How to Make Money From Mobile Apps

January 25, 2016 • By

For many people, money is not exactly free flowing. That’s why, if you are going to spend time developing a mobile app, you often can’t afford to not make any money from it. Yes, you may find it fun to do, but you still have to live, right?

If your monthly budget isn’t huge then you probably know all the tricks about how to spend it wisely. You have probably already discovered the delights of searching sites like for all the latest coupons and deals to use. This is a great way of making your money go further. Now imagine you could make more money from developing  mobile apps and you can see that life could be a lot sweeter.

Be clear about your monetization method

You need to be clear up front about how you are going to monetize your apps. This helps you to keep check of your success rate once the money starts coming in. There are four methods of monetization which are widely used and have proven success rates; these are freemium, one-time payment, pay for extra features and apps with advertising. We are going to take a look at all four options.

Freemium apps

These apps are hugely popular in the games environment. Every user has access to the free version of the app. This version has a limited number of basic features. As people use the app they have the option to purchase more features. This option for monetization has a proven high success rate. If your app is enticing then people are going to want to experience more options and they are going to be tempted to make purchases while they are using the app. Another version of freemium is to provide the app free of charge and then provide regular updates of content if the user pays a subscription. Users tend to be more attracted to freemium apps as there is no cost to pay up front.

An example of this is the social sharing tool for blog owners, Filament.

Pay once apps

A pay once app is just what it says; users pay to download the app initially and then don’t expect to have to pay any others charges. If your app is complete when you launch it, and it isn’t an app where additional features and options are going to be continually added, then this may be a good monetization option for you. Of course, you have to make sure that your app is sufficiently strong for people to want to pay for it up front. A good example of this is Strip Designer which enables you to create your own comic strips.

Paid apps with additional features

If you combine freemium and pay once apps together then you get this monetization option. It is not always popular as people feel that once they have paid for an app up front they should not have to pay again to access more features. That being said, if your content is strong enough to attract an audience and keep them engaged then this option can work for you. One app where this is the case is, Flightradar24 – Flight Tracker a pretty cool app which enables you to see the movements of aircraft.

Free apps that use advertising

This is the only one of the monetization options that does not require payment from the user. It does however require them to watch ads as they use the app. This is only really going to work if your app is one that needs to be used frequently and for fairly lengthy periods of time. Otherwise, you won’t be able to screen the ads during use. If this is the type of app you have developed then this monetization option may be what you are looking for. An example of this type of ad working is Sleep Easily by Shazziewhich offers help on establishing good sleep patterns.

The one thing you are certain of is that you don’t want to spend time developing an app if you are not going to make money from it. All of the monetization options we have listed have been proven to work. You just need to make sure you choose the right one for you. As well as looking at the type of app you have developed, you also need to consider your user demographic when considering which monetization option is best. You need to be realistic in the amount of money you can expect them to spend on downloading your app, purchasing additions, or both. This means that being successful in making money from an app is not just about creating an awesome app in the first place, it’s also about taking time to do your research. If you get both of these right then you should find yourself making a decent amount of money.

Feature Image curtsey of Elena Lazutina