What we’ve learned from the thousands of Android developers that we’ve helped is that there is always a way to increase a developer’s revenue. Improvements to their mobile monetization strategy might be as complicated as A/B testing ad formats and encouraging advertisers to propose direct deals. But optimization can also be as simple as avoiding these five basic mobile monetization mistakes.
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.
A few people have asked whether LeadBolt is a reliable advertising network, and how quickly developers are paid. I’ve been using the network for a few months now, with very good results. Using the new app wall format, I’ve been getting an eCPM of $1.86. Here’s my first payment notification from December last year. Yes, … Read more…
This month I received my first publisher payment from Madvertise. I started using this advertising network in October, and have had some fantastic results so far. Madvertise only works well in Europe (fill rates are very low in the rest of the world), but for European traffic it can return very good revenues. During October … Read more…
I’ve been using LeadBolt (an in-app advertising network) for a few months now, with mixed results. The rich media content unlockers offered by LeadBolt are very effective, especially if you’re developing a game where the interstitial format makes sense (e.g. a blocking advert between levels). However, their banner advertising hasn’t been as effective for me, … Read more…
Today I received my first payment from Tapjoy. Just over $700 USD isn’t too bad 🙂 This is income from the Google+ Invites app, which is the only place I’ve used Tapjoy’s incentive advertising. I do recommend you check them out, if you’re writing an app that could make use of virtual currency. Tapjoy have … Read more…
I’ve had quite a few offers lately from people who would like to sponsor articles on this blog. The basic understanding being, they pay me to write about a particular topic, or include a link to their product. It’s not an unusual situation in web publishing, but I know a lot of people have strong opinions on the ethics of this practice.
I’m not a big fan of blogs that post a “Message from our Sponsor” every week, with a blatantly promotional article full of links back to the sponsor’s website. I see this as a kind of intrusive advertising, that only takes readers’ time and offers nothing in return.
However, I do see benefits in writing a sponsored post which is of genuine interest to the blog’s target audience – in this case, Android developers. For example, say a mobile advertising company such as AdMob were to contact me, and offer to pay me in exchange for writing an article about their company. Obviously the company itself is of interest to this blog’s readers. In this situation, I think it would be appropriate to write the article, and accept payment for the time I spent researching and writing the post.
A few weeks ago I did something which, in retrospect, was probably rather stupid. But it was surprisingly successful while it lasted. As I wrote earlier, I’ve been using Google+ since the day after it was launched. I myself received an invite from a stranger who was offering invites publicly. For this reason, I’ve been keen to share invites with anyone else who’s looking for one. I put up a post on this blog offering free invites, and got a huge response from the Android community. In fact, there were so many responses that it overwhelmed my email after a few days. There’s no way I could have kept up with the demand.
Rather than stop accepting requests altogether, I wanted to make it easier to handle the load. (NB: At this stage there was no limit to the number of Google+ invites you could send.) My first thought, trying to work out a faster way to do things, was “hey, is there an Android app for this?” A quick search turned up a negative. No Android apps offering Google+ invites. So, why not make one? It seemed a pretty good idea, so I spent that afternoon writing a simple app that accepted an email address, and a description of the request. The data was sent to a PHP script on my server, so I could go through and invite the email addresses stored in a database.
Actually, it’s not that simple to write an Android app that POSTs data asynchronously to a server, checks the response, and handles errors gracefully. I re-used some classes from another unreleased project, but it was still a bigger job than I expected. But the actual coding is an issue for another day. The most interesting part came when I released the app on the Android Market.
The developer of ProPassword (for iOS devices) has posted an interesting testimony on his blog. He released the app for free, relying on Apple’s advertising platform, iAd as the sole source of revenue. Over 15,000 downloads later, this developer decides that ad-supported free apps just aren’t a reliable revenue source.
It’s been one month now since I published my first app on the Android market. I thought this would be a great time to share some stats from the first few weeks – how many downloads, how much revenue from AdMob, user engagement figures – all that stuff. Hopefully this will give you some idea of how far I’ve come with this first app in one month, and what opportunity there is for further growth. There are plenty of screenshots, so you’ll get to see exactly what has been happening in detail.