Apps are extremely popular today. Because of their popularity and the success stories that go around, many people want to start making apps. However, overnight successes are rare and usually most people make a couple dollars from their app and give up. I’m here to tell you that you really can make money with apps. Don’t give up too fast. The majority of people try to make money with apps the wrong way. Usually they release a free app/game and use ads to make revenue. If you’re only getting 50 to 100 downloads per day, you’re not going to make any money. In this article I’ll show you how to make money with apps the easy way.
Before we start the article, I just want to tell you about my experience. I have a lot of experience with mobile apps. I have been developing iOS apps for over 4 years now. I have made money with apps using many different methods. From free with ads to paid to selling on Flippa, I’ve done it all. On Flippa alone, I’ve made almost $10,000 in app sales. One of my favorite methods of making money with apps is “App Flipping”. Using this method I turned $50 into $800. Now that you know my history, let’s begin!
What Not to Do
First, let’s talk about what not to do when you start with apps. Please disregard this if you have a lot of experience, this is mostly for beginners. A lot of times I see someone who just started learning how to program with Swift or Objective-C try to release a free app/game with ads right away. They see that most apps making big money use this method. However, they don’t realize the time and skill needed to actually pull it off. The generic app that you create and put on the App Store will fail with ads. Almost everybody that I’ve seen try this method has failed miserably and wasted hours just to make $5. Unless you have the coding, design, and marketing skill required to make a hit game that will get hundreds of thousands of downloads, you shouldn’t try the free + ads model. I realize some people make it big with their first app, but I’m just talking about odds here. Believe me, I suffered miserably with my first app. It was a Flappy Bird clone that I released for free with ads and in-app purchases. It only made around $25 and then I later sold it for $50. Definitely not worth the time I spent on that app. Now that you know what not to do, let’s start discussing the fun part: how to make money with apps.
Method 1: Paid Apps
In my experience, this is the least lucrative of the methods I will teach, but it has definitely still made me a good amount of money. Paid apps are very easy to understand. You release your app and charge a fixed fee for it. A good example of this is Tiny Wings which is an iOS game that costed $0.99. My favorite paid app that I made is called DogeMoji. This is an emoji app that contains emojis of over 20 different dog breeds. I made the app $1.99 and was able to make $25 to $35 per day with it. Although this doesn’t seem like much money, having a few successful paid apps really does start to add up. Out of all of my methods for making money with apps, this is the longest term solution. You really need to get a good user base and keep users happy so your current users will recommend the app to others. If you don’t want a long term solution, check out my next methods.
Method 2: Re-Skinning Apps (App Flipping)
This is one of my favorite methods. This method takes the least amount of time and you don’t need any coding knowledge. The only drawback is that you’ll need at least $50 starting capital. To begin, you need to purchase the source code for an app. It must be a clone of an app that is already popular and in the top iOS charts. Otherwise, you won’t get enough traffic to make any money. I also recommend that the source code be for an Amazon or Android app since there isn’t as much competition on these platforms. A great a site to find high-quality templates is Chupamobile. A template can cost anywhere from $50 to $1,000 depending on how complicated the app is. I usually purchase templates that are in the $50 range to make the most profit. Once you have purchased your app template, create an icon, some screenshots, and a good description. Don’t waste time adding any features. When you are finished with the re-skin, list it on the App Store for free. After you begin getting a decent amount of downloads for one to two weeks, change the price to $0.99 or more. This will rank your app very high for the paid app section because the App Store’s ranking algorithm has some glitches in it. Now, just sit back and watch your app generate revenue. My most successful re-skin was a fidget spinner app. I purchased it for $50 and posted it on the Amazon App Store. Within a month I had already made more than $800 from it. I highly recommend this method if you have the starting capital!
Method 3: App Templates
Creating app templates is what has made me most of my money. The general concept is that you code a useful app and sell it to other developers so they can use it for themselves. Creating the initial app takes a good amount of time, but it will continue to make you money for years later. My most successful template was able to make me money for more than a year and could sell for as much as $2,000 per template! Obviously, creating the template is up to you, but I have some recommendations for selling. There are three ways you can sell your templates. The first is Chupamobile. Here you can sell your source code, but it has to be reviewed by the Chupamobile team. I have made some decent money using Chupamobile, but the review process is annoying. Secondly, you could use Flippa. Flippa is an auction site for apps. I have made almost $10,000 selling with Flippa. The downside is that Flippa charges $9 to create a listing and a 15% success fee. That is a lot of money! The third option and the best, in my opinion, is Apliko. My app, Apliko, is a marketplace to sell apps and only charges a 5% success fee. Using Apliko, you get to keep almost all of your hard earned money! Currently, Apliko is in beta and you can sign up here. Although app templates take a lot of work upfront, I believe it is the best way to make a consistent stream of revenue with apps.
I really hope you have learned some valuable information in this article. There are tons of people that say “the app marketplace is too saturated”, but this is just not true. I have made thousands of dollars just in 2017 with apps. As long as you don’t fall victim to the “free with ads” model, I believe you can earn a living with apps. Good luck on your journey and check back soon for more tips!