How To Sell Sound Effects Online (2024 Guide)

How To Sell Sound Effects Online

Want to learn how to sell sound effects online? We’ve got you covered.

Selling sound effects can be a great way to earn some extra money on the side, especially if you’re a talented musician or audio producer.

In this post, we’ll show you how to get started.

First, we’ll share a step-by-step process you can follow to create sound effects that customers will want. 

Then, we’ll show you how to sell them on your own website and through online marketplaces. 

But first…

Why sell sound effects online?

Here’s why sound effects are one of the best digital products you can sell right now:

  • They’re easy to make. Compared to making music, creating sound effects is a cinch. It only takes a few seconds to record sounds, and you don’t need to be an audio engineer or musician to do it—it’s open to beginners. 
  • They’re easy to sell. It’s pretty easy to find buyers for your sound effects on marketplaces and stock audio sites as they come with a huge built-in customer base. Likewise, you can easily market sound effects you sell through your own website. And fulfillment is as easy as giving your customers a download link.
  • They’re in high demand. Demand for sound effects has never been higher than it is today. We live in an increasingly media-intensive world, and there are millions of content creators out there in need of quality sound effects for their projects.
  • They can provide passive income. Once you’ve created a sound effect, you can sell licenses that grant customers non-exclusive rights to use it over and over again, as many times as you want. That means just one sound effect can provide a lifetime over passive income for little to no effort. 

How to create sound effects that will sell

If you want to create sound effects that are marketable, it’s important to go in with a plan. Here’s a step-by-step guide to help you get started.

Choose a target market

The first step is to decide who your buyers are.

There are lots of people out there who need sound effects, but you should be focusing on a specific target market.

That might be content creators like YouTubers, TikTokers, streamers, etc. It might be Indie game developers. It might be music producers, podcasters, movie studios, producers/directors, radio DJs, etc.

The target market you choose will determine what kind of sound effects you’ll be making, and how you format them. For example, indie devs typically need very different sound effects than radio DJs.

I’d recommend focusing on the target market you’re most familiar with. For example, if you’re a musician, you might want to make sound effects for music producers and audio engineers as you’re more likely to know what these buyers want compared to other markets.

Start with a specific theme/category

Sound effects can be anything: The crash of lightning, footsteps on snow, running water, a dog barking, a glass smashing… the list goes on.

However, it’s not a good idea to just throw a bunch of random sound effects together willy-nilly. 

Rather, you should create a cohesive group of sound effects for a specific use case or category. That’s because buyers tend to look for sound packs that include multiple effects that are a good fit for whatever project they’re working on

So, think about what the running theme behind your sound effect pack will be, and try to be as specific as possible.

For example, it could be sound effects for an MMORPG game or sound effects for sword fights in a fantasy movie.

A good place to start is to think about what kind of creative projects your target market might be working on, and what kind of sound effects they might need for those projects.

Brainstorm some ideas for sounds

Once you’ve chosen a theme for your sound pack, it’s time to start brainstorming some specific ideas for individual sound effects.

For example, let’s say you’ve chosen to make a library of sound effects for Western movies. In that case, you might jot down some ideas for sounds, like:

  • Whip crack
  • Wind blowing
  • Yeehaw
  • Saloon piano
  • Horse hooves
  • Gun holster

You get the idea.

It’s helpful to look at stock audio sites while you’re brainstorming for inspiration—but make sure you also think about how you can make your sound effects stand out from the competition.

You can also try doing some keyword research to find out what your target buyers might search for.

Get the right equipment

Generally speaking, there are two ways to create sound effects:

  1. You can record the sounds yourself (then edit/mix/add effects to transform them)
  2. You can synthesize sounds from nothing

If you plan to record sounds yourself, the only essential is a recording device. In a pinch, you could use something as basic as a smartphone for this. 

But ideally, I’d recommend getting your hands on a good field recorder like the Zoom H8. These are professional audio recording devices that can record sounds outdoors (i.e. in the field). You can use the built-in mic or plug in an external shotgun mic if you’d prefer

If you want to synthesize sounds from scratch, you’ll need suitable software/plugins. This will depend on your niche. For example, miniBit is an 8-bit/chiptune synth plugin that’s great for making sound effects for retro games. And Korotos has lots of plugins for all sorts of sounds.

Record your sound effects

Next, you’re going to need to record your sound effects using whatever equipment you have.

There’s no ‘right’ way to do this, and I can’t give you any guidance for specific sound effects—that’s outside the scope of this article. However, here are a few general recording tips:

  • Try to remove ambient noise (unless it’s part of the SFX you’re aiming for) by recording in a quiet place.
  • Get creative—you can make all sorts of sound effects using different objects, instruments, and materials.
  • If recording your own voice, position your mic slightly off to the side around 6-12 inches from your mouth to minimize unwanted breathing sounds.
  • Always do a sound check before you start recording to make sure everything’s working as expected

Edit your sound effects

Once you’ve recorded your sound effects, you’ll want to edit them. 

And for that, you’ll need a DAW (Digital Audio Workstation). For Mac users, I’d recommend Logic Pro. For PC, Ableton Live or Reaper are solid options.

01 Edit your sound effects - Logic Pro

Your DAW is your audio editing software. Most DAWs will come with a bunch of effects plugins that you can use to take your recorded sounds and change them. This is where the magic happens.

The three most important types of effects are EQ (Equalisation), Compression, and Saturation. Again, explaining how to use effects to edit sounds in a DAW is outside the scope of this article, but if you watch some tutorials, you should be able to get the hang of it and produce the SFX you’re aiming for.

Format your sound effects

The last step is to prepare the sound effects you’ve just created for sale, which means saving them in a suitable file format.

Again, there’s no definitive ‘right’ format as it’ll depend on factors like your target buyers and the sites you plan to sell them on.

For example, game devs often want 24-bit sound effects, 48 kHz. Whereas, sound designers typically prefer higher quality: 32-bit, 96 kHz.

In general, I’d recommend using the specs below as this is the minimum required to sell on many marketplaces/audio stock sites.

  • File format: MP3 or WAV
  • Duration: 5 seconds+
  • Sample rate: 16-bit, 44.1 kHz
  • Bitrate: 320 kbps

Name your sound effects appropriately

It’s crucial to change the name of all your audio tracks to something suitable. Not only will this help to clearly communicate what the sound effect is to your target customers, but it’ll also help with SEO.

One way to go about this is to use Universal Category System (UCS) naming conventions.

02 Format your sound effects - UCS

It’s a methodology for naming sound libraries that involves bucketing all sound effects into a set of fixed categories (e.g. alarms) and subcategories (e.g. bell, buzzer, etc.)

Another option is to do some keyword research to figure out what your target customers would most likely search for if they were looking for a sound effect like yours, and then use that as the name.

You’ll also need to add other meta-data, like the sample rate, bit depth, and format. And don’t forget to prepare a short description that tells customers what the sound effect is to add to your listing.

Prepare your promotional materials

The last step is to get all the materials ready that you’ll use to promote your sound effects in your online store/marketplace listings.

There are three things to prepare:

  • Cover art. This is the image that’ll show up next to your product listing when you’re selling audio files online. It should communicate what the effect is and grab the customer’s attention. You can create it yourself using design tools like Canva or Illustrator.
  • Audio preview. If you’re selling a bundle of sound effects in one pack, buyers need to be able to hear a snippet of what’s inside so they know what they’re getting, so prepare a demo track. You can use audio watermarks to protect them from copyright theft.
  • Asset list. Again, this only applies if you’re selling a bundle of sound effects. If you are, your asset list is there to give buyers a running list of all the filenames and descriptions of each sound effect inside.

Once you have all the above, you’re ready to list your sound effects for sale. Read on and we’ll show you how.

How to sell sound effects on your website

It’s much better to sell sound effects through your own online store than through third-party marketplaces because that way, you keep all your profits, and you have complete control over pricing and website design.

You can build your sound effect store with Sellfy in minutes.

03 How to sell sound effects on your website - Sellfy

All you have to do is sign up for one of Sellfy’s affordable monthly subscription plans. Then, log into your dashboard and go to Products > Digital product.

04 How to sell sound effects on your website - Digital product

Here, you can upload each sound effect as an individual audio file and charge for them separately. Or alternatively, you could bundle them up into sound packs and sell multiple effects for a higher price. Aside from sound effects, you can also sell other digital audio files, as well as physical products and more.

Sellfy even supports subscriptions. So if you wanted, you could create a gated sound library with dozens or hundreds of sound effects, and then monthly subscription memberships that provide access to that library. This is a great way to earn recurring revenue.

It also comes with a bunch of marketing and sales tools to help you improve your store conversions and sell more products.

Bonus tip: You can drive traffic to your online store by making sure it’s optimized for SEO. It’s also worth considering other marketing channels like social media, paid ads, and email marketing.

How to sell sound effects on marketplaces

Nothing beats selling sound effects through your own website.

However, there’s no reason you can’t list them for sale on online marketplaces too. That way, you’ll reach even more customers.

With that in mind, here are the best stock sites to sell sound effects online.

Audio Jungle

Audio Jungle is an online marketplace under the Envato umbrella. It has hundreds of thousands of sound effects on it, so it’s pretty competitive, but it also has a huge customer base with millions of shoppers. So if you can create something that stands out from the competition, you can make a lot of sales.

To get started on Audio Jungle, you need to sign up as an Envato Author. Non-exclusive Authors take home 45% of the item price for every sale, and the rest goes to Envato. Exclusive Authors take home between 62.5% to 87.5%.

Unreal Engine Marketplace & Unity Asset Store

These are two different marketplaces, but I’ve combined them into one as they both cater to the same target customers: game developers.

If you’ve made sound effects to be used in games, it’s a must to list them on both Unreal’s marketplace & Unity’s asset store as these are where indie devs often go to get assets. 


Sonniss is a royalty-free sound effect library that caters to industry professionals. It’s a good place to sell your stuff if your target market is sound designers and audio engineers.

Sonniss charges a 40% commission so you’ll keep 60% of your revenue, and you also retain full ownership of your sounds. You also get to set your own prices, which is cool. And because Sonniss caters to the high-end of the market, prices can range from $10 bucks all the way up to $1000.

You can apply to become a vendor by filling out a short form, and it can take up to 48 hours for approval.


SoundSnap is one of the biggest and most popular stock sound effect libraries. It features thousands of sounds in pretty much every niche and caters to a wide variety of markets from content creators to professional audio engineers.

They don’t publicly state their royalty/payout structure, but they invite professional contributors with sounds they’re interested in licensing to contact

Envato Elements

Envato Elements is another platform under the Envato umbrella (like Audio Jungle). However, the difference is that on Envato Elements, customers can buy one monthly subscription to download and use as many sound effects (and other creative assets) as they want.

They use a subscriber share model to allocate earnings to Authors. It’s a little complicated, but you’ll basically be paid up to 50% of the subscription revenue for each subscriber that downloads your sound effects in a given month, but you’ll share that with any other Authors whose items they downloaded in the same month.


Pond5 is another hugely popular stock site that sells sound effects, as well as music, footage, photos, and more.

You earn a 35% royalty share of any sound effects you sell on the platform, which isn’t as much as on other sites, but it does have a huge customer base.

Final thoughts

That concludes our guide on how to make money selling sound effects.

To recap, the best way to sell sound effects is through your own website, which you can build on Sellfy. That way you have full control and keep all your revenue, but you can maximize your earnings by also listing them for sale on popular marketplaces and stock sites.

To stand the best chance of making sales, you’ll want to focus on a specific target market and use case. And of course, make sure your sound effects are professionally recorded and edited.

We’ve got plenty of other posts to help you make money as a musician and sell audio files online. You can start by checking out our beginner’s guide on how to sell music online. See this post if you’re interested in selling beats, or go here to learn how to sell sheet music.