This is a guest post written by Jason Haddad, who works as a tester for wellresearchedreviews.com.
Often I have been asked whether or not it’s possible to really make a living from Android apps alone as an individual, and always my answer gets a surprised response when I give it. Not only is it possible to make a full income from Android apps alone, but it’s also actually pretty easy and you don’t even need any marketing. As overly simple and straightforward as it might sound, it’s actually entirely possible to release a paid app onto the Play Store, do nothing to market it or advertise it, and then just watch as the money pours in. I’d even go as far as to say that it’s unnecessary to bother with other more complicated forms of monetization (such as in-app billing, or ‘freemium’ apps) and that in this case the most straightforward approach really is the best.
How do I know this? Simple: because I released an app on the Play Store about 10 months ago and have so far racked up nearly £15K from it (that’s roughly $30K – I’m a Brit y’see). I never did any advertising, I’m not exactly what you’d call a ‘pro’ and I didn’t even own an Android until 6 months before. But I have managed to repeat the process since then…
Of course though to make this work you also need to know what you’re doing and you still need some strategy. Fortunately I’m about to share with you what made my apps a hit and what some of the secrets to success are. Follow these tips and you too can start earning a living from Android apps.
Throw Lots of Paint at the Wall and See What Sticks
A common mistake I’ve seen is for people to spend years working on a single app only to then release it and find it flops. Unfortunately the market just moves too quickly to spend that long on one project, and if you do then you’ll be much more badly hit by a failure. To start with, try releasing lots of Android apps that you can make quickly but which have potential and then focus on developing the ones that work.
That said, I would highly advise against using any ‘app builder’ tools out there which severely limit what’s possible for you to create. Use these tools and you’ll make an RSS feed for your site at best and that’s never going to be a massive hit. Learn to program properly, but to make life easier consider using the amazing Basic4Android tool which is much quicker and easier to get to grips with than going the Eclipse+Java route that most programmers take (just research it and trust me on that one).
Make Apps That People Are Looking For
So you’re making lots of apps quickly – great. Now, how to know what kinds of apps to make? Well one tip is to look at the Play Store and to look for what’s being searched for commonly. Thankfully this is easy currently as the search box provides suggestions based on popular queries. Type in ‘A’, and see what the suggestions are. If you can find a popular search that doesn’t have a lot of results, then that’s a great area to target. Make sure it’s something that interests you too though, as you don’t want to get bored with it.
Make Apps That People Will Get Excited About
Likewise, try to think about which kinds of apps people will be willing to pay for. An app that changes the function of Android (such as a novel new home screen for instance, or a pop-up window) will have a big market in tech fanatics who want to experiment with their devices and show them off to friends – which is why they’ll often be willing to pay. Likewise you can sell apps that promise to make life a little better – such as a fitness app or a money management app. Just make sure that there is no free competition around, you need to offer something unique to warrant the spend.
Make it Self Explanatory
One of the best things I did with my app was to make both the name and the icon highly self-explanatory. The name of my app was the exact search term that people were looking for (which helped it to show up in lots of queries) and the image was a simple screenshot of the app that made it clear what it was for so that people would open it up to take a look. Use an obscure brand name and logo and no one is going to give you the benefit of the doubt.
Find the Right Price
Your chosen price point is also very important and will have a big impact on the number of purchases you get, as well as the profit of course. You’d be surprised, but 10 cents can make all the difference so do take the time to experiment with different prices to see what makes you the most money.
Now your app is out there you need to update as regularly as you can when an app shows promise. This will not only get you lots of good reviews, but it will also increase your visibility by putting your app in the ‘recently updated’ lists.
Oh and meanwhile? Begin work on your next app! This is a market where volume can really pay off, and the sky really is the limit…
About The Author
Jason Haddad works as a tester for wellresearchedreviews.com. He enjoys writing pieces based on his own experiences of selling apps on Android. Making use of social media in his free time is one of his hobbies.