How to Make Money with Android

So you want to make money with Android? Sell your Android apps to make a profit? Generate enough revenues from your Android apps that you can quit your job and live off the earnings? Or just learn how to monetize your existing apps? You’ve come to the right place.

This blog will be a journal of my progress as I start from scratch in developing profitable Android apps. I’ll be documenting my discoveries, as well as writing up some general advice for making money. It’ll be a rough journey, and possibly a slow one, but I aim to reach an initial goal of $1000 per month from Android apps. This includes a few revenue streams:

I’ve set the initial goal relatively low for a reason – I believe that having an achievable medium-term goal, and basing my activities around that goal, is the surest way to success. I could have aimed for $1000 a week, but that would be too far in the future. $1000 per month is equivalent to roughly $230 per week, or $34 per day – which is certainly achievable with some effort.

So how to I aim to achieve this? Firstly: build an app. =) It may seem obvious, but the first step towards making money with Android is to actually build a worthwhile app. Not just a throw-away “Hello world” style program, but something really useful. It doesn’t need to be complex – some of the most popular games for Android are really quite basic. But it does need to be a complete application, and have a purpose. Don’t just start writing for Android for the sake of making money. It will be extremely difficult to write a good Android app with money being your sole objective. You need to find a problem to solve, or a need to be met. Then, build “an app for that”.

I’ve actually got dozens of ideas – far too many to write myself, and have been sorting through some prototypes in recent weeks. I have now decided on the concept which I’ll be implementing for my first public app. It’s staying under wraps for now, but I can say one thing: my first Android app published on this site will be a Casual Game.

So I hope you’ll join me for what will surely be a profitable adventure, and a beneficial exercise in Android development. You can subscribe by email or RSS, and keep up-to-date with my latest progress. Feel free to leave a comment with any questions or suggestions you might have – I’ll be learning along with you, and I’d love to get some feedback on what you do (and don’t!) like about this site.

See you soon with the latest info on Making Money with Android!

  • Mark

    Hi! Thanks for this very inspiring post. I just started developing a game in Android this April. I am also planning to sell it in the market. However our country (Philippines) is still not supported by Android Market paid apps. I guess I will have to look for an alternative.

    • David Webb

      If paid apps are not supported in your country you could still use in-app advertising (such as the service by AdMob) to generate revenue. Many developers have utilised this method quite successfully. Or you could team up with a developer in another country that does support paid apps, and arrange for them to publish your app.

      • Mark

        Thanks for the suggestions. I will still have to learn the in-app advertising as I am fairly new to game development.

        I saw which states that they can help you upload your game to the android market. I am not sure if that is safe though.

        • David Webb

          Personally I wouldn’t take the risk. They haven’t posted any news articles since August last year, and I can’t see any high-profile clients. Also, I’m not sure how this would stand with Google or tax authorities – you might want to read their TOS / Developer Agreement carefully if you want to use a third party such as AndroidConnector.

          My advice would be to stick with free apps for now, and if you make a real blockbuster app that would benefit from a paid version, investigate the options then.

          • Mark

            Thanks David!

          • Mark

            Hey David! Android Market is now available here just last week!!! :) 

          • David Webb

             Great to hear! Apparently Google announced 99 more countries were added to the list at the I/O conference. I guess there will be a lot more developers able to release paid apps now.

  • keith dontmatter

    Hi, saw your blog, but as a developer that’s been there and done that I must say don’t waste your time with Android. Here’s the reason why. Users are not willing to pay for your apps, they just won’t sorry. Many developers already realize that and figure they will try the free route with ads. The issue here is that users will hate you for putting ads in your app and give it poor ratings no matter how good the app actually is. Then when you have poor ratings no one searches for your app and downloads it. You go to the bottom of the barrel in the Android market, even lower than all the free “hot chick” wallpaper apps.

    To make money, try developing for the iphone, or there’s always the possibility of windows mobile. Windows just merged with Nokia and Nokia has the largest customer base in the world so things could get interesting there. But just save yourself the disappointment and waste of time on Android. It’s no different than all the bloggers that thought they’d make money with google adsense… people simply don’t click on the ads.

  • Richard

    Check out my success story in the Android market, read the ebook here;

    • David Webb

      Thanks Richard for the link. I’ve read your ebook, great to hear about a developer’s success on the Android Market. Evidently it can be done!

      • Richard

         Thanks David, I’d love to have a short sentence or so for a review I can post to the website.

  • Lee

    Yeah there are lots of apps that make a lot of money on the Android Market, my apps make over 500 pounds a day! No joke!

    Actually I have found that users don’t mind ads, if and only if they dont affect the user experience of using the app. In this world where content is King and monetization of content is easy and profitable only if you have good content.

    I as a developer say hang in there dude, and good luck with your progress. I reckon use Iphone as a last resort because as Google as is evidence good ‘free’ services to the public is good revenue model that works, because you will have orders of magnitude more users with ‘free’ services.

  • Pingback: Android Income Report #3 « Making Money With Android()

  • Info

    If you want to hear a cha-ching cash register sound when you receive your sale notification emails from your shopping cart check out the Got A Sale app. 

  • Ohhizjackiexo
  • Phillson
  • Tyler

    Curious about anymore updates or tips, i am interested in creating a free app, that later on can have a paid upgraded version. Any help would be greatly appreciated

  • Yazanjaradat

      keith dontmatter:
    Nokia has the largest customer base in the world!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    who told you that

    android app is bigger than android user
    more than 1000 user for 1 app

    no one buy nokia these days

    and look for smartphone usage

    iphone and Android and android is the  fastest

  • Sundev Pabla

    Hi there

    I’m a beginner to Android my self and write a similar blog – please check it out by googling ‘Sundev Pabla’ also check out my app on the Android Market and look me up on linked-in. I think we could both learn from each other.

  • Nancy Rani

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