How To Earn Money From Developing Mobile Apps

Earn Money From Developing Mobile Apps
Summary: In this article, I mention strategies to follow when developing a mobile app so that you can make money from the app.

Strategies To Use When Developing A Mobile App

Producing a killer app may seem like one of the easiest routes to financial success, but that level of accessibility and promise of stability ensures that the development market is always going to be crowded with would-be entrepreneurs. That means you need to be strategic about your approach. The first and arguably most important step to build an app is to find what sort of app you're going to make and how you plan on deploying it.

Choosing Your Market

Creating an idea that will break new ground and redefine the app market is difficult, and that's why most developers will instead try the market and see what sells. There's no shame in following a formula that already works, and while app stores are oversaturated, working from a template that there's a clear demand for can greatly improve your odds of success.

Mobile games and apps for streaming music and video will always be in demand, and there's plenty of room for you to carve out your own niche within these markets. Creating ways for people to communicate with each other in unique ways is also a pretty solid route to success. Messenger apps, social media platforms, and dating services build off the need for social interaction in the digital space, and there will likely always be demand. Also popular right now are fitness tracking apps, and they're likely to only grow in popularity as wearable devices like smartwatches become more prevalent.

Distinguishing Your Brand

So you've picked an app category to work in, but there's another hurdle to overcome. The popularity of these app types indicates demand from users, but it also means that you'll have to work harder to distinguish your app from the competition. Namely, that means discovering a need that currently isn't fulfilled.

Let's look at some examples. Slack was far from the first messaging app on the market. It wasn't even the first business-focused messaging app. But it managed to create a distinct niche for itself by reorganizing how we think about our communications and splitting off conversations in a smart and organic way. Meanwhile, while colossal dating apps, like OkCupid and Tinder, dominate the dating app market, there's been a cottage industry for more specialized dating. You'll find dating services focused on farmers, Christians, political parties, and everything in between.

Finding success with an app doesn't require you to be everything to everyone. Finding a demographic that's underrepresented and tailoring an existing app formula to meet their needs is a perfectly valid method for developing your app, and it can be significantly less of a gamble.

Considering Your Revenue Model

Mobile gaming is a case study in how developers need to innovate if they want to stay profitable. When mobile gaming first broke onto the scene, popular games like Angry Birds and Plants Vs. Zombies managed to find success with a single price point. But the amount of money customers are willing to spend on mobile games can't support the scale of the market. Thus we saw the rise of free-to-play models and micro-transactions. Many of today's games are predicated on a model where the majority of players may spend little to no money and the majority of revenue comes in from a small proportion of the fan base that spends a majority of the money. The micro-transaction model has become so successful that later sequels to Angry Birds and Plants Vs. Zombies have both implemented them.

There is no singular right answer for how to monetize your app, but studying the market can give you a significant leg up when you're trying to earn money from apps. That said, a model that gives users a taste of what you offer and provides them with different ways to invest is generally going to have a lower barrier to entry.

In any case, successful app development requires research and hard work. Before you even start the wireframing process for your app, you should get a good lay of the land. There are countless routes to success, but there are even more routes to failure. Understanding the climate, finding a way to reach an audience that's unfulfilled, and then adapting a revenue model based on both of those revelations can help ensure that when your app is deployed, users will come running.