Mobile Application Development 10 min read
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The Secret to Making Money by Creating Apps Revealed
- 22 Nov 2022 9 min read
Now, everything can be monetized and you can earn from the things you create; yes, including the app that you make!
In this age where smartphones and other electronic gadgets have become an extension of one’s body, a lot of people in business and technology see that making money creating apps is a profitable and future proof business.
If you are scratching your head and wondering, can you make money from creating an app? Read this article to find the answers.
Why create a mobile app?
Before exploring the why, it is first important to know what is mobile development?
Simply put, mobile app development is the process of developing an app for mobile devices such as smartphones, tablets, and computers. These apps highlight the functionality and features of these devices, making them more useful and appealing to users.
Now that you pretty much have an idea about what mobile app development is, let’s proceed with the why. Why create apps to make money?
In the November 2022 Mobile User Statistics report it is realized that the total number of smartphone users worldwide is around 6.648 billion or 83.32 percent of the world population. By 2025, it is projected that the number of smartphones will rise to 7.33 billion.
In short, there is a high demand for mobile apps now and this demand will further increase in the future as more businesses try to reach their potential customers through their smartphones.
Strategies in monetizing mobile apps
Mobile app monetization is the process of generating income to support the app you developed. Different monetization models are available and you can check out which one among them best fits your app.
The following are some ways you can make money by creating apps:
1. Paid apps
Procreate is an example of a paid app in the Apple Store made for iPad with a one-time license basis. Meaning, you only need to pay for it once to download and use the software. The cost of this app is 9.99 USD. If you are into iOS mobile app development and making money by creating iPhone apps and other Apple devices is what you are after, you may consider the strategy Procreate did.
However, note that as of July 2022, statistics show that 96.8 percent of Android apps and 94 percent of iOS apps are free so outrightly charging users to download your app may not always be the smartest move when it comes to making money by creating apps.
In-App purchases (IAPs)
Other strategies you can do to earn money from your successful mobile apps include In-App purchases (IAPs) which enhance user experiences with a fee. These IAPs may be consumable (temporary or limited purchases) or non-consumable (one-time purchase).
Let’s say you developed a gaming app. Examples of consumable IAPs are in-app currencies, buying hints or tips, and paying for extra health points. Non-consumable IAPs include upgrading to remove in-app ads, paying for a life-long premium version of the game, or paying to unlock a level or character.
You can also earn through subscription monetization. Subscriptions enable developers to offer different experiences to paying users compared to those who use the free version of your app.
Multiple subscription packages with different value levels is often the subscription monetization model top business app owners make money when creating apps. For example, you may offer free service, a basic subscription, and a premium subscription. These choices give users the versatility to use your app based on their need and capacity to pay.
4. In-App advertising
This monetization strategy is one of the most popular ways to make money with your app. This is especially utilized by developers who create gaming apps. Once you have created your app and are ready to publish it, you can decide if you want advertisements to be played on your app. As the owner, you earn based on the number of impressions the ads make or the clicks they get.
Your profit will also depend on the ads that you display in your app. For example, a video ad will yield you more income compared to a banner ad.
You can also earn by offering your users the option to enjoy your app ad free by buying an upgrade.
To earn from sponsorship, you must come up with a successful mobile app that has a number of users. Afterwards, you may connect with a sponsor company and update the layout of your app to match the brand of your sponsor. You may earn by sharing the profits with your sponsor or get a sponsorship fee every month.
6. Affiliate program
This method of monetizing your app involves endorsing a third-party service or product to optimize your revenue opportunities. By joining a mobile affiliate network, you can advertise apps, products, or services by your affiliates and earn profit from it.
Your revenue can be based on a certain action such as when someone clicks on the ad, installs their app, or carries out other desired action. You may also earn by getting a certain percentage of the revenue that you have managed to generate from the advertiser.
So is making money creating apps really a viable business? The answer is a resounding yes!
Not everything is free so benefit from monetizing your app
How do you start making money by creating apps? There is no clear cut way of monetizing your app as the strategy will depend on the type of app you will develop and your target market. But to help you get started, the following is a process you can follow to come up with mobile app development best practices and strategies that will result to making money by creating apps:
1. Have a clear monetization strategy in place before you start developing your app
At the very beginning of your app design process, aside from considering mobile app trends, you should already include planning your app monetization strategy.
For example, if one of the ways you wish to make money by creating apps is through advertisements, you should build enough space in your app to display banners. If you want to run a subscription model, you should consider which features to offer for all users and which ones will only be available to paying users.
2. Offer both free and paid versions of your app
When you offer your app for free, you give your users the chance to get familiar with your app and see what it offers that others don’t. To earn profit from your app, you may include extra features for a fee. If your user enjoys your app and sees the need to upgrade to the paid version, then you will earn income.
3. Take advantage of in-app purchases and advertisements
If you develop a photography app, you may initially have one to two camera filters for free. In this case, how can you start making money by creating apps such as a photography application? What you can do is sell to your users other camera filters they can use to style their photos and videos.
Now, you can also partner with other companies, perhaps related to photography or editing to feature their own products and services by having banner or video ads of these on your app.
4. Experiment with different monetization strategies until you find what works best for your app
As you’ve seen on the previous subheading, there are six ways you can make money from your apps. Don’t be afraid to mix and match some of these monetization strategies until you find the best ones to use based on your app features and target market.
5. Plan for long-term success because it takes time to see a return of investment from mobile apps
Maintain a positive outlook especially at the beginning of the implementation of your strategy as it takes time before you can actually see its results. However, once a significant amount of time has passed, it is important to look at the results objectively so that you can determine which of your strategies you can keep and which ones you can further improve to reach your goals.
6. Research successful monetization models for mobile apps and summarize your findings
Creating a mobile app is a tedious process in itself especially when it comes to researching, choosing the best mobile development software to use, creating user stories, and developing the app. However, the same effort should be given when it comes to determining the best monetization model/s you can use for your app. The process may include some trial and error experiments but the important thing is to record everything and come up with a summary of analysis to determine what more you can do.
7. Develop a strategy for choosing the right monetization model for your app
Once you’ve found the best monetization model/s for your app, you can now develop a strategy to implement it in your app to start earning money. This may include making alterations to your app’s appearance to allow for example, ads to be played on certain periods of time while the user is using your app.
8. Discuss effective methods for marketing your app to potential users
Once you have your app done, it is time to talk with your team to see how you can market your app to your target audience. When you market your app the right way, the more chances you have to make money by creating apps.
You can market your app through your website, social media, public relations, app store optimization, search ads, influencer endorsements, traditional advertising, or by word of mouth.
9. Market your app to the right audience
To market your app to the right audience, you have to know who your audience is or who you envision using your app. When you know the needs and wants of your target users, you can develop your app and marketing strategy based on their preferences. Doing this right will make them realize that the app you developed is tailored to their needs.
10. Create a strong user experience
User experience can make or break your app. If your users have a bad experience using your app, perhaps your app is slow or frequently crashes, expect that they will look for another app instead of using yours. When you have a strong user experience design and you have a responsive app, you are giving a good first impression to your users which will keep them coming and staying with your app.
Creating a strong UX and UI design shows respect for your user because you want them to experience the best when using your app. Once your target audience enjoys your app, the more they may be inclined to make subscriptions or purchases on your app which will earn you revenue.
11. Use analytics to improve your app
Mobile app analytics are tools designed to track, observe, and evaluate user behavior using a mobile application. In short, these tools make it easier for you to see how your app is faring when it comes to performance and revenue. Analyzing the data results of your app’s analytics will help you to improve your user experience, marketing strategy, and monetization model.
12. Promote your app through social media and other channels
Once you’re done developing and testing your app, you may start promoting your app through social media and other channels so that your target audience will be aware of it and start downloading it on the Apple Store and Play Store.
4 big no-no’s in app monetization you need to avoid
Despite following the guidelines above, some developers still fail to achieve their goal of earning significant revenue from the app they develop. Why is that? Here are some common app monetization mistakes you should avoid if you want to be successful:
1. Not choosing the right monetization model for your mobile app
There are many app monetization models to choose from. Don’t fall into the trap of trying just one or all of them in your app to earn money. Instead, with careful research and experimentation, determine which model/s suit your app best that will attract your users.
For example, if you are developing a gaming app, in-app purchases may be the best option to earn money. On the other hand, if you have a messaging app, you may choose to display advertisements on your app to earn income.
2. Focusing on downloads rather than revenue
It is important to remember that downloads don’t always equate to revenue especially if your app is not paid. To make money from your mobile application, you need to focus on ways to entice your users to actually spend money with your app.
3. Not targeting the right audience
Before you start developing your app, it is important to first identify and target your app’s core audience accurately. Trying to market your app to a group of people who do not need nor relate to your app and what it offers won’t give you as much success as you hope for.
4. Not tracking analytics correctly
Tracking your app’s analytics is essential in determining which monetization method/s are working best for you. When you don’t track your analytics correctly, you will fail to make informed decisions on how to improve your app’s monetization.
Yes, you can make money by creating apps. However, to assure your success here are important points to remember:
- Determine who your target audience is. Once you know who your target is, you can tailor your app and marketing strategies accordingly.
- Select the best monetization methods for your app. There are many ways to earn revenue from your app but not all of them are applicable to your app so research and testing is important.
- Use analytics to track your performance. These tools make it easier for you to see your app’s strengths and weaknesses. When you know this, you can make adjustments to your app, marketing strategies, and monetization models.
When it comes to mobile app development and marketing strategies, Propelrr is king. If you want to learn the best practices or share your thoughts on the subject, let’s start a conversation! You can message us on our comment section below, or ping us on our social media channels on Facebook, X, and LinkedIn. See you there!
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