How to Sell Hundreds of Paid Android Apps a Month With ZERO Marketing

This is a guest post written by Jason Haddad, who works as a tester for

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.

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Reply To Comments Enabled For All Google Play Developers

A few months ago we heard that Google had started enabling “reply to comments” for selected Android developers on Google Play. Unfortunately I didn’t get access at the time, and have been waiting for a chance to try it out ever since. Well it seems like today is the big day. According to the official announcement by Google, all developers can now reply to comments on Google Play.

Screenshot of Google Play developer feature - Reply To User Reviews

This new feature is a big deal for many Android developers. Anyone who’s released an app on Google Play knows what it’s like to receive a negative review, complaining about problems which have already been fixed, or are simply the result of a misunderstanding by the user. This kind of thing happens all the time. And up until now, it’s been impossible to follow up with these users.

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Android Income Report #8 (November 2011)

Euro CashOverview

In my October report, I described how this one simple app turned into an overnight success. Fake iPhone 4S brought in over $700 in October alone, helping to bring my total earnings for that month over the nominal target of $1000.

In November, these already fantastic results improved in every way. Total Active Installs went from ~140,000 at the end of October to over 400,000 by mid-November. By the end of November, I’d reached about 1.2 million total installs. This boost in downloads seemed to be mostly self-propagating. By reaching the top Trending charts for the Android Market, it was noticed by a lot of people, which in turn helped keep it in the top charts.

It still amazes me that an app which I created as a casual idea in my free time would reach this level of popularity. There’s no way I would have predicted this number of people could be interested in downloading a Fake iPhone. But I tried it – and apparently a lot of people do want this kind of app.

Anyway, this torrent of new users brought a proportional increase in revenue. In fact, during November I brought in an average of over $200 per day! This was an incredibly exciting month for me – and busy too, as I released a number of updates.

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Improvements to the Android Developer Console

A few days ago (before the Android Market was renamed) Google announced a major update to the Android Developer Console stats page. Rather than the simple “active installs” chart which used to be shown, developers now have access to a wide range of charts showing total & active installs over time. Google has also added the ability to view daily install charts, and see which version of your app users have installed at the present time.

Announcement on the Android Developer Console

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Google Play – The New Android Market

Google Play - Android MarketToday Google announced (in several places) that the Android Market is being rebranded “Google Play

The new marketplace (sorry, “play store”) includes content from four main areas – Movies, Music, Apps & Games, and Books. Of course, not all of these are available outside of the US yet, so folks in Australia will only get access to Apps & Games and Books for now.

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Android Income Report #7 (October)

Statistics bar graphWhen I started this blog, I set myself a goal: to make $1000 from Android development in a single month. This seemed a lofty goal – especially starting from scratch – but I thought it would be achievable within a couple of years. Thus it was quite a surprise in July when I got nearly halfway there – $690 in a single month. This was just 4 months after my first income report of less than $4!

Even more surprising – and exciting – is the news that this month, I passed the $1000 mark. Yes, after 7 months of Android development I’ve actually reached the goal set back in March. This was mainly due to the phenomenal success of my latest app – “Fake iPhone 4S“.

Read on for more details, including the full story of how one weekend’s work turned into my most successful app yet.

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Android Income Report #6 (September)

September was my first month back in the swing of things, after the August holiday. It was still pretty quiet, with no new app releases, but I was able to do a bit of groundwork in preparation for the coming months. I wrote a number of blog posts, and tried submitting my app to a few more alternative app stores. Revenues saw a bit of dip compared with August, but this was still my 3rd highest income to date.

This will be another short income report – I’m a few months behind already, so will try to keep things brief. Without any further ado, here’s the breakdown for September – my 6th month on the Android Market.

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Android Income Report #5 (August)

Well, I’ve got way behind in my income reports. My last report (July 2011) is over 3 months old already. It’s good to keep the continuity though, so I’ll publish this post for my August revenue – even though it wasn’t a very exciting month. The huge revenues from my Google+ Invites app had diminished significantly, and I was travelling overseas for most of the month, so didn’t release any updates for my other apps. So mainly, this month’s report covers passive income from my existing apps, during a month of inactivity.

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The Benefits of Positive Feedback

Have you ever downloaded an app from the Android Market, or App Store, and after using it for a few minutes thought “this is just awesome”? If you’re like me, the answer is yes. But was your first thought to contact the developer and tell him how happy you are? Or did you just keep using the app, happy to have something that works?

I was reading the comments on Tap That! Number the other day. Here’s the latest review by someone called Jake:

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Android Income Report #4

At long last, here is my income report for the month of July. This is a very different story to previous reports, mainly thanks to my Google+ Invites app which made a few hundred dollars in one day. I also released a major update for Tap That! Number, and published a new app (CPU Usage Live Wallpaper) with both free and paid versions. It was a pretty hectic month! Read on for more details, and an overview of the month’s earnings.

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