Here is how to make money making apps.
In fact, this is the same strategy used by tech billionaires like the owner of Facebook, early owners of Instagram, WhatsApp, TikTok, name them.
If you don’t already know it, the process of creating apps is almost the same.
First thing first, you must come up with the idea, then build out the goddamn thing.
Lastly, get users and then choose the monetization methods.
That last bit is where you start making money through your app.
Isn’t that what you want?
And that is exactly what I will be walking you through in this article. You will learn how to move from not having any app to the point you make your first buck.
But before then, here are some stuff you need to know.
What you need to know now
During the first half of 2019, spending on Google Play App Store was astonishing $39.7 billion (study by Sensor Tower).
Additionally, usage of the app increased between 2016 and 2018. Recording increment in downloads by 35 percent and time spent on the app by 50 percent.
Why am I telling you this?
I don’t want you to think this is just another idea on random blogs on the internet. Making money with apps is a serious business.
If you look at the above numbers, you get one thing: the usage of apps is insanely growing.
More importantly, it means there is an opportunity to make money making apps.
That said, what’s the process of creating apps?
That’s a good question. Because we can sit here the whole day talking about making money, but without an app, it’s all in vain.
How to create an app
Creating an app isn’t the most complicated part of the process. Coming up with a viable idea is.
Like, anyone can claim to know how to make apps, but the real question is, does the app solve any problem?
Does it have users?
#1. Come up with app ideas
For this reason, the first step of creating an app is coming up with app ideas. I won’t lie to you, this is the most tasking process of all.
This is the step that determines whether your app will make any money or if it will fail.
Many app creators recognize this and that is why they spend much of their time brainstorming viable app ideas.
And shit doesn’t stop there.
With a list of app ideas, they go further and undertake a feasibility test. In this stage, they look at the profitability potential of the app.
To simplify this stage, look at your app idea and ask yourself, ‘will this app be able to solve a real problem?’
Answer the question truthfully and save yourself hundreds of hours you’d invest in a useless app.
How to come up with profitable app ideas
Use these tips and strategies to brainstorm app ideas.
- Hang around creative people – research has found that children with creative parents tend to think creatively as well. Ditch your dumb friends and surround yourself with creative people.
- Tap into your fantasy world – I don’t care what they told you about daydreaming, scientists have proven that engaging in fantasy can exponentially increase your creativity.
- Visualization – forget about what motivational speakers feed you about ‘seeing yourself achieving the goal.’ Instead, visualize going through the whole app creation process.
- Start acting childish – wait, what? Yes, perhaps children are the best teachers when it comes to everything creativity. They are fearless thus don’t worry about being wrong or making mistakes. They are curious. Their questions are annoying, I know, but that is because they are curious
Here is a secret:
You don’t have to come up with completely new ideas to be creative.
Ask everyone who is considered creative, they will admit that creativity in most cases comes from the point where you take existing ideas and concepts and put them together to form something new.
That is called innovation.
As it turns out, you can innovate app ideas.
Using innovation to create apps
This is simple.
Look at popular apps already in the market.
Ask yourself, ‘is there something that I can change or add to make it better?’
Look at Instagram guys. They loved Instamatic filters but figured it would be really useful (and cool) if you’d be able to easily share photos.
Instagram was bought by Facebook for $1 billion in 2012.
Armed with your app idea, you are ready for the next step to making money creating apps.
#2. Start building the app
To help you with this stage, you need to map out the app idea. Think of everything your app will do. And then think of the tools and features needed to make everything possible.
This should be easy if you create something like a roadmap or a tree branching out from the main trunk. Mindmapping tools should come in handy.
Once you have nailed down the start to the end of the app, it is time to sit down and start building.
Here, you have two options:
- Do everything by yourself. Thinks like creating wireframes, coming up with graphical interfaces, and of course, the testing of front and back end or
- Bring in the help of an app builder. This is a tool that will take of everything
While the first option allows you more customization freedom, the second option is easy, thus perfect for inexperienced app developers.
The choice is yours.
Let’s look at where you are now:
- App idea, check
- App layout, check
- The finished app, check.
Time to make some money.
#3. How to monetize your app
This is your last step in learning how to make money making apps. It is on this stage that you decide how to monetize your app.
So there are six monetization options available. These are:
- Premium apps
- In-app purchases
- Affiliate marketing
- Mixed monetization strategies
Before we look at each of them, I’d like to say something:
How to make money making apps depend on the type of your app. Typically, Gaming apps usually heavily rely on in-app purchases.
On the same note, software tends to go for the subscription model. In the end, it doesn’t matter what method you use, because there are a ton of successful apps to model.
One more thing:
How do App Markets like Google Play Store make money?
What is in it for App Markets? What is their cut?
Why is this important?
It is vital because their ‘cut’ should be factored into your final price of the app. luckily, both Google Play and App Store use a similar pricing model.
Let’s look at it.
Apple App Store
- Apple pockets 30 percent of all apps and in-app purchases
- 30 percent of all subscriptions during the client’s first 12 months goes to Apple. After that, it drops to 15 percent
- Charges $99 annual fee for a developer account
Google App Store
- Google Play pockets 30 percent of all apps and in-app purchases
- Like the App Store, Google takes a cut of 30 percent of all subscriptions for the first 12 months of the customer. Then it drops to 15 percent
- Charges one-off fee of $25 to open developer account.
Now, let’s look at ways to actually put money into your pocket using apps.
6 proven strategies you can use now to make money making apps
- Offer premium apps
Instead of offering your app as a free download, why not sell it?
Creating paid apps is the simplest way to make money making apps.
All you have to do is figure out what people would be willing to pay for, create an app, and charge them to download.
The challenge isn’t in the making money, it is getting people interested in downloading your app.
Everyone is looking for something that adds value to their lives. If you can figure that out, you are halfway there.
Additionally, you need to sell the app to people without them actually having to use the app. I don’t know if that makes sense.
People have to see the value of your app before they even experience it.
Adopt a subscription method
Here, you are charging users a recurring fee to use your app.
Typically, it is billed monthly. But you can offer your users an option to commit long-term, say by paying yearly or quarterly.
As mentioned earlier, this strategy is popular with software apps.
Netflix, Spotify, Microsoft Office, and Dropbox.
Sincerely, this method is the best for both the user and you the developer.
As the user, paying monthly may be an affordable way of accessing such a useful app. On the other hand, you get recurring income as a developer.
- Offer the app as a free download to get user base
- Consider free trial to increase subscription rates
- Or offer freemium (restricted free version, and upgradable version)
For example, study how Medium is doing its monetization.
Offer in-app purchases.
Perfect for gaming apps.
Consider adding in-game points or currencies that can be used within the app but must be bought using real money. Make them consumable (depletes when used) thus forcing users to buy more.
Make no mistake, it is not gaming apps only that can use this monetization strategy.
Apps like photo editors can charge for additional filters.
Think of a way you can better user experience within the app and charge for that.
Serve ads in your app
Mobile advertising is huge right now.
This was proven by a study by the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) showing that in 2018 alone, 65 percent of digital ads sales came from mobile platforms.
Serving ads in your app is the best strategy if the app is available for free.
Additionally, this is most popular with apps offering content for free. For example, news and games apps.
On the other hand, if you are offering in-app purchases, or paid versions of the app, using advertising is the best way of monetizing the non-paying users.
Even with that, what I like most about advertising on your app is that it is perfect to make money without the user spending anything.
Making money through affiliate marketing
You probably understand what affiliate marketing is all about.
It is pretty common around the internet.
But what is not common is using affiliate marketing as an app monetization strategy.
Here is how it works:
You as the app developer agree to advertise products on your app. And then take a cut when someone buys.
Booking or comparison apps implement this method perfectly.
Also, a situation where fitness apps direct users to nutrition shops or supplements stores, or exercise equipment.
The reason why affiliate marketing with apps works has to do with the number of data developers have about their users.
This way, they can offer personalized recommendations, thus increasing the chances of the user taking action.
You should tread carefully though when dealing with user data. This is a regulated field and can attract huge unnecessary fines.
Implement a mixed strategy
You don’t have to choose one over the other.
In fact, there are situations you can use two at a go or interchange.
This is a plus for you as the developer because you won’t have to rely on one strategy, what if it fails or declines?
- Serve ads in your app, then ask users to pay to remove the ads. It is very common, I bet you’ve seen it used.
- Offer premium apps and still have in-app purchases on top of the cost of the app.
- Experiment with both ads and affiliate marketing. Compare the two and focus on the one bringing you more money.
As I said, you don’t have to choose.
Final thoughts on making money with apps
We both agree that making money with apps is not rocket science, coming up with a winning app idea is.
If you can get that idea, you are 70 percent in the money. Now, go ahead and start making apps. As always, do not forget to share this guide.