The Business of Mobile - Make Money with Android, mobile advertising and App Store Optimization

Thursday, January 15, 2015

8 Brilliant Ways to Make Money with Android

Posted by with 2 comments
Are you wondering if you can truly make money from Android apps business? Truth is, you can make pretty solid money from Android.

The Android ecosystem is really huge, that the slice of cake each developer can potentially get is, pretty sweet.

make money from android

I've been developing and making money with Android for over 4 years now. It took me about 2 years to get the "hobby" to start giving a stable enough income to leave my day job. And the 2.5 years after leaving the job? Well, that has been the best days of my life!

Here are some common, and uncommon, ways you can make money from your Android apps.


1 - Mobile Ads


This is by far my favourite way of monetizing an Android app. To really appreciate the enormity of the mobile advertising space, you need to look and understand what you're dealing with when you are playing the Android game.

The Android ecosystem mainly lives on Google Play. While you may be aware of the other 3rd part markets, and the great potential to monetize from them, Google Play is just too large.

And users on Google Play don't like to spend money. I've seen it, read it, experienced it. Its a little different when you're in iOS for example, where users are more willing to fork out some dough for an app.

Mobile advertising makes it possible for you to make money from your apps with perhaps the most minimal of efforts.

Another benefit of this method of making money from apps is that you don't have to deal with the sales process. Most of you reading this are technical folks, who, like how I used to be, are not interested in sales and marketing. Let the ad network guys do the sales of your ad inventory.

And if you're wondering what ad networks you should use, I suggest you try out and experiment which ad network suits your app best.

Make money on Android with video ads by Heyzap.

For instance, Heyzap mainly provide adverts of other games. They might not be suitable for a utility app for instance. AppLovin has some non-game ads too in their inventory, though they work great with game apps too. You may also want to look at Admob, a well rounded ad network that is stable, but I don't quite use them anymore as I'm more interested networks that provide a CPI ad type.

Also do note to try out the various ad formats, like full screen interstitials, videos and native ads.

2 - Incentive Ads


Incentive ads is so important that I've decided to break this into a point of its own.

Incentive ad types allows you to reward your users when they install an ad. This is a really great way to make money from your android apps.

As already mentioned, the Android users in Google Play are, well, not too keen to part with their cash. This allows your users to get advanced features of your app in a free way.

Unlocking features, power ups, characters in apps once a user collects a certain amount of points can help you make even more money from your apps than just plain old advertising.

Check out: Get more positive reviews and ratings for your apps!

3 - In-app Purchases

Top Grossing chart is dominated by free games

No doubt, the most profitable way to make money in Android is via in-app purchases (IAP). While users are not likely to part with money up front for an app or game, in-app purchasing, if done right, might end up with you getting a lot more from your users.

Consumable items in app, for example, will tempt users to purchase over and over. The "whales" as they're called, will not be hesitant to spend over and over if a game hooks them.

Keywords here are "done right" and "hook". You want to make an engaging app or game, one that makes the user addicted to it. And the purchasable item is of such a value, that it brings a big benefit to the user.

A "remove ads" option on the other hand hardly will bring you much returns, that you are definitely better off with ads in your apps. I've tried this, and results were rather poor.

4 - Selling Apps in Store


Depending on how you market your app, and how it is received by the users, this is one tricky way to make money in the Android ecosystem. As users have so many options for every app and game, most of them free, the competition of this is really tough.

The returns are not all that great either, in most cases, unless you have a great brand or have done even greater marketing.

But somehow, while it is not that great on the Google Play store, selling apps on Amazon is a different story. It's almost like the iOS scenario where users are not that difficult to be persuaded to buy your apps.

Now if you can pull it off, then you're looking at a really great number. Which still pale unfortunately when compared to IAP, and maybe even advertising.

That's why you see the top grossing categories filled with free apps and games.

5 - Sell Source Code


One really alternative way of making money from Android is by selling your source code. Have you made a great game? What about a utility app that can be reskinned?

There are many places you can sell your source code, from your own website, to other source code sellers, to my favourite, the Unity3D store.

You could also get some cheap ready made templates or full games,
for example from Code Canyon.


Check out Envato's Code Canyon for great mobile source codes to purchase.

There are times that you've made a great game or app, but it never picks up in the app markets. You can then try to make the most of your code and try to make money from the source itself.

6 - Provide Courses and Training


There is a constant demand for education from existing and especially from new comers in the field of mobile apps development. Have some experience making apps? Then why not consider teaching others? 

Envato has a great market to reach out to potential developers, and you get to make money from it.

You can host a course on your own site(don't have a web site? get hosting from bluehost), or use one of the many services that host tutorials and accept contributions.

There is a saying that during the gold rush, those that made the most money were those that sold the tools to find gold.

7 - Start a Blog


This is a unique thing when it comes to Android development. This blog of mine has made me over $9k over the past few years, mainly through affiliate marketing. As I'm just sharing what I'm passionate about with you on this blog, it's great pocket change.

Make money from blogging about Android development, or your own development progress

Besides the direct revenue, a blog also allows you to link and promote your apps. Its a great and free marketing tool. 

You can also use your blog to provide tutorials and updates (again marketing of your apps) as you develop your apps and games. The exposure can benefit you in many ways. Backlinking to your apps being one of them. Or like how when I launch a new game and asked for help from you with initial downloads.

There is all these relationship that you build too as you go along which would be very very beneficial to your app development strategy.

8 - Donations


This is a little tricky, as it might be a against Google's T&C. You are not allowed to use external payment services for your apps. You can try getting donations in-app as an in-app purchase, giving options for users that like your app to be generous and thank you for your free app.

Conclusion - There are many options to make money on Android


Making money on Android is very much a possibility. You need to work out what method suits your the best, how to implement them, how to hook users.

And while doing all these, don't forget, there is also the app marketing, app store optimization (ASO) and promotion that you need to do in order to get your apps off to a great start.

What's your preferred way of making money with Android?




2 comments:

  1. Great Post, I really appreciate your effort here. We could surely use it for some help. In addition I would like to share an article: How Much Does it Cost to Develop an Android Application that I think can be of some help in calculating the cost of your android apps.

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    Replies
    1. Thanks Nauman, awesome read... would be really useful!

      Cheers!
      Bill

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