad.

    A very important point to remember is that your medium reach contributed a lot to the sales, as I noticed on the traffic analytics. in short, there should be a preferably organic traffic source that contributes to getting sales isn’t it?
    But truly appreciate the clarity you’ve offered, and will surely use it to my advantage. and yes, you do have an awesome website here! Good job on it!

  3. Hi Victoria! This is an incredibly well-written post about Gumroad, which I am using as well to sell my products and services. By the way, the design of your website is super easy to navigate! Well done 🙂

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