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How to Make Money from Mobile Apps

With the mobile apps market evolving substantially over the past couple of years, developers are keen on making money from this opportunity. Let’s face it; you’re not just building apps for fun. Building apps is a business and you need to earn money to keep going. But, with a number of options available for monetization, what tactic should you adopt for your app?

Everyone knows that it takes a lot of time and money to make an app. The big question here is how the developers can make a return on their investment. How can they profit from their app dev endeavors? You can make money from your apps using a variety of ways.

As a digital marketing expert yourself, you need to understand all the options for making money off of your apps. We’ll take a look at some ways you can exploit your skills, put yourself in the right place and start making money from the lucrative mobile app development market.

There are largely three pricing models that bring in all the revenue. According to report, in-app revenue from free apps brought in the most revenue at 71 percent with paid revenues following at 24 percent and in-app revenues from paid apps at 5 percent.

If you launch your app using one of these monetization models, you have a greater chance at making more revenue than any other model.

Here’s what you need to know about Mobile Apps

1. Make it Premium

The first and most obvious way, you can make your mobile apps available for a certain price.

In order to be able to publish your mobile apps, you need to register with the app stores. The Apple app store costs you about $99 per year and the Android Play Store costs you a single fee of $25 upon signing up.

It actually works out better than putting up ads in your apps. You don’t have to sit there and wait for people to click on ads; you get the money as soon as the user installs the app.

2. Advertise

Every mobile app user, even the devs, has a love-hate relationship with advertisements. They look up to them for earning money, but no one enjoys them when they pop up out of nowhere. The bottom line is that they are a good source of income but require a great deal of traffic to make enough. When you start getting enough users, it can turn into an amazing source of revenue.

You can expect ads to make you $2 with a 100 downloads. That’s just an estimated number and it can vary to a great degree based on how many clicks your ad gets. You may think that these are disappointing figures but they are actually not that bad. With decent effort, you can make $120 per day. It mainly depends on the types of ads that are served up.

3. Freemium for apps and games

This isn’t just the most popular monetization option for games and apps, but also the most revenue generating one, with in-app purchases raking in 76 percent of all revenue in the Apple App Store in the US and over 90 percent in the Asian markets. Pretty much the trend these days, going freemium means you release your app for free with all the basic features. Then you get your users to pay in order to unlock the more advanced features of your application.

A freemium app or game is offered free-of-charge to the user with limited features, content or virtual goods. Users can access a premium version or additional content and feature through in-app purchase. This route has also been used for subscribing to monthly content updates. The free app or game with an in-app purchase removes the price point as a barrier for people to download an app and gives the developer the opportunity to prove the value of their product.

For instance, you can release a video-call app which allows the users to make a two-way call in the free version of the app. You can have your users pay to unlock three-way calls.

One can offer premium or additional content or offer basic features for free that requires the user to pay to use complete functionality of the application.

4. In-app Purchases

Unlike the freemium model, you can let your users unlock features in your free app with in-app purchases (IAPs).

You can set them to be a one-time purchase, which could help unlock the complete version of the app, or you could have them recur if they’d just like to add one more feature. For instance, you can offer more costumes and power-ups with a game through IAPs, or they could get all the items with just a onetime purchase.

5. Get a Sponsor

Getting a sponsor for your free mobile apps is a great way to make money. Going with this option, you don’t have to wait for the money until the very end, you get the money upfront.

What you need to do is approach a company and tell that that you have an idea for a mobile apps and I will label it with your brand for some amount, or you could go like, I built this app a couple of months ago and it has this many downloads, I’ll put your brand on it for $XX. It could take a while for you to get to the right company.

You only make money when a large number of users download and use your mobile apps on a very frequent basis. So choose this model for monetization only if your app calls for prolonged usage frequently, such as the one above.

While there are many options to monetize, the way to achieve any kind of revenue growth through the years is through repeated transactions from existing customers as much as through new ones. The lifetime value of your customer will determine whether the app is a hobby or a business.

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Rohit Nandan
Digital Marketing Consultant at Dizital Rohit
I am Rohit Nandan, Digital Marketing consultant with 5+ yrs of exp in the same field. I have shown proven results improving company revenue by dealing directly with their customers, SEO, Social media and improving their marketing and sales strategies. I would very much like to move to a position where I can improve your ROI by working directly with your clients and obtaining new ones.