How Do Free Apps Make Money? [8 Techniques and a BONUS video]
To make money from an app, first you need to create an app!
Appy Pie lets you create an app without spending a bomb or wasting months on coding. The entire process of app development is synthesized into three easy steps and takes only a few minutes from start to finish.
You can create your own app without writing even a single line of code.
Businesses need to stay updated with the latest tools and technology. It’s true not all of it is affordable, but it is of critical importance to know what is worth the attention, time, and money and what can be left well alone. The importance of mobile apps has been fairly well established for businesses of all size, budget, and niches.
Mobile apps are critical for any business, not just for smooth business operations and functioning, but also as a separate channel for revenue generation. As a mobile app development company, one of the most commonly asked questions that we hear is – how do apps make money.
This question is not out of the blue and definitely has a lot of merit to it. There is a lot of investment that goes into making an app in terms of money and time, it is only natural that an app owner would want to make money through apps that took so much of an effort to build.
There are multiple ways to make money from your phone and we will get into the details of each one of them. We have talked at length about how to create a free app and make money and now it is time to focus solely on the question how to make money from apps.
How much money can you make from an app?
A mobile app has the potential to bring in billions of dollars in a year, however there are really very few apps that finally reach that number. A surprising number of mobile apps end up making absolutely no money. Hence, to actually come up with a generic number of the bat is not really possible.
To get a clearer idea of what I mean by this, let me tell you this – the top 200 apps on the app store make about $82,500 a day. Now once we broaden this criteria and take a look at the top 800 apps on the play store, this number drops down to $3,500 a day!
This number also varies with categories. While the top gaming apps make about $22K a day, while the top entertainment apps make about $3,090 a day.
Follow these steps to make money from mobile apps:
Ways to make money from your mobile app
There are a number of different ways to earn money from your app that you must explore and research on. Some of these ways might need you to charge your customers while others might not.
There is no ideal method or way to earn money from your app, and what would work the best for you is totally dependent on the services you are offering or your business model.
However, keep in mind that you must first know how to make an app and if you are building your first app, it is a good idea to go for the best no code app development platform – Appy Pie AppMakr!
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1. In-App Advertising
This is probably the easiest and the most popular way to make some money with your app.
Once you create your app and are ready to publish your app, you can then decide whether you want to let advertisements show on your app.
As the app owner you get paid according to the number of impressions their ads make or the clicks they get, and the type of ads you are offering.
When you are allowing people to put up a video ad, you would get paid considerably more than a banner ad.
However, you would have to weigh in whether your customers would have the patience to watch the video ad whenever they use your app.
Not only is the type of ad important, but also the duration for which the video ad would run is of special significance as is the frequency with which you are going to show it.
These factors would help you hone your business model which you are basing on advertising.
BONUS: One interesting way in which you can earn money from your app is by not showing ads.
I’m serious! You can earn money from your users by offering them an ad free version of the app by buying an upgrade.
There are multiple platforms for doing this. The most popular one is Admob from Google.
At Appy Pie, we are offering Appy Jump which is a great way to monetize your app and earn back all the investment you put in.
2. In-App Purchases
This feature is more relevant from the users’ perspective. In this revenue model, users can unlock some additional features or levels after buying an upgrade.
In this model, an app can offer any extra bonus, any kind of premium content, virtual currency for the game, or unlock any extra level.
The in-app purchases that an app owner can offer may be consumables like virtual currency or non-consumables like advanced levels, maps, or other kind of virtual merchandise.
From among the most popular mobile apps more than 50% make use of in-app purchases to earn revenue. In future, the number of such apps is only going to increase.
This is something you must decide before you create your app. If you are planning to include in-app purchases in your app, you must design the app in such a manner that you create a logical payment wall.
This strategy is based on the freemium model, where you would be offering your app for free, but offering the premium features, advanced levels, or access to premium content for an upgrade. Quite a popular model, in fact!
The subscription model is a highly effective one and presents quite a fair deal for both the parties involved, the developer and the app user.
Once you have finished building your app, you can then offer it to the users for free and be able to access some of the content without any charges.
Once the users begin enjoying the app and find some value in its offerings, they can upgrade to a paid subscription which would offer them unlimited, or staggered access to the app content.
Another similar model is where users get a free trial period and enjoy unlimited access to the app for a limited time period. Once that time period expires, the users is blocked and would have to buy the subscription to use the app beyond the trial period.
4. Paid Apps
You have spent a whole lot of time, money and other resources on building your app. It is only fair that you would want to put a tag on this final product.
This means if you were to offer your app for $0.99 and got a million downloads, you are almost at a million-dollar milestone for app revenue.
But there are contradictory views about its effectiveness.
The global statistics indicate that the mobile phone users do not have the habit of spending money on their apps. The numbers also say that there is not much money to be made by putting a price tag on your mobile app.
Another effective strategy but only works well only if you as an app owner can find a sponsor with similar or same target market.
Once you get the right sponsor, you can white label the app and can adapt their app design to match the sponsor’s brand.
The developer would have to build a niche app for customized app for customized users before launching the app on behalf of the Sponsor Company or Brand.
Now, this can be even your local barber shop or a popular restaurant.
There are two different ways in which you can workout a deal.
- A revenue split
- Monthly sponsorship fee
This strategy can actually be quite a lucrative proposition. The app developer, you in this case would get the benefit of the existing web traffic and brand loyalty that the sponsor has to offer. This can actually help you in promoting the app while expanding your user base.
6. Affiliate Program
A mobile affiliate network is essentially a mobile platform which brings the mobile advertisers and affiliates on a common ground.
While the mobile advertisers may be the mobile app owners or may be a business that sells a product or service through mobile web, the affiliates carry out performance-based advertising for the advertisers.
Here, by joining a mobile affiliate network, you would be advertising relevant apps, products, or services being offered by your affiliates and earn money from it.
This revenue can either be in the form of a cost per action where you can earn money every time someone clicks on their ad, installs their app, or carries out any other (desired) action.
The second form is the revenue sharing model where you would receive a certain percentage of revenue that you have managed to generate for the advertiser.
Once you have created an app, you can enroll on any of these platforms and your app revenue is going to soar up exponentially!
7. Selling merchandise
Another great way to make money through your apps is to sell merchandise. This is a particularly great solution if you are creating an e-commerce app to sell your products and services. In this model, the apps are generally free to download from the app stores. In fact, you can combine it with email marketing to get the products out there in front of the right audience.
This is different from in-app purchases where the app users can buy virtual goods, virtual currency, bonus, or some form of premium content. Selling merchandise may even be branded keepsakes or products if your business does not include selling any physical merchandise otherwise.
This method of making money from your app is the proverbial new kid on the block. It is more popular for raising money for the development of a mobile app through crowdfunding platforms like Kickstarter, Patreon, Chuffed and more. However, in the recent times, the concept of crowdfunding has also been used for raising money for causes, charitable organizations, or a unique business idea through the app itself.
This means you can build an app for your nonprofit organization or a religious institution like the Church and organize fundraisers or run a crowdfunding campaign for the causes you are working tirelessly towards. This gives people from all over the world an opportunity to extend a helping hand to the cause you are working towards.
Inspired with these top grossers on the list! It is time to take the plunge and build your own app.
Here’s something a little extra, just for you! A BONUS video from Abs, our Founder, CEO that talks about all the different ways in which you can make money from the app that you just built on Appy Pie!
This list of some really lucrative ways to make money from your app should help you get over any doubts you might have had about building your own app!
Now comes the fun part! You can build your own app without learning to code in 3 simple steps. All you need to Get Started is go to Appy Pie’s App Builder and your journey to making money starts there!
There was a time when making money from mobile apps was a questionable idea. Times have changed, so has the industry. Not only are people recovering their cost of building an app but are also making a fortune with it.
There are a number of ways in which you can make money without your app users having to pay a single penny, while in others your app users generate your revenue.
There is no ‘correct’ method here, but different methods may be correct for different requirements.
The idea here should be to research and explore all possible methods, and maybe even try some of them hands on, before finalizing which way you plan to go.
In-app purchase is a monetization technique that allows app users to purchase goods and services from within the mobile app using their smartphones.
In-app advertising is one of the most popular monetization strategies, in which app owners get paid to serve ads on their app.
A monetization tactic, affiliate program enables app owners to generate revenue by allowing others who target the same audience – “affiliates” – to earn a commission by recommending the product to others.
Sponsorship is a great way to earn money from your app but make sure you find a sponsor with similar or same target market.
Top Frequently Asked Questions
How do free apps make money?
Listed here are few ways to make money from free apps:
- Selling Merchandise
- In App Purchases
- Referral Marketing
- Freemium Upsell
- Crowdfunding; and many others.
How much money can you make from an app?
It is difficult to put a single figure on how much money you can make from an app. It totally depends on your app idea, its capabilities, and the problem it is solving that really defines the amount of money you can make with the app. On an average, entertainment apps earn around $4,000 daily, while gaming apps make around $20, 000, so you can’t really put an exact number here.
What is the best app to earn money?
Here is the list of five best apps to earn money easily –
- Google Opinion Rewards
- MyPoints, and much more.
Can you become a millionaire by making an app?
Yes, you can become a millionaire by making an app. If you have an awesome app idea that is useful for millions of people around the world, chances are you will become an app millionaire in no time. You can make millions out of your app in a short time provided that your app gains popularity, has the potential to go viral, and is used by millions of people.
How much does it cost to create an app?
You can create an app for free using Appy Pie AppMakr in a few minutes without any coding. However, if you want to publish your app to Google Play Store and Apple App Store, you need to upgrade your app to one of our paid plans. Starting from just $18 per month, we have different plans, which you can check here.
How can I earn money from my iPhone?
Here is how you can earn money using your iPhone –
- Sell your iPhone photos
- Become a field agent by collecting data from nearby stores
- Sell unused household or other items
- Become a TikTok star
- Put your skills on Fiverr; and much more
- Create a mobile app using Appy Pie AppMakr and make money through–
- Sponsors and partnerships
- In-app purchases
- Free/Premium versions
- Referral marketing and much more
How can I earn money with my phone?
Listed hereunder are some of the ways that can help you earn money with your phone –
- Perform micro tasks
- Take surveys
- Play quizzes and games
- Watch videos and perform tasks
- Download mobile apps; and many others
- Build a cool mobile app using Appy Pie’s no-code app building platform and start making money through different ways such as –
- In-app purchases
- In-app advertising
- Paid apps
- Crowdfunding; and many others
How to earn money from android apps?
Here is the list of ways through which you can earn money from Android apps –
- In-app purchases
- Referral marketing
- Paid apps
- Crowdfunding; etc.
Aasif Khan is an SEO specialist with an experience of 10+ years in the digital marketing industry. Today, he is an expert in SEO, SMO, SEM, and is also one of the top contributors to Appy Pie Blog. He writes about the ongoing trends in the digital marketing industry. He loves working out in the gym and also spares some time for hobbies like playing cricket and reading books among other things.